A rock is a rock. So when his 12-year-old son brought home one discovered in a Cabarrus County stream in 1799, John Reed put it to good use – as a doorstop. After all, it was pretty and held back even the heaviest door.
For three years, it was used as a doorstop. Then John stopped by an unscrupulous Fayetteville jeweler who bought it for $3.50. For you see, the rock was not a rock at all; it was a 17-pound gold nugget!
That discovery triggered one of the biggest gold rushes of the early 19th century.