More than 2,000 silver coins were discovered hidden inside a St. Cloud, Florida, home. Authorities confirmed the half dollars, quarters, dimes, and nickles, were stored in glass pickle jars inside the walls. The stash was uncovered by city workers, who were in the process of demolishing the home.
City worker Melissa Howes witnessed the discovery. Howes said she and her colleagues heard strange noises throughout the demolition. They eventually realized 2,000 silver coins were pouring out of the walls. Howes said “it was like a treasure hunt.”
Neighbor Jim Tuck said he assumed “the house was full of… junk.” He was stunned when everyone scrambled to “grab, grab, grab,” all of the coins. Although the work crew and neighbors hoped to keep the coins — they actually belong to the City of St. Cloud.
Prior to its demolition, the North Minnesota Avenue home was condemned.
The last recorded owner, Lamarr LoMax Lowe, purchased the home for $40,000 in 1991. Although he was formerly employed with Disney World, Lowe apparently fell on hard times.
As reported by Orlando Sentinel, Lowe owes the city more than $511,000 for ten years worth of building code violations. Neighbors said the man lived in the home for months without electricity or running water. He eventually abandoned the home in 2013.
Authorities do not believe Lowe placed the coins inside the walls. In fact, he probably was not aware of their existence. Police Chief Pete Gauntlett believes the previous owners began hiding the coins during the Great Depression. As the newest coin was dated 1964, the owners likely continued stocking the coins for years.
As reported by Yahoo News, the 776-square-foot bungalow home was built in 1915. Officials said the neighborhood was originally built to house Civil War veterans. Gauntlett said nobody has come forward to claim the coins and Lowe has not commented on the discovery.
It is unclear how much the 2,000 silver coins are worth. In the current market, silver is trading for approximately $20 per ounce. Authorities estimate the coins weigh around 60 pounds.
Although the coins are quite valuable by weight, individual coins may be worth even more. Chief Gauntlett said the the coins will be appraised “to see if they’re worth more by weight or as collectible coins.”
If nobody comes forward to claim the 2,000 silver coins, they will likely be sold. Chief Gauntlett has not discussed how the proceeds will be distributed.
[Image via Angelpub]