By Josh Saunders
A giant lightning bolt shaped gold nugget that has been declared as ‘rarer than any diamond’ could fetch £77,000 at auction.
The ‘joltingly bright’ yellow precious metal was discovered in Victoria, Australia, and is now up for grabs with Heritage Auctions.
Weighing 2.5lbs (1.1kg), the large 11-inch piece is described as of ‘museum-quality’ and due to its unusual shape was given the nickname ‘Lightning Bolt’.
It has been estimated that all of the gold ever mined on our planet could fit into a cube measuring 20 meters along each side.
This particularly piece is declared even rarer because only a minuscule two percent is retrieved in the form of a nugget, let alone with this shocking shape.
Craig Kissick, Heritage Auctions’ Nature & Science Director, said: “The ‘Lightning Bolt’ is an absolute rarity, because of its size and aesthetic appearance.
“Gold is universal. It has been for centuries, and the demand for Gold will remain, or even increase, for generations to come.
“The fact that the vast majority of all Gold produced has been melted down for its pure content makes a nugget like this one even more impressive.
“Nuggets like this are far more rare than diamonds.
“Australian gold is known for its high purity. It’s an amazing and large museum quality specimen, that’s no secret.
“Anyone can see how big and beautiful it is. It’s undamaged and has been expertly cleaned but has had nothing else done to it.
“I was approached by a consignor with a small very nice collection in the catalogue told me he had one superlative piece, then of course when I saw it I was enamoured”
There are over 220 items featuring in the Science Signature Auction at Heritage, which concludes on August 18 in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Featuring exceptionally rare gemstones, minerals, meteorites and more – the collective sale could stretch into the millions of dollars.
Lots also up for sale include a Megalodon Shark Tooth with minimal cracking that carries an estimate of $7,000 (£5.5k).
A set of five Tourmaline crystals from Paprok, in the Kamdesh District of Afghanistan, which boast varying vivid colours and could sell for $50,000 (£39k).
Azurite and Tarnowitzite from Tsumeb, Namibia and a 7.44-carat Sapphire from Myanmar, individually could fetch up to $30,000 (£23k).
A second gold nugget from Victoria, Australia, could fetch $30,000 (£23k) is described as having a ‘layered effect’ duality of tone.
Craig said: “We have had bigger catalogues but wanted a smaller one with nicer offerings with good coverage of everything.
“It has highly collective minerals, great fossils, meteorites and more in this natural history category.
“We really work hard to hand-select everything and want to present things with wonderful accurate photographs and do a good job.
“This sale in August will have something for everybody, but we are very excited about the ‘Lightning Bolt.’”
For more information or to register a bid visit: www.ha.com