publishing Info: gold Districts the California Bulletin 193 California division of Mines and also Geology 1976Table of ContentsRelated: wherein to find Gold in California

Many big and spectacular pieces of indigenous gold have been uncovered in California. Most of these were taken throughout the yellow rush and also contributed further to the excited in the mining camps and "stampedes" come the various "diggings". Few of these nuggets exist today; many were melted down soon after they were discovered. Return the hatchet "nugget" is technically restricted to water-worn gold pieces in alluvial deposits, it frequently is supplied to describe chunks of vein gold not far removed native the allude of origin. It is not offered to explain high-grade "pockets" or tiny but affluent ore shoots-these are detailed in the following section.

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The biggest piece of indigenous gold the is thought to have been uncovered in California was the 195-pound mass taken at Carson Hill in 1854. The biggest true nugget was the Willard, Dogtown or Magalia nugget, i m sorry was found at Magalia in 1859. A celebration to be held and the nugget was melted in Oroville soon afterward. It weighed 54 pounds troy. Replicas space owned through the department of Mines and also Geology and also the Paradise room of Commerce. An yearly celebration is hosted in Magalia commemorating the discovery.

Other spectacular nuggets found in California were:The 50-pound slab native Knapp"s Ranch, Tuolumne County.The 28-pound Holden Chispa nugget indigenous Holden"s Gardens in Sonora.A 28-pound nugget native Sullivan Creek, Tuolumne County.The 426- and also 532-ounce nuggets indigenous French Ravine, Sierra County.The gold-quartz boulder the held an ext than $8000 in yellow from Pilot Hill, El Dorado County.A 360-ounce oblong smooth item of aboriginal gold from Sullivan Creek, Tuolumne County.A 150-pound quartz-gold mass from Wood"s Creek, Tuolumne County, that surrendered 75 pounds the gold.A 52-pound massive of yellow quartz indigenous the Diltz mine, Whitlock district, Mariposa County

To uncover a large nugget was not a blessing for all men. The second Report that the State Mineralogist (California State Mining Bureau, 1882) speak of a French immigrant that took a item worth much more than $5,000 from feather Gulch, in the Columbia district. The report relates (p. 149): "The exploration of this nugget verified to be a an excellent misfortune, for the finder came to be insane the following day and also was sent out to Stockton. The French Consul recovered the nugget or the money acquired for it, and sent it to his household in France,"

The an initial discovery of a spectacular yellow specimen in California remained in the summer of 1848, as soon as a young soldier the Stevenson"s Regiment uncovered a 25-pound nugget on the banks of the Mokelumne River. Later that same year, general E. F. Beale take it it to new York, wherein it caused much excitement. In 1865 a beautiful swarm of gold crystals weighing 201 ounces was discovered in the Grit mine in ~ Spanish dried Diggins, El Dorado County. It was sent to brand-new York, wherein it to be purchased by a Mr. Fricot, who had previously lived in Grass Valley. Later this specimen was presented come the California division of Mines and also Geology by the Fricot family and also is now displayed in the Division"s mineral exhibition in the Ferry structure in mountain Francisco. A picture of this specimen is the frontispiece of this bulletin.

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The most famous nugget of all, that discovered by Marshall in ~ Sutter"s Mill in 1848 and also which caused California"s gold rush, weighed much less than a 4 minutes 1 of one ounce. The is not well-known if this nugget still exists. A flake of gold which Captain Folsom sent to Washington in 1848 and described as Marshall"s very first piece is currently in the Smithsonian Institution.