Modesto, California Man Finds 18-Ounce Nugget
October 2016 by Scott HarnOscar Espinoza considers himself an amateur gold prospector, but the gold nugget he recently found puts many seasoned prospectors to shame.
My last update on this adventure was in the April 2012 issue and involved our search for the northern extension of the Cedarberg Mine. At that time we had found it and we were in the process of returning for some detecting when Mother Nature struck with a late rain and snow storm.
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
This fine gold that is so common is probably the most notorious for eluding our riffles and mattings.
His findings were not exaggerated—after running 82 buckets of gravels in two days we had a remarkable 27.8 grams of gold!
This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.
As we walked back we were just reaching the point of where the faulting should be and there, covered with deep grass, was very faint evidence of an old road going up the mountainside! What was that old road doing there?
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