SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bidder has paid $460,000 for a roughly 8-pound gold nugget found in Northern California’s Gold Rush country.

Spectrum Numismatics came away with the nugget on Wednesday after a feverish two minutes of bidding at the Golden West Auction in Sacramento. The company was bidding on behalf of an anonymous buyer.

What may be the biggest California gold nugget in existence was found in the unincorporated town of Washington in Nevada County last March with a metal detector.

At current gold prices, the nugget would have fetched less than $138,000. But auctioneers say its connection to the 19th century Gold Rush helped boost its value.

Auctioneer Don Kagin says the person who found the nugget also plans to auction the 180 acres where it was discovered.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  1. me says:

    Now, the land by the stream might bring in some cash. Wish I could afford some of that…

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