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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chita Man Gifted Coins from Above

A man in the Chita region discovered a collection of valuable, tsarist-era gold coins while chopping up old houses for firewood, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

The 54-year-old man was chopping up an old cottage near the village of Vtoroi Buldurui on Tuesday when a clay jug fell from the beams in the wall, regional Interior Ministry spokesman Yevgeny Zherebtsov said by telephone from Chita.

The jug contained 63 coins dated from 1898 and 1899 and embossed with the image of Tsar Nicholas II, he said.

"Like a good, law-abiding citizen, he immediately walked 25 kilometers to the police station to turn in the money," Yevgeny Zherebtsov said.

It was unclear exactly how much the coins are worth, and they have been sent to a panel of experts in Chita to determine their official value, he said.

The man could receive anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the coins' total value, said Yevgeny Strelchik, a spokesman for the Federal Service for Media Law Compliance and Cultural Heritage.

The outskirts of Vtoroi Buldurui were inhabited by Cossacks 100 years ago, and local residents, who refer to the area as the "the old settlement," chop up abandoned wooden houses for kindling.

Strelchik said the find, while a possible financial windfall for the local resident, had limited historical significance.

"It is an interesting occurrence, but nothing more," he said. "There are a significant amount of coins from that time period."