Natural Gold Nuggets

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Frequently Asked Questions...

mining for gold and prices of gold?

I'm thinking about going mining for gold this summer.
How much is gold worth now a days.
Per ounce?
Let's say I find a 2 ounce nugget that is 98% pure gold. What's a realistic amount of cash I could get for it? What's the best way to find gold?
Dredging, slucing, panning?

Best Answer...


The current price per gold is about $940 per troy ounce (31.1g, a regular ounce is 28.3g). However, if you are selling small quantities of gold to a larger company, you usually get a lot less than this. Bear in mind that this price is for pure gold; gold coins and bars are typically at least 99.9% pure. Natural gold nuggets are typically less pure - 98% is very optimistic, and a more usual value would be 90% (the rest is mostly silver, with some other metals mixed in as well). These would be harder to get a lot of money for as the buyer would have to assay (find out how much gold is in them, if you haven't already done this) and refine them.

However, gold nuggets are worth a bit more than refined gold on a weight per weight basis. You could probably get a higher price for them by selling them online (eg. ebay) or at local rock, jewelry, and gemstone shows. Bear in mind that a 2 ounce nugget is very large, and would be a rare find - most of the gold that you find will probably be small flakes.

As for the method, the three you mention are all used for mining alluvial or placer gold deposits (where the gold has been eroded out of its host rock - these are usually found in streambeds). Gold can also be extracted directly from gold ores in solid rock, and while this is how a lot of gold mines operate, both mining the ore and extracting the gold from within are much more difficult for the amateur miner.

Dredging and sluicing are commonly used for larger scale gold extraction from alluvial deposits. Panning is more commonly used by prospectors and hobbyists. Because dredging and sluicing require a lot of equipment, some of which must be set up at the mine site, these methods are only used when a reliable source of gold has been found. In addition, these methods can disturb the environment and require permits in most places. The legal requirements for panning are not as restrictive, but you must check with local authorities to see what is required before panning. You must also check that the area you want to search is not on private property or under mining claim - a local gold panning club might be able to help direct you to some open areas.