Giant California gold nugget, 5 lbs and worth $350K


SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU/CNN) – A lump of gold about the size of your hand could be worth nearly half-a-million dollars.

The giant nugget that could make a prospector very rich.

By all accounts, this five-pound nugget is worth its weight in gold and then some.

“Probably somewhere between $350,000-$450,000,” said precious metals specialist David McCarthy.

So what makes this so special?

“What we have here is probably the largest gold nugget from California in private hands today,” McCarthy explained. “I didn’t expect to a California nugget of this size come out of the ground in my lifetime.”

The nugget was discovered in July by a gold prospector in the rugged mountains in Butte County.

The name of the prospector and the exact location are being kept confidential.

The nugget will be on display and up for sale here at the San Francisco Fall Antique Show at Fort Mason from Thursday through Sunday.

McCarthy says the nugget is millions of years old.

“Some sort of action of water actually crushed this down,” McCarthy shows.

The nugget was somehow missed by the hard-scrabble prospectors who swept in to California in the 1840s and ’50s during the gold rush — an era that helped turn San Francisco from a settlement to a boom-town that’s been booming ever since.

“This is the coin of Saddle Ridge that’s been called the million dollar coin,” McCarthy said.

It is one of the gold coins found by the bucketful earlier this year in a couple’s backyard in the Sierra. About three-fourths of them have already been sold to collectors.

But these days, all eyes are expected to be on this rock — now on sale for a price even higher than a World Series ticket.

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