A lucky man in Australia recently discovered a 12-pound gold nugget with his metal detector.
The unidentified man brought the giant piece of gold to the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop and was told by store owner Cordell Kent that it could be worth as much as $500,000.
According to the International Science Times, the amateur gold prospector found the valuable nugget approximately 20 miles from downtown Ballarat with his $6,000 Minelab GPX-5000 metal detector.
He had to dig about two feet below the surface to claim the 12-pound gold nugget.
Exactly how much the gold is worth depends on what the owner decides to do with it.
Ballarat Exchange owner Cordell Kent tells reporters that the value is higher if it is not melted down.
"If you are silly enough to melt it down, it would be worth just under $300,000 on market value but as a nugget at this size and shape, it’s worth significantly more than that ... A finding like this gives people hope .. There’s nothing like digging up money, it’s good fun." - Cordell Kent, Ballarat Exchange
How common is it to find a piece of gold this valuable? Don't count on finding one soon. Cordell Kent states that gold prospectors search for years without making a single find.
There is speculation that the valuable 12 pound gold nugget will be sold to a private collector or a museum.
Kent hopes that it will remain in Australia and that may happen due to customs laws. Special permission must be granted before any piece of gold can be shipped overseas.
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