Heritage's Natural History sale caters to a few special interests, such as fossils and meteorites. However, there are a few lots on offer which cannot fail to be of interest to everyone: gold nuggets.
As gold is not reactive, chemically, it tends to be found simply as pieces of gold, rather than in the form of compounds, as iron, aluminium and the like at. Nevertheless, finding decent sized lumps straight out of the ground is unusual.
There are five gold nuggets in the sale, of which the expected top lot is the 'Kauffman' nugget, a palm-sized, heart-shaped 674.7g wonder which is so large it was almost thrown away with rocks which were being 'sieved' for gold.
The smooth, fascinating nugget was found near Lake Creek, Alaska, and its find was reported as a news story. The expected sale price is $36,000-45,000.
Another of the nuggets hales from Australia, and has a particularly bright yellow lustre, associated with high karat content. From one angle it resembles a smooth, elongated face.
This 175.2g nugget is expected to fetch $9,000-10,000 in Heritage's sale, which takes place on January 17 2010, but for which you can already place bids.
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Images: Heritage Auctions