The Carson Nugget in Carson City has officially sold what has been labeled the "world's rarest gold collection." The collection, which went up for sale several months ago, was largely compiled in the 1930s, and set up in the Carson City casino in the '50s. Its owner, Richard Graves, who also owned the Nugget, had moved the collection from its Sonora, California home after opening the casino. He later sold the collection and the casino to brothers Howard and Hop Adams in 1957, who enlarged the collection considerably during their ownership.
There are 170 specimens of gold, in both nugget and crystalline form. Altogether, the weight is more than 300 ounces. One of the most notable pieces is a crystalline specimen in the shape of a rose with multiple petals, fashioned out of natural leaf gold.
The minimum bid was set at $1.1 million, and over 50 bidders got in on the action. There were dealers, institutions, and both private and public collectors involved, but in the end no one knows for certain who won the bid. This is because of a confidentiality agreement between the seller and buyer. Despite a less-than-impressive interest, initial speculation was that the collection sold for more than $5 million.
As the Gold And Silver blog points out, these kinds of specimens are no longer minted, and the opportunity to own such a collection truly is rare. Despite its rarity, however, casino representatives says that the collection was no longer drawing much attention, most probably because current visitors aren't very interested in a 'static' display.
According to sources handling the sale, its proceeds will go to the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, which was created for the benefit of the local community and its charities, as well as to the Mae B. Adams Trust, which owns the Nugget.