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Homepage Archives Open in new window Index (04/2012) Headlines (02/2012) Headlines (06/2012)   Vol. 46 April 2012 
Treasure In The Headlines
As seen in the April 2012 edition of W&ET Magazine


A one-cent copper coin minted in 1793, the first year that the United States produced its own coins, has fetched $1.38 million at a Florida auction.

James Halperin of Texas-based Heritage Auctions told the Associated Press that the sale was “the most a United States copper coin has ever sold for at auction.”

The Orlando Sentinel said that the final bid by an unknown buyer for the coin was one of the largest sales at the Florida United Numismatists coin show and annual convention.

The1793 penny is rare and in excellent shape, showing no wear on its lettering, its Lady Liberty face or the chain of 13 linking rings on its back.

From the Napa Valley Register, submitted by Jerry Hallett, Napa, CA, and Bob Bolek, Hometown, IL.


Two guns thought to have been used by bank-robbing fugitives Bonnie and Clyde have snatched $210,000 at an auction in Kansas City, MO.

The Joplin Globe reported an online bidder from the East Coast bought the weapons believed to have been seized from the outlaw couple’s Joplin hideout in 1933.

Sold were a .45-caliber, fully automatic Thompson submachine gun- better known as a Tommy gun- and an 1897 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun. Mayo Auction, of Kansas City, was not given permission to release the name of the buyer.

From the Chicago Sun Times, submitted by Bob Bolek, Hometown, IL.

$1,000,000,000 BILL

Police say a North Carolina man insisted his million-dollar note was real when he was buying $476 worth of items at a Walmart.

Investigators said that a 53-year-old man tried to buy a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items. Store employees called police after his insistence that the bill was legit, and the man was arrested.

The largest bill in circulation is $100.

The North Carolina man was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument. He is in jail on a $17,500 bail.

From The Daytona Beach News-Journal, submitted by Zoueva Grossmann, Palm Coast, FL.


Wayne Sabaj is smiling.

It’s been nearly four months since he found $150,000 hidden beneath the peppers in his backyard garden in the far northwest suburbs, and now Sabaj, 50, looks like a new man.

He was unemployed, broke, had a mouth full of painful rotting teeth and a scraggly beard and hair that, by his own account, made him look like a hillbilly.

Now, his closest friends can barely recognize him.

He hasn’t spent a dollar of the cash. It’s not his yet. He filed a claim for it, and if no rightful owner comes forward within a year; there’s a good chance he’ll get to keep the money.

Every tooth in his mouth was pulled- replaced by dentures and paid for by a dentist who wanted to do something nice because he couldn’t believe Sabaj turned in the cash to authorities.

“I can talk to people and smile without worrying about my teeth,” said Sabaj after getting his dentures adjusted at Elite Dental Care in Downers Grove, IL. “And I figured, ‘I got new teeth, I might as well get cleaned up and shave and get a haircut.’ It’s a whole new Wayne. Before I looked like I should be on the Jerry Springer show... now my friends say I look 20 years younger,” said Sabaj.

“His demeanor has totally changed,” said Dr. Mazar Shuaipaj. “He was reserved, shy, didn’t want to smile... Now he’s a smiling extrovert.” The dental care cost just under $10,000.

Sabaj, a carpenter by trade, has found a few short-term jobs, too.

“Just last week I was up in Winnetka using wood pulled from old barns up in Wisconsin to frame a wine cellar... It’s not full time, but things are better,” said Sabaj, who’s lived with his father and son in unincorporated McHenry County near Johnsburg since losing his home a few years ago.

Sabaj found the cash in his garden when he went to pick some broccoli for dinner. The money was wrapped in plastic and stuffed in two nylon bags.

“Somebody will probably claim the money just before the year is up,” joked Sabaj, who says he doesn’t think about the cash often. “If I do get it, I’d like to buy a beat-up old house real cheap and fix it up so my son could live there.”

The McHenry County Sheriff’s office continues its investigation into the where the money came from.

From the Chicago Sun-Times, submitted by Bob Bolek, Hometown, IL.


Along California’s picturesque Highway 49, aptly named for the famed miners of a time passed, most action these days involves tourists intent on finding the next great taste of wine, or hunting down a hidden gem in a local antique store.

Nestled in the foothills of the towering Sierra, towns like Sutter Creek, Amador City and Angels Camp evoke a romantic past, with the only gold mining here now just a few people with pans. But for the first time since the 1950s, California’s Mother Lode will have more than just a tourist draw, as an operating underground gold mine is set to open.

As prices of gold soar around the world, and even here on the left coast, mining begins to move forward. Sutter Gold Mine says it will be fully operational within 6 months and should pour its first gold bar within a year. Conservative estimates have the company believing it will pull at least 1,800 ounces of gold out of the ground each month, and that it is more than cost effective to reopen this mine, which has in parts been operational since before California was accepted into the Union.

While Sutter Gold successfully waded through the environmental regulation that exists in California these days, only one other mine in the region may also get the chance to open in the near future, and that is about 60 miles to the north in the Grass Valley areThere are at least 18 agencies that need to be satisfied before that can happen and that doesn’t take into account city and county regulations/protections before a mine can begin the process of opening. That, and low gold prices in years past, have kept underground mining here nonexistent until now.

By law, the mining companies must set aside funds that would cover the cost of clean up in case of an environmental disaster, though this is not expected.

For the most part, locals seem to welcome the mines back, but only in small numbers since tourism has become such a backbone of the local economy.

Officials at Sutter Gold Mine say techniques used today are cleaner than ever, with little connection to some of the harsh ways gold was extracted from rock in the past. One miner, who is fifth generation from these parts, says locals are excited about 100 new well-paying jobs and that because most will be filled by locals, keeping everything clean is personal.

So if you happen to get near this area, Highway 49 runs north and south through the heart of the foothills and east of the famed San Joaquin Valley. Wines and antiques are still waiting to be found, but now it appears what built the ‘Gold Country,’ and the rest of California, can once again be found too. Like it or not, there is gold in these hills.

From FN, submitted by Marty Maher, Langlois, OR.

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