From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Nugget \Nug"get\, n. [Earlier niggot, prob. for nigot, an ingot.
   See Ingot.]
   1. A lump; a mass, esp. a native lump of a precious metal;
      as, a nugget of gold.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. Something of value, usually found among many other less
      valuable things; -- often used figuratively; as, a nugget
      of useful information in a sea of data.
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