Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gold Predictions for the rest of the year

Here is an article from today and what these experts think of the precious metal markets for the rest of 2012.

Today’s positive reversal in precious metals and shares of most gold and silver companies has lent further credence to those who recently have said that the sector is due to resume its uptrend.
One individual in this camp is Bill Fleckenstein, who in his latest weekly column for MSN Money – entitled Has gold’s next bull run began? – argued that “the stage remains set for more rallies” in the sector.”

Describing the action of gold stocks over the past two weeks, Fleckenstein wrote that “The action in the miners the next day (i.e., the day last week’s column was published) was strong, but not definitive. Still, I felt there was some chance it could turn out to be “the” low for the year, while expecting that some part of the range between $1,580 and $1,540 an ounce for gold could be retested once or twice.”

“Tuesday was negative, as the metals went on a nerve-testing roller-coaster ride,” he continued. “First, they staged a pretty decent turnaround, led by silver, which declined about 1.5% overnight but quickly turned that loss into a similar-sized rally. That didn’t stick, however, and silver lost 1% on the day. Gold turned a roughly 1.5% loss into a tiny loss, then that fizzled, and it ended up losing over 1% on the day. However, gold mining stocks, amazingly,  behaved pretty well.”

“The next day’s trading (Wednesday, May 23) brought a giant, stunning reversal to the upside in gold stocks, even as other metals were tanking, then reversed, making it seem very likely that their collective low on May 16 will not be broken.”

Looking ahead, Fleckenstein contended that ”What a precious metals bull would like to see is silver, gold and the miners all ratchet up ‘a level’ together on decent volume. We’ve seen better behavior from the miners (finally), but gold and silver need to start acting like the miners are beginning to (if you can believe I said that) if they really want to convince us that the whole complex has turned the corner.”

He went on to say that “If May 16 was the low, of course, it means folks will have to pay up a bit to capture this idea going forward. However, given how depressed the metals complex has been, paying up a little bit and being a bit more confident in one’s risk assessment is not an insane strategy, especially with regard to mining stocks. When markets or sectors have been bludgeoned as the metals and the miners have, any subsequent rally will also have pullbacks, so it’s not necessary to leap to a decision at the very first sign of strength.”

Give us a call at Valley Goldmine Utah for all of your precious metals needs.  801.889.7200 or

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Here is what Citi thought Gold would do this year.

Below is an article from Citi that gave their forecast for 2012 and 2013.  This was published in October 2011.  Interesting to see the actual results at nearly the half way point of the year.

Citigroup Inc.  raised its gold and silver forecasts for 2012 and 2013, citing expectations of increased resilience in both metals amid a "high probability" that the macroeconomic and financial factors that have propelled prices over the past three years will continue for the next 12-18 months.

The bank now sees gold averaging at $1,950 a troy ounce in 2012, compared with $1,650/oz previously forecast, and sees a 2013 gold price of $1,745/oz, up from $1,500/oz. 

Citi expects an average silver price of $32.90/oz in 2012, compared with its earlier forecast of $26/oz, and a 2013 price of $27/oz, up from $22.40/oz. 

"Increased global risk, U.S. dollar weakness, growing inflationary fears, the U.S. debt downgrade and continuing sovereign debt risks in Europe have increased investor appetite for gold," Citi's Jon H Bergtheil said in a research note. 

"This has been supported by central banks reversing activities from being sellers for most of the past 15 years to net buyers more recently and is supported by the Fed's stated desire to keep interest rates at super-low levels in the medium term," he said

Give us a call at 801.889.7200 or visit us online at for all your precious metal needs.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Chinese are buying up Gold in droves..

GOLD BUYING by households in China has again seen it overtake India as the #1 gold consumer for 6 months running, says a new report from the industry's leading authority.

In the first 3 months of 2012, says a new report from market-development organization the World Gold Council, Chinese households Buying Gold amassed a new quarterly record of 255.2 tonnes – some 10% above the same period last year by weight – in the form of jewelry, ingots and other investment forms.

India's private demand totaled 207.6 tonnes – down by 29% from the same period in 2011.

Formerly #1 for Buying Gold, India has now been overtaken by China for two quarters in succession on the World Gold Council's data, which is prepared and supplied by the Thomson Reuters GFMS consultancy.

"Rising income levels and the Chinese New Year festivities helped to drive the growth," says the World Gold Council's new Gold Demand Trends, "which was concentrated in the 24-carat, pure gold jewelry segment, while demand for K-gold (18K) slipped."

The 36-page Gold Demand Trends is available free on the World Gold Council's website.

"Further growth is expected," says the World Gold Council's report. "Investors remain wary of high inflation rates, and property market restrictions continue to drive demand for god among investors seeking access to real assets."

China's gold jewelry demand is also benefiting from growth in disposable income, says the report, but in that sector "demand growth will remain more moderate as the market matures and economic growth decelerates."

Now the largest gold jewelry consumer worldwide for 3 quarters running, China in April this year halved the import duty rates on new shipments. That reduces the "competitive tax advantage of Hong Kong," says the report, "which sees considerable buying of gold by mainland Chinese tourists."

India, in contrast, has twice raised import duty on Gold Bullion flows, sparking a wave of protests from the domestic jewelry sector which succeeded in reversing a further tax-hike on jewelry at the point of retail.

Visit us today at or call us at 801.889.7200 for all of your precious metal needs.

Friday, May 18, 2012

How is the Gold Price Calculated?

Here is a little bit of info., on how Gold varies from day to day.

Did gold really go up 14.40?
Yes. The weakened US Dollar was responsible for 2.05 of that increase.
Gold price Change due to Weakening of USD
Gold price Change due to Predominant Buyers
Gold Price: Total Change
Precious Metals
Date and Time
 Last (Bid)
Change due to Weakening of USD
Change due to
Normal Trading
      Total Change

May 18, 2012 13:57

May 18, 2012 13:56

May 18, 2012 13:56

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How is Gold Made?

Here is a how gold is made and a bit of history behind it:

Gold, recognizable by its yellowish cast, is one of the oldest metals used by humans. As far back as the Neolithic period, humans have collected gold from stream beds, and the actual mining of gold can be traced as far back as 3500 B.C. , when early Egyptians (the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia) used mined gold to craft elaborate jewelry, religious artifacts, and utensils such as goblets.
Gold's aesthetic properties combined with its physical properties have long made it a valuable metal. Throughout history, gold has often been the cause of both conflict and adventure: the destruction of both the Aztec and Inca civilizations, for instance, and the early American gold rushes to Georgia, California, and Alaska.
The largest deposit of gold can be found in South Africa in the Precambrian Witwatersrand Conglomerate. This deposit of gold ore is hundreds of miles across and more than two miles deep. It is estimated that two-thirds of the gold mined comes from South Africa. Other major producers of gold include Australia, the former Soviet Union, and the United States (Arizona, Colorado, California, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and Washington).
About 65 percent of processed gold is used in the arts industry, mainly to make jewelry. Besides jewelry, gold is also used in the electrical, electronic, and ceramics industries. These industrial applications have grown in recent years and now occupy an estimated 25 percent of the gold market. The remaining percentage of mined gold is used to make a type of ruby colored glass called purple of Cassius, which is applied to office building windows to reduce the heat in the summer, and to mirrors used in space and in electroscopy so that they reflect the infrared spectrum.

Physical Characteristics

Gold, whose chemical symbol is Au, is malleable, ductile, and sectile, and its high thermal and electrical conductivity as well as its resistance to oxidation make its uses innumerable. Malleability is the ability of gold and other metals to be pressed or hammered into thin sheets, 10 times as thin as a sheet of paper. These sheets are sometimes evaporated onto glass for infrared reflectivity, molded as fillings for teeth, or used as a coating or plating for parts. Gold's ability to be drawn into thin wire (ductility) enables it to be deposited onto circuits such as transistors and to be used as an industrial solder and brazing alloy. For example, gold wire is often used for integrated circuit electrical connections, for orthodontic and prosthetic appliances, jet engine and in  fabrication.
Gold's one drawback for use in industry is that it is a relatively soft metal (sectile). To combat this weakness, gold is usually alloyed with another member of the metal family such as silver, copper, platinum, or nickel. Gold alloys are measured by karats (carats). A karat is a unit equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy. Thus, 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold, while 18 karat gold is 18 parts pure gold to 6 parts other metal.

Extraction and Refining

Gold is usually found in a pure state; however, it can also be extracted from silver, copper, lead and zinc. Seawater can also contain gold, but in insufficient quantities to
Gold is generally found in two types of deposits: lode (vein) or placer deposits. It is usually extracted from lode deposits by drilling or blosting, whereas placer deposits require hydraulic mining, dredging, or power shoveling. Once extracted, the gold ore is pulverized to prepare it for refining.
Gold is generally found in two types of deposits: lode (vein) or placer deposits. It is usually extracted from lode deposits by drilling or blosting, whereas placer deposits require hydraulic mining, dredging, or power shoveling. Once extracted, the gold ore is pulverized to prepare it for refining.
be profitably extracted—up to one-fortieth (1/40) of a grain of gold per ton of water. Gold is generally found in two types of deposits: lode (vein) or placer deposits; the mining technique used to extract the gold depends upon the type of deposit. Once extracted, the gold is refined with one of four main processes: floatation, amalgamation, cyanidation, or carbon-in-pulp. Each process relies on the initial grinding of the gold ore, and more than one process may be used on the same batch of gold ore.


  • 1 In lode or vein deposits, the gold is mixed with another mineral, often quartz, in a vein that has filled a split in the surrounding rocks. Gold is obtained from lode deposits by drilling, blasting, or shoveling the surrounding rock. Lode deposits often run deep underground. To mine underground, miners dig shafts into the ground along the vein. Using picks and small explosives, they then remove the gold ore from the surrounding rock. The gold ore is then gathered up and taken to a mill for refinement.
  • 2 Placer deposits contain large pieces of gold ore (nuggets) and grains of gold that have been washed downstream from a lode deposit and that are usually mixed with sand or gravel. The three main methods used to mine placer deposits are hydraulic mining, dredging, and power shoveling. All methods of placer deposit mining use gravity as the basic sorting force. In the first method, a machine called a "hydraulic giant" uses a high pressure stream of water to knock the gold ore off of banks containing the ore. The gold ore is then washed down into sluices or troughs that have grooves to catch the gold.
    Dredging and power shoveling involve the same techniques but work with different size buckets or shovels. In dredging, buckets on a conveyor line scoop sand, gravel, and gold ore from the bottom of streams. In power shoveling, huge machines act like shovels and scoop up large quantities of gold-bearing sand and gravel from stream beds.
    Hydraulic mining and dredging are outlawed in many countries because they are environmentally destructive to both land and streams.


  • 3 Once the gold ore has been mined, it usually is washed and filtered at the mine as a preliminary refinement technique. It is then shipped to mills, where it is first combined with water and ground into smaller chunks. The resulting mixture is then further ground in a ball mill—a rotating cylindrical vessel that uses steel balls to pulverize the ore.

Separating the gold from the ore

  • 4 The gold is then separated from the ore using one of several methods. Floatation involves the separation of gold from its ore by using certain chemicals and air. The finely ground ore is dumped into a solution
    Floatation, cyanidation, and the carbon-in-pulp method are 3 processes used to refine gold. They can be used alone or in combination with one another.
    Floatation, cyanidation, and the carbon-in-pulp method are 3 processes used to refine gold. They can be used alone or in combination with one another.
    that contains a frothing agent (which causes the water to foam), a collecting agent (which bonds onto the gold, forming an oily film that sticks to air bubbles), and a mixture of organic chemicals (which keep the other contaminants from also bonding to the air bubbles). The solution is then aerated—air bubbles are blown in—and the gold attaches to the air bubbles. The bubbles float to the top, and the gold is skimmed off. Cyanidation also involves using chemicals to separate the gold from its contaminants. In this process, the ground ore is placed in a tank containing a weak solution of cyanide. Next, zinc is added to the tank, causing a chemical reaction in which the end result is the precipitation (separation) of the gold from its ore. The gold precipitate is then separated from the cyanide solution in a filter press. A similar method is amalgamation, which uses the same process with different chemicals. First, a solution carries the ground ore over plates covered with mercury. The mercury attracts the gold, forming an alloy called an amalgam. The amalgam is then heated, causing the mercury to boil off as a gas and leaving behind the gold. The mercury is collected, recycled and used again in the same process.
    The carbon-in-pulp method also uses cyanide, but utilizes carbon instead of zinc to precipitate the gold. The first step is to mix the ground ore with water to form a pulp. Next, cyanide is added to dissolve the gold, and then carbon is added to bond with the gold. After the carbon particles are removed from the pulp, they are placed in a hot caustic (corrosive) carbon solution, which separates the gold from the carbon.

    Two other methods of gold refining are amalgamotion and smelting. In amalgamation, the gold ore is dissolved in solution and passed over mercury-covered plates to form a gold/mercury amalgam. When the amalgam is heated, the mercury boils off as a gas and leaves behind the gold. In smelting, the gold is heated with a chemical substance called "flux. The flux bonds with the contaminants and floats on top of the gold. The flux-contaminant mixture (slag) is hauled away, leaving a gold precipitate.
    Two other methods of gold refining are amalgamotion and smelting. In amalgamation, the gold ore is dissolved in solution and passed over mercury-covered plates to form a gold/mercury amalgam. When the amalgam is heated, the mercury boils off as a gas and leaves behind the gold.
    In smelting, the gold is heated with a chemical substance called "flux. The flux bonds with the contaminants and floats on top of the gold. The flux-contaminant mixture (slag) is hauled away, leaving a gold precipitate.
  • 5 If the gold is still not pure enough, it can be smelted. Smelting involves heating the gold with a chemical substance called flux. The flux bonds with the contaminants and floats on top of the melted gold. The gold is then cooled and allowed to harden in molds, and the flux-contaminant mixture (slag) is hauled away as a solid waste.

The Future

Because gold is a finite resource, its long-term future is limited. In the short term, however, it will continue to find widespread use in jewelry and in industrial applications, especially in the electronics field.
In the last few years, several companies have focused on extracting gold from sulphide ore rather than oxide ore. Previous techniques made such extraction difficult and expensive, but a newer technique called bioleaching has made extraction more feasible. The process involves combining the sulphide ore with special bacteria that "eat" the ore or break it down into a more manageable form.

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to know in Utah if you have Gold or Fool's Gold

Here are some pointers to know whether or not you have gold or fool's gold.

Fool's Gold

"Gold, I found gold!," you shout to your friends. You quickly imagine all the things you are going to do with your newfound wealth.. Then reality sets in, and you are embarrassed to discover that you have been tricked by the mineral pyrite, also known as fool's gold. Take heart, you are not the first person (nor the last) to be fooled by pyrite. Even Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) mistakenly sent an entire shipload of pyrite to London in the early 1600s, while exploring the Chickahominy River for a waterway to the Pacific.

How can I tell the difference between gold and pyrite (fool's gold)?

Pyrite crystals commonly form pyritohedrons (twelve irregular five-sided faces) with striations on the crystal faces.
Visual clues -
  • Color: Gold and pyrite both have a brilliant metallic luster, but are different tones of yellow. Gold is golden to silvery yellow, whereas pyrite is a pale to medium brassy yellow that sometimes tarnishes.
  • Shape: Gold usually occurs in nuggets or very small flakes, sheets, and shapeless grains. Small cubic and octahedral (two pyramids with bases joined) gold crystals are very rare. Pyrite crystals commonly form cubes, octahedrons, or pyritohedrons (twelve irregular, pentagonal or five-sided faces), frequently with striations (parallel lines) on the crystal faces. Pyrite can also occur as shapeless grains.
Physical tests -
  • Hardness: Scratch the mineral with the blade of a pocket knife. Rub off any loose powder to see if the mineral has been scratched. Gold is much softer than pyrite and can be cut. Pyrite cannot be scratched. (Beware - chalcopyrite looks similar to pyrite, but is softer and can be scratched with a knife. It is a very brassy yellow, often with a bronze or iridescent tarnish.)
  • Odor: Rub the mineral vigorously with a hard object. Gold has no odor, but pyrite gives off a sulphurous smell (like rotten eggs).
  • Malleable: Strike the mineral with a steel hammer. Gold will flatten or change shape without breaking. Pyrite will give off sparks. 

Come in an check to see if you have some Gold.  801.889.7200  or check us out online at

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Sell Your Gold Utah.

Here are some tips for those wanting to know how to sell their gold here in Utah.

      1.        Learn how gold is measured. When talking about the price of gold, they normally discuss grams as opposed to ounce. There are 31.1 grams in a troy ounce.
          2.  Don't expect to get the current price of gold. You can check what the current price of gold is selling for, and like the stock market it fluctuates. Yet, the price you will get for your scrap gold will be less than that amount.
    3.        Compare the prices offered by the different entities offering to buy your gold. You may discover that some buyers offer double what others offer.
     4.         Check out the internet "We Buy Gold" websites. Google the sites, looking for possible complaints. Check to see if they are legitimate. Shop around for the most reliable company, that offers the most money for your gold.
      5.      Call your local pawn shops. Pawn shops often buy scrap gold. Check to see what pawn shops in your area are willing to pay for scrap gold.
      6.  Call your local jewelry store. Jewelry stores often buy scrap gold. Check to see what they are offering to pay for scrap gold.
       7.  After you decide where you will sell your gold, weigh the items, so you will have a general idea what you may receive for the items.

Make Sure and call us at 801.889.7200 or visit us at to give you the best offer for your gold!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Did you know this about Gold in Utah?

Utah passes bill to make gold and silver legal tender

Lawmakers in the US state of Utah have passed a bill that will make gold as well as silver coins accepted legal tender in the state. The bill awaits the signature of the state’s governor. Proponents of the law have argued that it’s urgently needed in order to hedge the state´s finances against the continuing erosion of the dollar. The legislation is supported by economists and market analysts.
Policy makers in several American states fear that the dollar is on the road to oblivion. Another nine state legislatures are debating similar bills, which seek the reintroduction of gold and silver as legal tender. Among these states are Montana, Missouri, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia and Washington. Utah’s bill will allow the state’s citizens to pay taxes with silver and gold. All state services as well as notifications of charges may also be paid for by precious metals.

The passage of the new law will lead to gold and silver competing with the Federal Reserve Note. Confidence in the dollar and the fiat money system among international investors could be hit by Utah’s new law; after all, why should foreigners buy American debt and other dollar securities when even American policymakers no longer have confidence in their own currency? Utah’s new bill, named The Utah Sound Money Act, explicitly rejects the existing paper money system. Until 1971, the United States was on a gold standard. President Richard Nixon abolished the last vestiges of the gold standard in order, supposedly, to make the currency markets more flexible.

In Virginia, lawmakers have just recently passed a bill that will allow the state to mint gold, silver and platinum coins. Virginia thus intends to hedge against a weakening dollar. If Utah governor Gary Herbert signs The Sound Money Act into law and more states follow the likes of Utah and Virginia, pressure could grow on politicians in Washington to follow suit. As Utah policymakers have explained, alternative monetary policy had to be pointed out to American citizens. The quantitative easing (QE) policies of the Federal Reserve (Fed) are distrusted by many across America.

According to several state and municipal law makers, the Fed is endangering the viability of the dollar, and the country’s rising debt and enormous deficits will likely lead to a crisis in the bond market. The market for municipal bonds has been under pressure for several months, and the Fed is now the largest buyer of US treasury bonds – a bigger buyer than entire nations like China and Japan. The central bank is monetising the issuance of Federal debt. In the long run this development will lead to a further devaluation of the dollar. Utah´s new legislation – if the governor signs it – could pave the way for groundbreaking monetary changes in the United States. It will probably not be much longer until other states follow Utah’s lead, which will lead to an acceleration of the dollar´s fall from grace.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gold Prices for 05/04/2012

Gold Prices for May 5th, 2012.

Gold - 1645.40

Silver - 30.48

Platinum - 1533.00

Come in today and see what your gold is worth.  801.889.7200 or

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

True Stories of the Gold Rush

Below are some real life stories of the Gold Rush.  How nice would it be today to have a 45 pound chunk of Gold today......

Those who found singularly large and valuable nuggets were few as compared with the number who, while locating remunerative claims, took out fortunes from coarse and fine pay dirt. These big nuggets form the theme of anecdote and newspaper record, all with the occasional exaggeration. A great example of this is the prospecting claim on Carson Hill, from which gold was chiseled out in big chunks, and which yielded within a short time some $2,000,000. There are many stories of the treasure troves that were repeatedly obtained by individual diggers, especially in the numerous 'pockets' of the Sonora region, including Woods Creek, the richest of its size, the bars of American, Yuba, and Feather rivers, with such spots as Park Bar, Rush and Nelson creeks, where the yield of one day's work frequently fulfilled the brightest hopes of the gold-hunter. The American Middle Fork yielded perhaps the best steady average of gold dust. All found sooner or later that mining was a lottery, for adjoining claims even in a reputably rich spot might bring to one miner a fortune, to others working nearby, nothing; and the most inexperienced greenhorn might strike a deposit in the most unfavorable place, while experienced diggers toiled in vain.

Gigantic nuggets were a lottery wherein a vast number of blanks were overshadowed by the glitter of the few prizes. The great majority of California gold rush diggers obtained little more than the means to live at the prevailing high prices, and many not even that. At times they might find a remunerative claim, but this was offset by periods of enforced idleness in searching for new ground, by waiting for rains or for the abatement of waters, by more or less extensive preliminary work to gain access to the paying strata and making it available, with the aid of shafts, tunnels, ditches, and so forth. Here are some examples of those fantastic finds and the tales associated with them:
In 1852 a chunk of gold weighing 45 pounds and worth $8,000 was found near Sonora, Tuolumne county, California. The finder had a friend, relates S. M. Frazier in Mining Reporter of Denver, who was far gone in consumption, but who was still trying to work in the mines. The owner of the nugget saw that the man was fast killing himself. At that time such a mass of gold was a curiosity which people would flock to see, and he arranged with his sick friend, who was well educated, to take the nugget to the States for exhibition purposes. Besides the mass of solid gold, he took some fine dust, chispas, gold bearing quartz, black sand, gravel and auriferous dirt from the placer, and delivered lectures on mining operations in California. The agreement between them was that whenever the owner wanted the nugget or its value he was to let his friend know of his need. For a time the miner heard from his friend regularly, then all at once lost track of him. He began after months to think his nugget lost that his friend had been murdered and robbed in some out-of-the-way place. One day, however, a letter reached the miner from a banker in New Orleans, telling him that his friend had died in that city, but had left the big nugget at the bank subject to his order. The miner wrote to have the nugget melted down, and in due time he received a check from the bank for a little over $8,000.

Some years ago a man was literally "kicked" into a fortune. Louis Roderigo was discharged by the superintendent of the Mistle Shaft Mine. Every day for weeks he hung around the mine imploring to be taken back. Finally he was kicked off the grounds. He procured a pick and shovel and grub enough to last him for a week or two, and started off prospecting in Bear Creek on the Pine Ridge, some 75 miles northeast of Fresno. Three weeks later he returned with $9,000 in gold dust, which was panned out in less than a fortnight's actual work.

Among the mining exhibits in the mining department at the World's Fair at Chicago was a nugget of pure gold, found in Alpine county by a young woman. The history of the discovery of this chunk is cherished by every woman in the gold mining regions in California. Harry E. Ellis and his wife went to the State in 1874 from Philadelphia because of Ellis' serious lung trouble. They went to live up in the mountains of Alpine county, miles from any neighbor. They got their livelihood by hunting and cultivating a few acres of land about their lonely cabin. Grizzled old gold miners with their jackasses laden with grimy camp outfits and blankets, came by the Ellis cabin frequently. One of the men lay ill there for several weeks, while he was nursed to health and vigor by the Ellises. The miner told them how they might find recreation and profit in hunting through the canyons and foothills in that region for "pay dirt” and showed them where he believed there were indications of gold-bearing gravel. For  days at a time the young husband and wife tramped up and down the gulches in Alpine county, looking for specks of gold, but all without avail. They abandoned seeking riches in the placers, and confined their attention to their little ranch. One afternoon as Mrs. Ellis was driving home the family cow she was seeking stones to throw for the amusement of the dog. She saw in the coarse gravel a dark, dull yellow stone and picked it up. "I knew from the moment I picked it up," says she, "that I had found gold, because it was so heavy, but as I had never seen a real nugget I was afraid my husband would laugh at me." The nugget has never been melted down for its gold, and is still kept for exhibition purposes. It is phenomenally free from any foreign matter and the size of a croquet ball, but very rough and battered by rolling and tumbling in water for ages. Mrs. Ellis got $2,250 for this find. Such is life and luck among the gold hunters of the world.


In 1851, near Knapp’s ranch in Toulumne County a large nugget weighing slightly over 50 pounds was found by a Mr. Strain.  When crushed and melted, and yielded $8,500.  It was a slab shaped piece of quartz about 14 inches long 9 inches wide at one end and 4 inches at the other.  It was found at the side of the small trail which ran up the hill from a gulch.  Literally hundreds of miners had walked over it before Strain happened to see it.  The pocket or vein from which it had come was diligently searched for by the other miners in the area.  Golden lumps containing gold worth a few hundred dollars each were picked up near where it lay, no great pocket or other source was found.

Two nuggets of gold was an unusual large-size were found near Columbia in Toulumne County many years ago.  One was the property of a Mr. Virgin and the other miners who were working together found it at Gold Hill.  It weighed 360 ounces and was valued at $6,500 it was oblong, was smooth, and was described as looking like a small metallic meteorite.  It was found twelve feet below the surface lodged in some red clay.  The other large nugget was found by a Frenchman in Spring Gulch it was a globular mass of nearly pure gold, somewhat coated with oxide of iron and was worth over $5,000.  The Frenchman who found it was driven insane by the thought of the gold and was sent to the Stockton asylum.  The French Council took charge of the nugget and sent the proceeds to the finder's family in France.

A specimen of crystalline gold from the grit mine near Spanish dry diggings in El Dorado County was sent to the Paris exposition in 1878.  The nugget weighs more than 201 Troy ounces and was mined from a pocket 200 feet below the surface where it was found together with another 200 or so ounces of crystalline gold.  The purchaser of the large nugget, but it sent to Paris was a Mr. Fricot, who had for a time lived in Grass Valley and was lately moved to New York.  The nugget was never melted down, and is the largest California gold nugget still in existence.

Another California gold nugget which was exhibited at the Paris exposition of 1878 was a specimen of crystallized gold from the Banghart mine in Mad Mule Canyon of Shasta County.  It weighed in at 13 ounces, but on account of its beauty was valued at far more than the metal it contained.

Want to find out how much your Gold is worth?  Contact us at 801.889.7200 and on the web at