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Gold nuggets are found only in Pikmin 3 and come in piles. There is a number displayed above the pile letting you know how many are left. Each one is also worth five Pokos, so, if you multiply the number by five, that will be how many pokos you get. For example, if there were 25 pieces left, then you would get 125 pokos from the remaining nuggets. As long as Pikmin are left alone while colecting nuggets, they will constantly march back and forth to the nugget pile until they are all collected.
If Pikmin are called back while in the process of carrying a nugget, the Pikmin will go back to following the leader and the nugget will disappear.