An amateur prospector in Australia discovered $160,000 worth of gold in a 10-pound rock while trying his luck with a low-end metal detector.
Darren Kamp, the owner of prospecting shop Lucky Strike Gold, told Insider that in November, he bought the rock from a prospector, who did not want to be named.
According to Kamp, this prospector pulled the gold-infused nugget out from his backpack and plopped it into Kamp’s hands. The man then asked Kamp if he thought the rock was worth at least $10,000.
Kamp told Insider that he immediately knew it was worth far more.
“I said, try $100,000,” Kamp told Insider. “I’ve been prospecting 43 years and I’ve never seen a rock specimen with this much gold in it.”
And the prospector had only brought half of the rock — he’d cracked open the specimen to glimpse inside, and left the other half at home, Kamp said.
When they later reunited the two halves, Kamp said he tested the rock and found 82 ounces of gold inside it.
“I was gobsmacked,” he said. At today’s gold prices in Australia, the specimen would fetch up to around $160,000.
The prospector had used a $1,200 metal detector to discover the rock around 12 inches underground. The man had been hunting for gold in the “golden triangle” area between Bendigo, St Arnaudsome, and Ballarat, Kamp said.
Kamp has since dubbed the rock the “Lucky Strike Nugget,” in keeping with the Australian gold rush tradition of naming big finds.
Kamp told Insider he spent several weeks meticulously cleaning the rock, which he said was caked in brown dirt.
He’s considering selling the nugget as a collector’s piece, though he wants to keep it for a while longer.
“It’s a shame that it’s been broken into two halves, though because it’s broken in two, you can see a lot of gold in the rock,” he said.
Kamp thinks this find will motivate amateur prospectors to venture out in search of a similar lucky strike in the next few weeks.
“Hobbying prospectors go out on a weekend and might be happy to find a couple hundred dollars of gold,” he said.
The price of a single ounce of gold in Australia is $1,962. In 2013, an Australian prospector found a $295,000 gold nugget weighing 177 ounces in Ballarat.
Get the latest Gold price here.