A lone prospector digs up a single nugget of gold and finds it worth a fortune. That’s the stuff of dreams, right? Actually, it does happen and, for two people, it happened recently.
According to the Huffington Post, a prospector in Australia dug up a 12 pound gold nugget on Wednesday, January 16. Due to its rarity, the nugget could be worth anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000. The prospector’s name and the location of his find are being kept a secret. However, the nugget was presented to the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop to assess its value. Ballarat is a town in the state of Victoria.
According to Cordell Kent, the owner of the gold exchange shop, such finds are rare. He said this was the largest nugget he’s seen in twenty years. However, there was an eight pound nugget found in July of 2012 in the same region.
According to the YouTube description:
This 177 troy ounce gold nugget (5,505 grams – 5.5kgs) was found by a prospector with a hand held metal detector near Ballarat, Victoria, Australia on January 16, 2013.
What a find!!! No it wasn’t me…. It was found at a depth of a little over 60 cm (2 ft) with a modern detector with a small coil. The prospector said it sounded like the bonnet of a car through the head phones. It was lying flat (broad side up) and he carefully dug it up. In this video it hasn’t been cleaned. It is approximately 220mm long, 140mm wide and has a maximum depth of 45mm.
Ok, this nugget was found with a Minelab GPX5000 super metal detector, with an Advantage Plus ‘Sadie’ mono eliptical coil, and a Rooster Booster audio enhancer (used with an external speaker).
The prospector said he heard the signal, kicked off about 100mm (4 inches) of leaf mulch from the surface, and thought the ground looked in original condition ie it hadn’t been dug previously.
It was lying flat in the ground, and was over 60cm (2 feet) deep in the earth/clay/gravels. So this means he and his detector heard it at an incredible depth from the search coil (the disc that is at the end of the hand held detector).
However, neither of these finds set the record for the largest gold nugget found. That would be a 639 pound nugget that was discovered in New South Wales, Australia, in 1872.