By Brad Jones
A lucky Australian prospector has unearthed a 145-ounce monster gold nugget, according to a report released by Minelab.
Minelab, a world leader in metal detecting technologies, reports that the Australian prospector, who wants to remain anonymous, found the 145-ounce gold nugget with its flagship GPZ 7000 metal detector.
The nugget was aptly named “Friday’s Joy” because it was found on a recent Friday morning in a well-worked area at the far southern edge of Central Victoria’s Golden Triangle, according to a Minelab media release issued Aug. 24.
The estimated value of the nugget is $250,000 AUD, or about $190,575 US.
“After discovering a nine-ounce tennis ball-shaped gold nugget more than two feet deep with his Minelab GPZ 7000 the previous day, he went back for more,” the release states.
Minelab also quotes the prospector as saying, “I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe. 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. 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.”
As the story goes, the seasoned gold prospector in his quest for coins, relics and gold, had made a pact “with a couple of his closest mates” who are also avid detectorists. He had pledged an oath to split the proceeds on any large gold finds found when the group went prospecting together.
After alerting his friends and enjoying a few celebratory beers, the next order of business was to decide what to do with the nugget, the release states.
“It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it! 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,” the prospector said.
While the find was a bit life changing for the prospector, it doesn’t mean he’s going to quit his job and retire, Minelab reports.
“Rather, he plans to purchase a van and travel Australia when time allows, mixing travel and sightseeing with his love of detecting and prospecting. As for the nugget, which is now sitting in a bank vault, a replica is currently being constructed and auction plans are in the works,” the release states.
“We’re thrilled that a Minelab customer has made such an amazing and important discovery. This is a historic find on par with a nugget like “Cindy’s Pride” and eclipsing Mick Brown’s recent “Fair Dinkum” nugget,” said Fraser Kendall, Minelab’s regional sales and marketing director. “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.”
Just last year, Australian gold prospector Mick Brown discovered an 87-ounce gold nugget with his Minelab detector during a prospecting trip near Wedderburn, a town located less than 140 miles from Melbourne. That buried treasure, the Fair Dinkum nugget, was auctioned off for $175,000 AUD.
Equipped with Minelab’s exclusive, groundbreaking, Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology and state-of-the-art features, the GPZ 7000 offers the deepest ground penetration and represents the most significant advancement in gold detecting technologies in years. With its “Super-D” coil configuration, the detector has proven to provide up to 40 percent depth improvement to other detector models on the market.
To learn more about Minelab or the GPZ 7000, visit minelab.com.
Brad Jones is the Managing Editor of Gold Prospectors magazine and the Pick & Shovel Gazette for the Gold Prospectors Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.