Local News

Antique Dealers Stumble Upon Treasure In Apex Home

Posted August 31, 2005

— Some antique dealers found a 150-year-old treasure in an Apex home that the city was about to turn into a parking lot.

Greg Stephenson and his partner, Marshall Barnes, visited a city-owned home in hopes of saving it. They found a treasure in the bathroom closet.

"We knew it was worth quite a bit of money," Stephenson said.

They found thousands of silver and gold coins, some dating back to 1850, and valued between $15,000 to $20,000. The men decided to turn the coins over to the city.

"We have good parents and they raised us right," Stephenson said.

Ironically, the coins were there while the house sat vacant and the doors were unlocked. Plus, the house sits across from the Apex Police Department.

"The opportunity that these two had to just put it in their pockets and take off. Nobody would have known the difference," said Louis Holder.

Holder's relative, Fred Saunders, collected the coins. Saunders' wife, Martha, left their home 10 years ago to go to a nursing home. At 81, she died Tuesday night.

"I didn't get a chance to mention it to her. She knew nothing at all about it," Holder said.

"I was hoping the money could go to help Miss Saunders," Stephenson said.

Legally, the coins belong to Saunders' family. The family said it is still deciding how they are going to spend the money, but they plan on giving at least a part of it back to Stephenson and Barnes.

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