CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Potential bidders are eyeing more than 2,000 gold coins that go up for auction in Nevada on Tuesday after a recluse who died last summer left them in his Carson City garage along with precious metals worth millions of dollars.
A part of the fortune that included mostly gold bullion was sold for $3.5 million at an auction in February after a cleaning crew found the treasure at the home of Walter Samaszko Jr. following his death in June 2012.
Allen Rowe, owner of Northern Nevada Coin and Bullion, was among five bidders prepping for the final auction Tuesday afternoon at the Carson City courthouse.
"Anytime you have the 'hoarder mentality' where someone very unassuming is in possession of so much, you sort of say, 'Wow,'" said Rowe, who purchased four of the previous six lots that were sold earlier this year.
Some of the most valuable coins are $20 gold pieces, some minted in 1908 that are probably worth between $1,300 and $2,000 each, Rowe said.
"They are not necessarily valued for their high grade (historical value) but just the gold value or the fact it is a gold coin," he said. "He made some very good investments in gold at a good time in the early 1990s into 2000 when gold was still under $500 an ounce."
Alan Glover, Carson City Clerk-Recorder who is in charge of handling Samaszko's estate, said the other potential bidders are the same ones who participated last time around: Silver State Coin of Reno, Stackes Bowers Numismatics LLC of Irvine, Calif., Rare Coin Company of America Inc. of Willowbrook, Ill, and Silver Towne of Winchester, Ind.
The fortune, after taxes, will go to Samaszko's only surviving cousin, Arlene Magdanz, of San Rafael, Calif.
A substitute teacher, Magdanz has not spoken publicly about her new-found riches. Officials were able to track her down using a funeral bulletin at Samaszko's home that led to his father's service in Chicago in the early 1960s. Newspaper clippings listed survivors.
Glover said he's never met Magdanz, a substitute teacher, but has talked with her by phone before the first auction. Since then, they've communicated only through third parties, he said.
Her lawyer, John Mulligan of Reno, was in Argentina and could not be reached on Tuesday.
The first lot set for auction is silver coins. Lot 2 contains more than 300 $10 U.S. gold pieces. The remaining four lots comprised $20 U.S. gold pieces, including more than 1,200 Saint Gaudens gold coins.