In Victoria’s so-called Golden Triangle, a lucky prospector has discovered a 145-ounce nugget, named Friday’s Joy, that could be worth a quarter of a million dollars.
The owner of the nugget, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has spent the past 10 years searching for gold and coins on his weekends.
"I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe," he said.
“About 12 inches below the ground, I could just barely make out the top of something. As I began to scrape away the clay and dig deeper, I really couldn’t believe my eyes.”
“I was in total disbelief as I didn't think nuggets of this size were still around.”
At first, the prospector had trouble deciding what to do with his $250,000 find, which was made with a Minelab detector.
“It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it!” he said.
“Where do we put it? I washed it in water, covered it in aluminium foil and kept it in my oven on the first night.”
The nugget is currently secured in a bank vault and will be auctioned off.
The largest gold nugget ever found is the “Welcome Stranger”, discovered in Australia on 5 February 1869 by Richard Oates and John Deason. The nugget was found just two inches below the surface. Learn more
In the 1890s, the Australian population of 437,655 doubled, stimulated by the growing gold rush.
Due to its high value, most gold discovered throughout history is still in circulation. However, it is thought that 80% of the world’s gold is still in the ground.