Thibodaux native, Larry Naquin found a rare coin from 1878 in his backyard, four years ago while he was cleaning up after Hurricane Gustav.
“I had to do a lot of moving trees and moving dirt. I was just walking and I happened to find the coin on the ground. When I first saw it I thought it was a Mardi Gras doubloon.”
When he looked a little harder he realized what he held in his hand was a one-of-a-kind find.
“It’s a marriage coin. I see two people holding hands. Back then, people got their names put on marriage coins when they got married,” he said.
Naquin’s done research on the names written on the coin. Emile Lachize and Berengere Guignard are the two names on the coin. It was engraved by Pingret. Naquin believes the coin is originally from France. The coin is dated August 21, 1878.
Many years ago familes lived in his neighborhood on Lassaigne Road because there was a sugar mill nearby.
“I was told that the families would bury coins in their front yard for good luck. I feel like someone was calling me to come over here and clean up. Once I started cleaning up I happened to find this old coin,” he said.
Larry took his rare find to a coin expert to find out more about it.
“This coin is for wealth and prosperity for newlywed couples,” Richard Cantrelle of Cypress Coins & Supplies said.
Cantrelle said the commerative silver coin is worth about $15. Selling it isn’t an option for Naquin. All he wants is to find the family the coin belongs to.
“Maybe it’s someone’s great-great grandparents and maybe they’ll like to have it back. It’s important to me to give it back to the family it belongs to,” Naquin said.
Naquin keeps the coin in a safe place. “This coin means a lot to me,” he said.
If you think you may know how to get in touch with the family the coin belongs to, please call Larry at 985-414-5426.