An amateur gold digger armed with an inexpensive metal detector has hit the jackpot in Australia after finding a 4.6kg gold nugget worth about $160,000 (A$240,000).
Discovered in the state of Victoria in an area known as the "Golden Triangle," the gold-filled rock weighs 4.6 kilograms (10.1 pounds), with the precious metal making up 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds).
The man, who chose to remain anonymous, made the discovery in the goldfields of the state of Victoria, which was the heart of Australia’s gold rush in the 1800s.
He took his discovery to a prospecting store nearby run by Darren Kamp, who valued and bought the specimen.
“He pulled this rock out and as he dropped it into my hand he said, ‘Do you think there’s A$10,000 worth in it?'”
“I looked at him and said, ‘Try A$100,000’”, Kamp said.
He then learned the piece he was looking at was just half of the nugget.
“All up, the 4.6kg rock contained 83 ounces – or about 2.6kg – of gold,” he said.
The prospector used a Minelab Equinox 800 detector that costs about $800 (A$1,200), the lowest end of the tool’s price range, according to Kamp.
He noted that if the nugget had been buried 12 inches deeper it would have been impossible for the man’s machine to detect it. That’s why Kamp named the find “Lucky Strike”, which is also the name of his prospecting store.
Victoria was the site of a huge gold rush in the 19th century and recent years have seen yet another boom of gold discovery in the area. The Geological Survey of Victoria estimates there could be up to 2.1 million kilograms (75 million ounces) of undiscovered gold across the central and north-central Victorian goldfields.
gold-filled rock weighs 4.6 kilograms (10.1 pounds), with the precious
metal making up 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds). Credit: Lucky Strike Gold|
This prosperous patch of Australia also gave the world the biggest gold nugget ever unearthed. It was found in Victoria on February 5, 1869, by two Cornish miners called John Deason and Richard Oats. The nugget was dubbed the "Welcome Stranger", weighed 72 kilograms (158.7 pounds), and was 61 centimeters (24 inches) long. If this was discovered today, it could be worth over US$2 million.
If you’re living in this part of the world, it’s probably a good time to invest in a metal detector. The one used to make this discovery cost around US$800, but it’s safe to say it has proved its worth. There are, however, some rules you should consider when hunting for gold.