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Alaska's Largest Gold Nuggets

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This page has photos of some of the largest gold nuggets ever found in Alaska. Many larger nuggets found in the early days were simply melted down, and so no photos exist of them. The number indicates the rough ranking of the nugget of those known to have been found in Alaska. To the best of our knowledge the Top 20 is the most accurate list of large nuggets found in Alaska. However, it is likely that we have missed some historical nuggets. If you know of any changes or additions that should be made to this page please notify the webmaster@akmining.com.

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Alaska's Largest Gold Nuggets - The Top 20
Click on images for larger pictures

The Alaska Centennial Nugget 294.1 Ounces #1 The Alaska Centennial Nugget - 294.10 Troy Ounces
The largest gold nugget ever found in Alaska. It was found near Ruby, Alaska in 1998 by a miner as he operated his bulldozer. The nugget rolled off the pile of dirt ahead of the bulldozer blade. This nugget was sold and the current location is unknown.
Photo Copyright 2001 by Marshall Ronne, Jr.
The Anvil Nugget 182 Ounces #2 The Anvil Nugget - 182 Troy Ounces
This nugget was found on Anvil Creek near Nome, Alaska in 1903 by the Pioneer Mining Company. For almost 100 years it stood as the largest nugget found in Alaska, until the nugget above was found in 1998. The status of this nugget is unknown.
Colorized from original b&w photo by Dobbs
Photo not yet
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#3 Gold Nugget - 146 Troy Ounces
Found on the Hammond River near Wiseman, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
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#4 Gold Nugget - 137 Troy Ounces
Found on the Hammond River near Wiseman, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
The Ganes Nugget 122 Ounces #5 The Ganes Nugget - 122 Troy Ounces
Found on Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 1985 by Warren Magnuson's son Lloyd Magnuson while commercial mining. This nugget is now owned by the Wiltz family.
Photo not yet
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#6 Gold Nugget - 107 Troy Ounces
Found on Anvil Creek near Nome, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
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#7 Gold Nugget - 97 Troy Ounces
Found on Anvil Creek near Nome, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
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#8 Gold Nugget - 95 Troy Ounces
Found on Anvil Creek near Nome, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
The Heart of Gold #9 The Heart of Gold - 92 Troy Ounces
Found on Glacier Creek near Kantishna, Alaska in August 1984 by Mic Martinek. This nugget is still owned by Mr. Martinek and resides in a bank vault.
Photo not yet
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#10 Gold Nugget - 84 Troy Ounces
Found on Anvil Creek near Nome, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
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#11 Gold Nugget - 81 Troy Ounces
Found on Fairbanks Creek near Tolovana, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
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#12 Gold Nugget - 73 Troy Ounces
Found on Dome Creek near Tolovana, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
62.5 Ounce Gold Nugget #13 Prospector's Dream - 62.5 Troy Ounces
According to Dollie Magnuson Nelson, daughter of Warren Magnuson, this nugget was found on Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 1985 by Warren Magnuson and his son Ben. The nugget was found while mining on a bench deposit. It's name is "Prospectors Dream" and that season, the nugget and 1 troy ounce of gold was all that was found. Dollie believes the Smithsonian owns it now. It was found in the same area as - #5 The Ganes Nugget.
Photo not yet
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#14 Gold Nugget - 61 Troy Ounces
Found on the Hammond River near Wiseman, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
#15 The Jack Wade Nugget - 56.75 Troy Ounces
Found on Wade Creek near Chicken, Alaska in August 1983 by the Jack Wade Gold Company. This nugget is still owned by the Jack Wade Gold Company.
Photo not yet
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#16 Gold Nugget - 56 Troy Ounces
Found on Dome Creek near Tolovana, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
Photo not yet
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#17 Gold Nugget - 55 Troy Ounces
Found on the Hammond River near Wiseman, Alaska. The status of this nugget is unknown.
#18 Gold Nugget - 51 Troy Ounces
Found by Dan S. Kane on Lucky Gulch, a tributary to Valdez Creek, Aug. 15, 1907. Photo by P.S. Hunt courtesy of Alaska State Library Historical Collections, ASL-P192-32.
46 Ounce Gold Nugget #19 Gold Nugget - 46 Troy Ounces
Found on Long Creek near Ruby, Alaska. This nearly solid gold nugget is currently on display in the Wells Fargo Bank at Helena, Montana.
#20 The Silverado Nugget - 42 Troy Ounces
Found on Mary's Bench (Nolan Creek) near Wiseman, Alaska in 1994 by Silverado Gold Mines Ltd. This nugget was sold to a collector in 2000 for $50,000.00, according to Garry Anselmo, head of Silverado Gold Mines Ltd. The nugget is now in Spain.
To see what kind of place produces large nuggets in Alaska see the Ganes Creek Gold page.
Large Nuggets Found in Alaska by Non-Commercial Operators
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This is a list of nuggets found in Alaska by people not engaged in commercial gold mining. If you have found or know of a nugget over 1 ounce found by an individual in Alaska not engaged in commercial mining, please let us know at webmaster@akmining.com. We'd like to add them to our list.

Charlie's Nugget - 35 Ounces
Found by Charlie ? on Bear Creek near Hope, Alaska in the 1980's with a 4" suction dredge. The nugget was sold and the current location is unknown. This may be the largest gold nugget ever found in Alaska by a non-commercial operator. If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know.


33.85 Ounces
Found June 16, 2004 at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska by Steve Burris of Idaho with a Fisher Gold Bug 2. The nugget was found in an area where many others had detected, but all the previous detectorists had missed the nugget.
32.2 Ounces
Found June 17, 2009 at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska by Ken Pitcher of Alaska with a Minelab GPX-4500 metal detector. The nugget was found in a tailing pile next to camp being flattened out over time for metal detecting. The nugget was a bare whisper and was found at a measured depth of 25 inches.
23.65 Ounces
Found in 2010 at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska by Earl Negus of Alaska with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector.
"The NAC Nugget" Found by Dave Rankin

20.1 Ounces
"The NAC Nugget" Found by Dave Rankin at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 with a White's MXT metal detector. The nugget was found at the end of the runway immediately after some bulldozer work was done to lengthen the runway. This work was demanded by Northern Air Cargo (NAC) to accommodate a landing by one of their cargo planes, so Dave credits them with being a reason the nugget was found.
8 Ounces
Dave's nugget had a fresh break on one end. A few weeks after Dave found the nugget, Gary Cox located the other piece weighing just over 8 ounces. The nugget was unfortunately broken when the bulldozer ran over it. The total weight before it was broken was over 28 ounces.
8 Ounce Nugget found by Gale Herbertson 8 Ounces
Found by Gale Herbertson at Paradise Valley in 2000 with a Minelab Explorer XS metal detector.
7.65 Ounce Nugget 7.65 Ounces
Found on Granite Creek near McGrath with a metal detector. This nugget is currently owned by Scott Long of Omaha, Nebraska.
5.81 Ounce Nugget Found By Bob Estey 5.81 Ounces
"The Goldfinger Nugget" Found by Bob Estey at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a White's V/SAT metal detector. Bob found this nugget the same day he found the 5.62 ounce "Heartthrob" nugget below!
5.62 Ounce Nugget Found by Dave Rankin 5.63 Ounces
Found by Dave Rankin at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. Dave went days without finding any gold, and then located this nugget.
5.6 Ounce Nugget found by Bert Rattner 5.6 Ounces
Found by Bert Rattner of New York at Paradise Valley in the 1991. Bert saw the nugget resting on a rock in the water, the verified it was gold with his Fisher 1266-X.
Photo by Jack Satkoski
5.5 Ounce nugget found by Gordie Landberg 5.5 Ounces
Found by Gordie Landberg of Spokane Valley, WA at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in June 2003 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector at a depth of 15 inches.
5.5 Ounce Nugget found by Otis Rood 5.5 Ounces
Found by Otis Rood of Minnesota at Paradise Valley in the 1985 with a Garrett A.D.S. metal detector.
5.25 Ounce Nugget found by Bill Dunlevy 5.25 Ounces
Found by Bill Dunlevy in a stream on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska in the 1995 with a 5" suction dredge.
3.75 Ounces
Found by George White at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 with a Minelab GP 3000 metal detector. This nugget was found in a small berm of material pushed up by a bulldozer.
3.25 Ounce Nugget Found by Steve Houston at Ganes Creek 3.25 Ounces
Found by Steve Houston at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a White's Goldmaster GMT metal detector. This nugget was found in material excavated to create a drainage ditch.
2.99 Ounce Nugget Found by Tim Haller 2.99 Ounces
Found by Tim Haller at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Minelab SD2100 metal detector. Tim found this beauty just a couple hours before his week-long trip to Ganes Creek ended.
2.21 Ounce Nugget Found by John Pulling at Ganes Creek 2.21 Ounces
Found by John Pulling at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. This nugget was found in old bucketline cobble rows. John searched near a pile of old cans others had passed by not wanting to dig junk and came up with this nugget.
Found by Dennis Lundine 2.14 Ounces
Found by Dennis Lundine at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 with a White's MXT metal detector with stock 950 coil.
1.89 Ounce Nugget Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek 1.89 Ounces
Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a White's Goldmaster GMT metal detector. This nugget was found right in the main camp at Ganes Creek in material excavated while digging a ditch.
1.5 Ounce Gold Nugget found by Ed Hill 1.5 Ounces
Found by Ed Hill at Paradise Valley in 1999 with a Garrett Gold Stinger metal detector.
1.48 Ounce Nugget Found by Fred Brust at Ganes Creek 1.48 Ounces
Found by Fred Brust at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Strike metal detector.
1.3 Ounce Nugget found by George White 1.3 Ounces
Found by George White in the Innoko Mining District with a Minelab XT17000 metal detector.
1.2 Ounce Nugget found by George White 1.2 Ounces
Found by George White in the Fortymile Mining District in 2001 with a Minelab XT17000 metal detector.
1.11 Ounces
"The Bulldog Nugget" Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. Steve has three English Bulldogs, and this nugget reminded him of them.
1 Ounce Nugget found by Steve Herschbach 1.0 Ounce
Found by Steve Herschbach at Crow Creek in 1998 with a Keene 6" gold dredge.

 
Large Gold/Quartz Specimens Found in Alaska
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Gold most commonly comes from quartz veins. Quartz is a very common, glass-like mineral, and gold is often deposited as chunks and specks enclosed within the quartz. As the quartz is crushed or decomposed by erosion processes, the gold is released to become the nuggets and flakes of gold found by miners. Sometimes large pieces of these quartz veins are found with gold still enclosed... a future nugget waiting to be released! These are not gold nuggets but are usually referred to as gold/quartz specimens. There is no official definition but our unofficial definition is that the item in question has to look like it is mostly gold by a pretty good margin. At least 75% of the exposed surface should be gold, not rock. In other words, is it a rock with gold in it, or gold with rock in it?

These specimens are prized by collectors as they illustrate so well an answer to that commonly asked question "where does gold come from"? If you have found or know of a gold/quartz specimen over 1 ounce found in Alaska, please let us know at webmaster@akmining.com. We'd like to add it to our list.

The Howard Specimen - 87.95 Ounces
Found on Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 by Terry Howard with a metal detector.
The Wiltz Specimen - 55 Ounces
Found on Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 1996 by Dan Wiltz with a metal detector in the mining pit prior to processing. This specimen is essentially a cross-section of an extremely rich gold vein, and assayed over 1600 ounces per ton. This specimen is still owned by Clark-Wiltz Mining.
Mark's Specimen - 51.6 Ounces
Found on Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2003 by Mark Tisler with a metal detector.
31 Ounce Gold Nugget Found By Patricia Cochran Cochran Specimen - 31 Ounces
Found by Patricia Cochran near Livengood, Alaska in a road shoulder constructed from old dredge tailings with a metal detector. The gold content is estimated at 13.9 troy ounces. The status of this specimen is unknown. Photo by P. D. Rao
The Keturi Nugget - 24.79 Ounces
Found at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2005 by Jesse Cervin with a Garrett Infinium metal detector.
Dewy's Specimen - 23.5 Ounces
Found at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 by Duane (Dewy) Schmit with a metal detector.
7.5 Ounces
Found by Tom Kunkler at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2003 with a Tesoro Lobo Super Traq metal detector. Tom found the specimen on his first day at Ganes Creek.
7.2 Ounces
Found by Dave Rankin at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2003 with a White's MXT metal detector.
6.85 Ounces
Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a White's MXT metal detector. The nugget was found in the old dredge cobble piles. It has a solid gold core surrounded by an unusual lustrous dark quartz. The quartz is intergrown with dendritic (leaf) gold. The nugget contains approximately 3.7 ounces of gold.
6.54 Ounces
Found by Dean Griswold at Moore Creek near McGrath. Found in June 2004 with a Minelab detector at the base of a tailing pile.
6.06 Ounces
Found by Gordie Landberg of Spokane Valley, Wash. at Ganes Creek near McGrath. Found in June 2004 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 detector at a depth of about 10 inches.
5.62 Ounce Nugget Found By Bob Estey 5.62 Ounces
"The Heartthrob Nugget" Found by Bob Estey at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a White's V/SAT metal detector.
Found by Bob Herschbach at Moore Creek 5.13 Ounces
Found by Bob Herschbach at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 with a Minelab GP 3000 metal detector. The nugget is a section of a very rich gold vein with heavy gold layers in the middle. It contains approximately 2.19 ounces of gold.
4.95 Ounce Nugget Found by Steve Herschbach 4.95 Ounces
"The Potato Nugget" Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2001 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. His first thought on digging it out of the dark soil was that it looked like a potato.
3.52 Ounces
Found by Bud Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2001 with a Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ metal detector. This nugget was found in the airstrip surface. The airstrip is made of old mine tailings.
Found by Steve Herschbach at Moore Creek 3.5 Ounces
Found by Steve Herschbach at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2003 with a Minelab GP 3000 metal detector. The nugget is a section of a very rich gold vein with a thick gold sandwiched in the middle.
3.22 Ounce Gold Nugget 3.22 Ounces
"The Cobble Nugget" Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. It was found in the old bucketline dredge cobble piles.
"The Meteorite Nugget" Found by Steve Herschbach 3.15 Ounces
"The Meteorite Nugget" Found by Steve Herschbach at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2003 with a Minelab GP 3000 metal detector. The dark pitted surface reminded Steve of meteorites he has seen.
3.01 Ounce Nugget Found by Harold from Florida at Ganes Creek 3.01 Ounces
Found by Harold from Florida at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Minelab XT18000 metal detector.
2.45 Ounce Nugget Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek 2.45 Ounces
Found by Steve Herschbach at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. This specimen was found in very thick brush at the base of a tailing pile. It features many large slugs of gold scattered evenly though the quartz. Currently owned by Clark-Wiltz Mining.
2.15 Ounce Nugget Found by Jim Newby 2.15 Ounces
Found by Jim Newby at Ganes Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2002 with a Fisher Gold Bug 2 metal detector. This nugget was found right in the cobble piles near the old bucketline dredge. It was the very first item Jim found with his detector at Ganes Creek!
Found by Tom Herschbach at Moore Creek 1.64 Ounces and 1.21 Ounces
Found by Tom Herschbach at Moore Creek near McGrath, Alaska in 2004 with a Minelab GP 3000 metal detector. These nuggets are fresh out of the ground and have just been washed off. The red staining is from the rich red soil they have been buried in.

Alaska Gold Nuggets for Sale - Gold nuggets and gold specimens from Alaska.


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