It’s usually the stuff of fairy tales, but a collection of $20 gold coins and medals valued at around $1m for sale at Bonhams in Los Angeles in June is real enough.
Its discovery at the Champagne Lanson Bonnet
vineyard in France a year ago would have had no problem gracing the
pages of Hans Christian Andersen.
According to the vineyard, a number of the
coins rained down on a worker remodelling a former grape-drying
Further investigation in the attic above
uncovered 497 gold US coins minted between 1851 and 1928, which had
lain untouched for nearly a century and range in condition from
very fine to choice mint state.
It is not known how the coins found their
way to the attic in the eastern village of Les Riceys, France, but
the building was owned by a wine producer who traded with the US
and England in the 1930s.
Under French law, half the proceeds from the auction will go to
the individual who discovered the coins, a man described as a
modest employee of the Lanson firm.
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