Gold Coin Stash May Have Been Stolen from U.S. Mint

… in 1900

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Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc. / AP Photo

This image provided by the Saddle Ridge Hoard discoverers via Kagin's, Inc., shows one of the six decaying metal canisters filled with 1800s-era U.S. gold coins unearthed in California by two people who want to remain anonymous.

It may not be “finders, keepers” after all for a Northern California couple who discovered a $10 million gold coin stash on their property last last month while walking their dog. As it turns out, the mint-condition coins may actually be the property of the U.S. Mint.

A recently surfaced news story details a heist of gold coins from the San Francisco Mint in 1900, and the stolen coins have many similarities to the ones discovered last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

(MORE: The Law of Finders Keepers and What Happens When You Find Buried Treasure)

The original face value of the coins was about $27,000 at the turn of the century, according to experts, which is approximate value of the gold stolen in 1900. Furthermore, the coins were mostly in chronological order, suggesting they were unused.

The story was discovered in the Haithi Trust Digital Library by historian and coin collector Jack Trout, who also identified another suspicious piece of evidence linking the newly discovered gold to the 1900 heist: One of the coins in the stash was an 1866 Liberty $20 gold piece.  “I don’t believe that coin ever left The Mint until the robbery,” he says.

[San Francisco Chronicle]