Couple Discovers Gold Coins Worth 10M USD

March 24, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cache /kæʃ/ (n.) – a group of valuable items stored in a hidden place
ExampleHe discovered a cache of old paper bills while cleaning the basement.

2. currency /ˈkɜrənsi, ˈkʌr-/ (n.) – money; the bills or coins used in a country
ExampleThe Philippine currency is called peso.

3. mint /mɪnt/ (v.) – to produce coins by stamping metal
ExampleCoin-makers often mint coins out of nickel or copper.

4. face value /ˈfeɪs ˌvælyu/ (n.) – the worth or value of something, especially a coin or a bill
ExampleThe face value of the old gold coin is $20.

5. authenticate /ɔˈθɛntɪˌkeɪt/ (v.) – to identify if something is genuine
Example: The experts authenticated the antique porcelain


Read the text below.
A couple found a $10 million worth of hidden treasure while walking their dog around their property in Northern California, which is known as the Gold Country.

The couple, who wished to remain anonymous, found gold coins from the late 1800s or the Gold Rush era. These coins were buried inside eight decaying metal cans that were sticking out of the ground. They dug the cans out. And when they searched further, they found the rest of the cache.

The gold coins, which were minted sometime between 1847 and 1894, consist of nearly 1,400 $20 gold pieces, fifty $10 gold pieces, and four $5 gold pieces. Also, one of the coins was a so-called 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle. Its value was estimated at $1 million on its own.

According to coin expert David McCarthy from the currency firm Kagin’s, the gold coins are in excellent condition. He said that the coins look as if they were minted just yesterday even after being buried in the ground for a very long time.  

Coin experts consider this discovery, now known as the “Saddle [SAD-l] Ridge Hoard,” as the greatest treasure ever found in the US. McCarthy also said that no discovery can compare to the face value and condition of the gold coins.

Don Willis, president of a company that authenticates old coins, added that the Saddle Ridge Hoard is the most remarkable story in the history of treasure hunting.

The firm Kagin’s, which represents the couple, will sell most of the coins on Amazon. A sampling has also been displayed at the American Numismatic [noo-miz-MAT-ik, -mis-, nyoo-] Association show in Atlanta in the first week of March.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the couple made the right decision to sell most of the coins? Why or why not?
·         Should the government intervene with the discovery? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were the one who found the gold coins, would you tell other people about it? Why or why not?
·         If you have this large amount of gold coins, what would you do with them? Explain.


March 24, 2014