Skip to comments.Could newly discovered gold coins be the haul stolen by SF Mint employee in 1901? [GOLD COINS]
Posted on 02/26/2014 7:49:29 PM PST by BunnySlippers
The mysterious haul of gold coins discovered by a Northern California couple while out walking their dog and valued at $10 million may well be a previously undiscovered bounty that an employee of the San Francisco Mint was convicted of stealing in 1901.
The couple, who havent been named, stumbled across the haul of 1,427 rare, mint-condition gold coins, nearly all dating from 1847 to 1894, buried in the shadow of an old tree on their Gold Country property in February 2013.
The face value of the Saddle Ridge Hoard, as theyve called it, added up to about $27,000, but some of the coins are so rare that experts say they could fetch nearly $1million apiece.
The couple went public with their amazing discovery on Tuesday, and treasure enthusiasts have been quick to suggest that the coins could be the same ones stolen by Walter Dimmick, an employee of the San Francisco Mint in the late 1800′s, reports Altered Dimensions. Dimmick began working at the mint in 1898 and by 1901 was trusted with the keys to the vaults until an audit revealed a $30,000 shortage in $20 Double Eagle coins, six bags in all.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
By the time its over they will probly get to keep the can.
Tax-wise, the mint already took the writedown, so it gave up possession of those coins.
You can bet the government will get it’s grubby hands on it one way or another.
Story I heard says the cans were filled gradually with new coins over the course of a few decades, long before the mint theft.
THE STORY SAYS THE FINDERS HAVE TO KEEP THEIR NAMES HIDDEN FROM THE THEIF’S HEIRS. THEY HAVE THE MOST COMPELLING CLAIM ... AND THE STATE.
You’re kidding right? I fully expect a raid by the Treasury folk within the week .... can see the Treasury SWAT team kicking down their door in the middle of the night after shooting their 12 week old puppy.
sorry about the caps.
They should have kept their mouth shut.
There was a case a few years ago where a guy found some gold coins that had never been issued - the design itself had never been issued. They were a new design that were being made when FDR declared it illegal to own gold.
He had to give his 20 or so $10 gold coins back to the gov’t for face value. People claim it was because the coins should have been returned to the gov’t in the thirties - but I’m not sure - I think it was more that they were stolen.
BUT - wouldn’t the statute of limitations for the theft be over by then? Unless the gov’t could argue that the crime of “receiving stolen property” had just occurred.
>>So, does the State of CA claim it, or the thief’s heirs? <<
I am pretty sure the thieve’s heirs would be SOL.
California, OTOH, may unilaterally decide to use Eminent Domain (or something similar).
If I was this couple I would get the heck out of Cali TONIGHT to someplace like Texas that respects property rights. Even then I would plan on escaping to a country that won’t tax or seize the coins (Monte Carlo?) since California could reach them in Texas via subpoena.
With millions of dollars at stake, it isn’t worth the risk of hanging around while California puts dozens of lawyers on the job of finding a way to steal it.
Same story but by Mashable:
If the state doesn’t claim the gold, they will be paying through the nose in state and federal taxes. I would have been tempted to only sell a few coins at a time and keep the rest hidden.
There is no logical reason to shout about finding such things.
All you do us open yourself up to ambulance chasing lawyers and a proctology examination by the Gub'ment...
Go buy a nice floor safe and sell the coins slowly and report it on your taxes when you do and you will do fine.
“The finders would have been wise, perhaps, to first establish residence outside of California,”
Better yet, outside of the US.
EPA will probably fine them for the old can.
Who knows what is laying around that mint. In 1980, I think, they opened an old vault and found something like 2 million mint silver dollars stored which no one knew about. Government sold them to collectors.
Did someone find my gold coin stash?
No, it is MY gold coin stash. I buried it in N. Cali last year. I can prove it too. All of the coins are gold color.
Thieves Among Us
Some people get strange ideas about stealing our nation’s assets. Here are some examples.
In Sheep’s Clothing
Could it be that Chief Clerk Walter Dimmick had betrayed the trust placed in him? It certainly seemed that way when the San Francisco Mint discovered that six bags of gold coins were missing from one of the vaults, together worth $30,000!
Only someone who could open the vault and had free access to the building could have removed that many heavy coins without being detected.
The Chief Clerk, Walter Dimmick, was able to get into the vault at the time the money was stolen. He was also the last one to count the bags of coins every night before the vaults were closed. Yet he denied knowing where the money might be.
Since he had already been caught learning to sign the Superintendent’s name (forgery), taking money from the pay envelopes of other Mint employees (theft), and stealing other government funds in his care, a jury eventually found him guilty of stealing the $30,000 in gold double eagles and of two other charges.
At 46 years old, Walter Dimmick began to serve his time (almost seven years of hard labor) at the San Quentin prison in California.
The 1,500 gold coins were never found.
Shouldn’t they have rusted by now?
Yer a Capital person....
This is awesome. I just got a glimpse on Fox.
The publicity about these coins is from the dealers handling the coin sale to drive up prices. They are being sold as from the “Saddle Ridge Hoard” to put a mystique about them which some people will pay a premium for such as, things from the Titanic etc. They are nice coins in their own right and could have been sold quietly for almost as much money but someone got greedy.
They were 1933 $20 St Gaudens, the standard issue $20, but not “authorized” allegedly. The family that found them in an uncle (?)s estate sent ALL of them to the treasury to ask if they were real. My opinion is that they were to stupid to deserve them, but the government shouldn’t get to hold on to them either, they should be sold.
They fought it in court until 2011 or 12.
What is that building?
“My opinion is that they were to stupid to deserve them...”
Yes - perhaps it wouldn’t have done them any good anyway. Not me though! Like the bumper sticker says, something like “Please God, send us another Oil Boom, and I promise I won’t piss it away this time!”
No, these were stashed as obtained, I believe the stasher obtained at least the early ones from “free coinage” and was a miner or mine owner/shareholder.
Uncle Dimmick left me those coins in his will. If that story won’t fly, I can make up another.
2.5 pound Yorkie puppy. But it was acting aggressive.
They are only selling one at a time, infrequently.
The Granite Lady, 2nd SF Mint.
Why would you ever report it on your taxes?
No, just because dates are old does not mean it was over decades.
Especially with banks or certainly MINTS. They store old things in “mint” condition for ages. Especially if the banks don’t exchange for them.
My mother foolishly spent a bunch of Morgan silver dollars left from her grandparents, who had many bank bags of them. They had stopped making them after 1921, period.
I’ve personally found 1 1901 $20. I have a friend that bagged 16 $20’s and a $10 on a grading site. Another guy I know got a spectacular key date $10 worth $30,000-$35,000 a few years back.
I found mine with the ole “Mark I Eyeball”, that irked my detecting buddies to no end...
They’re still out there! They usually end up being where you find them ;-)
‘cause you’re more likely than not going to have a nice little Form 1099 mailed to the IRS and yourself when you do it unless you do it FTF for cash...
Not clear on that. The article said “they match the denominations”. Also said Dimmick was audited and found to be missing Double Eagles - doesn’t mean he wasn’t missing others. He could have just mostly stolen those and had that denomination as the first audit - revealing a massive problem not needing further review to send to the slammer.
Am I the only 1 who sees some wrong math here?
“500 coins were stolen by Dimmick - only 73 coins less than the 1,427”
Huh? I’d say that’s a HUGE mismatch.
This is common practice. Indeed identifying the “pedigree” of the coin can add to its value.
This has been going on for a while.
Story says they were found last year, and clearly they’ve been busy. PCGS already graded and slabbed them. Already selling them. Wow.
I’d be very careful about the selling. When the gov comes down on them they will have to account for everything they had, and what they made. Easier to just present the stash than the cash made from it.
If it’s stolen property its evidence of a crime and will become “state property”. Mark my words this is the type of deception they will use to steal the coins and then divert them to whatever local politician pays the most so he can add it to his collection.
In the detecting world, we know that coins dug up in the pristine state circulated very little if at all, we call them a "fresh drop", i.e. it was dropped fairly close to the time it was minted and placed in circulation.
This dime below was a pretty "fresh drop" (the pennies don't do real well in the soil type the dime was found in, other places they come out nice though)