Large Arizona Gold Nugget –

2nd Largest Nugget Ever Found in AZ

This impressive gold nugget that was discovered in a placer mine in the Huachuca mountains of Arizona.  The nugget appears in its original form, just as it did when it was pulled out of the ground.


The Huachuca Mountains are part of the Sierra Vista Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest in Cochise County in southeastern Arizona, approximately 70 miles south-southeast of Tucson and southwest of the city of Sierra Vista. Wikipedia.

Large Arizona Gold Nugget

The Huachuca Mountains, christened from the Apache language meaning “thunder mountain” several miles north of the Mexico border, experienced a mining surge shortly after the establishment of Fort Huachuca in 1877.

The Huachuca Mountains are the third highest of the Sky Island mountain ranges in southeastern Arizona and they rise almost 4,500 feet above the desert floor. The mountain range is oriented in a northwestern direction giving it more north-facing slopes and perhaps a somewhat cooler climate than some of the other Sky Island mountain ranges with similar elevation. The highest elevations support mixed conifer forests on north-facing slopes and pine forests on south-facing slopes. Lower elevations have extensive oak and oak-pine woodlands. Management of this mountain range is divided mostly between the U.S Forest Service and Department of Defense (Fort Huachuca). Fort Huachuca occupies roughly the northeastern quarter of the range; the Forest Service manages the northwestern quarter and southern half. A small part of the southern end of the range is managed by the National Park Service as Coronado National Memorial.

Development of gold placers on the east flank of the Huachuca Mountains occurred after the 1911 discovery of a gold nugget weighing 22 ounces, probably originating from auriferous quartz veins found in the granite beds upstream. Miners flocked to the area recovering an average of $4 of gold per day. Another large nugget, weighing over 8 ounces, was discovered from the Old Timer placer in Ash Canyon.

A study conducted in 1992 by the U.S. Bureau of Mines noted a lack of economically profitable mineralized deposits in the Huachuca Mountains, with the exception of a marginally economic resource of gold-bearing silica flux.


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