The $460,000 winning bid for a headline-making, 100-ounce gold nugget was made by Spectrum Numismatics International of Irvine, California, a division of Spectrum Group International, at a public auction in Sacramento, California on March 16, 2011.
The winning $460,000 winning bid for the 100 ounce gold ‘Washington Nugget’ (shown here next to a quarter-dollar coin for size comparison) was placed by Spectrum Numismatics International of Irvine, California on behalf of an anonymous client, March 16, 2011, in Sacramento, California. (Photo courtesy of Holabird-Kagin Americana.)
Nicknamed the “Washington Nugget” because it was discovered last year near Washington, California, it is believed to be the largest, verifiable California gold nugget still in existence. The auction on the eve of the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show™ attracted international attention and determined bidders.
“The winning bid was made by Richard Melamed, a Senior Numismatist on our expert staff, and placed on behalf of a client who was on the phone with Richard during the bidding and who wants to remain anonymous. We are all delighted we were able to assist the happy new owner successfully acquire this historic, nine-pound nugget,” said Andrew Glassman, President of Spectrum Numismatics International.
“The nugget was found using a metal detector. Our client is probably as excited about the prospect of now owning the nugget as the prospector was who found it a year ago,” added Glassman.
Auctioneer Fred Holabird holds the 100 ounce gold ‘Washington Nugget’ before calling for bids in Sacramento, California, March 16, 2011. Spectrum Numismatics International of Irvine, California placed the top bid, $460,000, on behalf of an anonymous client. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman)
In cataloging the huge piece of gold, auctioneer Fred Holabird of Holabird-Kagin Americana described its importance: “The Washington Nugget may be the sole remaining authenticated large gold nugget of the 100 troy ounce caliber from the California gold region. It came from one of the best producing tertiary channels and from the very area where hydraulic mining was invented… This nugget is thus one of the greatest gold specimens in California, and has a place in history along with the famous ‘Fricot Nugget,’ the most famous of the surviving old crystalline gold specimens mined during the Gold Rush period.”
“The Washington Nugget is the latest in a long list of historic collectibles Spectrum has purchased or sold over the years including such world-famous coins as a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, 1804 silver dollar, and the beautiful 1907 Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coins,” said Greg Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spectrum Group International.”Spectrum Group International continues to grow with the recent formation of Stack’s Bowers Galleries and the successful launch of Spectrum Wine Auctions.”