Home USA gold 20 dollar piece

USA gold 20 dollar piece



Production date


Object number


Physical Description

American $20 gold coin dated 1908 with eagle on front and Liberty on reverse.

This gold coin was part of a hoard unearthed in a glass jar in a Hackney garden in 2007. The discovery revealed an amazing story.

In 1938 Martin Sulzbacher and his family fled Nazi Germany and sought refuge in Hackney. When World War II broke out, Martin was interned by the British Government as an ‘enemy alien refugee’ and sent to Australia. His wife and four small children were interned on the Isle of Man.

Martin’s parents, sister Fanny, brother Fritz and his wife, all stayed in Hackney. They buried 160 gold coins in two jars in the garden for safe keeping. Tragically, the house was bombed in 1940. All five family members were killed and the secret location was lost.

Martin was re-united with his wife and children in London, where they also took care of Fritz’s four orphaned children. He searched with a metal detector but was unable to find the coins. The first jar of coins was found by builders. The Coroner investigated and returned the coins to Martin in 1952.

The second jar was finally unearthed in 2007 after almost 70 years in the ground. It contained 80 American $20 ‘double-eagle’ bullion coins. Martin passed away in 1981, so the Coroner awarded the coins to his children, the legal heirs. They kindly donated this coin to Hackney Museum.

Associated Event

2nd World War

Associated Organisation

Associated Person

Sulzbacher, Max Son of Martin Sulzbacher (Owner)
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus (Designer)




width (Whole): 33mm

On display?



United States of America Twenty Dollars
Liberty 1908