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As We See It

Gold fever: Breaking down a recluse’s secret stash

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Carson City recluse Walter Samaszko Jr. left behind an enormous amount of gold when he died last year at age 69.

Half of the collection was auctioned off this week to help pay estate taxes and fees, with the rest going to Samaszko’s sole surviving heir, Arlene Magdanz, a teacher in California. Here’s a breakdown of the stash:

2,900

Number of coins from Austria.

5,000

Number of coins from Mexico.

$35

Price of gold, per ounce, in 1964, when Samaszko began purchasing it.

$1,615

Current price of gold, per ounce.

2,186

Total amount of gold, in ounces, that was sold at auction this week.

$3.5

Millions the gold fetched at auction.

$1,200

Amount Samaszko had in his checking account when he died.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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