MELBOURNE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): One man hit pay dirt when he found a rock containing 2.6kg of gold, valued at A$240,000 (US$160,000) in Australia.
The amateur gold prospector, who did not want to be identified according to local media, discovered the 4.6kg rock in Victoria’s “Golden Triangle”.
A gold prospector is someone who searches for gold.
The man was reportedly using a Minelab Equinox 800 metal detector, a budget model that retails for about A$1,200, when he made the discovery.
Victoria’s “Golden Triangle” is an area that stretches from Ballarat across to Bendigo and up to St Arnaud, and is known for gold discoveries dating back to the 1800s.
The man took the rock to gold trader Darren Kamp, a prospecting equipment retailer in Victoria, to have it valued.
Kamp, who has been in the gold industry for 43 years, said the rock is the “biggest gold specimen” he has seen.
“He said, ‘Do you think there’s A$10,000 worth?’ And as soon as it hit my hand, I said, ‘try A$100,000’,” Kamp told Australian TV news network 9News.
“And he said, ‘Oh wow, the wife’s going to be happy with that’.”
The man then told Kamp that he had actually only brought in half the rock, leaving the other half at home.
After valuing the rock, Kamp bought it.
“I was just gobsmacked... It’s a once in a lifetime find,” said Kamp in a BBC report.
The BBC said Australia is estimated to have the world’s largest gold reserves, with many of the world’s biggest nuggets found in the country.
In 1869, a 72kg gold nugget was found near Moliagul in Victoria. Today, such a nugget could reportedly fetch about A$6.8 million.