Gold Nugget

Gold In New Zealand – History and Current News

Solid Gold Bullion

Solid Gold Bullion

Where is it found?

Gold is found as very small flecks in the quartz veins of hard rocks. Machines crush the rock, and a cyanide wash helped to separate out the gold.

Alluvial gold comes from the rocks worn down to sand and gravel over many thousands of years by rivers or glaciers. The gold lies in the gravel of river beds and can be sifted by hand using a pan, sluiced, dredged, or dug up with machines.

First discoveries

The first recorded discovery of gold in New Zealand was a small amount at Driving Creek near Coromandel in 1852. Some years later there were more discoveries around Golden Bay, Marlborough, Otago and on the West Coast.


Otago’s first gold rush was in 1861. Thousands of diggers went there to make their fortune.

West Coast

There were gold rushes on the West Coast from 1865. Miners cut through bush to reach the goldfields. Towns named Quartzopolis, Goldsborough and Crushingtown were quickly built to house the miners, and disappeared when they moved on.

Coromandel Peninsula

The first big find was near Thames in 1867. The gold was in hard rocks and expensive to mine, so companies rather than individuals took over. There were several very rich mines in this area, especially the Martha mine at Waihi.

Mining today

Gold helped make New Zealand’s economy successful because it attracted workers, investors and shipping. Because the price of gold was fixed, gold mining declined in the mid-20th century, but it was revived in the 1980s when the price was allowed to float.

Today, gold still earns NZ millions of dollars each year as modern machinery makes it possible to dig in places that were once impossible to mine. Large mines are in operation at Waihi and in Otago. Since ancient times, gold rings have symbolised engagement or marriage, status or been used as a seal for personal or business use.

But sometimes, a gold ring is not something you want to keep.

EzyCash Gold Buyers, Auckland’s favourite gold and diamond jewellery and luxury watch buyers, give instant cash for your unwanted gold and gold jewellery.

If you have inherited or been given gold, you can easily get it instantly valued by EzyCash Gold Buyers.

Broken gold is also valuable.  EzyCash Gold Buyers buy your broken and dated gold rings and gold jewellery for cash, giving you the best price, in cash, instantly.

Auckland’s EzyCash Gold Buyers are knowledgeable high-end vintage and second-hand gold and diamond jewellery, and luxury watch, appraisers.  They use only the latest technology to value your gold. You can be certain you’ll receive a fair appraisal and the very best price for when they buy your unwanted gold.

Gold Facts and History

English: Crystaline Gold

English: Crystaline Gold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At EzyCash Goldbuyers – we thought it was time for a bit of a back to basics look at what gold is and where gold comes from – and that part may very well surprise you!

First off, we’ll take a look at what gold is – and why it is so heavy.

Gold is a metal and a chemical element – so in times past the pursuit of creating gold from other materials – mainly lead, was the beginning of chemistry as a science and profession. Gold has the symbol Au and atomic number 79 which doesn’t sound half as interesting as gold is!

Its colour will not tarnish when exposed to air or water and gold is solid in normal conditions which is why we hear so much about it as a nugget or grain.

The weight of gold is due to the fact that each atom has within it a large nuclei when compared to other metals and these atoms are also more densely packed together. Gold is often thought of as heavy like lead, however it is actually nearly twice the weight of lead.

Despite this density and weight – gold is incredibly malleable; A gold nugget of 5 mm round can be expanded through hammering into a gold foil of about 0.5 square meters and gold can even be flattened thin enough to be transparent. Flattened gold is known as gold leaf and these sheets of gold are used for decorations on foods and in beverages.

So Gold, apart from its general allure is amazingly versatile. Fancy food aside, gold is used in everything from jewellery and investments, as a standard for trade and security, in electronics, space suit sun visors and even heat resistant suits.

But it’s where all this gold that is used in so many places comes from that may surprise you. Whilst there is certainly a lot of gold in the earth – practically all of our “domestic” gold is probably irretrievable being close to the earth’s core having sunk there due to its mass when the earth first formed.

Surprise surprise – about half of the gold that has been mined since man first picked up a nugget is an import from outer space!

Yes that gold in your earring’s, or in the ring on your finger or even in the gold flake that you just ate with a very special dessert is probably from a meteorite that crashed to earth millions of years ago.

So there you go, aside from its near mystical appeal and allure – gold really is a gift from the stars.

Gold Prospecting On The Rise In Alaska

As reported yesterday by the New Zealand Herald, the rising price of gold has increased interest in gold mining in Alaska.

A gold rush (like Alaska saw a century ago) is unlikely as most people would be put off by the amount of work, time and money needed to produce significant amounts of gold.  People can spend hours gold prospecting (which is back-breaking labour) with only a few gold flakes to show for it.

That said, there are some hardy gold miners for who a tiny bit of gold is more than enough to keep going.  Bill Dunleavy has been gold prospecting in Alaska for 46 years and found this enormous, 5 ounce gold nugget in the early 1990s.

Soon after he found the gold nugget someone offered to buy it for $20,000, but he refused.  Who knows how much the gold nugget would fetch nowadays?

In the past 20 years, 180 million ounces of gold has been discovered in Alaska with a possibility of more gold.  Recently the number of gold claims being bought is up, the number of smaller gold mining operations has increased and two major gold mining projects are underway in southwest Alaska.

If you happen to be holidaying in Alaska and find a nugget like Bill Dunleavy’s, come into EzyCash Gold Buyers when you return to New Zealand for a top cash price.  We also pay top cash prices for any unwanted gold, silver, diamonds and luxury watches.


EzyCash Gold Buyers
Phone: (09) 570 1511
Fax: (09) 570 1527

30B Jellicoe Road
Panmure, Auckland East