Whether you’re looking to invest in precious metals or you simply want to get your hands on a genuine golden nugget for sale at a great price, the market for these rare and beloved items is filled with pitfalls and misconceptions. In this post, we want to highlight the most important things you need to know before you go hunting for the biggest nugget you can find. Read through these helpful pointers to make sure you land a real piece of gold that’s worth every scent.
First things first:
What is a golden nugget?
Golden nugget are natural clusters of gold that have come straight from the earth. Because they are unrefined, nuggets have a rough surface and nonuniform shape like a rock. Refined gold has a very clear value per ounce because it’s pure, while nuggets can consist of a collection of materials. Most people would assume golden nuggets hold a particular value determined by weight or size alone but the truth is, the value of nuggets is far more subjective.
Most natural gold nuggets aren't pure enough to justify breaking down through the refining process. In most cases, the actual value of a natural nugget is derived almost exclusively from their sheer beauty. There are many factors to evaluating the value of each individual piece effectively, which is one of the core dynamics that makes golden nugget buying so interesting as well as potentially lucrative.
So how do we value a nugget?
Weight isn't the full story, but it does play a major role. As a nugget gets heavier, it’s value per gram increases significantly. Check any live gold value chart and you’ll see that gold has dipped and climbed around the $37 - $39 mark over the last few years. As a general rule, pieces that are naturally smoother and hold a more tidy shape tend to be more valuable than pieces that are overly awkward or rough. Nuggets that are larger than average and have an attractive, unawkward shape will have higher values.
Nuggets are found in different regions around the world meaning some contain slightly different minerals to others. These other materials are often called “inclusions”. Iron inclusions are fairly common, but quartz inclusions are particularly rare. If a nugget includes quartz, it’s value can shoot up drastically. Usually, quartz inclusion is pretty easy to detect with the naked eye. You should be able to see veins of quartz crystal on the surface, which look clear and translucent.
How are gold nuggets weighed?
Gold is measured in grains, grams, pennyweight and troy ounces. There are roughly 15 grains in a gram, so if you’re buying the smallest sized nuggets, grains are what you’ll be looking for.
In most cases, you’ll find golden nuggets for sale that are only around 70% - 90% pure. This factor means that the trade of nuggets doesn't actually have a direct relation to the health of the pure gold market. The most important aspects you should look for are:
- Size relative to a common coin.
- The exact weight in grams or grains.
- The natural beauty and inclusions that can be seen on the surface of the nugget.
Once you have a golden nugget of quality, you can have it “mounted” to form a piece of jewelry, this will increase its value even further.