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.

About 95% of the ancient vaults are gold coins from the American Civil War. Photo: Numismatic Guaranty Co.


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

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

It is important that the ancient coin warehouse in Kentucky helps reveal more information about American history during an extremely chaotic period. “Based on the time and location in Kentucky – which was neutral at the time – it is very likely that the vault was buried before the June-July 1863 raid by Confederate General John Hunt Morgan America proceeds,” said Ryan McNutt, an archaeologist at Georgia Southern University. According to rumors, many wealthy Kentuckians buried large sums of money to avoid being appropriated by the Confederacy.

Most historical artifacts discovered on private land are sold on the market or collected without archaeological consultation, McNutt said. “As an archaeologist, I find this loss of information particularly frustrating,” he shared. Ancient vaults contain a large amount of information about their owners, providing experts with detailed data about a certain period.

Historical finds on private American land, such as the one in Kentucky, do not need to be reported to archaeologists. However, McNutt believes that education and outreach are key to learning more about these rare coin hoards.

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