Friday, December 30, 2005

Australian Gold Nuggets

The term Australian Nuggets seems to bring back memories of the old pioneering days when men were men and gold was bright and shiny and in the form of beautiful nuggets rather than in small bars or coins.

Probably the most famous of the gold nuggets is the very large "Welcome Stranger". Found at Ballarat in the 1869 it weighs in at 2,284 ounces (71.01 kilos). That, at today’s price of $650 USD per ounce, would be worth $1, 484, 600. Not bad for a day's digging!

Large gold nuggets are now considered rarer than diamonds. Nuggets only form very near to the surface, and as current mining is underground future finds are unlikely except where individual prospectors have a lucky day out in the fields. Most nuggets have already been discovered and even the largest have been melted down.

Despite this, gold nuggets are still available from the Perth Mint in sizes ranging from 1 gram up to about 10 ounces or more. One can also purchase gold nuggets from eBay.

It is rare however to find any gold nuggets over 14 ounces for sale.

With gold nuggets there is almost always a presentation case or it is sealed in a plastic bubble. Although this is an additional cost it also comes with a certificate detailing its authenticity and this cannot be removed from the plastic without damaging it. This tends to ensure that your nugget is genuine and in prine condition.

Gold nuggets are collected often for their historical value rather than for investment purposes. Although some people do collect for their future investment value, most people prefer gold coins and bullion bars for investment purposes.

Gold nuggets have a magic all their own and each gold nugget usually has a story all its own. How the nugget was formed, discovered and who the original prospector was can form part of the history of each gold nugget.

A delightful hobby, if an expensive one, collecting gold nuggets is really like collecting parts of history and you can sit there and feel a part of that history when you hold in your hand an Australian Gold Nugget.

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