It was one of the most restless times in European history.
It was late summer in 1939, and again as it had been for almost two centuries, the northern rolling hills of the French province of Champagne was glistening with hope of yet another successful harvest. Only this particular summer, a lunatic named Adolf Hitler was beating the war drums promising to return Germany to greatness.
On September 1st, Hitler made good on his promise of domination and invaded Poland. It took only two days for France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Germany, confirming what must have been heavy fears, especially for the citizens of northeastern France.
I can only imagine the emotions of those who had watched the Nazi war machine build up over the previous decade. With Nazi aggression winning control of Poland, Sweden, Norway and other northern countries, it had to be painfully clear that no country bordering Germany was to escape invasion. These fears were confirmed when Hitler’s troops began the invasion of France on May 10, 1940. While French forces put up an initial counter-offensive, they were unable to stop a far-superior Nazi force, and on June 14th, German forces rolled unopposed into an undefended Paris.
Under such dire circumstances the citizens of a country being invaded must have extreme feelings of fear, not knowing if you would survive the attack. And even if you did, what would your financial situation be like, and how would you acquire food, shelter and other necessities of life? Would you be stripped of possessions, would you be looted, or would you be shot? Would you keep your money hidden or try to buy sympathy from the invading masters? So many emotions, so many solutions to ponder! What would become of family, possessions and the French way of life?
Well, some seventy-two years later, inside the wall of a winery located in a northeastern province of France, one story of these untold horrors came to life and offered a time capsule of incredible value. It is the amazing tale of an unknown person at the Lanson Winery, which has been making wine for some 250 years in the quaint village of Les Riceys, and a long-lost hoard of gold hidden from an invading army.
In February of 2012, the Lanson Winery was undergoing the renovation of a long-vacant building. As told by Enguerrand Baijot, managing director of the company, “One of the workers was attacking an abandoned building’s ceiling with a crowbar when gold coins started to rain down on him.” Before the “rain of gold” ended, some 497 United States Double Eagles were lying on the floor.
While no one today can know for sure where exactly the coins came from, we do know that the building, a former grape-drying facility, belonged to a wine producer who traded extensively with Great Britain and the United States in the 1930s. The coins are widely believed to have been placed in the ceiling by the winemaker sometime prior to the Nazi invasion of France. One can only speculate as to the details, but one thing is clear . . . whoever placed the coins there never returned to recover them, and there the coins remained for almost a century.
The coins are now known as the Champagne Lanson Bonnet Vineyard Collection and represent the most significant non-shipwreck hoard of gold discovered over the past two decades. The coins had been untouched for nearly a century and ranged in condition from very fine to full uncirculated, mint-state specimens. The entire hoard has a current value of approximately $1,000,000.
The entire hoard was auctioned in a highly-anticipated public sale in March 2013 by Bonham’s in Los Angeles. Rightfully, half of the proceeds were awarded to the worker who had the gold coins raining down on his head, and it was reported that he would use the proceeds to buy a new home for his family.
Finest Known recently purchased all the remaining mint-state gold coins from this unique hoard. All are graded and certified by PCGS in grades of MS61 to MS64. Each coin has the pedigree of the Lanson Collection printed on a special insert certification provided by PCGS. The wide range of dates, from 1851 to 1928, make the hoard incredibly exciting and offer the astute collector the chance to acquire an instant collection of both a $20 Liberty and a $20 St. Gaudens from this exciting discovery.
I am excited to offer these incredible coins, especially at these low prices. Thankfully, they have come to the marketplace providing investors and collectors the opportunity to reflect on a time in history which explores both the best and worst that humanity has to offer. When I hold one of these coins in my hand, my mind begins to imagine the fears, hopes and dreams of the person who hid them away.
You are sure to have similar feelings, and I urge you to consider adding these incomparable coins to your collection.
Call and order your set today . . . this deal will not last long. So call 888-900-9948 now!