To get an understanding on how rare a gold nugget is, maybe the first question we should answer is, just how rare is gold? The US Geological Survey estimates that all the gold ever mined throughout the history of civilization, from the Aztecs, to modern day mining, is 187,200 tones. That sounds like a lot, but to visualize this, if all that gold were collected and melted it into a cube, it would only measure about 20 meters tall by 20 meters wide (66 feet by 66 feet). To put it in perspective, all the gold ever mined, since the beginning of man, could fit into a cube that would fit nicely under the Eiffel tower. Gold is certainly very rare.
So now back to the question of gold nuggets. Less than 2% of all gold comes in the form of a gold nugget. The majority of gold that is recovered today is tiny flakes and microscopic gold dust that requires crushing massive amounts of ore to extract a small amount of gold. A rich gold ore, by todays standards, will have approximately 2 to 5 ounces of gold per ton and that ore must be crushed and refined to extract that small amount of gold.
Also consider this, the majority of all the gold nuggets that have ever been found throughout history have, sadly, all been melted down and refined. It is only recently, for the past few decades, that gold in its natural raw form has been appreciated and collected and not melted down to make jewelry or bullion bars and coins.
Also, most large gold producers today still refine their gold! Hard to believe, but large mining operations simply don’t want to take the time to market their precious gold nuggets and specimens to mineral collectors and investors and continue to produce gold by refining and melting all the precious metal they dig up. They often ignore the rarity and beauty of the natural gold that they mine. They see quantity, not quality.
-Another reason gold nuggets are rare is that the age of electronic gold detecting (using metal detectors) has been around for over 35 years (that’s longer than most of the gold rushes) and although metal detecting technology continues to improve greatly, the majority of rich gold fields have been depleted of gold nuggets and a gold nugget today is harder and harder to find with metal detecting. It is now rarer to find a one-ounce gold nugget than a 5 carat diamond.
For all these reasons, you can see how very rare gold nuggets are – if all the gold ever mined was divided and equally distributed amongst every person on earth, we would each own about 1/100th of an ounce. With that in mind, if you could divide all the “special gold” rare gold nuggets and gold specimens (the gold that hasn’t been smelted and refined), every person would receive a microscopic amount of gold. Clearly, most humans today are not able to own any gold.
At our company, we value and appreciate the beauty and rarity of all the gold nuggets and gold specimens we sell. We seek out only the highest quality jewelry and investment grade gold nuggets – the best of the best. Each nugget, large and small, is hand selected for its unique and individual characteristics and natural beauty. We are committed to providing you the absolute best selection and highest quality natural jewelry and investment grade gold nuggets and gold specimens anywhere in the world.