Highly Important Gold NuggetThe Star of Australia
Lot 2236
Highly Important Gold NuggetThe Star of Australia
Sold for US$ 336,250 inc. premium
Auction Details
Natural History Los Angeles
16 Jan 2005 12:00 PST

Auction 13070
Lot Details
Highly Important Gold NuggetThe Star of Australia
Highly Important Gold NuggetThe Star of Australia
Western Australia
The Star of Australia is a unique mineral specimen, thought to be one of the ten largest known nuggets existing in the world today. It was found 110km north west of Kalgoorlie, located in the heart of the goldfields of Western Australia—a greenstone terrain having gold inventory (past production plus current resources) of approximately 100 million ounces. The semi-arid desert and its accompanying climate, create tough prospecting conditions with temperatures during the summer months generally reaching well over 100 degrees farenheit.

The Yigarn Crator is a vast mineral structure as large as California, formed by volcanic lava and undersea intrusions of magma about 2,670,000,000 years ago. Through tectonic forces the various rock layers were folded and pushed up to make high mountains. The major gold deposits were formed in the greenstone belts about 2,630,000,000 years ago. Subsequently this enormous feature was eroded to its present altitude of approximately 1000 feet above sea level.

The Star of Australia was found using a modern metal detector—the detectable “footprint” of its electromagnetic field perhaps extending out up to 3 or 4 feet. It was found at a depth of 50cm under the surface at the bottom of a gully, requiring two men nine hours of digging to liberate it from beneath a layer of overburden—the local cement like rock, (a conglomerate formed of loose gravel, sand and rock)—with the use of picks and crowbars. Their hard work was well and truly rewarded when they rolled the nugget out of the hole.

A rich yellow patina, molten surfaces and radial arms characterize this unique specimen. Tiny flecks of associated black arsenopyrite are evident, as well as the original iron-rich red dirt and clay from the ground where it was discovered. Unlike so many specimens which have been adversely treated, or cleaned, before they are offered on the market, this one shows no evidence of tool marks or preparation by man. Astounding not only for its size, the Star of Australia, so named due to the roughly three-pointed star outline created by its base (shown above), is also appealing for its highly three dimensional and very sculptural qualities. Able to stand on its own—an unusual feature in its own right—it is magnificent when viewed from any angle, and would be ideally suited for display on a revolving stand. Both its importance and beauty will ensure its placement in a significant mineral, gold collection or marketing program.
Measuring 6w x 7¼ x 6½in
Weighing approximately 313 ozt. (26.08 troy lbs. or 11.86 kilos)