Giant gold nugget to be sold in San Francisco

'Butte Nugget' gold piece found this summer in Northern California expected to carry $350,000 price tag

A massive gold nugget found this summer in Northern California is expected to carry a $350,000 minimum price tag when it is sold Thursday at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show.

Known as the “Butte Nugget” for where it was found in the mountains of Butte County, the 6.07-pound gold piece is being sold by Don Kagin on behalf of the anonymous owner who found it in July on public land.

Kagin is president of Kagin’s Inc., a numismatic firm that specializes in U.S. gold coins. He said he has taken special precautions to verify the authenticity of the nugget to prevent getting duped as he did in 2011, when he sold another piece thought to be the largest nugget found in California in modern times. That 8.2-pound hunk turned out to have come from Australia.

“This one’s for real,” Kagin told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Obviously we don’t want to get hoodwinked again, so we have checked pretty thoroughly into it.”

Kagin’s senior numismatist, David McCarthy, was assigned the task of authenticating the Butte Nugget. After being blindfolded and driven to the “rugged” location where the nugget was unearthed and comparing photos with the hole he was shown, McCarthy said he’s “convinced this man found what he said he found.”

Kagin is also the seller of the $10-million in gold coins found last year by a Saddle Ridge couple and their dog.

For more breaking news follow @TrevellAnderson. He can be contacted at trevell.anderson@latimes.com.

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