An amateur prospector discovered the massive gold nugget near the city of Ballarat, Australia, reports the Courier, the local newspaper. At 12 pounds, or 177 ounces, the nugget could fetch around $300,000 based on market value. The prospector has not been identified, but the discovery is currently in the possession of Cordell Kent, owner of the Mining Exchange Gold Shop.
The prospector used a metal detector to unearth the finding, Kent reports. The gold nugget will not be melted down and sold for market value, and instead, due to its size and shape, it will be sold whole and should fetch a higher price. According to Kent, “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,” the Courier reports.
At first, the prospector believed he had discovered a car’s hood ornament, Kent told the Herald Sun of Melbourne. But as he cleaned off the entire object, he soon realized that what he pulled up from the ground was truly extraordinary.
The gold nugget, nicknamed Destiny, was found in an area that has attracted plenty of prospectors, notes the Courier. The Golden Triangle in the Australian state of Victoria is the area around the neighboring cities of Ballarat, Bendigo and Stawell.
So, if you plan on mining for gold, make sure you get the best metal detector money can buy. According to Kent, the prospector used a Minelab GPX-5000, which will set you back at least $5,000.
The money earned from the sale of the gold nugget will be put to good use by the prospector. Kent says that, upon the discovery, “He rushed to tell his wife when he found it, and she didn’t believe him at first. He is going to pay off a lot of bills and pay off his house -- it’s a real life changer,” reports the Herald Sun.
A video showing off the spectacular find can be viewed below.