The largest piece of Californian gold in existence sold for $460,000 at a Holabird-Kagin Americana auction in Sacramento on Wednesday.
The 2.79kg specimen, known as the Washington Nugget, was found last year by a gold hunter near the famous gold rush town of Washington in Nevada County.
In excitement rarely seen among geologists and prospectors in the state since the mid-19th century, three serious investors locked horns over the smooth golden nugget, pushing its price close to double its pre-sale estimate. The winning bidder's identity has not been revealed.
"Big nuggets are just not that common in the state's history," Michael Dolgushkin, a history librarian for the California State Library, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"This is really something to find."
The quality of the nugget was as much a talking point for auctioneer Fred Holabird as its size.
"This is a texture that any mining geologist will never, ever forget," Holabird told the Sacramento Bee.
The Washington Nugget will remain on display for the rest of the week at the Sacramento Convention Center, as part of the National Money Show.
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