Found Money: Stories Of People Who Found Hidden Treasure

08/14/2017 00:02 EDT | Updated 08/14/2017 09:36 EDT
Chris Clor via Getty Images

As kids, we used to dream about uncovering hidden treasure in our backyards. We would dig for lost gold or time capsules, pretending to be Indiana Jones' reincarnate. The truth is that our inner explorer never really goes away. Think about the pleasure we get after finding a crumpled up bill in your old winter jacket or the excitement we feel when we find a friend's missing iPhone.

What if you found more than a loonie in the cracks of your sofa one day? What if you struck actual gold without even seeking it out? In partnership with the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express, we share three stories of real people who found hidden treasure.

A Super Reno Discovery

David Gonzalez's reno project paid him after he found a copy of the first-ever Superman comic stuffed in one of his walls during renovation. Gonzalez, a building contractor found the comic book alongside newspapers and insulation in the home's structure.

The comic book, Action Comics No. 1 from June 1938, is notable because it was the first appearance of Superman and kicked off the superhero genre as a whole. It's easily one of the most important comic books ever printed.

Roughly 100 copies of the original 250,000 print run are still known to exist, making it a rare find. A mint copy would be worth millions. Gonzalez's copy was a little worse for the wear, and incurred extra damage when his aunt accidentally tore the back cover. Despite this, the comic sold for $175,000 USD to an undisclosed buyer.

Record Finds

Record collector Warren Hill made one of the greatest rock and roll discoveries in 2002 when he stumbled on a rare recording by The Velvet Underground while on a trip to New York. Hill found an acetate labeled "The Velvet Underground 5-25-66" at a junk sale in Manhattan, and picked it up for 75 cents. That flimsy flea market find contained the band's first-ever recording sessions at New York's Scepter Studios. It had alternate takes of iconic songs from the group's 1967 debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico.

Hill's copy went up at auction in 2006 and sold for $25,200 USD and again for $14,550 in 2014.

Backyard Accidents

The California Gold Rush ended over 160 years ago, but a California couple struck big in 2013 when they accidentally uncovered a stash of valuable coins.

While walking around their property with their pet dog, they noticed a piece of metal sticking out from a patch of moss. After taking a closer look, they discovered it was a rusty can filled to the brim with gold pieces.

They dug up eight cans containing roughly 1,400 gold coins, which were dated from 1847 to 1894. It's believed to be the greatest haul of hidden treasure unearthed in North America and is estimated to be worth $10 million. Some single coins were sold for $15,000, while the couple, who chose to remain anonymous, kept some of the bounty for themselves.

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