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17-Pound Gold Nugget Discovered by Chinese Herdsman

Last week the unthinkable happened. A Chinese herdsman traveling through western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region discovered a 17-pound (7.85-kilogram) ...

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|Feb 9|magazine4 min read

Last week the unthinkable happened. A Chinese herdsman traveling through western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region discovered a 17-pound (7.85-kilogram) gold nugget.

The Kazak herdsmen, Berek Sawut, told Chinese news agency Xinhua that he found the massive nugget “practically lying on bare ground” last Friday at around 5:00pm. The gold nugget, which according to sources is shaped like China, is roughly 23 centimeters long, 18 centimeters on its widest side and eight centimeters at its thickest. 

Based on latest gold prices, the estimated price for the unforeseen discovery is $255,133 ($1.6 million yuan). According to local expert, Zhu Xinfeng, the price of natural gold, considering its uniqueness, is often several times higher than that of standard gold.

Traditionally called “dog head gold” or “horseshoe gold,” the nuggets are not pure, typically composed of gold ore, quartz, and traces of other minerals.

Xinjiang is known for having an array of natural resources from coal and natural gas to oil. The region is home to an estimated 600 working gold mines and more than 200 tons of gold reserves.

According to International Business Times, Sawut is worried the state might take the gold nugget from him because the residents are made to understand that all the ore from the mines belong to the state. However, no government official has come to claim the gold piece yet.

In 2010, a 1.84-kilogram nugget was discovered in the same region.