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).
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