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“CANAÔ NUGGET

The portentous “Canaã” nugget originating from Serra Pelada, in Pará state. Its dimensions of 29.5 x 42.5 centimeters, gross weight of 60,820 grams and net weight of 52,332 grams make this specimen from the collection of the Museu de Valores do Banco Central, in Brasília, the largest gold nugget ever found in Brazil and the largest in the world currently on display. It was discovered on September 13, 1983, in Garimpo da Malvina, Serra Pelada, by garimpeiro Júlio de Deus Filho from Pará, forming part of a larger stone, weighing approximately 150 kilograms, which broke into fragments while being removed. Acquired at the actual claim by Caixa Econômica Federal, for the account of the Central Bank and with funds from the National Treasury, it was incorporated to the country’s official reserves. Nuggets of this size are usually constituted by irregular masses, containing impurities such as palladium, a noble and equally valuable metal. It is important to notice  that diverse quantities of palladium, silver, platinum, copper, iron, zinc and other elements can alter the characteristic and most well-known golden yellow color of the metal. The Museu de Valores do Banco Central has 64 gold nuggets of historical value in its collection. According to the museum’s site: “An attempt was made to pay tribute to the thousands of Brazilians that took part in the contemporary saga of the claim, in the decade of 1980, turning over the earth in Serra Pelada, Cumaru and Maracaçumé, besides many other locations. These garimpeiros found the three largest gold nuggets in the world, which are still preserved in their natural state.” Photograph taken by Marcelo Lerner.