An Australian prospector has discovered a massive 145-ounce gold nugget worth more than $250,000.
Dubbed ‘Friday’s Joy’, the nugget was found with a Minelab metal detector in an already work-over area at the southern edge of central Victoria’s Golden Triangle, an area well known for yielding gold, finding the top of the nugget only around 30cm below the ground.
The prospector who found the nugget wanted to stay anonymous.
“I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe,” the man said,“I was in total disbelief as I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around.”
An avid prospector – having prospected for more than ten years – the man had an agreement with his other gold prospecting enthusiast friends to split the proceeds on any large gold item found when they went prospecting together.
Upon the find, he was unsure of what to do at first.
“It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it,” he said.
“I washed it in water, covered it in aluminium foil and kept it in my oven on the first night.”
The man did not intend to quit his job and retire, instead aiming to buy a van and travel around Australia, sightseeing and prospecting.
The nugget is currently in a bank vault, with a replica in construction. Plans for an auction are also underway.
Minelab’s regional sales and marketing director Fraser Kendall said the company was thrilled a customer made such a discovery.
“He was prospecting in an area that others had clearly worked over and this just goes to show that there’s plenty of gold still coming out of Victoria,” he said.
Kendall added that the nugget was on par with the 159.3 ounce ‘Cindy’s Pride’, and surpassed prospector Mick Brown’s 87-ounce ‘Fair Dinkum’ gold nugget found last year near the Wedderburn, around 200km north of Melbourne; it was later auctioned for $175,000.