Chinese Herdsman Stumbles Onto 17-pound Gold Nugget

Chinese herdsman stumbles onto a 17-pound gold nugget
A Chinese herdsman found a chunk of gold like this one.

Market Watch – Imagine it! You’re walking along and nearly trip over a 17-pound (7.85 kilograms) gold nugget. File that under a most improbable gold bonanza.

But that’s exactly how it played out for one lucky sun-of-a-gun farmer in China.

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Berek Sawut, a Kazak herdsman from Qinghe County in Altay Prefecture told Chinese news agency Xinhua that he found the giant nugget “practically lying on bare ground.” The area is in China’s far western Xinjiang Uygur region.

That gold nugget, assuming it’s at least 80% pure, would be worth 1.6 million yuan ($255,313 U.S. dollars), says Xinhua, which also points out that a 1.84 kilogram nugget was discovered in the region in 2010. Gold for April delivery was trading at $1,261 an ounce on Thursday.

The odds of such a thing happening, of course, are not as rare as, say, finding 1,400 rare U.S. gold coins practically in your backyard. And yes, that actually happened to one lucky California couple a year ago.

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It can’t be confirmed if this is indeed it, but this supposed image of that China nugget was floating around earlier on Twitter.

Oddly enough, on Feb. 5, 1869, the world’s biggest alluvial gold nugget (i.e., gold deposited by water) was found in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia. Dubbed the ‘Welcome Stranger,’ the nugget had a gross weight of 109.59 kilograms, and had to be broken into three pieces because there were no scales large enough to weigh it, according to Wikipedia.

Last month thieves smashed an SUV into a Wells Fargo museum in downtown San Francisco early Tuesday and made off with gold nuggets and ore worth more than $12,000.

But that’s not a strategy we’d recommend in trying to get your own chunk of gold.

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