trudyintexas

Looking for information on the Mojave Nugget

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Hello All!

I am trying to find information on a nugget that was found in the Mojave using a metal detector. I found the "Mojave Nugget" which is in a museum and contained very little information.

My husband's uncle was the man who found this nugget. He spent much of his life in the desert searching for gold. He has since passed away and I would like to know more about what happened to this nugget after he sold it.

I would appreciate any information.

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Was your Husband's Uncle named Terry?

I think this is the nugget you are referring to. It weighs 156 ounces and currently resides in the Geology part of the Museum of Natural History, in Los Angels, CA, Across from the USC Campus. It was found near the town of Randsburg, in the Mojave desert off Highway 395.

In spite of what the tag says, it is not California's largest nugget (the largest nugget ever found in CA weighed 648 ounces). It is not even the largest still in existance, as a 201 ounce California nugget sits in a museum in Mariposa, CA. It is however, the largest true nugget I know of found with a metal detector in California.

Chris

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Hello All!

I am trying to find information on a nugget that was found in the Mojave using a metal detector. I found the "Mojave Nugget" which is in a museum and contained very little information.

My husband's uncle was the man who found this nugget.  He spent much of his life in the desert searching for gold. He has since passed away and I would like to know more about what happened to this nugget after he sold it.

I would appreciate any information.

If I recall correctly, there was a bit on television about the finding of this nugget. It was part of a show called "The Hunt for Amazing Treasures". They did a series of short stories detailing and re-creating the search and recovery of all sorts of different treasures across the US. I think the guy who found this one had several different detectors strapped to his jeep, with the loops out in front and the sides. Then he would just drive slowly through the desert and listen for a response. A Google search might turn up something more.

Digger Bob

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If I recall correctly, there was a bit on television about the finding of this nugget.  It was part of a show called "The Hunt for Amazing Treasures".  They did a series of short stories detailing and re-creating the search and recovery of all sorts of different treasures across the US.  I think the guy who found this one had several different detectors strapped to his jeep, with the loops out in front and the sides.  Then he would just drive slowly through the desert and listen for a response.  A Google search might turn up something more.

Digger Bob

I just remembered that the producer of the series wrote a book about some of the treasures shown and the story of the Mohave nugget is in there. The book is called, "The Hunt for Amazing Treasures" by Sondra Farrell. Jimmy Sierra carries it and most Whites dealers can get it for you.

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trudyintexas... so Ty Paulson was you uncle? Is Tys daughter still around? Does your uncle remember George Pratt?

I well remember when the nugget was found. There is a generic article on this in Popular Mining. "Silhouettes in the distance" or something like that. No secrets were given away.

PM magazine was published by Nancy Glenn. For more information, the PM article was written sometime in the 1990's by Mr. Straight who was active in the area where Mr. Paulson found the nugget. As I remember off hand it was found back in the Fall of 1977. Mrs. Glenn is alive and well; Action Mining Services, INC.; now in Sandy Oregon. If anyone would like a copy of the PM magazine article try contacting cutomerservice@actionmining.com. Ask for Nancy or June... PM magazine issues are scarce and the back issue may be not be available. The "silhouette" article was one of about 35 written in PM magazine by Mr. Straight.

The nugget was not found with the detector strapped to a jeep. Roy Roush is well known. A WW-2 marine veteran on Guadalcanal... then a jet-fighter pilot after WW-2. Mr. Roush is in the Southern California area... A world class treasure hunter and author of many books and articles. Mr. Roush knew Mr. Paulson and he is mentioned, "quoted", in the article.

As far as I know, Wayne Leicht bought the nugget... and it is on display as mentioned by Reno Chris. Also, as far as I know, Mr. Leicht may still be around. He is a well-known expert in identifying nuggets as to their location...

Where it was found is an open secret... But is on a Club claim... the area has been well beeped over the past 30-years.

Both Digger Bob and Reno Chris have great memories. I cannot remember what I had for lunch...

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Dutch John It's amazing what we can remember as we get older but not our own names. As far as not remembering what we had for lunch----at least then we don't have to worry about having leftovers for dinner. Pondmn

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perhaps Jim Straight could also shed some light, as the area around Randsburg was one of his favorites too. It's an odd place as far as the layout goes. Some decent deep mines, but the placer gold seems to have it own areas not related to any lode mines, and what would pass for just open desert, sometimes miles away from town and the real picked over areas, gave up some of the best gold nuggets.

I think the gold belt extends sort of east/west, starting over at Williams Well/Lane Mtn(coolgardie), then across the desert to Randsburg and the Yellow Aster, then farther West up into the El Paso Mtns NW of Mojave, and generally North of Tehachapi, and sort of ends near Caliente on the south, with another trend of the same formation up towards Lake Isabella.

The other odd thing was the association of high grade tungsten ore that created its own boom during WW1. Anybody, kids or older, could pick up float and take it to the nearest post office, and sell it on the spot for cash. 20-pound sacks would bring a kid about $1.80, in 1916 dollars.

The Yellow Aster mine was a really rich lode mine, and others had high grade ore, though not as rich.

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whats4supper... you are most knowlegeable. Some early USGS geologists have studied and written excellent papers on the broad area... It is extensive and has three major economic metals. Tungsten, silver, and gold.

Regarding the "sihouette article." It was later found that Jim was playing tag with George Pratt, one of Tys friends. George knew Jim was "glassing" him... and although older than Jim, he cunningly slipped away. Dick Ayers, George's nephew later mentioned that the area was where Ty found the nugget.

Jim's interest in the sihouette was the form (very hazy due to heat waves) was using a long handled detector... The handle very long and telescopes. In level ground it could be held out a vehicle door. The detector that found the nugget may have been a 'Nam surplus anti-personnal mine detector. Vintage 1974. Surplus...

Willie Merrell (Those Elusive Gold Nuggets) was also on the trail. For those that have Willies booklet, a brief paragraph (4th one down on page v). Willie was also

using a surplus military-type ground balancing detector.

After Ty passed away, George Pratt kept coming back to spend days in his camper. Then Jim met Woody Woodworth in the area on three different occasions.

Both Grorge and Woody drove several hundered miles to get there. All of this activity was on a ridge within a n-s trend.

It is guessed that the detector used... but not verified... to find the nugget was an

"AN/PRS-7" MFtured by FORDEE Inc. The searchcoil is square, each side measures

9.5 inches. Powered by a 9-volt battery-source.

If anyone has information on this detector... please post.

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Trudyintexas: If Wayne Leicht has information on the nugget he can be reached through his store at: KRISTALLE, 875 North Pacific Coast Hiway, Laguna Beach, Ca 92651-1415--Phone # (949) 494-7695 Fax # (949) 494-0402. They also have a website WWW. Kristalle. com--e-mail leicht@kristalle.com--bunch of GREAT GUYS here with a lot of information--good luck

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B) Hammer... the light slowly comes on.... Were you involved in the Testing

in So Nevada back in the 1950's? I wasn't. I was then stationed at Ft. Leonard

Wood. However, you may remember 1/lt James Skinner who was in the trenches

during some of the earlier testing.

At this time I thought Jim was lucky to be stationed so close to his home (Reno)

and I in Missouri... as I was then married with a small son.

Anyone reading this post... excuse me... but it seems to be finished and I wanted

to give hammer a shout... it seems our paths have crossed over the past 50 years.

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Guest sandtrap
B) Hammer... the light slowly comes on.... Were you involved in the Testing

in So Nevada back in the 1950's? I wasn't. I was then stationed at Ft. Leonard

Wood. However, you may remember 1/lt James Skinner who was in the trenches

during some of the earlier testing.

At this time I thought Jim was lucky to be stationed so close to his home (Reno)

and I in Missouri... as I was then married with a small son.

Anyone reading this post... excuse me... but it seems to be finished and I wanted

to give hammer a shout... it seems our paths have crossed over the past 50 years.

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I thought I might add a little intriguing info to this post I've obtained. My name is James and I'm a Gold miner. I've been a member of a few clubs and mined several claims in southern California. I am almost 100% sure I've found the claim the Mojave nugget came from and have found several baby Mojave nuggets myself. I sell my nuggets on eBay and with some analysis I'm sure someone could prove it but my best quarter ounce plus nuggets look very similar to the Mojave nugget in color, texture, and even the impurity spots. I can say that in the streak I've been mining over the last 10 years that there is plenty of virgin " bedrock" to search for brother and sisters as the gold is packed in hard layers of quartz and red clay that is stuck to alot of the gold I mine. I think what ty found was a nugget that was sitting on bedrock basicly covered by a little dirt. The area in question was cleaned down to bedrock and a pit in the ground used to exist behind it there is a road that splits two claims and that road crosses this streak of chunky nuggets. The old timer prospectors obviously to me missed this nugget and the streak I'm currently actively mining that is erosion from when the gold vein still existed intact, probably in the 1800's and most likely mined by Mr. White and his Sidney mining group who produced amazing quantities of gold from the area and I hope to soon find my own Mojave nugget soon or maybe it's daddy. 

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Hey Flak,

   Good memories here, as the thread started back in 2006, 14 years ago.  Jim Straight was a wealth of information as you can see in this thread of posts.  

I promised I would do my best to keep Jim's books alive and printed.  I reprinted both "Advanced Detecting & Prospecting for Hardrock Gold" and "3 Hours to Gold," which talks about this general area where the huge Mohave nugget was found.  

Both books can be found on my online store and this is probably the last printing I will have done (limited amount before the books will not be able to be found again).  

https://www.robsdetectors.com/advanced-prospecting-detecting-book/ - Advanced Prospecting & Detecting for Hardrock Gold

https://www.robsdetectors.com/three-hours-to-gold-book/  - 3 Hours to Gold 

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