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Gold Rush Star Parker Schnabel Reveals The Biggest Nugget He Ever Found

Since its 2010 debut, Discovery's reality show thrill-ride "Gold Rush" has become one of the network's most enduring hits, making both millionaires and celebrities of its central cast members. It's safe to say, however, that the series' biggest breakout star is none other than Parker Schnabel, who's been with "Gold Rush" pretty much since day one. The gold miner actually made his debut on the show while finishing high school and has gone on to front one of the most successful mining outfits the Discovery series has ever seen.

In fact, Schnabel and his crew have made a regular habit of breaking the single-season gold haul record on "Gold Rush," as detailed on the Discovery's YouTube channel. That kind of success, coupled with the miner's surprising age, has made him a fan favorite on the series — and it's a role Schabel appears happy to embrace. That much is clear in the way he interacts with fans, and it was very much on display in a 2017 Facebook Q&A session in which he answered questions ranging from deeply personal to strictly professional.

During this back and forth, Schnabel was asked about the largest gold nugget he'd ever mined. While his answer might seem underwhelming, this fun fact is easily worth its weight in, ahem, you know. 

Schnabel once dug up a single nugget worth around $400

So, exactly how big was the largest nugget Parker Schnabel has ever found? The "Gold Rush" star prefaced his answer by offering that there aren't many sizable nuggets where he and his crew work. He stated, "Up in Dawson [Alaska], we don't find a lot of big nuggets. It's all just that little fine stuff." 

As for the biggest gold nugget he's found, Schabel claims his crew has found some, telling the Facebook Q&A audience, "Maybe a quarter ounce?" That doesn't sound enormous, but he quickly offered that a nugget even of that size is worth approximately "$400 to $500." It's worth reiterating here that said Q&A is from 2017, and the price of gold has mostly only gone up in the ensuing years. As such, that nugget is likely worth even more today.

Schnabel backed up his claim that even nuggets of that size are rare where he's set up, noting, "For every 1,000 ounces, you might find two" in the quarter-ounce range. The miner continued, revealing that large nuggets were found on a more regular basis at his grandfather John Schnabel's old operation. He recalled, "Back at Haines, back at Big Nugget (via "Gold Rush" Fandom), we would find a [lot of] pretty big nuggets. My grandpa would find 3- to 4-ounce nuggets back in the day."

Of course, as any "Gold Rush" fan can tell you, the gold game is every bit as much about quantity as it is quality. And even if Schnabel isn't pulling those big nuggets from the earth, as his grandfather did, he's still doing incredibly well for himself.