Gold Leaf Specimen
On December 26, 1992, owners of the Sonora Mining Corporation mine near Jamestown, CA, Tuolumne County, received an unexpected Christmas present. Excavations in the company’s Crystalline mine uncovered a “pocket” of crystalline leaf gold.
Approximately 1,568 ounces of specimen gold were found. The largest piece, the Kautz specimen, weighs in at 44 pounds of gold. This is the largest specimen of crystalline gold in the world. The specimen consists of many layers of leaf gold separated by rock consisting mostly of clay, quartz, mariposite, decomposed shale and pyrite.
Between 1849 and 1880 several large masses of gold were found in California. The Kautz gold specimen is the largest single piece of gold mined in North America since the 1880’s (Source – California State Mining & Mineral Museum).
Just before World War II, several miners in the Mother Lode encountered large pockets of gold weighing several thousand ounces, but none as single masses or crystallized. The Kautz specimen is unique in that it is not only the largest mass of gold specimen found in California since the turn of the century, but it is also the largest specimen of crystallized gold in existence today. Of equal importance, it is gold in the rarest form – crystallized. It is priceless in value.