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$1 Million in Gold Coins Rains Down from the Rafters
By Graham Smith
Daily Mail, London
Thursday, February 16, 2012
A team of builders renovating a vineyard facility in France were stunned when U.S. gold coins worth $1 million rained down on them from the rafters.
The treasure trove of 497 coins was hidden in the attic of an old building in the rural village of Les Riceys in the country's famed Champagne region.
The pieces, which have a face value of $20 each, were minted between 1851 and 1928 and are the equivalent of 17 kilograms of gold.
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They are today worth about $980,000 (L622,000).
The building, a former grape-drying facility, is owned by Champagne producer Francois Lange.
Mr Lange, the head of the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne firm, said: "One of the workers was attacking the building's ceiling with a crowbar when gold coins started to rain down on him, followed by sacks of gold."
Half the coins will go to the workers and the other half to Mr Lange.
How the U.S. currency came to be in a French attic remains unknown.
However, the building was once owned by a wine producer who traded with Britain and the United States in the 1930s.
It is located in Les Riceys, a village known for its rose Champagne.
So pleased is Mr Lange with the find that he may now produce a special vintage in its honour.
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