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Millions in rare gold coins unearthed in Kentucky cornfield

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Unearthed recently in a Kentucky cornfield, more than 700 rare U.S. gold coins have become one of the greatest coin-collecting finds of the 21st century.

The coins are dated from 1840 to 1862 and are estimated at a value exceeding $2 million.

Labeled “The Great Kentucky Hoard,” experts described the find as extremely rare, and rarer still to find the coins in such good condition.

“Underneath were just these phenomenally beautiful, preserved coins,” Certified Collectibles Group Executive Vice President Andrew Salzberg said. “And I think they were preserved so well because they weren’t exposed to air, and they were buried in the ground.”

The mystery of how the coins came to be buried in a Kentucky cornfield promotes speculation. One likely scenario has a wealthy Kentuckian burying his wealth to hide it from an advancing Confederate Army.

”If you had a lot of money, historically, you buried it,” President of the Louisville Numismatic Exchange Byrd Saylor said. “Banks were good. They robbed the banks. You had to find a place that was secure. In most times throughout history, people bury money. What happens if you bury money and get killed? It stays in the ground.”

Why the owner failed to return is unknown, and 160 years later, new questions arise.

Adding to the mystery is the secrecy surrounding the discovery itself. The name of the man who found the coins, how he found them and the location of the cornfield have not been disclosed.

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