Metal detectors typically find old bottle caps, pins and discarded pennies. But every once in a while they come across something of incredible value. A prospector in Ballarat, Australia unearthed a 12 pound gold nugget this week that could be worth more than $300,000.
The identity of the prospector and the exact location of his lucrative find aren’t known at the moment but according to The Courier the 12 pound gold nugget was brought into the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop to be evaluated.
Cordell Kent, the store owner, provided a few details into the find. According to Kent, the gold nugget was found within 20 miles of downtown Ballarat. It was found about 60 centimeters below the surface by a prospector using a aMinelab GPX-5000 detector worth more than $600.
Kent said that the person who discovered the 12-pound gold nugget could melt it down and sell it at market value for about $300,000. The finder could also decide to auction off the entire gold nugget which could bring in significantly more money.
“If you are silly enough to melt it down, it would be worth just under $300,000 on market value but as a nugget at this size and shape, it’s worth significantly more than thatI can’t remember a nugget this big ever being found locally.”
Kent said that prospectors go years without making a significant find. Kent said that he’s been using his metal detector for more than two decades and has never found anything close to the 12 pound gold nugget.
The owner of the Ballarat store said that he believes the find will raise enthusiasm among the prospecting community and cause more people to head out and look for gold.
“A finding like this gives people hope. It’s my dream to find something like that, and I’ve been prospecting for more than two decades. We’re so far into a gold rush and we have years and years and years of hope ahead of us. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got no doubt there will be a lot of people who will be very enthusiastic about the goldfields again, it gives people hope. There’s nothing like digging up money, it’s good fun.”