A man in Kentucky has struck gold after finding a treasure trove of Civil War-era gold coins in a cornfield.
Dubbed “The Great Kentucky Hoard”, the lucky man, whose name and location have not been revealed, unearthed more than 700 gold coins earlier this year — including 18 $20 Gold Liberty coins from 1863, which have collected more than $100,000 for a single coin at past auctions.
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In a short video clip of the once-in-a-lifetime find, shared on on June 9, a man can be heard exclaiming “this is the most insane thing ever” while pointing out the cache of coins in the dirt.
The treasure also includes hundreds of gold dollar coins, dating from 1854 to 1862, and a group of finest-known 1863 Double Eagles, as well as a small number of silver coins. It has been described as “a virtual time capsule of Civil War-era coinage” by rare coin dealer Jeff Garrett, who is handling the gold hoard.
“The importance of this discovery cannot be overstated, as the stunning number of over 700 gold dollars represents a virtual time capsule of Civil War-era coinage, including coins from the elusive Dahlonega Mint,” Garrett said in a news release by coin grading company NGC.
“Finding one Mint condition 1863 Double Eagle would be an important numismatic event. Finding nearly a roll of superb examples is hard to comprehend.”
The rare coins are now being sold off by GovMint, and several types listed at around $1,000 or more are already “out of stock.” It’s unknown yet how much the coins will net together, however, Andrew Salzberg, executive vice president of Certified Collectibles Group, of which NGC is a part, told Spectrum News 1 the haul was valued in excess of $2 million.
Sadly, not everyone has the luck of stumbling across such golden fortune in our backyards — but there are other ways to build a stash of gold.
Buy physical gold
The most direct way to invest in gold is to buy physical gold in the form of bars, coins or jewelry.
Gold is often tipped as a great alternative asset to invest in because, unlike the U.S. dollar, which has lost 98% of its purchasing power since 1971, gold’s purchasing power remains more stable over time.
In 2023, central banks worldwide have been ditching their dollar reserves in favor of gold — proof that this strategy is not just for the individual investor.
In the first quarter of this year, central banks added 228.4 tons of gold — a new quarterly record — to their reserves, according to the World Gold Council.
The price of gold does fluctuate. Historically, when interest rates have fallen, the price of gold has risen, based on the theory that paper money may lose value, leaving gold with a stronger purchasing power. That past performance can be used as an indicator, though not a guarantee, for what’s to come.
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Invest in gold stocks and ETFs
You can invest in gold without ever touching a flake of it by purchasing shares of gold mining companies on the stock market.
The advantage is that if the price of gold suddenly plummets, you may not lose your shirt because the mining company could decide to focus on another metal.
The disadvantage of owning mining stocks is that they can decline with the rest of the market, even when the value of gold is steady. In fact, business factors can always come into play — factors like the company’s financials, the quality of its management team and long-term production prospects.
Investors might also buy into gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) — some of the most popular options are GLD, GDX and GDXJ — to diversify their portfolio and avoid the uncertainty that comes with investing in a particular company.
Although these funds are heavily diversified to reduce risk, there's still a measure of uncertainty when investing in ETFs and they remain subject to the fluctuations of the stock market. If the market crashes, the value of your investment could drop even if the value of gold doesn’t change.
A golden retirement option
The U.S. dollar saw an 8% decline in its share of global reserves in 2022 — causing some to question whether the dollar’s days of dominance are over.
If you’re worried about how economic volatility, high inflation and stock market uncertainty could be impacting your own dollars — especially your retirement fund — you might want to consider opening a gold IRA.
This type of individual retirement account (IRA) allows you to invest in gold and other precious metals in physical forms, such as coins, instead of stocks, mutual funds and other traditional investments.
Opting for a Gold IRA gives you the opportunity to both diversify your portfolio and stabilize your finances — and they typically boast some enticing tax advantages that can help you hold onto more of your money in the long run.
If you want to open a Gold IRA, there are reputable services that’ll let you roll over your current 401(k) or IRA into this new account, subject to certain qualifications.
With files from Sigrid Forberg
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.