Kentucky Farmer Discovers $3 Million “Hoard” Of Civil War-Era Coins

NGC Coin Grading

Anonymous Farmer Uncovers Cache Of Over 800 Gold & Silver Civil War Coins

One Kentucky farmer made the discovery of a lifetime in 2023 when he found hundreds of Civil War-era coins on his land. The farmer, who wants to remain anonymous, recently opened up to KET‘s Kentucky Life about his big find.

The man first discovered a 1856 Seated Liberty Half Dollar while walking through his freshly plowed field. That was cool enough, but he had no idea that a much greater treasure was hidden just 20-30 feet away.

I would have never believed what came next. Things that only happen in dreams,” the farmer told Kentucky Life. “When I continued walking and saw the glint of gold — a thick reeded edge. When I pulled the coin from the ground, I was astonished when I realized I was holding a $20 Double Eagle from the 1860s. After I flipped the first clump of dirt over the next 45 minutes to an hour, the coins kept coming. I knew it was hundreds.”

A Kentucky farmer found over $3 million in Civil War-Era coins on his land
This photo is taken from an ACTUAL video of the farmer discovering the “hoard” of Civil War-era coins on his land in 2023. Photo Credit: KET – Kentucky Educational Television / YouTube

Indeed, it was in the hundreds.

In what has now been dubbed “The Great Kentucky Hoard,” the farmer uncovered over 800 Civil War-era gold and silver coins. Lexington-based coin expert Jeff Garrett helped the farmer take the coins to for sale.

The hoard included 18 rare 1863 Double Eagle coins. The entire hoard sold for over $3 million.

The Man Who Made The Discovery Has Chosen Not To Reveal His Identity

Because of the value of his discovery, the farmer has chosen not to share his identity with the public and will not reveal the exact location where he found the hoard of coins.

He doesn’t want to open up his front blinds some Saturday morning and there be 70 people with shovels and metal detectors,” Kentucky Life host Chip Polston told The Lexington Herald-Leader. “…What would happen to his farm? It could be a huge mess for him.”

The hoard of coins discovered by the Kentucky farmer.
The hoard of coins discovered by the Kentucky farmer. Photo Credit: NGC Coin Grading

Polston says people have different theories about how the coins ended up in the farmer’s field. He shared some of those theories, with one being that a rich landowner buried the coins there to keep them safe. Polston also theorizes that a thief may have stolen and buried the money, but never returned to get it.

The farmer kept a few of the coins. Most notably, he chose to keep a unique coin with a slight imprint of a burlap bag.

Watch the video below to learn more about the farmer’s discovery.