How much is a Nugget Worth?

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Post  Harb on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:50 pm

Hi,

Boy I hope to have this problem one day, but for now I just want to gain some more knowledge while I wait for my detector to turn up !!

I am reading a lot about how a careless blow of your pick can cost you money.....

Ok , say I was ever lucky enough to say find a 5 ouncer........... how much difference would a bad pick blow reduce the cost.

And what is the difference in the price of a Specimen as opposed to just a plain old nugget, or for that mater a handful of smaller nuggets to the same weight ?

Harb
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Post  nero_design on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:41 am

Harb wrote:I am reading a lot about how a careless blow of your pick can cost you money.....Harb

Hi Harb, yes, a pickstruck nugget is worth a LOT less - and it simply depends on how much damage is done and how obvious the damage is. Although i noticed at least two strikes on the Hand Of Faith nugget so perhaps people can overlook it if the nugget is larger than usual. This is why people use various types of pin-pointers: partly to speed up the recovery process but usually to avoid damaging the target. I've seen two different prospectors pull up their pick with a large nugget impaled on the pointy end.

Harb wrote:Ok , say I was ever lucky enough to say find a 5 ouncer........... how much difference would a bad pick blow reduce the cost.Harb

If it was a glancing blow and only a shallow scratch was left, then I suppose it could be overlooked. If the scratch is deep or destroyed the nugget's natural shape... or if metal was curled from the impact, then the damage is obvious and few people will want it at the typical prices. Many nuggets get hit with a pick and they withstand a solid blow rather well. Most hits just glance off the metal. Some people don't know they've hit a nugget until they hear the sound or feel it through the pick. But some people swing their pick like a maniac and dig right on top of the signal so they tend to hit the nuggets more often.

I saw a really nice piece on Ebay last year that was clearly struck several times with a pick. It had more than a half dozen scratches on it and I only realized after clicking on the image to view it closer. When I asked the seller if it was scratched, he admitted that it was. But he made no mention of it on his Ebay ad. Personally, I think he should have. He had three nuggets listed at the same time that were all badly pick struck. Needless to say, they sold for a price less than their gold value. I would have bid on it myself as it was of an appealing shape that lent itself to a jewelery design I was working on at the time. I had no interest when I realized it was damaged. A genuine nugget (not man-made) should sell for more than it's gold-value.

A good example is bullion.
* 100grams in the form of a gold bullion bar is usually worth less than a solid nugget of the same weight, simply due to the scarcity of larger nuggets.
* Nuggets found in the multi-kilo variety are so rare that they can sell for over a million dollars per kilo for the larger ones. Last time I looked, a 1 kilo gold brick of a fineness of .999 was selling for about $43,000.
* Nuggets over 5 grams are generally considered fairly rare (I know, you guys dig 'em up all the time!).
Note: A nugget is really only worth what people are prepared to pay for it. (and I still I wish I'd bought some nice investment bits when gold was just $350 per ounce!).

A thin-shaped 5 ounce nugget with a nasty pick-strike might end up puckered and squashed, in which case it will hold something akin to "scrap gold" value ...since you'll be better off sending it to a bullion dealer to be melted down and he'll give you a cheque for the metal value after it has had the impurities removed - less the fee for the processing and the supply of an assayer's certificate. If your strike is hardly noticeable (many nuggets have interesting surface textures which may conceal a strike), you could still sell it for whatever weight/price gold is currently selling for. If you took a gold nugget to a jeweler or even Cash-Converters (or similar), they might buy it at "scrap rates" of just $8 to $13 per gram. The same nugget would sell on Ebay for up to $50 per gram. A bullion or nugget dealer might ask for more if it was over 5 grams to an ounce. But 5 ounces is much rarer than 5 grams so if it looked nice to the eyes, it could sell for whatever the market can bear at the time.

Harb wrote:And what is the difference in the price of a Specimen as opposed to just a plain old nugget, or for that mater a handful of smaller nuggets to the same weight ?

Specimens are like regular gold nuggets in that they range from attractive to ugly. But they can sell for in excess of $70 per gram at any size ... unlike solid gold nuggets which can sell for $26 to $50 per gram, depending on the market you are selling them into. Most people on Ebay don't know this so they'll buy smaller specimens for the usual rates of solid gold nuggets. The larger specimens tend to gather the attention of serious buyers and occasionally scammers.

Solid gold nuggets tend to sell for upwards of $34 to $48 per gram - although many sellers want $60+ per gram for them and they may not sell for this rate unless the nugget is particularly attractive to the eye or of a larger size. Specimens, on the other hand, are a different situation and if the specimen is over 8 to 10 grams, the buyers sometimes expect a Specific Gravity Test to justify the per-gram rate that you are asking. In the end, the gross weight is usually what the specimen will sell on. And too many people use the wrong fluids and methods for making accurate weight calculations with these tests so be careful if you are a buyer. I believe that more than 85% of such tests are done in a flawed manner and the seller simply picks a higher estimate for pricing. For larger specimens, they can reach prices well over $100 per gram - or whatever the market will bear at the time. If it looks good to the eyes, it may even go for more. Hence some people bleach the host rock to add more contrast and brighten the surface of the gold.

In the end, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. So a nugget that might not catch your own eye might be of considerable interest to a collector and many wealthy mineral collectors are always on the lookout for a nice specimen. If the gold ratio per host-rock is high, and the shape of the specimen means much of the surface gold is strongly visible, then the specimen can hold a higher value than usual. Polished or smooth surfaces specimens are usually in higher demand than rougher and duller specimens. Smaller specimens can be cut into jewelery and polished to show off the veins of metal within the quartz. In the case of some smaller specimens, they can sell for $150 per gram when cut and polished into cabochons etc. for pendants and the like.

Cheers,

Marco
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Post  Harb on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:08 am

Gee Marco , I really thank you for the time you have put into answering my questions !! thanks you very much .
Boy, as a new player in all this I didn't realise there was so much to it, and to be honest I thought they wacked whatever you had on a set of scales and handed over the money at current gold prices and that was that.
It looks like it is definitely worth working on your pick technique to avoid any damage, and after reading all this I will certainly be more careful.

Thanks again for a very clear answer.......... I have ben educated !
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Post  nero_design on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:28 am

I'm sure you could still weight your nuggets (specimens or solids) and work out a per-gram (or per-ounce) weight to sell at. It should still be close enough to what buyers will pay to be worth the time and effort. It only gets a bit more complicated when the appearance of the nugget comes into play. There are some shapes and textures that people desire more than others. We didn't look at 'Crystalline gold' either and if there are crystal formations visible, the specimen/nugget may also be prized above other types.

Cheers,

Marco
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Post  Harb on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:40 am

So much to learn Smile but I am really enjoying the process....
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Post  MS on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:18 pm

Hi
Yes I agree with Nero and he covered this subject well and the only
info I can add is spend the time to research before buying and selling.
Its easy to find out the spot price and know any nugget is worth at
least this ,less a small amount for refining and working on the actual
gold content which could be anywhere between 60 to 98% purity depending
on where it has come from.
Remember some parts of the world go to the low 60% gold content and I have
seen some of these nuggets offered in Aust on ebay.
Australian gold is of high purity and in it's raw state the colour
shows this well but when nuggets are acid washed and sometimes heated
and bombed a low grade nugget will look high grade.
Also there are a few selling nuggets on ebay that clearly are not
natural nuggets and are simply smelted gold and I doubt even the fine
gold content would be high.
I always steer clear of acid washed gold and like to see it in its raw
state as do most serious collectors but have sold gold to a few people
who thought the bright acid washed stuff was better.
Crystaline and specimen gold is rare and interesting and does fetch a
premium but only to those who know what they are looking at.
As for pick hit marks they should be avoided at all costs as they can be
very costly other than to refiners.
Cheers Mark
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Post  Guest on Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:22 am

How much is a Nugget Worth? 55GSHUMANOID

What would a Buddah fetch.

NSEW

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Post  madmax800 on Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:56 pm

What about 37 g Australia

How much is a Nugget Worth? 352b_1
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Post  nero_design on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:31 am

NSEW: That's actually kind of creepy!

Here's a pic I took of someone else's nugget... looks a bit like a dog in profile.

How much is a Nugget Worth? Medium

How much is a Nugget Worth? Medium

Then there's this one from Ebay that I sourced (above).

Cheers,

Marco
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Post  Guest on Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:43 am

A nugget is worth the the gold price per oz x the weight of gold x the assayed purity plus whatever somebody is prepared to pay for it. How much is a Nugget Worth? Icon_biggrin
What it cost you and how much work you did to get it out of the ground doesn't come into it. How much is a Nugget Worth? Icon_biggrin

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Post  Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:09 am

Hi Nero,

Nice pics, bottom one looks like a sea horse or dragon!!!!! Whats creepy about mine LOL i will take another pic & post soon.

Cheers Mick

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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:15 pm

G'day Marco, Nice see horse mate, at least now I know who outbid me on that one!!!!!
Cheers
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Post  nero_design on Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:35 pm

GoldstalkerGPX wrote:G'day Marco, Nice see horse mate, at least now I know who outbid me on that one!!!!!
Cheers

Sorry Goldstalker... My wife asked me to bid on that one after I pointed it out to her. I think the seller suggested it resembled a duck.
I considered selling it when our bank showed a bit of an obsession with it (looks like the St George dragon to them) but she wouldn't have it.

I'll let you know if she wants to part with it in future!

Cheers,

Marco
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