Prospectors Find Gold In Chaffee County

Nugget Worth More Than Its Weight In Gold

Colorado’s modern-day gold rush has more to do with the annual turning of the aspens and the ensuing pilgrimage to the Rocky Mountains than any nostalgic feelings of Colorado’s rich mining history.

Remnants of that almost forgotten time can still be found, but most reminders of Colorado’s once thriving mining industry are weathering away in the harsh mountain environment.

Don’t let the seemingly barren land fool you, however. There is gold in "them thar hills!"

Two substantial gold nuggets were recently unearthed in Chaffee County by modern-day prospectors, who own and operate the Gold Basin Mine.

"It looked like bubblegum! I thought we just captured someone’s Juicy Fruit gum, but then I picked it up and I knew it’s not bubblegum," said Dick Weeks, the miner who found the gold nugget.

Before succumbing to gold fever and heading for the hills, getting an expert opinion seemed warranted, and Paul Morgan offered his insight. Morgan is the curator of geology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

After viewing video of the gold nuggets, Morgan was convinced.

"It looks like gold, and they said it’s very heavy, which is characteristic of gold. From what I can see, it looks like they found gold," Morgan said.

The larger of the two nuggets weighs about 44 grams, which is about an ounce and a half of gold. Based solely on its weight, the nugget is worth about $1,000.

In the marketplace, however, the nugget is more valuable to collectors because it is a solid gold nugget, making it worth three to four times more valuable.

In other words, the nugget is worth more than its weight in gold--literally.

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