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Placer gold is separated from the "concentrates" and sold to a refinery (in some cases, through a middle man).
Placer gold is never pure - it usually contains silver (between 5% and 30%) and small amounts of other elements. In some areas, platinum is recovered with gold.
A refinery will melt a batch of placer gold, determine the amount of pure gold it contains (called "assaying" or "doing an assay") and refine it to produce very pure gold.
The refinery will pay their "buying price" for the amount of pure gold in a batch of placer gold, less the costs of assaying and refining, and probably shipping and insurance costs.
The good news is that nuggets are generally worth more than the value of the gold - if you can find someone that wants nuggets. Shops and restaurants in major gold areas may buy nuggets to sell to tourists. Some jewelry stores and people that make jewelry may buy nuggets.
Your nuggets, flakes and fine gold can also be valuable to you - gold that you personally have pulled out of the Earth.
A not-so-good option is to sell placer gold to scrap gold dealers - some will buy placer gold. They will give you only a fraction of the of the value of your gold, but they will buy in small quantities.
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