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100-oz. gold nugget unveiled in Long Beach

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A rare find is on display in Long Beach, and it has some people dreaming of California's gold rush.

Someone discovered a large nugget of gold that could fetch up to hundreds of thousands of dollars at an auction next month.

It's bright and shiny. A nine pound nugget of gold found right here in California.

"It was heavy," said Long Beach resident Shirley Frazier. "Very heavy."

"It's pretty awesome," said Jim Frazier. "You'd like to own it."

"It's recently discovered too," said Jim from San Diego. "So there is still hope for those gold panners out there."

The gold was found last year in the northern part of the state, in the same area that prompted the California gold rush. And these pieces of rock embedded in the nugget are proof of that.

"A property owner, a regular guy, had dreams like everybody else," said collector Fred Holabird. "Of taking a metal detector out to his property, and essentially you got a large signal. It's the largest California gold nugget from the central motherland region that still exists."

Back in the old gold mining days, this gold nugget would have been melted down into gold coins. Presently it is actually more valuable in its raw form.

"A couple hundred thousand up to $400,000," said Holabird. "We don't know. It's up to the buyer."

Fred will soon find out exactly how much the gold will be worth at an auction in March. With gold trading at over $1,300 an ounce, the nugget alone is worth a small fortune.

"I wouldn't mind tripping over that," joked San Diego resident Jim.

It is the find of a lifetime that will undoubtedly inspire others to keep hunting for their own lucky strike.