Gold - The Providence Nugget
Cabinet, 14.0 x 11.3 x 1.8 cm
Gladstone, Northern Queensland, Australia
This is a CRYSTALLIZED gold from Australia, a land where usually only rounded nuggets are found. The crystals are flattened along one axis, and elongated, resulting in a lot of visual size impact per the weight/mass. This kind of surface area to mass ratio in a gold specimen we refer to as "pancake" in style because it gives you so much of the mass on the display face. This makes them more appealing as specimens, to most folks. In this size, especially, a crystallized specimen is extremely rare. It is 1100 grams in mass, of nearly pure gold mixed with minor amounts of quartz included (but still an estimated 1075 grams of gold is present). However, more than the size and the crystallographic rarity, there is yet another factor to consider. This was found in Queensland, not the richer, more common goldfields of Victoria in southern Australia. For the Northern Australian fields, this far outranks nearly everything else known to have been recovered (at least in modern times, where noted). Given the trustworthy source (one of Australia's leading field collectors), I regard this as having additional interest value. Per the collector, well-known Aussie gold-prospector and gold-detection equipment proprietor Jack Lange (SHOWN holding his find): "The Providence nugget was found by me near Gladstone QLD at the start of the 2004 olympics. The Goldfield is situated under the town's suburbs. I got it on the fringes of the suburb. It was the only nugget within 300 metres, buried under only 45 cm of soil. The amazing find was featured in 2005 on the cover of our Australian Gold, Gem, and Treasure Magazine. Crystalline nuggets of this size (1100.3 grams) are almost unheard of in modern times!" Note that Jack is a very tall guy with large hands, so the photo showing the gold in his hand, after first cleaning, appears smaller than it would be in most folk's hands.