Grading Natural Gold Nuggets
Natural gold nuggets come in six different grades. We have described the six grades below, from lowest grade to highest grade.
Melt Grade Gold Nuggets:
The lowest grade. So ugly and filled with host rock and mineralization that you just have to say “Off to the smelter for you!” Typically priced at some percentage below spot gold price. Prices are closely tied to current spot gold prices. We do not sell this low grade of gold nugget.
Common Grade Gold Nuggets:
Has some easily noticable host rock and/or mineralization. Generally not real ugly, , maybe only a little ugly, but also nothing special. Usually priced close to spot gold price, up to 10% above spot gold price. Prices are closely tied to current spot gold prices. We do not sell this low grade of gold nugget. If it has considerable attractive white or rose colored quartz then it could be classed as a "Gold in Quartz Specimen", which is a category of it's own.
Collectible Grade Gold Nuggets:
Has a little bit of attractive host rock or mineralization, but looks real nice, and has mostly nice clean gold showing. An overall pretty nice looking gold nugget. Typically priced at about 50 % to 80% over spot gold price, the variation affected by how beautiful, or how rare, or how large, or how unique the nugget is. Prices are loosely tied to spot gold prices and collectible grade nuggets hold their value much better than common grade nuggets in periods of declining gold prices, while still participating in rising gold prices.
Jewelry/Investment Grade Gold Nuggets:
The highest grade of natural gold nugget. No significant host rock or mineralization. Very high purity, clean and shiny gold nuggets with a consistent gorgeous overall appearance, and with a super nice surface texture and color. For true jewelry/investment grade natural gold nuggets, prices will usually start at 100% over spot gold price, and they can go significantly higher than that, based on the beauty, rarity, and size of the nugget.
Since hand selected jewelry/investment grade gold nuggets are the rarest and the hardest to find for sale, prices are very loosely tied to current spot gold prices, and this highest quality of natural gold nugget can be expected to be the best way for gold investors to be protected against periods of falling gold prices, while participating in rising gold prices, and experiencing dramatic price rises when there is strong public demand in the gold market.
Historically, prices for jewelry/investment grade nuggets have gone as high as 300% to 400% over spot gold prices during periods of very strong public demand. The last period of very strong public demand for gold was in 1979/1980. It almost repeated in 2011, but was cut off by the market manipulators before the gold price could rally over $2000 per oz. Many people are expecting the public to enter the gold market in a big way before this current bull market (2016) in gold is over. Should that happen, with the current low availability of jewelry/investment grade gold nuggets, and less of these highest grade nuggets coming on the market for various reasons, (one reason being that most of the easier accessed nuggets have already been found by gold prospectors), premiums should skyrocket as they did in the 1979/1980 gold bull market.
Premium Jewelry Grade Gold Nuggets:
Premium Jewelry Grade Gold Nuggets have all the qualities of a jewelry/investment grade gold nugget, but in addition, the shape of a premium jewelry grade nugget lends itself to adding a gold bail and a gold chain and making it into a pendant or necklace, or it is thin and flat and suitable for inlaying onto various jewelry pieces. The price of premium jewelry grade gold nuggets is approximately 10% above the price of jewelry/investment grade nuggets.
Museum Grade Gold Nuggets:
Museum Grade natural gold nuggets are gold nuggets that are so large or so rare that they are really priceless, and their highest and best use would be displayed prominently in a museum for many people to enjoy or displayed in a private long term collection. Museum grade gold nuggets will generally fall into either the jewelry/investment grade or the collectible grade. Prices for museum grade gold nuggets generally start at 100% over spot gold prices and go up from there based on several factors such as size, rarity, and beauty.