A lucky Aussie prospector has found a 4.1kg gold nugget at the far southern edge of Central Victoria’s Golden Triangle, in South Australia, which he has named “Friday’s Joy.”
But the huge nugget was not the only one unearthed by the man, who chose to remain anonymous, as the previous day he recovered a 9-ounce tennis ball-shaped gold nugget more than two feet deep, using Minelab’s flagship GPZ 7000 metal detector. He then decided to go back for more.
“I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe,” said the prospector. “About 12 inches below the ground, I could just barely make out the top of something.”
As he began to scrape away the clay and dig deeper, he said he really couldn’t believe his eyes. “It wasn’t an old piece of steel in front of me. I had just unearthed a colossal gold nugget – a once in a lifetime find! (…) I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around.”
Prospecting on weekends for over ten years in search of coins, relics and gold, he had made a pact with a couple of his closest friends to split the proceeds on any large gold finds found when the group went prospecting together.
After alerting his cohorts and having a few celebratory beers, the next order of business was to decide what to do with the nugget. “It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it! Where do we put it? I washed it in water, covered it in aluminum foil and kept it in my oven on the first night.”
A bit life changing, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to quit his job and retire. Rather, he said he plans to purchase a van and travel across Australia when time allows, mixing travel and sightseeing with his love of detecting and prospecting.
As for the nugget, which is now sitting in a bank vault, a replica is currently being constructed and auction plans are in the works. According to Minelab, it is expected to sell for more than US$190,000 (A$250,000).
Last year, another Australian gold prospector discovered an 87-ounce gold nugget during a prospecting trip near Wedderburn, a town located less than 225 km (140 miles) from Melbourne. That one, called Fair Dinkum nugget, fetched $133K (A$175K) at an auction.