American Gold Eagle Coins found in UK back garden
A jar of gold coins dug up in a London garden nearly 70 years after it was buried to hide it from the Nazis is set to sell at auction for £80,000.
American Gold Eagles found in the UK
A family of Jewish refugees who fled Germany for England before the start of World War II buried the coins because they feared their money would be seized in a Nazi invasion.
However, the family was later killed by a direct hit in an air raid during the Blitz and the exact location of the coins was lost.
But after nearly 70 years in the ground, the so-called 'Hackney Hoard' of U.S. Double Eagle gold coins was unearthed when householder Terence Castle dug a pond in his garden.
Realising the significance of his find, honest Mr Castle notified the local representative of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), Kate Sumnall, who in turn passed them on to the British Museum.
An inquest by the coroner for Inner St Pancras in April this year ruled that the gold should be returned to its rightful owner. Amazingly, a descendent of the original owner was found and Max Sulzbacher, 81, was proved at the inquest to be the rightful owner of the coins.
Now that ownership has been established, Mr Sulzbacher is selling the collection of $20 coins at auction.
The treasure - described by the British Museum as 'totally unprecedented' - is expected to be keenly fought over by bidders when it goes under the hammer at Southeby's, London.
Mr Sulzbacher's family fled to England from Nazi Germany during and settled in Hackney in 1938. His father Martin, a banker, was declared an 'enemy alien' in 1940 and sent to Australia, having deposited the gold coins in the bank.