This huge gold nugget is a massive chunk of natural gold that weighs in at a whopping 156 troy ounces. It is known as the “Mojave Nugget” because it was found in the Mojave desert in Kern County, near Randsburg, California in the Stringer Mining District.
Ty Paulsen found this spectacular nugget using a metal detector in 1977. The nugget was purchased by Margie and Robert E. Petersen, who later donated it to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. (The complete collection contains 132 gold nuggets and specimens with a combined weight of 1660 troy ounces!)
You will often hear it repeated that this is the largest nugget ever found in California, however there were several much larger gold nuggets discovered in California, including the
currently on display at the California Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, California. The largest nugget ever found in California weighed 648 troy ounces, which is over four times larger than the Mojave Nugget.Take a look at our new eBook about Gold Prospecting in Southern California!