Gold is valuable. Gold nuggets are even more valuable because most gold is not mined in nugget form. Because of its scarcity, collectors will pay much more for gold in nugget form. Buying and selling gold nuggets can be both an interesting hobby and a sound investment strategy. So have some fun because there’s gold in them thar hills!
Understand quality. Gold nuggets that are considered collector or specimen grade have a distinct brightness and lustre that you would expect from gold. Unlike refined gold, nuggets can never be pure; they will always have some impurities. Good nuggets have a bright yellow colour and contain fewer impurities. Lower quality nuggets that are dark or dim usually have more impurities like copper or silver. They are less valuable to collectors.
Understand its origin. Where in the world did it come from? Different collectors favour nuggets from different parts of the world. Some prefer Alaska, some Australia, some California and some prefer Georgia nuggets. There is no perfect location. Collectors are subject to trends and the laws of supply and demand, so the “hot” nugget source can change often.
Understand weights and measurements. Look carefully at the ruler next to the nugget. Are those inches or centimetres? Pay attention to the weight. Grams are not the same as grains, even though their abbreviations are similar ("g" equals grams and "gr" equals grains). See the table below for common nugget weight conversions: 1-oz (troy) = 31.10g (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)
Buyer beware. There are numerous sources available online to purchase gold nuggets. Make sure you read all the fine print and always request a certificate of authenticity. Remember that digital images are easily altered and the picture of the nugget might not look like the actual nugget itself. Research the source thoroughly. Use a protected form of payment so you can get your money back if the nugget arrives not as advertised.
Seller beware. Never sell anything on credit unless you are prepared to not get paid. If you’re selling a large amount of nuggets and the buyer wants to appraise the gold before giving you the money, at least put the money in escrow.
When selling, market your nuggets professionally with good images, descriptions, and quality marketing copy. Presentation is everything. Flea markets and swap meets can be a good source of gold nuggets. Contact your local university or college to get more detailed information about identifying quality gold nuggets.
Never melt down your nuggets! This will decrease their value.