Skip to comments.Moorpark man finds gold nugget worth $10,000[CA]
Posted on 05/29/2009 12:28:04 PM PDT by BGHater
After seven years spent prospecting for gold as a hobby in the California desert, Terry Hughes of Moorpark hit the mother lode.
On Memorial Day, the former Marine and disabled Vietnam veteran scored a one-in-a-million find: an 8.7-ounce gold nugget worth an estimated $10,000.
Were all hoping to find the big one and Terry did, said Patrick Keene, co-owner of Keene Engineering, reportedly one of the worlds largest suppliers of portable mining equipment.
A nugget that big about the size of an egg is extremely rare, Keene said.
Hughes purchased all his mining equipment from the Chatsworth company, and on Thursday morning he took his trophy nugget to Keene for an official weighing-in.
He would not reveal the exact location of where he found the nugget, although he said it was near Randsburg.
Although gold is currently bringing more than $1,000 an ounce, the nugget is worth nothing, Hughes said. Its all relative, about what its worth to me.
And he has no plans to cash it in.
Its not the money value; its the treasure value, he said.
Hughes, 62, was hit with the prospecting bug years ago while on an outing at Lake Isabella with his oldest son, who found a dot of gold.
When you get your first gold, it gives you the gold fever, said Hughes who retired seven years ago after 32 years with the Ventura County Sheriffs Department.
He said his Memorial Day weekend venture started Friday when he headed for the desert near Randsburg. Others were also prospecting, but he was alone when his metal detector signaled a find.
The last one had left about two hours before I found it, Hughes said. I thought I would make one last run with my metal detector.
Previously, the largest nugget Hughes had unearthed was a 1-ounce, 7-pennyweight nugget found the week between Christmas and New Years. A pennyweight is about 1.5 grams.
That was a huge find and this one is 100 times bigger, he said.
Keene, 45, who has been prospecting for about 35 years, said Hughes nugget is a special find.
From what I know, its the largest piece to come out of the desert in the last 20 years, at least, he said. He has mined all over the world, and the largest nugget hes found weighed 2 ounces, 7 pennyweight, he said.
A nuggets estimated worth, Hughes said, is based on spot value of gold on the current market and its collectors value. He said hes received collectors value estimates as high as $20,000 on his nugget.
According to the Web site for Gold Mart Inc., less than 2 percent of the worlds gold remains in the form of nuggets that may be found in rivers and streams, those filled with water as well as in dry riverbeds.
Gold in the United States is primarily found in California, Alaska and Oregon but is also unearthed in other southwestern states. Hot spots throughout the world include Australia, Africa, Russia, Bolivia and Canada.
Hughes has kept his prospecting to California and done mostly dry washing (digging, shoveling and sifting) to unearth his finds. In about 10 days, however, he plans to try his hand at underwater dredging and sluicing in the Yuba River in Northern California.
Theres still a lot of gold out there waiting to be found, he said. But for him its not about the money; its the adventure.
Hughes figures he has a couple thousand dollars invested in prospecting equipment; his latest acquisition is the dredging tools hell use on the Yuba River. Right now, though, his metal detector is in the spotlight.
He isnt planning to return to mine the spot of his big find, comparing the exhilaration he felt Monday to being on an Easter egg hunt or a fishing trip.
He figures hes not going to find another egg or catch another fish in the exact same spot.
You move on, he said. You never, never know. Gold is where you find it.
Terry Hughes found this extremely rare gold nugget near Randsburg.
When you get your first gold, it gives you the gold fever, Terry Hughes said. He stands behind a dry washer like the one he uses.
START DIGING ARNOLD.....
Fun is good.
Like A’node, Patrick Keene will be saying “I’ll be back”.
Only I hope there won’t be a million others too, or some mining company.
I would have never made this public. Barack the Kenyan’s gestapo is going to be all over this poor guy.
That's a buck twenty-seven after taxes.
Although, the dag-gum thing looks like a potato
.....although he can lose it just as easily as he found it.
Since when is gold “bringing more than $1000.00 an ounce”?
That's something like 69 cents per hour.
In placer form, sure, $1000 easy. However, it’s trading around $970 oz now.
I hope he brought the preacher with him.
It was at $988.00/oz around 11pm today.
He should have kept it quiet, I would assume the IRS will want a cut.
There is a certain “collector’s” premium for a raw nugget over the spot rate per ounce.
I’ve been a member of GPAA for a couple years now. Never found anything big, but it’s a great hobby and pastime, getting out into the country, wading through a pleasant stream, panning through some dirt and occasionally, very occasionally, finding a few small pieces of gold.
Some Nest Egg!
It wouldn’t apply to this nugget, but for a lot of the smaller ones as well as flakes, you can usually get more for gold like that in the form of jewelry. Doesn’t even have to be smelted. I’ve seen clear pendants with a pinch of gold dust
go for $300-$400, etc.
I saw something neat for the prospector on one of those gold shows. They called it a “poop chute”. They took a plastic ribbed black sewer pipe, about 10’ long and 6” in diameter, cut it in half lengthwise, and voila! - had themselves a riffle board to pick up the gold flakes, etc.
Yankee inginuity at its best.
Wa’na bet that the IRS will get right on it?
Intermittent positive reinforcement is powerfully addictive. Ask anyone with a gambling problem ( or avid fisherman).
Does his rock look like it contains much gold to you? It looks more rock than gold to me.
Looks like a small potato.
I thought it looked like a potatoe.
But I’m from Indiana, what do I know.
Nugget, hell -- I want to find and care for the goose!
All I can say is Great for Him.
.......Fun is good.......
On my way to the Alaska gold fields in ‘07, I broke my leg in Cheynne Wyoming. I went on to Alaska and bought panning stuff in Fairbanks. I just couldn’t do it. The creek banks were too much for me in my “boot”.
By the time I got to the Klondike, the boot was off and I got to go panning about a half mile up the creek from where the first discovery was made by George Camack. About an hour of the fun was all my poor ol’ leg would stand......... no gold.
I guess another will trip will be required to get my money’s worth out of the pan and screen. It is fun just thinking about it.
8.7 ounce bump
Native gold is not real shiny. His nugget is not polished like you would see in a gold ring or piece of jewelry. Also, gold is soft - the surface might have little pits or dents which take away some of the luster.
Fun is priceless!
I do save every single receipt associated with the costs for my prospecting and treasure hunting. One day if I find something like that and have to sell it for some reason or another I want a 100X cost basis available! ;-)
My pan (used decades ago in CO and CA) has long been a cactus garden. It’s a lot like fishing; you have to go where the fish are.
Last year one of our forum members (Kinzlicoils.com) found a perfect crystal of quartze with an included “tree” of gold in it about the size of an apple, one of the sweetest natural finds I’ve seen.
Damn guy knocked another one out of the park a few months ago by finding a nearly immaculate 1863-S $10 gold piece (10,000 minted)!
Tried to buy an Eagle lately?
The price of native specimens in the multi-ounce range is usually 2-3X that of spot. His specimen, while awesome merely from the gold hunk standpoint, is about the lowest eye appeal you can get though...
At the standard government price that they list US gold holdings in of $42/ounce... ;-)
Bagged a couple more seateds myself last few weeks, 1856 half dollar and 1891-0 dime. Park I found them in has coughed up most of my 89 silvers so far this year...
And “Well, you’ve got to pass the coil over it to find it!” for detecting!
....however, when wading thru random streams, one should be armed with a map of patented and unpatented mining claims in the area and look carefully and thoroughly for mining claim signs - those holding claims don’t take claim-jumping lightly. If one finds treasure on an unpatented or patented claim, federal law dictates that treasure legally belongs to the BLM-registered rightful owner. Those that refuse to identify the exact location of where they found their treasure, are automatically suspect as poachers. End of public service announcement on behalf of patented/unpatented mining claim owners and Happy hunting! :)
hey bub, my name is terry... i want to thank you for your reply OR two. my father is an american hero 12 times over. his sacrifices are seldomly paralleled, Jimmie Howard was up there, my father does not look for gold for money... he has a 6 figure income... he does it for fun... camping. when was the last time you went camping an made money like that. by the way, he isn’t a mining operation. he is a Senior citizen who plays 2 hours a day on some weekends. if you took all his gold and his time he is at about,well its more than most people make. by the way, he is mining and getting 1/2 ounce a day now. that’s 400$ a day camping. i just want you to know this is a hobby. i hope your not a sarcastic person i just wanted you to know, you, as hard as you can try , will never find a nugget bigger than his. semper fi
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