An Australian man found a $100,000 gold nugget with a metal detector before showing it off around town.
The man, whose hobby is to wander around gold fields with the device, took the nugget into a shop in Kalgoorlie, shop owner Matt Cook said.
Cook shared pictures of the nugget on the Facebook page of his shop, Finders Keepers Gold Prospecting.
The piece weighed some 1.4 kilograms (about 3 pounds) and was worth an estimated $100,000 (US$69,000), Cook said.
Cook said the man found the nugget about 18 inches below the surface of the ground after detecting it with the metal detector.
“He walked into my shop and showed me the nugget in his hand with a big smile on my face,” Cook told the BBC. “It just a bit bigger than a packet of smokes, and the density of it was incredible, so heavy.”
Cook said he was happy to see the nugget.
“It’s good to see people out there and finding nuggets like this,” Cook told 7 News. “They’re harder to find but they’re still out there.”
Larger gold nuggets are usually found a few times a year, he said.
Professor Sam Spearing, director of the Western Australia School of Mines at Curtin University, said that some people do gold prospecting in the area full-time while others are hobbyists.
“Along with the mines around, a lot of people go around as prospectors on the weekend, as a hobby. Other people do it on a full-time basis,” he told the BBC. “Most of the gold found is in the less than half an ounce category, but they do find them fairly frequently.”
A Bendigo family has found a 20-ounce gold nugget, thought to be worth more than $35,000 https://t.co/BfTd1FFind
— Bendigo Advertiser (@BgoAddy) May 13, 2019
Family Finds Gold Nugget Worth $35,000
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.
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 (419 pounds) of specimen stone, the largest of which was 95 kilograms (209 pounds).