On Sunday, May 12, an Australian family found a gold nugget on the ground. They stumbled upon it while they were taking their dog for a walk on Mother’s Day.
The nugget weighs 624 grams, or about 22 ounces. It’s estimated to be worth more than $37,000 in New Zealand dollars (about $24,369 USD) – not bad for a surprising find!
The family, who asked to stay anonymous, is from Bendigo, Victoria, which actually used to be a gold rush boom town. There’s actually still at least one gold mine in Bendigo, called the Central Deborah Gold Mine, which is now a tourist attraction.
Finding the gold
On that Sunday, the father and his two daughters (the mother had stayed home) were walking their dog and just so happened to come across the gold nugget. At first, they weren’t sure what it was.
According to the Bendigo Advertiser, the father said, “‘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’.”
They couldn’t find any place to accurately weigh the nugget, so they decided to do so at a local IGA supermarket. The article quoted the dad as saying, “‘They weren’t too happy that we were weighing it at the deli there’.”
Future plans for the family
The father remarked that he plans to sell the gold nugget – the family could use the money. He told the Bendigo Advertiser, “We’ve come on some tough times so it’s really good because we’ve been struggling financially. It couldn’t be better timing’.”
He’s also done some prospecting before – although not regularly – but he’s never found anything, at least until now. He says the family plans to go back to the same place to see if they can find more gold underneath the surface. “‘Usually when you find a nugget that big, there will be more gold around so hopefully that’s the case,” the dad shared with the Bendigo Advertiser.
Other gold finds in Australia
However, according to news.com.au, this isn’t the first time that an Australian has found a sizable gold nugget. It’s happened at least a few times.
In September 2018, “a huge gold nugget worth at least $110,000 was uncovered by a retired prospector in remote Western Australia,” the article said. “That find weighed in at a hefty 3.23 kilograms and was dubbed ‘Duck’s Foot’ because of its unique shape.”
Further back in 2017, Greg Cooke, a Surfers Paradise (which is a seaside resort in eastern Australia) gold digger, found many nuggets over several visits. He obtained them on a northern Gold Coast beach, but won’t say which one or exactly where he found them.
Going all the way back to February 1869, the biggest gold nugget on Earth was found by prospectors John Deason and Richard Oates in Moliagul, Victoria (which has actually been home to a lot of gold nugget finds). Weighing between 2,284 and 2,380 ounces, it was nicknamed ‘Welcome Stranger’.YouTube (GemQ1)
According to the news.com.au article, “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.”