Since gold was first discovered centuries ago, it has become harder to simply stumble across a gold nugget. There was a time when gold nuggets were strewn all over the Australian outback, triggering one of the biggest gold rushes in the world. It captured the world’s attention and everyone wanted a piece of whatever was out there. Gold nuggets are extremely rare. But if you can find one, it could change your mind in ways you could have not imagined.
Two of the most historic gold nuggets found in Australia is the Welcome Nugget that was found in 1858 in Ballarat and the Welcome Stranger found in 1869. Most nuggets when found are sold whole. They are worth more in their natural formation than if they had been reduced. The Welcome Nugget weighed 69.98 kg but it was sold to the Royal Munt in England and melted down to make golden sovereigns. The Welcome Nugget as slightly bigger than the Welcome Stranger and it weighed a little over 70kg. It was melted down and once again sold to England. Unfortunately, the only way anyone can see what the nuggets looked like is to visit a museum that exhibits replicas of these nuggets like the City Museum in Melbourne.
There have been a number of great nuggets found all over the world. Finding a gold nuggets is not easy, but contrary to popular belief, there are still lots of nuggets to be found out there if you have a metal detector and you know where to look. It is hard to sell gold nuggets when you cannot assay them. You won’t know how much gold is in them unless you take them to a professional gold dealer.
While most nuggets get melted down, the following nuggets were not melted to be used to create other gold products. Luckily, sometimes the gold nuggets aren’t tampered with but kept intact.
- Pepita Canaã(Canaan Nugget) in Brazil
The biggest nugget that was ever found and kept intact is the Pepita Canaã. This was found in The Serra Pelada by a miner called Júlio de Deus Filho in 1983.
The nuggets weighs 60.82 kg and contains approximately 52.33kg. The nugget was bought by Banco Central do Brazil and is on display in the bank’s museum.
The Serra Pelada was known as the best gold mining areas in Brazil. In 1980, more than 100,000 prospectors fled to the area to engage in open cast mining. The area is dangerous and it was made more so by the large number of miners who came to try their at mining. Mining was later stopped when a flood hit the area. Since the 1980s, almost 80 tonnes of gold were mined out of the area.
There are a number of nuggets from the region that are displayed in the same space as the Pepita Canaã.
- The Great Triangle, Russia
The “Great Triangle” was found in Miass in the Russian Urals mountains by Nikofor Syutkin from 3.5 meters. He found the nugget in 1842 and weighed 36.2 kg. It got its name because of its shape. The nugget contained 32.94 kg.
This gold nugget is now property of the state and has been on display in the Kremlin as part of the ‘Diamond Fund’ collection which includes the Russian crown jewels and other precious stones.
Russia is the third biggest producer of gold with an output of 250 tons of gold. The Urals have remained Russia’s important gold mining areas.
- Hand of Faith, Australia
The “Hand of Faith” was found in 1980 by a Victorian resident, Kevin Hillier. At 27,66 kg, Hand of Faith is famous for being the biggest found with a metal detector. The nugget was bought by the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. It is displayed in the Casino lobby.
- Normandy Nugget, Australia
The Normandy Nugget was found in 1995 in Kalgoorlie. The 25.5 kg gold nugget is believed to contains 80-90% gold purity. This nugget was bought from the its finder by the Normandy Mining, hence the name. Normandy Mining was bought by Newmont and is currently on display at the Perth Mint.
Finding a gold nugget has always been hard. It is even harder to find big specimens like the ones listed above bit there are prospectors doing it every day in Australia. Unless you are selling them to a gold buyer, It is harder to sell gold nuggets because the gold nuggets market is different from the scrap gold market. Gold nuggets fetch more money when sold to collectors who won’t melt them down and sell them to gold buyers. There are many listed on the internet. If you are not sure you can always ask your local gold buyer for a federal.