Grading Natural Gold Nuggets
There are six different grades of natural gold nuggets. Below is a description of each grade, from lowest to highest grade.
Melt Grade Gold Nuggets:
The lowest grade of natural gold nuggets is called “melt grade” and melt grade nuggets are not very attractive. They will have dark host rock and/or dark mineralization and the color and nugget surface will often be dull and unattractive. The highest and best use for this grade of nuggets is to take them to a refiner and have them melted and made into gold bars. This lowest grade of natural gold nugget is usually priced between a small percentage below spot gold price, to a small percentage above spot gold price. Prices are closely tied to current spot gold prices. Although many gold nugget dealers sell this low grade of nugget, you will not find this low grade of gold nugget on our website.
Common Grade Gold Nuggets:
Common grade natural gold nuggets will have some easily noticeable host rock (also called matrix) and/or dark mineralization. They are not necessarily unattractive, but also nothing special. Common grade nuggets are usually priced close to spot gold price, up to about 10% above spot gold price. Prices are closely tied to current spot gold prices. Many of the natural gold nuggets offered for sale on the internet are common grade gold nuggets. Because we specialize in only the highest grades, you will not find common grade nuggets on our website.
Collectible Grade Gold Nuggets:
Collectible grade gold nuggets will have a little bit of attractive host rock or mineralization, but overall the nugget will look real nice, and it will be made up of mostly nice clean visible gold. Overall it should be a nice looking gold nugget. Collectible grade gold nuggets are usually priced at about 50 % to 80% over spot gold price, the variation affected by how beautiful, or how rare, or how large, or how unique the nugget is. Collectible grade gold nuggets from very rare locations can sell at 2 to 3 times the spot gold price. Prices for collectible grade nuggets are loosely tied to spot gold prices and they hold their value much better than common grade nuggets in periods of declining gold prices, while still participating in rising gold prices.
Jewelry/Investment Grade Gold Nuggets:
The hand selected jewelry/investment grade is the highest grade of natural gold nugget. It will have no significant host rock or mineralization. It will usually have a very high purity, will be clean and shiny, and will have a consistent gorgeous overall appearance, with a gorgeous color and surface texture. For true jewelry/investment grade natural gold nuggets, prices will usually start at 100% over spot gold price, and they can go significantly higher than that, based on the beauty, shape, rarity, and size of the nugget.
Because hand selected jewelry/investment grade gold nuggets are the rarest and the hardest to find for sale, prices are very loosely tied to current spot gold prices, and this highest quality of natural gold nugget can be expected to be the best way for gold investors and collectors to be protected against periods of falling gold prices, while participating in rising gold prices, and they are the best positioned to experience dramatic price rises when there is strong public demand in the gold market.
Historically, prices for hand selected jewelry/investment grade nuggets have gone as high as 300% to 400% over spot gold prices during periods of very strong public demand. The last period of very strong public demand for gold was in 1979/1980. It almost repeated in 2011, but was cut off by the market manipulators before the gold price could rally over $2000 per oz. Many people are expecting the public to enter the gold market in a big way before this current bull market (2017) in gold is over. There have even been calls by self proclaimed gold experts that gold will hit $10,000 an ounce in the not so far future. Should gold manage to breach the phsycological $2000 per ounce mark, with the current low availability of jewelry/investment grade gold nuggets, and less of these highest grade nuggets coming on the market for various reasons, (one reason being that most of the easier accessed nuggets have already been found by gold prospectors), premiums for the highest quality gold nuggets should skyrocket as they did in the 1979/1980 gold bull market.
Premium Jewelry Grade Gold Nuggets For Pendants:
Premium jewelry grade gold nuggets for pendants have all the qualities of a jewelry/investment grade gold nugget, but in addition, the shape of a premium jewelry grade nugget lends itself very favorably to adding a gold bail and a gold chain and making it into a pendant or necklace, or it is thin and flat and suitable for inlaying onto various jewelry pieces. The price of premium jewelry grade gold nuggets is approximately 10% to 20% above the price of jewelry/investment grade nuggets.
Museum Grade Gold Nuggets and Specimens:
Museum Grade natural gold nuggets and specimens are gold nuggets and gold in quartz (or other host rock) specimens that are so large or so rare that they are really priceless, and their highest and best use would be to be displayed prominently in a museum for many people to enjoy, or proudly displayed in a private long term collection. Prices for museum grade gold nuggets generally start at 100% over spot gold prices and go up from there based on several factors such as size, rarity, and beauty, and the most gorgeous gold specimens can reach astronomical prices of 10 to 20 times spot gold prices. Gold nugget crystals also fall into this category, even when they are smaller, simply due to the extreme rarity of the occurrence of well formed crystals in natural gold.