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The Karratha Queen – a 145kg silver nugget – and the King Henry, a 93kg gold specimen, on display at The Perth Mint's new public exhibition.
The Karratha Queen – a 145kg silver nugget – and the King Henry, a 93kg gold specimen, on display at The Perth Mint's new public exhibition.

Rare gold and silver nuggets go on display in Perth

The Perth Mint has unveiled two rare large gold and silver nuggets – which have been named the King Henry and the Karratha Queen – as part of its new Australian precious metals public exhibition.

Discovered in 2018, the King Henry weighs 93kg – of which approximately half is gold – and is valued at $3 million.

Richard Hayes, The Perth Mint
Richard Hayes, The Perth Mint
"The opportunity to display King Henry and The Karratha Queen at The Perth Mint allows us to share these unique and world-class examples of Western Australia’s gold and silver heritage with the broader public"
Richard Hayes, The Perth Mint

It is technically classified as a gold specimen – a gold-encrusted rock recovered from an underground lode or gold-bearing quartz vein – rather than a nugget.

Unearthed by Henry Dole at the Beta Hunt mine near Kambalda in Western Australia’s Goldfields, the King Henry is thought to be among the largest specimens of its type in the world, as well as one of only a handful that are on public display.

Of the 10 largest gold nuggets on record, six were found in Australia, largely in Victoria. The largest extant Australian nugget – the Hand of Faith, unearthed in 1980 – weighs 27.2kg and is displayed at the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The Perth Mint – which provides refining services to the mining industry as well as producing its own range of jewellery and commemorative pieces – acquired the King Henry in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Karratha Queen silver nugget, which weighs 145kg, was found in 2000 at the Elizabeth Hill mine in the Pilbara region, near the town of Karratha.

It contains 3,520 ounces of silver, valued at $136,000, and is on long-term loan to The Perth Mint from the Shemesian family.

Richard Hayes, CEO The Perth Mint, said, “The opportunity to display King Henry and The Karratha Queen at The Perth Mint allows us to share these unique and world-class examples of Western Australia’s gold and silver heritage with the broader public and celebrate an industry that, since The Perth Mint opened its doors in 1899 following the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie gold rushes, has captivated all parts of our society.”

He added, “The Perth Mint’s mission is to promote Australian gold to the world, a role we proudly carry out as trusted refiners of the vast majority of newly mined gold ore across Australia. King Henry, in particular, now allows us to showcase Australian gold’s finest to the rest of the world.”

The two form part of a new display opened to coincide with The Perth Mint’s refurbishment of its foyer and retail space, which also includes a dedicated pink diamond showroom.

 

More reading:
New limited-edition Argyle pink diamond coin unveiled
Liquid gold opportunity: refining stock during COVID-19
Unique, ‘coveted’ diamond coin unveiled
Surprise giant Aussie gold and pearl discoveries











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