Check out this “Alaska’s Golden Skull” pendant. When we got this gold nugget in, it made us think of a golden skull from the first time we saw it. when we are lucky enough to find an interesting shape like this, we like to design something very special. We made this pendant using 18k yellow and white gold with .70 carats of ruby eyes. The weight of the raw nugget itself is 7.2 dwt!! The “Alaska’s Golden Skull” pendant is about 1″ tall.
On any given day, local gold miners will come into our shop throughout the year with the gold nuggets they mined that season. We look through their stash and choose the very best nuggets to make into pendants. These are natural pieces of “placer gold” which means they are mined from the rivers and streams around Alaska. Otherwise known as the “Klondike”. Finding gold nuggets in their natural state is very rare. In fact, gold nuggets make up only 2% of all gold that is found. These nuggets themselves will vary in purity from about 75% to 95% pure gold, or 18k-22k. Due to the fact that these pieces are completely natural, other minerals can sometimes be mixed in such as silver and platinum.
Most of the gold mined in the world is from “hard rock mining” where rock is crushed using big machines and small particles of gold are separated out. This is the most cost-efficient way to extract gold. The problem with this process is that it destroys these beautiful pieces of art. This means if stores like ours stop buying this type of gold, this art will eventually be forgotten.