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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2,000 Silver Coins Found in 1915 bungalow Torn Down in Florida

  St. Cloud, Florida

By Morgan Chilson
City workers tearing down a Florida home in April found 2,000 silver coins stashed in the walls, apparently hidden there during the Great Depression.

The St. Cloud, Florida, city crew was demolishing the house, which had been abandoned after the owner failed to pay more than $511,000 in liens to the city, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Rumors of the find had been circulating, but police this week confirmed those rumors by showing the coins, which had been stored in evidence. City officials had waited to determine whether the owner might come forward to claim the coins.

The 2,000 silver coins weigh about 60 pounds in total and the current price of silver is about $20 an ounce. Based on that calculation alone, without considering any historical value that may be found in the coins themselves, the find is worth about $19,000.

Police said the coins would be appraised to determine whether their value would be as coins or as silver.

The Sentinel said the find included 861 half dollars, 1,016 quarters, 202 dimes, and three nickels. The money was apparently stored in glass pickle jars in the walls.

"It was kind of like a treasure hunt. Everybody that was there was digging in this filth picking up these coins," Melissa Howes, a city worker, told WFTV.

"We thought we might be able to keep it like finders keepers, but it was city property," Howes told the Sentinel.

Workers believe more coins may have been in a trash bin that was taken to the dump before the coins were found, the Sentinel said.

The house was a 1915 bungalow, and Pete Gauntlett, chief of police in St. Cloud, told the Sentinel it was likely they were hidden during the Depression when many people were scared of banks failing.

The house had previously been owned by Lamarr LoMax Lowe, a former Walt Disney World employee who abandoned it when code-enforcement liens went over $500,000, the Sentinel said.

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