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Click to enlargeHow to Buy Gold Nuggets

How to buy gold nuggets without getting ripped off!

If you are new to buying natural gold nuggets or have felt burned from past sellers we hope the following tips on how to safely buy gold nuggets will assist you in the future. You can rest assured that any gold nuggets represented on GoldFeverProspecting.com will be totally natural, never mandmade fakes and all weights and sizes will be disclosed.

1st gold nugget buying tip: Know your gold screen and mesh sizes - Click Gold Mesh Pictures above to Enlarge images.

Nugget sizing info: We are often asked how many pieces per gram or ounce. It is very hard to predict how many pieces there are per gram or ounce as the # of nuggets by weight varies quite a bit per batch. But in general you can expect around 1-2 pieces of gold for 4 mesh, 2-4 pieces of 6 mesh per gram, 7-12 pieces of 8 mesh per gram and around 15-20 per gram for 10 mesh. You can expect many more pieces for smaller 12 (around 20-25), 14-16 (around 30-50 or more) pieces and hundreds for fine gold. These are estimates only. Every batch is very different and each piece of gold is natural and of course therefore unique. Some may be flat and light or rounded and very dense (heavy). If you need any help with sizing just email us - we are always happy to help.

Buy Natural Gold Nuggets from a Trusted Source

Beware of unscrupulous online gold sellers (especially those who sell only on auction sites like eBay) who enlarge images but fail to show the gold on a standard ruler scale. For gold shown on a ruler be sure to note whether it is on a metric ruler or a standard inch ruler. Yes some sellers will still try to pull that old centimeters vs inches trick!

Also beware of sellers who fail to list the weight in grams of their gold. Gold weights should be listed in grams or grains or troy ounces. Be sure you know the difference between grams and grains! Some unscrupulous sellers will intentionally mislead the public by listing weights with incorrect abbreviations ("g" is for grams and "gr" is for grains).

Next, be aware that modern digital cameras and scanners are capable of magnifying even the smallest pieces of gold several times and software programs like Photoshop can alter color hues to distort the true color or purity of the gold. Use common sense when viewing gold nuggets online. If in doubt ask questions! You will find that the shady sellers will often ignore your requests for more information. Always look for a money back guarantee as well. Gold Fever Prospecting offers one and so should all other sellers.

Browse curent stock of Gold-Nuggets for sale

Gold nuggets are valued differently than raw gold and gold in coin form. When evaluating natural gold consider several factors. Gold may be valued on: weight, rarity, physical dimensions, shine, brightness or lustre, purity, origin, and whether the nugget is considered collector or specimen grade.

DETERMINING FAIR VALUE: Gold Weight and Color: for an average quality nugget weight and color are your best bets for determining value. Look for bright and shiny gold - if dark it may contain a high amount of copper or other less minerals and metals. Pure gold looks just as you would expect.

Compare the weight in grams or ounces of the nugget to the current spot price of gold. (There are 31.1 grams per troy oz). Nuggets do fetch more than raw melted gold due to its rarity in nugget form. But avoid paying too high of a premium over spot for average placer nuggets. At the time of this writing (September of 2011, melted down raw gold (spot price) is bouncing around from $1830 to $1900 per ounce. This would make a melted down single gram of raw gold worth about $58-$61 per gram. Quality natural nuggets of good size, purity and color will sell easily for about 10-30% over spot (currently $6 to $15 dollars per gram over spot price). Try to negotiate to buy on the low end of this range if you will be buying in large quantity or will be trying to re-sell your goldnuggets. After a quick search online you will find some gold dealers charging up to $80-100 dollars per gram ($3000+ per ounce!) for below average quality placer gold. Worse, this gold is in many cases no larger than flake or flour gold dust and really should have been melted down in the first place. Avoid these sellers like the plague!

Gold Spot Price (1 year chart) courtesy of Kitco.com

Will gold make new highs again? Many are claiming we will see $2500 per ounce in the future because of market and political uncertainty coupled with increased demand - but we'd settle for $2000. :-) Don't forget to look at the longer term 5 year chart below too. We can barely remember the days when gold was at and below $270 an ounce.

Nugget buying tips continued:

Look for better than average quality nuggets in reasonable sizes, weights and at fair prices. We have it so it is out there!

Gold Weight:

Remember, gold weight is most often listed in troy and metric values. The weight of gold can be measured in troy ounces, grams, or in penny weight. See chart below.

Key weights to keep in mind:

1 oz. (troy) = 31.10 g (31.1 grams)
1 oz. (troy) = 20 dwt (20 penny weight)
1.55 grams = 1 dwt (1 penny weight)
1.0 grams = 15.43 gr (15.43 grains)

Be sure you know the difference between a gram and a grain! Some unscrupulous sellers will intentionally mislead you by listing weights incorrectly with common abbreviations ("g" is for grams and "gr" is for grains). If you see a 10gr nugget selling for $370 on eBay watch out - it should be more like $23.00! 10 GRAINS is equal to just 0.479 GRAMS. Remember it takes 15.43 grains (gr) to make just one gram (g) of gold. And there are 31.1 grams to one troy ounce.

5 year price chart of raw melted gold (spot price) Nuggets always sell for a premium over this price.

Chart notes. Gold seems to have solid support in the 1200 range. Many gold investors look for buying opportunities as gold bounces off of tested support levels.

Weight Conversion Tables

Troy Measurement

1 Troy pound 5760 Grains
1 Troy Pound 12 Troy Ounces
1 Troy Ounce 480 Grains
1 Troy Ounce  20 Pennyweights
1 Pennyweight 24 Grains

Metric Conversion

1 Troy Ounce 31.103 Grams
1 Pennyweight 1.555 Grams
15.432 Grains 1 Gram
1 Grain .0648 Grams


Rarity of gold: often a function of size but sometimes formation as well. Placer nuggets are the most common - gold with special formation such as crystalline structures are far more rare and hence valued higher.

Nuggets in general are quite rare.
-- Gold is one of the world's most precious metals.
-- All of the gold in the world could be compressed into an 18-yard cube, which is about 1/10 the mass of the Washington Monument.
-- It is recorded that only 88,000 tons of gold have been taken from the earth since recorded history, leaving far more yet to be discovered.
-- A one-ounce gold nugget is more rare to find than a five-carat diamond.

Physical Dimensions: fairly obvious - the larger the nugget the more it is worth. Beware of viewing nuggets online. Look for pictures of nuggets on rulers.

Shine or Brightness of gold: a brightly shining gold nugget with nice yellow coloring is generally more pure than a dark or dim nugget. Nuggets are never 100% pure - gold in its rare form will always have some level of impurities and may be mixed with lesser valued metal such as silver or copper. See purity below.

Purity of gold: The purity of gold is EXPRESSED by its fineness (parts per 1,000) or by the karat (or carat in European) scale. Try to buy natural nuggets in the 20-22 karat range when possible.

Fine gold = Karat

1,000 = 24
916 = 22 (standard for most gold coins)
750 = 18 (high quality jewelry)
583.3 = 14 (average quality jewelry)
417.7 = 10
375 = 9
333.3 = 8 (minimum acceptable purity)

Origin of Gold: origin can apply to the region where the gold was found or it can apply in more general terms to the type of gold itself. In the most general terms there are two main types of gold: placer (river washed) gold or lode (hard rock) gold. Gold from certain geographic locations can also be prized by the collector. Some people favor gold from Australia over gold found in the US. Some prefer gold found in Alaska over that found in Georgia. This is simply a matter of personal preference - though there are some basic differences in gold nuggets found in different regions. Alaskan gold will have a different color than gold found in Australia. Australian gold is among the purest of gold. Alaska gold can sometime shave high impurities such as copper in it but it depends on the region. The same can be said for gold found in Georgia compared to gold found in California. Let your personal taste and preference be your guide here.

Collector or specimen grade gold nuggets: This is the rarest form of gold. These gold pieces may have unusual and rare characteristics such as quartz or host rock material inclusions, unusual crystalline gold formations or structures. You can expect true specimen grade gold to fetch several times more than the current raw gold spot price and more than simple smooth river washed placer nuggets. 2-3 times the going rate for nuggets is not uncommon for quality collector pieces.

How to Buy Gold Nuggets Conclusion: for an average quality gold nugget, weight, shape, and color are your best bets for determining value. Compare the weight of the nugget to the current spot price of gold. Nuggets do fetch more than raw melted gold due to its rarity in nugget form. But avoid paying too high of a premium over spot for average nuggets. Do your homework and seek out reputable sellers. Do allow a bit of profit for the seller and realize that there are often several middlemen involved in natural gold nugget sales. The gold prospector who found the nugget may not be the fellow actually selling you the nugget.

If buying gold panning material you can expect to pay a bit more than you would for natural gold alone. In these cases you are paying for the experience of finding your own gold more than the gold value. You should also be aware that a lot of work may have gone into preparing and packing these concentrates. And of course there is always the chance of finding a very large nugget. Value here should be judged on factors including whether the seller lists the minimum amount of gold to be recovered and whether there is a chance of finding extra gold. Other things to consider include how much raw material you get for your money, the type and origin of material, and whether the seller will make custom alterations to serve your needs. Avoid paying a premium for fancy packaging and hype alone. Many unscrupulous dealers will sell you a pocket full of stories with little or no chance of finding much gold. Look for guaranteed minimum gold recovery rates quoted in advance.

For best gold nugget pricing try to buy in quantity whenever possible. Other than insurance cost it can cost the same to mail one gram of gold as it does to mail a full ounce. And last, don't be afraid to haggle! Some gold-sellers prefer to make a quick nickel rather than a slow dime.

Gold coins and gold bullion
We are often asked about buying gold coins and other bullion products such as bars. We do not deal in bullion - only natural raw gold. For those that are interested here is a bit of basic info that may be of help: Coins purchased strictly for their gold value, not their collectible numismatic value, are known as bullion coins. Many countries mint them -- South Africa (Krugerrand), Canada (Maple Leaf), China (Panda), Austria (Philharmonic) and Australia (Kangaroo), among others. The U.S. Mint makes Buffalos and American Eagles. For investment purposes, you usually want the one-ounce size. Visit a site like kitco.com to learn more. For U.S. investors, American Eagles are the bullion coin of choice. You can put them into individual retirement accounts as long as they remain in their original U.S. Mint capsules. (It's not clear that Buffalos are allowed.) A cheaper way of buying gold is through an exchange traded fund. The most widely traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, costs 0.4 percent a year in fees, plus your brokerage commission. You don't own the gold directly. A trust holds large gold bars (warehoused principally in London) and sells shares against them, which are traded on the open market. You can't redeem in gold itself. It costs even less to buy bullion in a pool account, such as the ones offered by Kitco. Like an ETF, a pool account sells shares in a large bar of warehoused gold. You pay just a hair over the spot gold price, and sell it back to Kitco.com for just a hair under. There are no annual expenses. For a fee, you can redeem in gold itself. As with ETFs, you depend on the pool's trustee to support its guarantee.

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