Aussie Detectorist Unearths Half-Million Dollar Nugget

(The "Hand of Faith" remains the largest gold nugget ever recovered with a metal detector.)

Australia has long been known for producing exceptionally large gold nuggets, including the 1867 unearthing of the 2,300 troy ounce "Welcome Stranger" and the 875 troy ounce "Hand of Faith" found by metal detectorist Kevin Hillier back in 1980. With the advent of new metal detector technology, many "smaller" nuggets have also been unearthed Down Under over the past 30 years by a new breed of electronic prospector. Now the Aussies have done it again.

Just recently, three Aussie nugget shooters (who wish to remain anonymous) were swinging their detectors in the historic "Golden Traingle" mining region near Ballarat, Bendigo, and Stalwell in central Victoria. They had been hitting the area at least two days a week searching for residual gold nuggets with their machines and experiencing less-than-sterling results.

Another Go at It

One of the men (I'll call "Bill") had been introduced to gold "fossicking" (Australian for prospecting or mining) as a child by his father and was familiar with common gold placer mining methods. However, "Bill" shifted to nugget hunting later on as gold-seeking metal detectors became even more efficient in the highly mineralized soils of the Outback.

Treasure Hunting
Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors
On the day in question, the trio gave up their search for gold due to inclement weather, including off and on rainfall. However, during a lull in the rains "Bill" decided to have another go at it.

The "Destiny"

He began swinging his detector with little result until he came to a tree surrounded by foliage, a spot others may have passed over due to the potential difficulty of using a detector there. It wasn't long before "Bill's" machine screamed out and underneath a clump of foliage he dug out what appeared to be a large dirt and mud-covered rock.

What Bill had just found was not a rock, but a gold nugget weighing in at a whopping 117 troy ounces (3.66 kilograms)! Nicknamed the "Destiny," this nugget is one of largest found in the "Golden Triangle" region of Victoria in many years and proves that very large nuggets can still be found Down Under. Estimated value of the "Destiny?" A cool half million dollars.

(Sovereign Hills Museums Association CEO Tim Sullivan holding the "Destiny" nugget.)

Of course, "Bill's" find has a lot to do with luck, but it also has just as much to do with patience, persistence, and perseverance...the "3 Ps" I stress to you again and again in my two blogs. To "Bill" and his friends I have just one thing to say: 

"Good on ya Mates!"

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Nugget Shooting (Historical Perspective"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

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