JAMESTOWN, Tuolumne County (CBS) — There’s gold in ‘dem der hills!
A prospector in the Sierra found a gold nugget the size of a T-bone steak.READ MORE: North Highland Family's Home Hit By Thieves After 4 Die In Wrong-Way Crash In Sierra
Now local businesses in the town of Jamestown, about 60 east of Stockton, are banking on a modern gold rush for the Labor Day weekend.
It was Tuesday afternoon when the owner of the Jamestown Hotel got word his friend had struck gold. He was expecting to see a nugget, but he was amazed at what he saw.
“Oh my God,” said Charlie Morgan when he first saw how big it was. “I thought that’s a lucky guy!”
The lucky friend was Oscar Espinoza of Modesto. Espinoza told Gold Prospecting Adventures he’d been searching in nearby Woodscreek. But he didn’t say where exactly.READ MORE: Coyote Likely Behind ‘Suspicious’ Animal Deaths In Citrus Heights, Police Say
The nugget weighs about 18 ounces. Morgan believes he could get $70,000 for it.
Owner Bryant Shock called it a rare find that he says will spark collectors’ interest, and that could drive up the price up four or five times higher.
“It’s more valuable this way because it’s a piece of history and his meltdown is just another piece of gold,” says Shock.
Espinoza is keeping a low profile but has asked Morgan to keep it in a safe until he finds a buyer.MORE NEWS: Family Remembers Woman Killed In Collision Involving Sacramento Metro Fire Ambulance
“He felt more secure with it being put away,” said Morgan. “The safe isn’t actually here, so nobody knows where it is.”