Click on the video above to view the unveiling of the Icebox Nugget.
The largest undisputed gold nugget found in the Black Hills in the past century was revealed to the public yesterday at Rapid City’s Journey Museum. It was discovered on July 6, 2010 by local prospectors Charlie “Digger Chuck” Ward and Byron Janis who call themselves the “Icebox Mining Company.”
Dubbed “The Icebox Nugget” after the duo that found it, the monster nugget weighs in at more than five troy ounces with almost four troy ounces of that being pure gold! Ward and Janis sold their find for an undisclosed amount to local gold buyer, Chris Johnson, owner of the Clock Shop in downtown Rapid City . The nugget will remain on public display at the Journey Museum until mid-October.
Fast Facts about the Icebox Gold Nugget
- Discovered July 6, 2010 by Charlie Ward and Byron Janis in the Black Hills. Found somewhere “within a 20-mile radius of Rapid City.”
- Total weight of nugget: 5.27 troy ounces (163.915 grams).
- Net weight of pure gold: 3.96 troy ounces (123.1694 grams).
- Dimensions: 57mm x 35.5mm x 26mm.
- Gold Value as of September, 13, 2010: $4,930
- Intrinsic value as a historic specimen: Priceless. Current owner, Chris Johnson said that based on inquiries that he has already received, if the nugget was to be made available in the appropriate venue, it could easily fetch a value of six figures.
- In 1929, Potato Creek Johnny became famous for finding a gold nugget that weighed in at 7 3/4 troy ounces, but its authenticity has been widely disputed. There are claims that the Potato Creek Johnny nugget was a mass of gold that had been man-made by melting several smaller nuggets together.
- Records show that gold nuggets of similar and larger sizes were found during the late 1800’s Black Hills gold rush, but did not remain in one piece.