FARGO — Searching for Northern Plains Coins in downtown Fargo in the past involved a mix of knowledge and luck for Fargo teacher Grant Kraft.

But finding Friday’s coin behind a rock that marks, as the clue said, “where green meets golden” involved what the 25-year-old called “personal intellect.” Kraft, who found all of last year's coins, said it only took him about five minutes to find this year's coin.

Kraft discovered The Forum’s second coin of 2019 shortly after 2:30 a.m. Friday, July 19, where a party delivering the golden spike that would connect the country’s first transcontinental railroad stopped Sept. 4, 1883, in Fargo. A rock with a plaque detailing the events of that day sits surrounded by greenery near a water fountain in the Depot Plaza along Main Avenue.

“Not everybody knows that the golden spike made its way through Fargo and stopped,” Kraft said.

The Forum hides three coins — one for each day during the Downtown Fargo Street Fair — and issues clues that give hints to the tokens’ locations. Only a few Forum staff members know where the coins are hidden.

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The winners can turn in the coins for $500 worth of gold at Northern Plains Coins, though the gold and silver dealer will buy the coin back if the person who finds it wants cash.


Scott Gedrose and his three sons found the coin in a hole in the wall in Roberts Alley on Thursday.

After reading Friday’s clue — "Discover where green meets golden" — Kraft initially thought he would have a long day ahead of him when he started his search, he said. There are a lot of places marked with the colors green and gold.

North Dakota State University locations in downtown Fargo came to mind first, but then he remembered the clue was golden, not gold.

“That extra couple of letters on gold reminded me of the golden spike, which I’ve used when I’ve created scavenger hunts in the past,” he said. “From clue to coin, it was five minutes.”

The Forum’s office doesn’t open until 8 a.m. on weekdays, meaning treasure hunters can’t collect their prize until after that point. Kraft said he tweeted at The Forum after finding the coin to let it know the day’s hunt was over.

The Forum, apparently not seeing Kraft’s tweet, issued a second clue — "A whiff of herbs will draw you near" — around 9 a.m. since no one had come to the office to claim the prize.

Kraft has now found the coin a total of five times. The first was in 2015 with his brother. He also found all three coins last year.

A clue for the third and final coin will run in the Saturday edition of The Forum, with the newspaper issuing additional clues online at inforum.com if the coin isn’t found immediately. A phone number will be provided on the coin so treasure hunters can alert The Forum if they find it.

Follow the Northern Plains Coin Hunt at @Inforum on Twitter and at Facebook.com/ InforumFM for the latest updates.

Related: Past Coin Hunt winners