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The Peralta Stones are a set of engraved stones rumored to indicate the location of the famed Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, supposedly discovered by German immigrant Jacob Waltz in Arizona, United States. The stones are named for the Peralta family, said to be an old and powerful Mexican family, one of whose ancestors, Pedro de Peralta, was the first governor of the Spanish territory in New Mexico.
The stones consist of "three tablets and a heart-shaped rock" and were found in 1956 (one source says 1952) near the main highway that goes from Apache Junction, Arizona, south around the Superstition Mountains to Florence Junction, Arizona.
According to local lore, they contain a map indicating the location of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. Inscribed on the stones is the date 1847, and one stone contains a relief of a heart, which the heart-shaped stone fits perfectly. Various claims have been made about the location of the gold mine based on an interpretation of the stones, and such claims appear at regular intervals—though no one has yet recovered a flake of gold of Jacob Waltz's gold. The story of their discovery and the stones themselves are not very convincing to most researchers, and they appear to have been created using modern techniques, modern symbols, and modern Spanish. One expert, Father Charles Polzer, an ethnohistorian associated with the Arizona State Museum, is convinced the stones are fakes.
Claims about interpretations of the map are many, as are accounts of the stones' origins, and most of those claims are made in vanity publications. According to Lon Safko, they were made in the Peralta family and handed down for generations. Danny Adams, in 2005, read the map as a coded message and claims the stones were made by Ted DeGrazia, a painter and art collector rumored to have burned (or buried) a collection of art worth $5 million rather than pay taxes over his property; Adams claims one of the stones reads "Be ready boy, are on a map on Arizona county scale, scale map" and aided by numerological analysis locates the mine in Upper Labarge Canyon. The treasure of paintings, supposedly hidden in the mine, is also connected, somehow, to a conspiracy of 50 businessmen from the Phoenix area to hide DeGrazia's work. In 2007, William and Michael Johnson (originally from Massachusetts) claimed to have identified a privately-owned cave as the mine.
The Peralta Stones were held at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa, Arizona. In June 2009, they were to go on extended display at the Superstition Mountain museum in Apache Junction, Arizona.