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Fake Claim: Huge California Gold Nugget Turns Out to Actually Be From Australia


Fools gold... well, sort of...

NEVADA CITY, Calif. (AP/The Blaze) — A 6.2-pound hunk of gold was auctioned for nearly half a million dollars in March after a man claimed to have found it on his Sierra Nevada property, but it turns out it was actually dug up decades earlier in Australia.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Australian prospector Murray Cox compared pictures of the "Washington Nugget" that sold for $460,000 in March with "The Orange Roughie" he unearthed near Melbourne in 1987. They were an exact match.

Last year, a man named Jim Sanders claimed to have unearthed the chunk on his property.

The men who auctioned the nugget for Sanders said they investigated after Cox came forward and agreed it was from Australia.

The reason the origin of the gold was such a big deal, is because it was believed to be the largest California nugget left in existence. Still, despite misleading buyers as to the origin of the nugget, parties involved say they are not interested in pursuing fraud charges against Sanders.

While dealers' confidentiality agreements prohibit disclosing how the gold came into Sander's position in the first place, the nugget did eventually re-sell at auction at a lower price.

Even still, with a gold rate of over $1,500 per ounce, the nugget was still worth it's weight in gold.

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