Australian man finds 624g gold nugget worth $37,000 while walking dog
13 May, 2019 7:56pm The father said he had been informed the nugget would likely be worth more than the A$35,000 estimate if it was sold whole. Photo / News Corp
An Australian family have literally struck gold after finding a valuable gold nugget during a Mother's Day outing.
The family from Bendigo in Victoria, who asked to remain anonymous, were walking their dog — fittingly named Lucky — on the outskirts of town on Sunday morning when the daughter kicked something hard lying on the ground.
At first, the father and his two daughters were unsure of what they had found — but it has since been confirmed by experts as a 624 gram gold nugget with an estimated value of at least $35,000 ($37,000).
"I actually walked right past it but my daughter pretty much kicked it as she was walking. She then goes — dad, is this gold? I said, I think it might be," the father told the Bendigo Advertiser.
The stunned family first took their find to an IGA supermarket to weigh it, with the rock coming in at 624 grams, or 20 ounces. The father said he had been informed the nugget would likely be worth more than the A$35,000 estimate if it was sold whole, and that he did plan to sell it eventually. He said the unexpected windfall had come at a crucial time.
"We've come on some tough times so it's really good because we've been struggling financially. It couldn't be better timing really," he told the Bendigo Advertiser. "Just having it at home, I've been like where do we store it? I haven't been sleeping very well and we think it's best just to sell it." He said the "really random find" had inspired the family to return to the site and look for more gold lying beneath the surface. "Usually when you find a nugget that big, there will be more gold around so hopefully that's the case," he told the publication.
However, it's not the first time an Aussie has struck it rich. Last September, a huge gold nugget worth at least A$110,000 was uncovered by a retired prospector in remote Western Australia. That find weighed in at a hefty 3.23 kilograms and was dubbed "Duck's Foot" because of its unique shape. And in 2017, Surfers Paradise gold digger Greg Cooke made headlines after finding several gold nuggets on a northern Gold Coast beach over several visits.
In fact, Australia is famous for its treasure trove of gold nuggets, with eight of the world's 10 largest found in the country over the years. The "Welcome Stranger" nugget, pictured below, weighing between 2380 and 2284 ounces, is the biggest ever found on the planet and was discovered at Moliagul, near Dunolly in Victoria, in 1869.
The "Welcome Stranger" nugget, weighing between 2380 and 2284 ounces, is the biggest ever found on the planet. Photo / Supplied Source:
Still no luck. Large nails which look to possibly hold timber rail. I know one mine in this group still has the track intact. Bullet head and shells, plenty of old iron. I scoured the steep hillside which tested my knee and foot. My foot is full of titanium and registeres a signal all too often. Being removed soon.
Tuesday I leave for OZ as it turns out now it is a scouting trip for those to follow. I'll still be there when Condor and crew shows up some place in the Triangle.
I don't live on gold so I had to take a trip to find it. As a matter of fact I've taken a few in the last couple of months but I've come up 'short' on each of those trips. I've not had anything worth posting either. This time I went to Gold Basin again which is 6 hours for me.
This trip started out with a nice conversation with a guy who told me about 'finds' he knew about and he had made. He warned me about a couple of things. One was the snakes. He had been bitten while reaching into a bush but said later it was a 'dry bite' so he survived without knowing the snake had hit his arm. The other thing he 'warned' me about was all the gold had been taken by the 7000s! He told me he was hunting in way out places now and had found good gold but not close in. Ok, both of these warnings will make me more ready for OZ. haha
I left him and detected with the 800 first on a site that had been a loading platform for dirt to be processed. I've hunted near this site before but not with the 800. It has lots and lots of trash. My first good target looked like a penny (20 on the screen) and sure enough it was but it was a Lincoln. Ok, that was different. I remembered I had seen where someone had found a gold coin in the area this year so I kept looking. Not far from this penny I got a dime sound (25) and thought oh, great but then it was also a penny but a wheatie (1947D). That was a good start.
Now it was time to hunt for gold in some 'worked' places. I was looking at the previous areas where gold had been found hoping to find missed or undetected nuggets. I've armed myself now with deep seeking settings! Nothing at the next several locations but I've had a good start. It was time to find some meteorites and a place to stay with the 4Runner for the night.
Meteorites were tough also. I got a little one and then travelled to a different area. I got another one and just before driving off into the sunset I got a 90 gram sunbaker!
The next morning I got up and searched around. I was looking down on Lake Mead. I looked in that area to no avail and then headed to known gold areas for me. I hunted and hunted and finally found a 1.3 g nugget to break the skunk!
I was going to make a better story out of this but there are distraction here. haha Enjoy the pictures.
In the collection picture I have an odd flat shaped nugget of some sort. Any ideas?
I hate to distract us from the spirited discussion of ZED aftermarket coils and new gold detectors, but I've been working on a plan to spend a few months downunder detecting WA. I sold some gold to finance the operation and convinced my Baja detecting partner we need to get us some Aussie gold. Just so you know I'm not a idiot and going off half cocked here, I purchased the premium edition of Nurse Paul's primer "Yank's guide to plundering Aussie Gold". Some very helpful information..."when handling sharp digging tools, always wear flip flops". Or the timeless, "When drinking a few cold ones with the locals, the acceptable ratio is 3 to 1. Buy 1, drink 3, it makes them feel superior." What could possible go wrong with that kind of wisdom at my disposal? Yeah I know, $16,000 worth of detectors got stolen while he slept on watch, but that could have happened to anyone. He's matured alot since then.
Seriously though, we leave May 19 and don't expect to return until my 90 day visa expires. Paul has in fact helped me get a handle on the geography, Ute selection and basic gear requirements. We'll be boondocking it, living on road kill and brown snakes with a case of Vegimite for emergencies. I've already purchased one of the new X-coils 17" for the Zed which will be waiting for me when I arrive. I had a sacrificial coil cable for the jumper connection since I destroyed the original 14" stock coil, long story, but apparently you're not supposed to drag that coil behind the Rokon at cruising speed down desert dirt roads for a couple miles. Who knew they were so fragile? Wore right through the plastic housing and exposed the copper windings, bummer. But, I've got me a $900.00 Minelab chipped coil cable so the glass is half full.
Nevertheless, an adventure is at hand. I'll post updates and photos as opportunities present.
Thursday after work Mrs JW had the caravan all packed & ready to go. So after a shower & change of clothes for me we were off. Didn't get to our destination until after dark. Got all set up & chilled out. Even chilled out in the morning as awoke to frost & a heavy fog. So no rush to get up the hill detecting. The day became a stunner & this pic below was taken when we came down for a late lunch & a chill out.
The first spot I headed to was where I got those 12 bits the previous weekend. I had stuck with the 15 X 14 X coil due to the open & deep ground. going over this again & very thoroughly I didn't get another bean. So moved on to other old areas.
Mrs JW doing what she does now when she tags along. Sits in her camp chair reading her girly mag & doing the cross word.
Tried the clay gravels of an old timers dam Brest. I had got gold off here previously but nothing on the last few attempts with the Zed.
Humpdey dumptey sat on the wall....
Got three little pieces in the foreground just below the thyme bushes in the above pic.
First shallow scrape.
Easter Fridays effort. 7 small bits for the 15 X 14 X coil
Saturday we decided to head off & go check out the New Zealand Jet boat Sprint Champion finals. On getting there it was raining & windy so we turned around & headed back & I got a few hours detecting in. Stuck with the 15 X 14.
Didn't take any pics of the digs but managed 4 little pieces.
I went to top up my detector battery that night but had the wrong 12 volt plug for the charger. I had grabbed the Gold monster one & it wasn't compatible. Strangely enough it charged the WM12 but not the detector battery.
Any way, sunday came around & I said to Mrs JW that I would just go until the battery went flat.
Tiny bit of quartz with even tinier gold in it.
Just targeting the bald areas as much as possible. Although I did go over the grass areas.
A fly spec size bit of gold.
End result for the weekend. Top row Fridays, middle row saturdays & bottom row sundays.
I was pretty chuffed getting those small size bits with that 15 X 14 inch coil. The detector battery died sunday so monday we headed back home after getting a bowl of wild mushrooms. Yum.
Didn't try any of the other of the X coils. I just couldnt take the 15 X 14 off. For ever hoping for a bigger deeper one. Didnt come. Maybe next time.
Best of luck out there
By Mark Gillespie
Been asked numerous times over the past several years to hunt for a class ring lost in a local cemetery. Then finally last week I agreed to give it a try, with no promises given. The class ring was lost by a gentleman's mother in 1960 while she was trimming the grass around the cemetery. One good thing about this graveyard, it is privately owned so no trouble should occur because of my digging.
By the looks of the lot, it may take a good bit of time to cover the area.