CBC – Gold nuggets, long associated with the Klondike, become even rarer. Fewer of the larger gold nuggets available while demand from collectors continues

Gold nuggets, almost synonymous with the Yukon, are becoming more rare in a territory where a gold panner is on the licence plates. Tara Christie, who grew up on various placer mining creeks in the Klondike region, said it has always been the case that some creeks had nuggets while others had hardly any.

But she said the valley bottoms where nuggets are more likely to be found have been mined out or placer miners are now re-working those old claims collecting fine gold missed during the original go-over. They’re also working new ground on higher up tributaries where there won’t be many nuggets to be found. Uta Reilly, who has owned and operated Klondike Nugget and Ivory Shop in Dawson City for the past 30 years, said she sees fewer of the larger nuggets for sale.

“I know I have a couple from the Atlin (B.C.) area in the store right now, but again that particular miner had mined for a while and then finally put some bigger ones out for purchasing,” she said. Reilly said it’s in part because the larger placer operations have set their screens to only separate fine gold out of the earth. Any nuggets would pass through the sluicing process without being noticed.

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