LOS ANGELES - A Californian couple who unearthed a treasure trove on their property are a few million dollars richer after buyers seized on the ancient gold coins sold at an auction.
The couple, named only as John and Mary, uncovered eight cans filled with more than 1,400 coins in March, in what is believed to be the most valuable treasure trove ever discovered in the United States.
On Tuesday, they went on sale and made over US$1 million within the first hour, said Mr Don Kagin of Kagin's, a firm specialising in ancient coins, which valued the whole horde at US$10 million (S$12.5 million).
By the end of Tuesday, sales on Amazon's website and Mr Kagin's own site notched nearly US$4 million, he said.
Proceeds from the first coin to be sold, a US$20 piece dating from 1874 which was snapped up for US$15,000, went to help the San Francisco Mint's restoration fund, he said.
The so-called Saddle Ridge Treasure Trove is named after a feature on the couple's property, in an area of northern California known for buried treasure since the Gold Rush in the 19th century.
The couple said they were simply taking their dog for its daily walk when they made the find.
"I never would have thought we would have found something like this.
"However, in a weird way I feel like I have been preparing my whole life for it," said Mary at the time.