http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24041/lot/1027/

The "Twilight" Nugget: A Large and Important Natural Gold Specimen Estimate: $400,000-600,000
Auction Date: May 23, 2017

Los Angeles – On May 23, Bonhams will offer The "Twilight" Nugget: A Large and Important Natural Gold Specimen, among the largest known nuggets existing in the world today (estimate: $400,000-600,000). It was discovered circa 1990 in Dunolly, Central Victoria Goldfields, Australia and weighs approximately 20.83 Troy Pounds (approximately 7.8 kilos, 250.77 ozt or 7779.81 grammes) and measuring 7 x 4 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2 inches. The "Twilight" Nugget will be on preview in The World of Gold, Opals and Other "Phenomenal" Gems at Bonhams Los Angeles from May 20-22.

About The "Twilight" Nugget:
The "Twilight" nugget is a unique mineral specimen, thought to be among the largest known nuggets existing in the world today. It was found in Dunolly, approximately 180 km northwest of Melbourne, in the historic gold fields of Central Victoria—an area that has produced more nuggets than any other goldfield in Australia.

In 1856, Dunolly was the site of one of the largest gold rushes that Victoria has ever witnessed. Nearly 60,000 adventure-seekers and would-be prospectors flocked there from all over the world after the discovery of its rich gold deposits.

Many of the world's largest gold nuggets were found in the areas surrounding Dunolly, including the famous "Welcome Stranger" nugget discovered in 1869. It still remains the largest pure gold nugget ever recorded and weighed an extraordinary 78 kilos.

Sadly, most of the big nuggets found during the Gold Rush met with a fate similar to that of "Welcome Stranger". They were sold and quickly melted down by hungry miners needing immediate funds.
Thus the present population of large gold nuggets—namely those not melted down—or not housed in museums and still remaining available for public offering—is actually very small.

Discovered circa 1990, the "Twilight" nugget was found using a modern metal detector at a depth of about 2 feet. It required two men several hours to liberate with the use of picks and crowbars from beneath a layer of overburden—the local cement-like conglomerate formed of loose gravel, sand and rock. Their hard work was well and truly rewarded when they rolled the nugget out of the hole.

The "Twilight" nugget, was so named not because it was found in the early evening as the name might suggest, but because the miner who found it considered that he and his prospecting partner were entering into their "twilight" years.

Exhibiting a rich yellow patina, with minor quartz and ironstone in the cavities, there is slight evidence of the original iron-rich, red Australian dirt where it was discovered. Unlike so many specimens that have been adversely treated, or acid cleaned, before they are offered on the market, this one shows no evidence of preparation by man. It is astounding for its size as it measures 7 by 4 1/2 by 4 1⁄2 inches and weighs approximately 250 troy ounces or 7779 grams—the approximate equivalent of over 20 troy pounds.

Enquiries:
For further information and images call Sung-Hee Kim +1 917 206 1692, sunghee.kim@bonhams.com or pr.us@bonhams.com

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