by Debra Wilson
The identity of this gold nugget has been lost to time. This is a plaster cast of a gold nugget which is housed in the Mineral Section of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It is believed to be one of six casts of famous gold nuggets acquired by the museum from Ward’s Natural Science Establishment in 1897. This specimen (CM33100) measures 12.8 x 3.9 x 2.9 cm (Photos by Deb Wilson).
identification for this nugget is the number “1328” affixed to the back of the
specimen. Ward’s was known for producing
and selling plaster casts of famous gold nuggets; they even exhibited a number
of them at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
The original documentation
from the acquisition of the six gold nugget models cannot be found in the
museum’s archives, except for a reference on page 56 of the Annual Report of the Carnegie Museum for the
Year Ending March 31, 1899, which states “Casts of six gold nuggets and of
12 meteorites purchased October 20, 1897, from Wards Natural Science
Establishment. Accession 419, 1-18.”
What is known about the
other five gilded plaster casts is:
· “Ural” or “Great Triangle”
nugget. Found at Taschku-Targunk, Ural Mountains, Russia, in 1842. Weight of
original 100 lbs. Wards #1214, CM16711.
· “Welcome” nugget. Found at
Bakery Hill, Victoria, Australia on June 11, 1858. Weight of original 2,166
ounces. Wards #1471, CM16710.
· “Oregon Canyon” nugget,
Found near El Dorado City, California, USA, prior to 1866, Weight of original
unknown. Wards #1473, CM33103.
· “Spondulix” nugget. Found at Eureka Gulch, Victoria, Australia in
November, 1872; Weight of original 155 oz.
Wards #1458, CM33101.
· “Homebush” nugget. Found at Homebush, Victoria Australia on March
24, 1880. Weight of original 80 oz., Wards #1467, CM33102.
If you have any information
that may help identify which “famous” gold nugget this is a replica of, contact
Debra Wilson, Section of Minerals, email@example.com .
(Initial research done by museum volunteer David
Debra Wilson is collections assistant in the Section of Minerals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Museum employees are encouraged to blog about their unique experiences of working at the museum.