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A real rock star: 62-pound gold nugget discovered by metal detectors gets its Houston moment

News_Houston Museum of Natural Science_Ausrox Gold Nugget
The Ausrox Gold Nugget Courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

In April 2010, three unsuspecting prospectors were metal detecting in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia when their hand-held machine went nuts.

Was it gold ore? Was it an old aluminum can?

Neither: It was the Ausrox Gold Nugget. A monster nugget. One of the largest ever discovered, in fact, weighing in at 62.33 troy pounds.

" This was formed by nature, a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa or Starry Night," Temple says.  

"That's equivalent to about 51 sack-of-potato pounds," David Temple, the Houston Museum of Natural Science's associate curator of paleontology, tells CultureMap.

With gold priced at more than $1700 per ounce, this monster nugget could translate to some big bucks — and Temple explained that the specimen is exponentially more valuable in its raw form. 

The Ausrox Gold Nugget boasts an irregular shape and a surface that alternates between smooth, crystalline and square. And it's old.  

"This was formed by nature, a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa or Starry Night," Temple says.

The "rock star" golden nugget will be on display in the HMNS Cullen Hall of Gem and Minerals for the next nine months, before it makes stops in Dallas and Munich. 

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