The elemental beauty of gold has inspired mankind for centuries. Over time, this gleaming yellow metal has been used for purposes both practical - with applications ranging from hard currency to stunning jewelry - and fantastic: gold has been credited with causing levitation and curing bubonic plague.
Now, one of the most famous gold nuggets ever found is making a stop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The newly discovered Ausrox Gold Nugget, a true rock star in the gem and mineral world, will make its debut on January 27, inside the Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault permanent exhibition.
Tipping the scales at 748 troy ounces or 62.33 troy pounds (1 troy pound equals 12 ounces), the Ausrox Nugget is one of the world's largest. Incredibly, this treasure was discovered by three miners using a hand-held metal detector.
The Ausrox Nugget was discovered in the Eastern Goldfields of Australia in April 2010. While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make it worth many times this amount in the collector market.
"This enormous nugget was found by three prospectors working with a metal detector. Not a corporate mining operation with tons of equipment - three guys, out in the wilderness," said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "Far beyond its value in gold bullion, and its rarity as a natural gold nugget, this is a piece that inspires both awe and a measure of gold fever in everyone who sees it - it makes you want to grab a metal detector and start looking for a treasure of your own - and you never know what you might find."
After the Ausrox Nugget's debut inHouston, it will go on display inDallasandMunichas part of its world tour.
The Ausrox Golden Nugget will be on exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for a limited time only. Admission to see the Ausrox Nugget is included in general admission. For tickets, or more information, visit www.hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science-one of the nation's most heavily attended museums-is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, including the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory, and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Houston Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.