$6m treasure unearthed in the back garden


Backyard Gold Bonanza

Forget finding your fortune at the end of the rainbow, a couple in Northern California has stumbled across a pot of gold buried in their back garden - and the experts say the gold coins are worth millions of dollars.

They are not the only ones to have uncovered a fortune in their home.

The discovery

The couple, who are remaining anonymous, were out walking their dogs in the back garden when they made the discovery. They were on a path beside an old tree, when they saw something that looked out of place. On closer inspection it turned out to be a stash of very rare gold coins, dating back to the 19th century Gold Rush.

The Metro reported that there were 1,427 coins, which are in mint condition. The face value is around £16,000, but some are so rare they are expected to fetch $1 million each. CNN has claimed that they could be worth a combined total of $6 million.

The discovery is reportedly the largest of its kind in US history.

However, the couple is keen for this find not to backfire. CNN reported that they discovered the coins a year ago and have only just gone public. They have decided to sell most of the coins on Amazon, and use the money to pay debts and donate to charity. They hope that by staying anonymous they can take advantage of the windfall without suffering the downsides of sudden wealth.

Hidden fortunes

And they are not the first to find a fortune hidden at home.

Last May, a man in Minnesota bought a run-down home for just $10,100, with the aim of doing it up for a profit. However, he made even more than he had hoped after knocking down a wall and finding a copy of Action Comic Number 1 from 1938 - which was the book that introduced Superman. He auctioned the comic for $175,000.

In 2011 a man in Salt Late City was looking around his new property when he stumbled across a metal box in the attic of his garage, which was filled with cash. The family searched the rest of the property and found $40,000 hidden in various boxes. However, they decided to do the right thing, and instead of keeping it they contacted the family of the former owner and returned it to them.

In 2009 a couple was emptying the attic of their Milton Keynes home to install insulation, when they discovered that the old boards used as flooring featured the names of towns and cities. It turned out that they were 49 railway destination boards, and the first eight they sold fetched £2,000.

In 2007 a German student unfolded her new sofa bed for the first time, and found a tiny oil painting. She had bought the sofa at a Berlin flea market and no-one had spotted the painting. It turned out to be 'Preparation to Escape to Egypt', painted between 1605 and 1620, and it sold for £16,500 at auction.

Sadly one discovery had a less happy ending for the plumber renovating the bathroom in a Dublin home that had previously belonged to Tom McFeely (a former IRA member who became a property developer). Last September he came across €140,000 hidden under the bath. Search teams were called in, and they found €60,000 more. Sadly for the plumber, the money was confiscated by the courts, because McFeely was made bankrupt after the failure of his business, and has debts of £168 million.