Massive Silver Find in Cincinnati Home: 19,400 One Troy Ounce Silver Bars

Someone had apparently been hoarding silver for years, perhaps decades, hiding individual one ounce silver bars in this chest until it contained 19,400 silver bars and weighing in at over 1200 pounds. At current silver prices in the $21 – $22 range, the silver is worth $417,000, give or take, but who’s counting?

Not a bad find!

Not sure who owns the silver, why it was stored where it was found, and what the intent was behind the accumulation. Also unsure is the purpose of aluminum foil inside the trunk, separating layers of silver bars; perhaps to help keep them clean, or to enhance organization? No clue really.

The silver bars were organized in three separate layers, or shelves, if you will. Each shelf had 195 stacks of silver bars arranged in a 13 x 15 grid pattern, maximizing the efficiency of the storage compartment. A small, separate bag of silver bars was also found, along with US silver coinage: a mixture of silver war nickles, silver dimes, quarters, halves and Morgans.

Most of the silvers bars that were identifiable had themes to them: Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas were popular themes, as were various graduations. Also included were numerous bars commemorating certain locations or famous people. Others were simply blank. Most of the bars are clean and in extremely good shape, too. Most are clean and shiny, and look as if they could have been “minted” yesterday. I’m guessing the ones toward the top of the chest (the ones visible in this video) are the newest additions to the hoard. I have no real way of knowing how old the undated bars are, who put them here, or when. All we really know for certain was that the house had been sitting vacant for about a year after the former owner died, and we acquired the property. It would seem plausible that the newest bars were added no sooner than about a year ago (September 2012).

Not sure why the investor chose to acquire all single ounce bars, as opposed to a mixture of 10- and 100- ounce bars, and why the exclusivity toward silver. Why not gold or platinum as well?

Plenty of questions, and no ready answers. All we can surmise is that the owner was a hoarder, and had plenty of money to burn on precious metals. Maybe he had so much money that another chest just as big, completely full of gold bars is hidden somewhere else!

We had already begun to take some of the bars out when we realized no one was recording this. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, I ran to the other room to find the camera and a memory chip. Hence you will see a single layer of aluminum foil partially covering one layer.

Absolutely no reason to suspect the bars as anything other than genuine. If they’re fakes, someone’s taken a LOT of time and energy to pull off such a massive ploy. Obviously, the next step will be to validate them as genuine, and then find a big enough safe deposit box for them all.

The chest measures about 48″ W x 36″ H x 30″ D. Aside from a 3″ space at the very top, the rest of the interior was as full as practical with silver.

For obvious reasons we are not showing ALL of the silver.

A couple follow up notes: Someone had asked why the bars show no patina, if they had been in storage for so long. All we can surmise is that the ones seen in the video, being at the top of the “stack”, if you will, are likely newer additions to the horde. We have absolutely no paperwork to go with the find; nothing to indicate when bars were added, on what dates, and so on. Our guess is that someone was adding bars to the chest little by little, placing newer acquisitions on top of older, with a layer of aluminum foil between each sheet of bars. The ones on top, seen in the video, are likely so “new” that they wouldn’t have had time to develop a patina. Older bars found deeper within the chest had acquired various degrees of “patina-zation”.

Another viewer offered an explanation for the layers of aluminum foil: stability. The bars, when stacked, had very little stability on their own. Indeed, I knocked over a couple stacks in this video without even trying. The layers of aluminum foil were likely added to add tensile strength to the grid pattern, much like a spider’s web. So, we tested this theory. We retrieved about 1,000 bars out of storage, and began stacking them, first w/o using aluminum foil. Indeed, they toppled quite easily, as the bars are of varying thicknesses and sizes. Then, we did the same a second time, but using aluminum foil. We found that then entire stacked pile of 1,000 bars stood erect, and was quite stable.

So, stack stability is the best theory we have for the aluminum foil.

The deeper we delved in to the chest, we saw that the walls and “floor” of the chest were reinforced, for added structural strength.

Be skeptical if you must of the video. I’m just showing you what we found. It’s up to you to decide what to believe.

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