4.1kg gold nugget found in Victoria

By Ivy Shih 24 August 2016
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A seasoned prospector has found a 4.1kg (145-ounce) gold nugget worth more than AU$250,000.

A MASSIVE 4.1KG gold nugget has been unearthed in central Victoria’s Golden Triangle, a historical region that once inspired Australia’s first Gold Rush period in the 1850s.  

The man who unearthed the monster nugget is a long-term prospecting enthusiast who has been fossicking on weekends for over a decade. When the metal detector hinted at a possible find, he initially thought it was just rubbish – probably an “old horseshoe,” he said.

It wasn’t until the prospector dug a little deeper into the clay he realised he had struck gold. Buried 30cm below the ground was a nugget that is now estimated to be worth more than AU$250,000.

gold nugget

Image courtesy Minelab

“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,” said the lucky prospector, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The find has been christened as ‘Friday’s Joy’, commemorating the day it was discovered.

Victoria’s famous Golden Triangle, in which the nugget was found, is more of golden pentagon, an area bordered by Ballarat on the south, Wedderburn in the north, Tarnagulla on the east and Ararat in the west. The Golden Triangle was the historical site of the early Gold Rush period in the 1850s and it wasn’t until the 1980s that Western Australia overtook Victoria in gold production.

However the Golden Triangle still continues to inspire gold fever in hopeful prospectors. And the region keeps on giving – just last year a 3.5 kg nugget was found.

‘Friday’s Joy’ is far from the biggest gold nugget ever found in Australia. That record belongs to ‘The Welcome Stranger’ found near Moliagul, Victoria in 1869, weighing in at a staggering 72kg (2300 ounces). ‘Friday’s Joy’ is now sitting in a bank vault while a replica is being made.

The prospector who made the find has said he isn’t going to quit his day job, but plans to buy a van and travel around Australia.

Dermot Henry, acting head of sciences at Museum Victoria explained that historically Victorian goldfields had the greatest concentration of gold nuggets and have produced more large nuggets than any other field in the world.

This latest discovery was announced today by South Australia-based metal detector technology company, Minelab.