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The rare coin expert who is helping a California couple sell $10 million in gold pieces they dug up said Tuesday that there is no way the mother lode came from a 1900 heist at the San Francisco Mint.
That theory has been floating around since the so-called Saddle Ridge Hoard — a cache of 1,427 coins minted between 1847 and 1894 and buried under a tree in cans — came to light last week.
(Read more: Calif. couple strike$10 million gold-coin bonanza)
But David McCarthy, senior numismatist for Kagin's, said it's about as likely as a three-dollar bill.
"It's provably incorrect," he told NBC News.
Even though the number and value of the coins swiped from a cashier's vault at the mint match the hoard, McCarthy reeled off a list of reasons they're not one and the same:
Based on where the coins were discovered a year ago, McCarthy thinks they were amassed by someone doing a lot of a business in gold and who buried each can as soon as it was filled up, possibly over a span of 20 years.
An unexpected death would explain why they were abandoned — only to be found by the anonymous couple walking their dog on their property a century later.
"You can't take it with you," he said.
—By Tracy Connor of NBC News