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Published:May 28th, 2014 11:38 EST
Was The California Gold Rush Coin Discovery, Found in Eight Tin Cans, An Inside Job?

Was The California Gold Rush Coin Discovery, Found in Eight Tin Cans, An Inside Job?

By John G. Kays

As I was reading a story of rare 19th Century gold coins (in perfect condition) going up for auction, discovered (as they were) in February of 2013, by a couple walking their dog on property they own, somewhere in the lofty and spacious Sierra Nevada range, an odd phenomenon occurred. I found myself singing the 1964 James Bond smash-hit theme, Goldfinger (naturally, Shirley Bassett`s version), as well California Gold Coins, on such a winter`s day, slightly replacing the Mamas and Papas greatest hit with my own customized lyrics, an accommodation to the mesmerizing discovery of 1,427 Gold Rush coins, by the aforementioned Charmed Ducklings (Mary & John).

I found plenty of reliable information (regarding the unfathomable find) in the news (The Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo News, and Coin News mostly); however, a few questions are beginning to pop up in my antediluvian, reptilian skull, that beg desperately for redress. I saw a few photos of one of the pristine cans, brimmed to the hilt with dirt and coins, but I couldn`t quite tell how large the tin can was. The Yahoo article tells me that Mary and John (on this glorious day) found eight of these treasure-filled cans in total. I assume these cans, used by the Mysterious Booty Stasher, were all the same kind of cans; but what I can`t figure out is, how could 1,427 fit into merely eight cans?

Well, perhaps these cans are larger than they appear in the pictures I`ve seen on the internet? This would have to be the case, I imagine, if that many coins were packaged by (the title I`m giving to the sagacious culprit behind this yet to be revealed heist) our Mysterious Booty-Stasher (crammed into eight cans), then more power to him (or her) for being so frugal and resourceful, and for conserving can space and helping out our environment. The MBS probably figured on using as few cans as possible; this would help in concealing the golden stash. Still, I wonder why the cans wern`t buried quite a bit deeper? 

The Fortunate Couple saw one can jutting out of the ground that fine day; maybe the MBS had to hide the loot quickly and get the Hell out of Dodge? What year do you speculate the burial occurred? We know one thing for sure; he never came back to reclaim his stash. Did he (it could be a lady, pardon!) die before he could go back and get his claim? Did anybody else know what went down? Was this thief (we don`t even know enough to call him a thief) an employee of the Old Mint in San Francisco? Why arn`t there some records lying around showing the loss? That`s the thing that most amazes me! I take it from what I read, these dab-loons never made it to a stage of usual public circulation. 

That fact alone leads me to believe this was an inside job. The Old Mint employee must have embezzled the coins over a long period of time; I mean, maybe the culprit altered the records to show that less coins were manufactured, so that it doesn`t show the loot was ever made. I`m just brain-storming, but we must remember, this was before the Age of Computers, and the accounting ledgers were all done by hand. The shortage of gold bullion must never have been detected; the inventory and accounting systems in place at the Old Mint were probably primitive, and embezzlement scamming, from a greedy and clever con artist, got the upper hand (so to speak).

I just don`t see how there`s not any provenance (some tracing of where the coins went once they left the Old Mint) left behind for 1,427. Well, on the other hand, we seem to know exactly where Dutch Schultz buried his fortune before he had to be taken out by the Organization. And yet no trace of this fortune amassed through cutthroat criminal enterprise has ever been detected. One of his trusty (crooked) henchmen must have returned to the site and snatched it away (see Unsolved Mysteries episode, Dutch Schultz Treasure). If my theory is correct, that this has the fingerprints of an inside job, a West Coast coinage conspirator tapping gold bullion from the Old Mint (thousands of miles away from the clutches of Washington D.C.), then I think it`s safe to say, Dutch`s incredible scams and shams pale considerably to the Mysterious Booty Stasher`s beauty of a BAMboozle!