Precious Metals

Gold nuggets abound in Heritage August sale

Spectacularly formed gold nuggets are among the the lots being offered by Heritage Auctions in its Aug. 18 Nature and Science Signature Auction in Dallas.

The 315-lot auction includes nuggets in various shapes, size and types, including the premier example dubbed the “Lightning Bolt” because of its shape and size. 


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The pieces carrying the largest estimates are those discovered in Victoria, Australia, the Lightning Bolt being among them.

The Lightning Bolt nugget has an estimate of $70,000 to $100,000. The piece measures 10.63 inches by 2.36 inches by 1.43 inches and weighs 1,241 grams or 39.9 troy ounces. According to the lot description, “A nugget this large, coupled with its incredible ‘Lightning Bolt’ aesthetic appearance, is absolutely an incomprehensible treasure of global proportions. This example is beyond compare and is definitively worthy of any museum or private collection in the world.”

Among the other Victoria nuggets is one weighing 329 grams or 10.5 troy ounces. The nugget measures 2.68 inches by 1.81 inches by 0.81 inch and carries an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.

Another Victoria specimen, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, measures 2.69 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.76 inch and has a total weight of 382.7 grams or 12.3 troy ounces.

American nuggets

Some of the offered lots feature nuggets from finds in several U.S. states, with a number of the nuggets embedded or attached to quartz.

Among the pieces are nuggets found at the Mockingbird Gold Mine in Mariposa County, California. One nugget found by mine owner John Emmett measures 1.86 inches by 1.41 inches by 1 inch and has a total weight of 38 grams. The nugget carries an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500.

Also with an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500 is a nugget measuring 1.76 inches by 1 inch by 1.05 inches and weighing 22 grams. According to the lot description, “This example, resembling an acacia tree on a kopje rock, consists of a canopy of sparkling Gold with underlying Quartz atop a granular matrix.”

One gold nugget comes from the Quartette Mine in Yuma County, Arizona. It measures 1.12 inches by 1.07 inches by 0.73 inch and weighs 41 grams or 1.33 troy ounces. It has an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.

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