An Aussie bloke armed only with a budget metal detector has come across a gigantic gold-filled rock worth a cool AU$240,000 (US$160,000). It was recently discovered in the Australian state of Victoria in an area known as the "Golden Triangle" – between Ballarat, Bendigo, and St Arnaud – by an amateur gold hunter.
He took it to the prospecting shop Lucky Strike Gold who reportedly estimated the gold-loaded rock weighs just over 4.6 kilograms (10.1 pounds), with the precious metal making up 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds).
"He said, 'do you think there's $10,000 worth?' And as soon as it hit my hand I said, 'try $100,000'," Darren Kamp from Lucky Strike Gold told 9News.
"And he said, 'oh wow, the wife's going to be happy with that'."
It turned out this was just part of the discovery and the digger had left the other half of the rock at home. Unfortunately, he accidentally split it into two halves when unearthing it as it was caked in dirt and he could not tell it was brimming with gold. Nevertheless, the discovery was still incredibly valuable.
The anonymous gold hunter sold it to the company, which named it the “Lucky Strike nugget.”
A find like this would always be good news, but it’s an especially good time to make the discovery since gold prices are currently reaching an all-time high.
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.
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.