SEVEN gold nuggets found near Bendigo will go under the hammer this weekend in what organisers are billing as a unique chance to own a piece of Australian history.
The collection of free-form nuggets were found by a prospector over a period of two decades, Gibson's Auctions CEO Jennifer Gibson said.
"He said to me that he used a metal detector and went panning as well," she said.
"This guy was very excited to find them when he did, but is using them to raise a bit of cash now ... He has kept the best of them for his collection."
While gold nuggets do pop up at auction houses "from time to time" it is rare for seven to appear at once, Ms Gibson said.
All are valued between $440 and $750, depending on their size. The heaviest weighs9.9 grams.
"They are not huge (in size) but when you handle a piece of pure gold, it's such a weighty thing in your hand - even the smaller nuggets," she said.
"If you wanted a piece of Australia's history you could do no better than a gold nugget."
Gold is still found by prospectors around Bendigo after 170 years of mining activity.
A family from the area recently found a 567 gram nugget thought to be worth more than $35,000.
They discovered it during a Mother's Day walk, the father said.
"I actually walked right past it but my daughter pretty much kicked it as she was walking. She then goes - dad, is this gold? I said, I think it might be," the man, who asked not to be named, said.
Read more: Bendigo family finds $35,000 gold nugget
Sunday's auction will include other items from Australia's past, including art and early colonial furniture.
"They are getting rarer and harder to find these days. These are early (furniture) pieces from Hobart and Sydney," Ms Gibson said.
"One of the pieces is as early as 1820.
"It's a very nice niche-sale, if you like."
Story continues below auction booklet
Ms Gibson said there was always something interesting to find at auctions.
"I have to say, in my 25 years in the business I have never had an auction where I've thought 'oh, ho hum, how boring'," she said.
"There is always something interesting and quirky. No day is the same and you never see the same thing twice."
"The Australian Collection" of 255 items will be auctioned from 2pm this Sunday at level 1, 885-889 High Street, Armadale
People will be able to bid in person or online.
"We can assist them in any way they would like to bid," Ms Gibson said.
The nuggets are expected to come up towards the end of the auction, between 3.30pm and 4pm. They can be viewed on Saturday and Sunday.
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