Historians will tell you that it wasn't uncommon for Civil War-era Kentucky residents to protect their wealth from raiding Confederate armies by burying it.

Lexington farmer William Pettit allegedly buried $80,000 worth of gold coins on his property but was unable to retrieve it; his fortune has never been found. And what a fortune it was; that 1860s-era cache would be the equivalent of more than $3 million in 2024.

The Great Kentucky Hoard

Now, let's go back a year to the summer of 2023 and a discovery that set coin collectors and appraisers on their ear. A Kentucky farmer unearthed more than 800 gold coins--multiple varieties, including very rare double eagles--that GovMint.com estimates are worth millions. Known as the "Great Kentucky Hoard," this discovery has changed the life of the man who made it, but who is he?

Well, we don't know, and, as far as I'm concerned, that's how it should be if that's the way he wants it. And it's clear that that's the way he wants it. However, that doesn't mean he hasn't been heard from.

KET recently released an episode of its Kentucky Life series in which a Lexington dealer speaks for the first time about brokering the sale of the Great Kentucky Hoard.

But it's in the episode's SECOND half in which we hear from the farmer for the first time. He had emailed a series of answers to questions host Chip Polston had posed. His name and address are not revealed in the missive--smart move--but he do "hear" from him just the same. This is so fascinating. And I particularly appreciate the learned speculation toward the end about why these coins were bur

Since Kentucky played a big role in the Civil War, there's no telling what's buried beneath the Commonwealth. If you can find some public property--ALWAYS make sure you have permission to dig where you dig--who knows what treasures YOU might unearth?

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Gallery Credit: Stacker