Experienced gold prospectors are skeptics. All too often metal detector sounds off excitedly, only to discover a worthless piece of metal or a hairpin. But one lucky prospector found a golden nugget bigger than his wildest dreams.
13. Old Horseshoes
The anonymous miner has chosen not to reveal his identity. He explains that back in August of 2016, he assumed his metal detector at found nothing of value. “I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe,” he told Minelab, the company which makes the metal detector he used that fateful day.
12. An Incredible Sight
“About 12 inches below the ground, I could just barely make out the top of something. I really couldn’t believe my eyes,” he said. “This 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 was in total disbelief as I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around.”
11. A Colossal Gold Nugget
It turned out to be something bigger and better than an old horseshoe. The nugget is big enough that the mining community is making a replica so that it can be displayed in a museum.
10. Friday’s Joy
The man named his find Friday’s Joy. The miner explained that he is not a professional. In fact, he has a day job that he intends to keep. Looking for gold is a hobby he pursues with friends. He and his pals made a pact to divide anything they find among the whole group.
9. Thursday’s Joy
The cheeky name for the nugget is a nod to his other found, which happened on Thursday. The same man found a baseball-shaped gold nugget one day earlier that weighed nine ounces. This one was a $10,000 value – enough to make anyone celebrate.
8. Cindy’s Pride
However, Friday’s was the bigger catch by far. Friday’s Joy weighed 145 ounces, the equivalent of about eight pounds. This makes it a pretty huge nugget. It is on pace to be about the same as Cindy’s Pride, a nugget discovered back in 1985. That one weighted about 174 ounces and eventually sold for $66,000. Today’s value would be over $180,000. That’s about what the anonymous prospector can expect for Friday’s Joy.
7. Still Hot
The Golden Triangle area is by no means all tapped out. Four years earlier, another prospector found a nugget of similar size as the Friday’s Joy. Known as the Destiny gold nugget, it weighed around 3.7 kilograms and was auctioned for $292,000 in 2014.
6. Aussie Gold Rush
Australia has a good reputation for gold. The Victoria Gold Rush lasted from 1851 to the late 1860’s and produced great prosperity for the area. The largest gold nugget ever discovered was in Victoria in 1869. That one weighed a whopping 173 pounds and was dubbed the Welcome Stranger.
5. Golden Triangle
Even today, Victoria is still a power in the gold mining world. Australia exported around $13 billion in gold in 2016 alone. About 2 percent of the world’s total gold has been located in Victoria. Still, the area where Friday’s Joy was found had already been thoroughly explored. It was found near the area called the Golden Triangle.
4. The GPZ 7000
You may be wondering how expensive it is to have gold prospecting as a hobby. Well, the Minelab GPZ 7000 metal detector is pretty expensive, at $8,000. However, the prospecting group which found Thursday and Friday’s Joy certainly feel that the result was well worth the price.
3. A Few Beers
What do you do after finding such a huge gold nugget? For these Aussie guys, the answer was to have a few beers and then brainstorm. When you never found something that big, it’s hard to think straight. “It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it!” the prospector told Minelab. “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.”
2. Touring the Nation
Ultimately, they locked the nugget in a bank vault and the nugget will be sold at auction. The prospector wants to buy a van to facilitate a driving tour of Australia. During which, of course, he will grab that metal detector and see what the ground will yield.
1. A Historic Find
The director of Minelab’s sales and marketing division, Fraser Kendall, said it was an amazing find. “We’re thrilled that a Minelab customer has made such an amazing and important discovery,” he said. “[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.”