California Crystalline Gold-in-Quartz Specimen--"The Mini Whopper"
Lot 2156
California Crystalline Gold-in-Quartz Specimen--"The Mini Whopper"
US$ 60,000 - 70,000
£36,000 - 42,000
Lot Details
California Crystalline Gold-in-Quartz Specimen--"The Mini Whopper"
The Original Sixteen to One Mine, Alleghany, Sierra County, California
Discovered on November 13, 1992, the "Mini Whopper" is of massive crystalline form, dendritic with glistening luster. Bright, high purity gold with a slight mix of snow white quartz, the present specimen was part of the same discovery that included the famous "Whopper" Nugget, weighing 194.53 ozt, and was found at 1700 level, Stope 1751A.

Founded in 1896, the Sixteen to One Mine was named for the ration of the number of ounces of silver equal to one ounce of gold in the bi-metallic monetary system established by Portugal in 1688. Due to the unusual composition of gold from this mine - 15% silver within 85% gold - the gold is extraordinarily brilliant in appearance, its color unparalleled.

Although more than one million ounces of gold have been produced from the venerable tunnels of the Sixteen to One Mine very few specimens have survived. Crystalline gold is extremely rare: nearly all gold produced today is derived from large ore bodies containing microscopic gold. Specimens of crystalline gold in its natural state - free to express its external structure in its growth forms and surfaces - are an extraordinary occurrence.

Dry weight 17.33 ozt (535.7 grams). Measures 105 x 77 x 50mm


  • Originally offered in Butterfields & Butterfields auction, page 9, Sale no. 6129J, lot 45, December 15, 1994, San Francisco.

  1. Claudia Florian, G.J.G
    Specialist - Natural History
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, 90046
    United States
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