Exploring a Cache of Antique Gold and Silver Coins

A Kentucky man discovered a cache of more than 700 coins from the American Civil War (1861-1865) while digging in his fields earlier this year.

The coin vault includes many American gold coins that existed from 1840 to 1863, accounting for about 95%, along with a couple of silver coins. According to Numismatic Guaranty Co. (NGC), which ensures the authenticity of the coins, and GovMint, the vault contains 20 $10 Freedom coins and 8 $20 Freedom coins. Each such Freedom coin can be worth up to 6 figures when sold at auction.

According to NGC’s site, the $20 Freedom coin circulated between 1850 and 1907, minted by the US Treasury Department after gold was discovered in California. The newfound $20 Freedom coins are much rarer because they lack the inscription “In God We Trust,” which was added in 1866 after the finish of the American Civil War.

The ancient coin must warehouse in Kentucky uncovers more information about American history during a very chaotic period. “Based on the overall setting in Kentucky – which was neutral at the time – almost certainly, the vault was covered before the June-July 1863 raid by Confederate General John Chase Morgan America continues,” said Ryan McNutt, an archeologist at Georgia Southern University. According to reports, many wealthy Kentuckians covered large amounts of money to avoid being appropriated by the Confederacy.

Most historical artifacts discovered on private land are sold on the market or gathered without archeological consultation, McNutt said. “As an archeologist, I find this deficiency of information particularly frustrating,” he shared. Ancient vaults contain a large amount of information about their proprietors, providing specialists with detailed data about a certain period.

Historical finds on private American land, like the one in Kentucky, needn’t bother with to be accounted for by archeologists. Notwithstanding, McNutt accepts that education and outreach are vital to learning more about these rare coin hoards.

Read also: Discovery of Ancient Gold and Silver Treasure: Insights into Medieval Prosperity at the National Museum of Antiquities.