Family Finds Gold Nugget Worth $35,000 on Mother’s Day

By Zachary Stieber

An Australian family discovered a gold nugget worth approximately $35,000 while walking their dog recently.

The father of the family, who declined to be identified, said he, his daughters, and their dog were on a walk around Bendigo when they found it.

“I actually walked right past it but my daughter pretty much kicked it as she was walking. She then goes—dad, is this gold? I said, I think it might be,” the father told the Bendigo Advertiser.

The family weighed the gold and found it came in at 624 grams or 20 ounces. It is believed to be worth $35,000.

“To sell it as a nugget whole, it’s probably worth a little bit more than that,” the father said. “We’ve come on some tough times so it’s really good because we’ve been struggling financially. It couldn’t be better timing really.”

The area where they found the gold has some regulations in place for people hunting for their own gold.

“I think it’s very exciting for the family and good luck to them It’s always a possibility to find gold in Victoria,” Earth Resources Regulation executive director Anthony Hurst told the Advertiser. “But it’s important that modern gold hunters are aware of the rules and how to remain safe.”

People need a license, known as a Miner’s Right, to look for gold in Victoria. The government issues 22 per day on average. It is good for 10 years and costs $24.20. They date back to the 1800s.

“We haven’t seen an increase in the number of people applying for a Miner’s Right just yet,” Hurst said. “But we do anticipate with the recent publicity that it will only heighten people’s interest.”

People caught looking for gold without the license face a fine of $800. Tools are also restricted, with explosives and machinery banned.

Australia is renowned for its gold and has been the setting for a number of large discoveries in recent years.

In September 2018, miners found a deposit of gold estimated to be worth more than $11 million.

Gold in quartz at the Beta Hunt mine recovered in Australia in Sept. 2018. (CNW Group/RNC Minerals)

Mining company RNC Minerals said in a press release that the high-grade gold was found in its Beta Hunt Mine. The gold included approximately 190 kilograms of specimen stone, the largest of which was 95 kilograms.

The gold was expected to be sold for approximately $C15 million.

“Recovering 9,250 ounces of high-grade coarse gold from a single cut on the 15 level at our Beta Hunt mine, including specimens which could rank among the largest ever discovered, underlines the importance of this discovery. Just 8 weeks earlier, at the end of June 2018, 1,500 ounces of high-grade gold were recovered from other sediment structures on the 14 and 15 levels. These discoveries highlight the high-grade gold potential of Beta Hunt,” said Mark Selby, President and CEO of RNC, in a statement.

Senior geologist Zaf Thanos told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at the time that the finding was rare.

“You might go your whole life and you’ll never see anything like it. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” he said. “This sort of bonanza zone is incredibly unique.”

The largest and second largest gold-encrusted rocks discovered
The largest and second largest gold-encrusted rocks discovered at the Beta Hunt mine in Australia at the start of September 2018. (CNW Group/RNC Minerals)

Miner Henry Dole was said to have made the discovery. He drilled holes and placed explosives, blowing up a section of rock. When the gold was revealed, he was stunned.

“I’ve been an airleg miner for 16 years. Never in my life have I ever seen anything like this,” he said. “There was chunks of gold in the face, on the ground, truly unique I reckon. I nearly fell over looking at it … we were picking it up for hours.”

He said he was hoping to find more in the future.

“It’s no secret we were looking down the barrel for a while, but with this, it’s picked everyone’s morale up,” he said. “It’s good for the town, the mine life, all of that.”