Cast aside by a sifting machine at the Ugakhan mine in Siberia, an enormous 14.7-pound gold nugget in the shape of a creepy pointy ear almost ended up in a refuse pile. Fortunately, the eagle-eyed worker responsible for leveling the pile was able to rescue the golden treasure and dubbed it the “Devil’s Ear.”
In addition to it sinister look, the massive nugget was found under a full moon on Friday the 13th and its weight in kilograms was 6.66 — widely recognized as the devil’s number.
If you’re wondering if the eight-inch specimen, with a precious-metal value of $306,700, is the largest ever found, the answer is an emphatic “no.” In fact, the “Devil’s Ear” is barely one-tenth the size of the “Welcome Stranger,” a 158.78 pound nugget found only one inch under the ground by Aussie prospectors in Victoria in 1869.
At 24 inches wide, the nugget was so large and so heavy that the gold scales available at the time couldn’t handle it. The miners decided to smash it into three pieces so the weight could be taken. Eventually, the world-record specimen was melted down into ingots and shipped to England.
Ugakhan mine officials told The Daily Mail that the sifting machinery, which is calibrated to identify gold, assumed the giant nugget was a valueless rock and kicked it out.
A spokesman for the Novy Ugakhan mining company also noted that the workers will be checking the “dropouts,” or debris, more carefully. “We will have to see what else the clever equipment threw away,” he said.
Superstitious miners believe that such rare finds rarely come singly. They expect the “Devil’s Ear” may have a “brother” within a short time, according to an official statement.
Sergey Kozlov, director of Ukhagan, told the Siberian Times, “For us it is a pleasant surprise. The deposit is new [with] a small gold content, and we did not have hope for such a big discovery.”
Photo of “Devil’s Ear” by Ugakhan Company.