Most nuggets have already been discovered and even the largest in the
past, have been melted down...
Pure gold is virtually non-existent in nature. High quality native
colors are 22-23Kt (roughly 91-96%) pure. And by far most gold was
formed in particles so small that they can't be seen by the human eye,
and most gold was formed as non-free milling, which means it is
chemically bonded with other minerals...like sugar dissolved in water:
it's there but you can't pick it out.
For a visible color to have been formed many many liquid micron
particles had to be located together when they solidified. And to have
formed a "nugget" (any color that won't pass through a 10-mesh (10 holes
per linear inch) screen [ a window screen is 18-19 mesh], probably
millions of these particles had to be located together. This is why
visible gold is rare, and nuggets are far more rare.
Fact: more diamonds are found than gold nuggets.
Anyway, specimen gold (gold still in the matrix [rock, usually quartz]
in which it was formed, is exceedingly rare and large nuggets of an once
or more are only seen in most prospector's dreams.
Nuggets are highly collectable and one thing that drives the price is
that virtually all of 'em found before 1990 were melted for assay to
determine the value of the gold they contained.
Gold nuggets typically sell for a higher price than the gold spot price
because they are considered gem stones and are more rare than gold dust.
Most of the bullion that is traded on the stock market is made from gold
dust melted down to form coins; 98% of the worlds gold is in gold dust
form and not gold nuggets.
So, if you want gold at market, buy a gold coin! If you want something a
little more unique, pay more and get a smaller gold nugget! If you want
a real 'gem' you'll have to pay a premium for a larger gold nugget! And
the purest nuggets come from Australia! Just look at diamonds...Do you
really think the same quality quarter karat stone is going to cost just
4x as much for a Four karat one? NO Way! The 4 karat stone is MUCH rarer
and so will sell for a HUGE premium!
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