Gold nugget discovery deemed museum quality
DALLAS – An enormous, 40-ounce gold nugget, nicknamed “Lightning Bolt” for its jolting, bright yellow glow and rarity beyond any diamond found on Earth, could take top lot honors in in Heritage Auctions’ Nature & Science Auction Aug. 18. The 11-inch gold nugget was discovered in Victoria, Australia, and experts have deemed the remarkable find a museum-quality specimen.
Weighing 39.9 troy ounces (43.8 ounces, or 1,241 grams), the “Lightning Bolt” (estimated at $70,000-$100,000) is an absolute rarity, because of its size and aesthetic appearance, said Craig Kissick, Heritage Auctions’ Nature & Science Director.
Another Gold Nugget from Victoria, Australia ($20,000-$30,000) is remarkable in both its appearance and its size (12.3 troy ounces, or 13.5 ounces or 382.7 grams). The nugget displays a duality of tone as a “skin” of yellow covers the mass of Gold in certain areas, giving the impression of a layered effect.
Gold has been prized for centuries by people who see it as a standard of value and/or wealth. Or gold has been used simply as a measure of status. To give an idea of rarity, It has been estimated that all of the gold ever mined on the planet would fit into a cube measuring 20 meters along each edge.
Gems and minerals at auction
A set of five Tourmaline crystals from Paprok (Papruk Mine; Paprowk Mine) in the Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province in Afghanistan are estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. Presented in matte sterling silver bases, they range in height from 3-5 inches, and exhibit clusters of other minerals.
A complex cluster of minerals makes up an Azurite & Tarnowitzite from the Tsumeb Mine in Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region (Otjikoto Region), Namibia, which carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 – figures that may prove to be conservative. This mineral cluster includes Azurite, Calcite and Smithsonite, as well as massive clouds of Tarnowitzite.
As one of the “big three” gemstones, this 7.44-carat Sapphire from Myanmar ($20,000-$30,000) grabs the attention of collectors immediately. The stone is cut in a cushion shape with a modified brilliant-cut crown and step-cut pavilion, and is unheated and GIA-certified. The blue color includes areas of violet.
Illinois mineral example
From the “Ross C. Lillie Collection of Illinois Minerals” comes this Fluorite from Minerva No. 1 Mine in the Cave-in-Rock Sub-District of Hardin County in Illinois ($20,000-$30,000). The specimen weighs 4.4 pounds and measures 6 inches across the face.
The Heritage Auctions Nature & Science Auction closes Aug. 18.