Gold nuggets, featuring the 250.77-ounce “Twilight” nugget, plus leaf
gold and gold embedded in quartz are featured lots in Bonhams’ May 23 sale in Los Angeles.
The Twilight nugget carries an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.
The nugget was discovered circa 1990 using a metal detector, in
Dunolly, in the central Victoria goldfields of Australia.
It took two men using pickaxes and crowbars several hours to
extricate the mammoth nugget that was two feet below the surface of
the ground, underneath a layer of loose sand, gravel and rock.
We have plenty on the off-metal 1943 Lincoln
Cents and on the origin of Q. David Bowers’ column:
A reader wonders how much his 1943 cent struck on a dime planchet
is worth, while a long-time numismatist wonders why the origins of
two new bronze 1943 cents were revealed.
According to the auction lot description, Dunolly has been the site
of of more nugget discoveries than any other location in the world.
In 1856, the discovery of gold in Dunolly drew nearly 60,000 people
seeking fortune, in one of the world’s largest gold rushes.
Many of the world’s largest gold nuggets discovered have been found
in the Dunolly region, including the 1869 discovery a short distance
away, near Moliagul, of a 69-kilo nugget. In comparison, the Twilight
nugget weighs only 7.8 kilos.
The auction lot description notes that many of the largest nuggets
discovered were melted for their precious metal content.
Other gold nuggets
Among the other nugget lots offered is one containing 20 nuggets
discovered near Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory of Canada.
The total weight of the nuggets is 3.6 ounces, or 114 grams, with
the largest nugget weighing 12.18 grams and measuring 21.32 by 16.8 by
The lot has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
Connect with Coin World:
up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on
us on Twitter
Offered with an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000 is a palm-size
nugget, with various pierced holes and crevices, some of which may
indicate the presence of quartz once lodged there but now extruded and
The nugget weighs approximately 9.02 ounces and measures 3 inches by
2.125 inches by 2.875 inches.
Resembling a seahorse is a 2.25-inch piece of leaf gold discovered
sometime in the 1960s in the Edie Creek region of Wau Province in
Papua New Guinea.
The Edie Creek area has been a historic gold and silver mining area
since 1926. Situated about 3.1 miles southwest of Wau, it was the
center of one of the first major gold rushes in Papua New Guinea
before World War II.
The leaf gold, which weighs 3.1 grams, has been housed in a private
Tasmanian collection since its discovery.
The leaf gold has an estimate of $3,500 to $5,500.
Gold with quartz
Among the lots in which gold and quartz are intertwined is a
crystallized gold specimen from the Serra do Caldeirao, Pontes e
lacerda, Mato Grosso, area of Brazil.
The piece, according to the lot description, “features ‘herringbone’
crystallization and hoppered crystals, with minute traces of
crystallized quartz in some crevices.”
Measuring 1.75 inches by 1 inch by 0.5 inch, the crystallized gold
weighs 1.67 ounces.
It has an estimate if $40,000 to $50,000.
The buyer’s fee is 25 percent added on the first $150,000 of the
closing hammer price; 20 percent from $150,001 to $3 million; and 12
percent on the excess if the hammer price above $3,000,001.