Amateur Aussie Nugget Shooter Hits the "Big One"

 (Hitting the "big one" is something all of us dream about.)

By now most, if not all of you, have heard about the spectacular gold nugget unearthed this past week by an amateur Australian nugget shooter. Known as "fossickers" Down Under, Aussie gold prospectors, miners, and nugget hunters keep turning up huge pieces of gold despite the fact that many say the best is gone.

The lucky fossicker who turned up this beauty hadn't had much luck swinging his metal detector in the old Australian goldfields up to this point. However, just a few days ago near Ballarat his luck changed and what he first thought was the hood ("bonnet") of a car turned out to be whopper nugget containing 177 troy ounces (5.5 kilograms) of gold.

An Unbelievable Find

The area the anonymous nugget hunter was working is known as Australia's "Golden Triangle" and has long been known for producing large amounts of gold and sizable nuggets. After his unbelievable find our Aussie friend weighed the nugget on his bathroom scale and then took it into the Ballarat Gold exchange Shop and told owner Cordell Kent "Mate, I found a good one." What an understatement!

Wolverine Boots
Dickies Work Clothes
Metal Detectors

The nugget has a unique "Y" shape to it and is 8.66 inches long and 5.51 inches wide. The lucky finder was using an Australian-made metal/gold detector, which I suspect is probably a Minelab without knowing for certain.

Premium Prices

Interestingly enough, the "Golden Triangle" also produced the "Hand of Faith" gold nugget back in 1980. The "Hand of Faith" was found by Aussie Kevin Hillier who was also using a metal detector when he recovered that 72-troy pound, 11-ounce monster which he sold to Nevada's Golden Nugget Casino for a cool million dollars.

 (Ballarat Gold Exchange Shop owner Cordell Kent gives the "thumbs up" on this beauty.)

Shop owner Cordell Kent has this to say about the discovery last week: "The intrinsic gold value is about $286,000 (Aussie dollars) but because it's a natural raw specimen, it's got a value far in excess of that." He's right about that...large, spectacular gold nuggets like this one can command premium prices from collectors, museums, and anyone else who has the bankroll to shell out big bucks. If I had to make a guess, I'd say this new Aussie nugget (which hasn''t been given a name yet) will probably bring close to half a million dollars (USD) after all the dust settles.

Good Finds Still There

What does all this tell you ? Yep...good finds are still out there. One admonition though. You need to be working areas where big nuggets were found in the past.

Who knows? With a bit of research, some hard work, and a whole lot of luck, you may be the finder of the next whopper.

In the meantime, here's a short YouTube video of this great find:

Take care out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Aussie Detectorist Unearths Half-Million Dollar Nugget"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Hard to read this.....too much green color comeing off me reflecting on the screen! Yep...ENVY!!!!

  2. I hear ya too!! J.R.

  3. JR, I was able to spend some time with Cordell this past week about prospecting Australia AND the 177 ounce nugget found earlier in January...thought you'd enjoy it...

    Take Care AND May You Always Find What You Are Looking For!
    Wyoming USA

  4. Thanks for sending this along JC...I envy you your trip Down Under. Best of luck in all your pursuits, J.R.


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