The ‘Friday’s Joy’ gold nugget is expected to bring more than $250,000 AUD. It was discovered in a worked-over area at the far southern edge of Central Victoria’s Golden Triangle on a recent Friday morning by a seasoned prospector wishing to remain anonymous. After discovering a 9-ounce tennis ball-shaped gold nugget more than two feet deep with his Minelab GPZ 7000 the previous day, he went back for more.
“I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe,” said the prospector. “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.”
Prospecting on weekends for over ten years in search of coins, relics and gold, the keen detectorist had made a pact with a couple of his closest mates, also avid hobbyists, pledging an oath to split the proceeds on any large gold finds found when the group went prospecting together. After alerting his cohorts and having a few celebratory beers, the next order of business was to decide what to do with the nugget. “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 aluminium foil and kept it in my oven on the first night.”
A bit life changing, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to quit his job and retire. 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.
“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 for $175,000 AUD.
To learn more about Minelab or the GPZ 7000, visit: http://www.minelab.com/gpz7000