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A California Couple Found $10 Million In Gold Coins In Their Backyard

The couple was out taking their dog for a walk when they stumbled upon a hoard of gold coins dating back to the 1800s.

Posted on February 25, 2014, at 8:17 p.m. ET

A Northern California couple was out walking their dog on their property when they found $10 million dollars in gold coins buried beneath an oak tree. Nearly all of the 1,427 coins are in mint condition.

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

All of the coins date from 1847 to 1894 and are uncirculated, according to David Hall (pictured), co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, who recently authenticated them.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.

"I don't like to say once-in-a-lifetime for anything, but you don't get an opportunity to handle this kind of material, a treasure like this, ever," said Don Kagin, a professional numismatist (someone who studies currency).

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

The couple that found the coins is trying to keep their anonymity. They plan to sell most of the gold on Amazon and use the money to pay off bills and quietly donate to area charities.

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

According to Kagin, who represents the couple, another reason they're keeping their anonymity is to avoid a renewed gold rush to their property by modern-day prospectors armed with metal detectors. "Their concern was this would change the way everyone else would look at them, and they're pretty happy with the lifestyle they have today," he said.

The coins were in $5, $10, and $20 denominations and stored in six cans in chronological order. This method of storage indicates that someone was using the ground as their personal bank. One coin came from as far away as Georgia.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.