The LARGEST CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH NUGGET left in existence, the 100 troy ounce gold nugget discovered last year in Nevada County, California, will be on Showcase in multiple venues prior to the Holabird-Kagin Americana Auction this March in Sacramento.
Reno, Nevada, January 14th, 2011 – Named the “Washington Nugget” because the nugget was discovered near the famous northern Mother lode Gold Rush mining camp of Washington, California, this 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 15th in Sacramento, California in Session C of the Golden West Auction. Special sneak previews have been arranged as follows:
January 25th 6-9pm Sacramento Historical Society Event
Sacramento Medical Museum
5380 Elvas Ave # 100
Sacramento, CA 95819-2300
January 27th-29th San Jose Coin Show
DOUBLE TREE HOTEL
2050 Gateway Place
San Jose, CA 95110
Kagin’s Table #205
February 3rd-5th Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo
Long Beach Convention Center
100 South Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Kagin’s Table #412
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 over 100 years. Session A will take place on March 11th at the annual WESTS (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 nineteenth and early twentieth 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 14th 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 15th and will feature the above mentioned monster Washington Nugget and several other gold and mineral specimens along with two large original nineteenth-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 c1850s-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-1860’s contains incredible information about his life prior to his railroad successes. A large collection of US 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.
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.
To receive your 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 [email protected]
For more information on the Golden West Auction or the 100 ounce gold nugget, Call 877-852-8822 to order a catalogue or go to www.holabirdamericana.com for additional sale details.
Except from The complete Article By Fred N. Holabird, copyright 2010, all rights reserved
The discovery of a huge, nine pound natural gold nugget was announced earlier this year in national news. The nugget was brought to my attention in late summer, and I met with the owner and looked over the property. The resulting research underscores the importance of the nugget. It is from a portion of the famous “blue lead” Tertiary channel now known as the Omega-Malakoff Channel, located near Washington, California. The area was first mined by hand in 1852, and the science of hydraulic mining was invented in this very region in a directly adjacent channel near Nevada City in Nevada County, California. The uncleaned Washington nugget’s physical characteristics match exactly those discussed by Josiah D. Whitney and his co-author W. H. Pettee in his epic The Auriferous Tertiary Gravels of the Sierra Nevada, published in 1880. This large nugget may be the sole remaining large nugget from California. It was standard practice to melt large nuggets into ingots, and thereby convert the prize into cash. No such nuggets have been found by the author at the Smithsonian or the California State Collection at Mariposa.
Every now and again something really fun happens. The other day a fella walked into our office and told me about a 100 ounce nugget he found near Nevada City. Ha! While 100 oz nuggets are known from Australia and Mexico, I couldn’t think of a single specimen still in existence from California. Or at least any that I had seen or known of in museums, including the Smithsonian and the Mariposa Gold Museum.
Then something even more special happened. He opened up his box and got out the nugget. After I screamed and got back up off the floor from shock, he said he had been told to clean it and what did I think? I said “heck no, that rock, sand and gravel attached to it is proof positive of where it is from.” He, like you are now, was in complete puzzlement. You see, the proof is in the pudding, and the pudding was still attached to the nugget, It was a verifiable, real authentic gold nugget from the “blue lead”, or bottom most layer of the Tertiary gold channels in California. The natural rock still attached was the absolute proof.