Here's an interesting news item about a rare geological find: A nine pound nugget of gold found in Northern California will go on sale soon.
It was found last year in the same general area that prompted the original California gold rush of the 1800s. It was discovered by a property owner who took a metal detector on to his property, walked around searching, and got a signal. He got an exceptionally large signal that belonged to an exceptionally large gold nugget that's causing a lot of excitement.
In the 1800s, a nugget of this size would have been melted down, refined (there are bits of rock and other matter mixed in with the gold) and then made into coins. But these days, the find is worth more in its raw form.
If you figure nine pounds of high-quality gold are in the nugget, and we round the price off to $1,360 per ounce, the value of the nugget would be a little under $200,000! But in it's current, unrefined form, collectors are expected to pay as much as $400,000 for this unusually large find when it goes to auction this month (March 2011).
For us, it has a different value. It's value will bring interest to gold, gold mining, production, refining and prices.
The find will inspire others to get metal detectors, sluices (panning devices) and maybe even a pick ax or two and go looking for gold. It could inspire an entirely new rush of gold prospecting activities in the mountains and streams of California, as amateur and professional miners search for the precious metal. If that happens, it is possible that more and more gold deposits might be found, increasing production and boosting interest in the world's most widely traded precious metal.
Manhattan Gold and Silver doesn't work with unrefined ore; we're a few steps further down the production line, but at nine pounds, who can help talking about this amazing gold nugget?