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Any discussion of big nuggets, would have to include the story of Terry Bone  (T-Bone), a gold nugget hunter from Arizona, and his famous nugget as shown in the attached photographs. Several forum members are familiar with the story, and a few folks, mostly distinguished nugget finders in their own right, knew Terry and hunted gold with him in Arizona, and also hunted in the same general area of the Eugene Mts. in Nevada where Terry made this spectacular find. 
I wanted to tell the story the way I heard it not long after it was found, from someone who claimed to have been present when Terry dug it up. The story and  photographs of Terry's huge nugget should serve to inform and inspire the latest generation of nugget hunters in the same spirit that prevailed during this earlier exciting time when so much gold was discovered by metal detecting, mostly at shallow depths by the technology of the day; to include the venerable Whites Goldmaster series and the Fisher Gold bug series. 
T-Bone's Big Nugget:
"A group of several gold hunters, including Terry Bone, were metal detecting in the vicinity of Blue Mt., about 14 miles West of Winnemucca, NV. After detecting the down slope area of a mine, and not finding any gold, it had started to rain, and the group began to head back to their truck, parked a few hundred yards away. T-Bone, was jogging along swinging a large coil, when he got a loud "booming" signal, and thought it was likely a coke can or something similar. The nugget was only a few inches deep, weighed 27 1/2 ozs, and was heavily encrusted with quartz." The photographs show the nugget after it was cleaned.  In the mid to late 1990's, thanks partially to the publicity of Terry's nugget, ( by Jim Straight, Arizona Al and others), and by word of mouth describing the size and amounts of nuggets being found at and near the "Rye Patch" Majuba Placers, certain areas in the Lovelock and Winnemucca, NV vicinity became fairly inundated with enthusiastic coil swingers. Additional large individual, and "Patch" type gold finds in Pershing and Humboldt Counties in NV, contributed to an influx of gold seekers which still continues to this day. The PI technology changed the game considerably after the capabilities of Minelab detectors became well known, and each new phase of advanced technology resulted in a steady continuation of gold finds in the area.

(More to follow)

Special thanks and appreciation to Unc Ron for his contribution of T-Bone's nugget photograph (held by fellow prospector Ross Hefner with nugget in his right hand), which Unc posted July 11, 2011 on this forum.




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R.I.P. Terry


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I never met Terry although I knew his long time prospecting friends, Jim and Mark very well.

So sad to see how he got screwed over with the 27.5 oz nugget. That was a lifetime find.

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