World’s largest surviving gold nugget to headline March 16 sale

The largest California gold rush nugget left in existence, the 100 troy ounce gold nugget discovered last year in Nevada County, Calif., will be sold at public auction by Holabird-Kagin Americana March 15, 2011 in Sacramento.? Nicknamed the “Washington Nugget,” because the nugget was discovered near the famous northern Mother lode Gold Rush mining camp of Washington, Calif., a nearly 100 ounce monster gold nugget (and several others) were found in an unmined section of the Omega-Malakoff Tertiary Channel in February 2010, by a lucky area land-owner. 

Authenticated by geologist Fred Holabird and valued at $250,000-$400,000, the nugget is the largest, original California Gold Rush region natural nugget still in existence. This nugget will sell to the highest bidder on March 16 in Sacramento, Calif., in Session C of the Golden West Auction.

The Golden West auction encompasses three sessions of auctions covering some of the most important historical western material from the Gold Rush periods of California, Nevada and Colorado. The material has been assembled from many of the great western collections, as well as original material handed down within Gold Rush families, held intact for more than 100 years. 

Session A will take place on March 11 at the annual Western States Token Society token auction and will highlight the finest Western Indian trader, fort and territorial token collections ever assembled. Indian trader tokens are an important form of money exchanged between Indians and Anglos in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Trading Posts were a way of life in the isolated outposts of the western plains and mountains, swapping furs, rugs, coats and other items for food stuffs and equipment. There has never been a sale of this magnitude and importance, and once this collection is disbursed, may never again be a sale like this.

Session B will take place on March 15 and includes a strong photograph collection of American saloon interiors, saloon ephemera and Gold Rush region saloon tokens, also known as pioneer minor coinage. The saloon section also includes a large collection of the ultra-rare good-for mirrors, one of the rarest forms of money, many with pictorial representations of the fabulous “gay-90’s” saloon girls. Lastly, this session will include a collection of so-called dollars and $50 slug facsimiles.

Session C, the grand finale of the Golden West Auction, will take place on March 16 and will feature the monster Washington Nugget and several other gold and mineral specimens along with two large original 19th-century bullion scales, some masterful original Gold Rush art (including a number of original Currier & Ives) and a massive Gold Rush banking collection from California and Nevada circa 1850s-1860s. Contained in that collection are more than 100 different bills of exchange, a form the first circulating currency on the West Coast. Some of the highlights of the Gold Rush collection are documents from the original 1910 San Francisco sale of the estate of James King of William, documents signed by Adolph Sutro, California coiner F. D. Kohler, and others. A very rare letter book from Nevada mining and railroad magnate Hume Yerington from the mid-1860s contains rare information about his life prior to his railroad successes.

A large collection of U.S. Mint ephemera is included, including rare bullion receipts, photographs, lithograph, gold coin and other coin bank bags, as well as rare Carson City gold and silver coins. Accompanying the Mint ephemera is a section of California counters and rare California Gold Rush tokens. ?

To receive a copy of the full story titled “The Washington, California Nugget – A New Discovery!” and images, please contact Lena Taylor at 888-852-4467 or via email. For more information on the Golden West Auction or the 100 ounce gold nugget, call 877-852-8822 to order a catalogue or visit for additional sale details. For more information about the auction or consignments contact Don Kagin at 888-852-4467 or via email.

Since 1983, Fred Holabird has conducted more than 100 public auctions, made more than 25 fixed price catalogs, and authored about a dozen books on various forms of collecting, rendering Holabird Americana the most prestigious firm of its kind. Now partnered with Kagin’s, Inc. the nation’s oldest family owned numismatic firm, the joint venture is breaking records with sales realized from recent auctions in both the numismatic arena and the Western Americana market place. Holabird-Kagin Americana is a member of the ASDA, American Numismatic Association, ANS, Manuscript Society, Society of Paper Money Collectors, WESTS, NTCA, TAMS, NHS, and a variety of other organizations. 

Click to download a copy of the PDF auction catalog or visit the Holabird Americana website.

More from Antique Trader

Press coverage of the Washington nugget

Gold Nugget Last of its Kind – Associated Press


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