Haven’t we all seen that guy on the beach or in the park — with his socks pulled high and headphones on, swinging a funny contraption over the ground — and thought to ourselves, “that guy won’t find anything! What a waste of time!” Well, maybe we’ve got it wrong.
On January 16th of this year, an avid local prospector came across a 12-pound (177 t/oz.) gold nugget in Ballarat, Australia, resting two feet underground. The exact location remains a mystery, but we do know he was using a Minelab GPX-5000 detector that costs about $6,000. Not your entry-level detector, but definitely worth the investment after this find! The prospector took his enormous find to the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop to confirm his discovery. The owner of the shop, Cordell Kent, described how the prospector heard a faint sound, then wiped away some leaves and started digging. What he thought was an old car part turned out to be a 12-pound nugget of gold!
Gold was first discovered in Ballarat in 1851, and the area is still producing nuggets. Last July, an eight-pound gold nugget was found in the region. With big finds like this and the 12-pound nugget, the Ballarat region will probably become a popular gold-hunting area. The 12-pound gold nugget found in January is said to have a gold value of about $300,000, but its collectible value may far exceed its weight in gold. Some say it could sell for as much as half a million dollars.
We have all dreamed of finding a buried treasure or sifting through sediment to find gold. Perhaps metal detecting is prospecting for the new millennium. Metal detecting is a very popular hobby, and it’s growing in popularity with both the young and old. You can get started with as little as $100. Pair that small investment with a love of exploring and the great outdoors, and you’ve got yourself a hobby that will likely pay for itself. There are also metal detecting websites and clubs all over the world where you can meet others, learn tips and techniques, and share your finds. Do your research. Whether you want to find coins, Civil War relics, lost jewelry or even gold nuggets, there is a detector available to help you get started today.
Anyone up for some metal detecting?
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business that was first established over 16 years ago and is now located in Vancouver and Portland. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.