Fist-Sized Gold Nugget Goes Up for Sale

Unidentified owner selling nugget found in Butte County in July
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2014 9:42 AM CDT
Fist-Sized Gold Nugget Goes Up for Sale
In this undated image provided by Kagin's Inc., shows the Butte Nugget, one of the biggest gold nuggets found in modern times in Northern California's historic Gold Country.   (AP Photo/Kagin's Inc.)

Is $11 million in rare gold coins too much for your pocketbook? Perhaps dealer Don Kagin can interest you in his newest treasure up for sale: a giant, 6.07-pound gold nugget. Found on public land in California's Butte County mountains this summer, the "Butte Nugget" is believed to be the largest gold nugget discovered in modern times, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. (A 54-pound hunk of gold was found in the same county in 1859.) The owner is staying behind the scenes—he asked Kagin to keep his name and location a secret—but the find is expected to see at least $350,000 when it goes up for sale today at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show.

The owner made his massive discovery using a metal detector in July but initially thought the machine's strong signal was thanks to "a big piece of trash," a friends tells the Chico Enterprise-Record. When he dug it up, the nugget was about the size of an adult's hand. "This one's for real," says Kagin, who was duped into selling a 8.2-pound "California" nugget in 2011 that turned out be from Australia. After visiting the spot the gold was uncovered, a rare minerals expert says he's "convinced this man found what he said he found." He's not sharing the precise location, however, as "I had to be blindfolded for the ride out to the location, so I couldn't say exactly even if I wanted to." His only hint: "I'd call the spot rugged." (Earlier this year, a half-pound nugget went missing at the University of Arizona.)

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