The largest surviving gold nugget found it the western hemisphere is a breathtaking nugget named The Boot of Cortez. It is an amazing piece of gold, weighing in at a massive 389.4 troy ounces!
The discovery of the Boot of Cortez is an amazing story, because it was found quite recently, in 1989. We have all heard of big nuggets that were found during the early mining days, but a discovery of this magnitude in fairly recent history is simply amazing. The story goes that a local prospector from Senora, Mexico, which is approximately 70 miles south of the Arizona border, went to a radio shack and purchased an inexpensive metal detector. Remember than in the late 80ís metal detector technology was quite simple compared to newer model detectors made today. Nevertheless, the prospector swung his new detector for days, recovering little more than nails, a few bullets, and other assorted junk. Then one morning he got a large signal from his detector, and to his surprise he unearthed this amazing gold nugget.
His discovery was the Boot of Cortez, the largest gold nugget still in existence from the western hemisphere. It trumps the second largest existing gold nugget from the western hemisphere, which was found in Alaska, by nearly 100 ounce! Its name is very appropriate, as it has a distinct resemblance to the boot of a Spanish conquistador. Many experts consider the Boot of Cortez to be finest gold nugget in existence today due to its unique shape and beautiful high purity gold.
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This gold nugget has been on display on several occasions, including at the Tucson Mineral Show and the American Museum of Natural History. Thousands of gold and mineral enthusiasts have had the pleasure of viewing this wonderful piece since its discovery over 2 decades ago. In January 2008, the Boot of Cortez was sold at auction for $1,553,500.