Gold-seekers have scoured the area since the 1850s but overlooked this one—a nugget weighing in at 4.121 kilograms or 132.5 ounces. The August 26 (Down Under calendar) discovery was the anonymous hobbyist’s second find in two days, following a nine-ounce nugget and demonstrating the enduring potential of Victoria state’s Golden Triangle.
“I was in total disbelief as I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around,” the Age quoted the prospector. Initially mistaking a lump in the ground for the tip of a horseshoe, he dug a mere 30 centimetres to unearth the treasure. The previous find came from a depth of 60 centimetres.
The Age said he’d been working the area on weekends for about a decade. Now sitting in a bank vault, the nugget’s slated for the auction block.
Five of the world’s 10 biggest nuggets, including the top three, came from Victoria, according to the Discovery Channel. The biggest, Welcome Stranger, was a 72.02-kilogram whopper found in 1869. Following in size were the 68-kilo Welcome nugget found in 1858 and the 27.2-kilo Hand of Faith, found with a metal detector in 1980.
The Golden Triangle hosts a number of storied mining camps and towns including Ballarat, Bendigo and Mount Alexander. The 1854 miners’ rebellion at the Eureka Stockade near Ballarat ended with dozens of deaths but helped bring responsible government to the colony.