12 Pound Gold Nugget Valued $300,000 Discovered In Australia [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on January 17, 2013 3:06 PM EST

12 lb nugget
A 12 pound gold nugget, worth at least $300,000, was discovered in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo: YouTube)

An unidentified amateur gold prospector made the find of a lifetime in Ballarat, Australia, when his trusty metal detector discovered an enormous nugget of gold 60 centimeters below the surface. Evaluated at the Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop, the nugget weighed 12 pounds and is estimated to be worth more than $300,000.

While the prospector votes to keep his identity anonymous, Ballarat Exchange owner Cordell Kent spoke with reporters on the find. According to Kent, the 12 pound gold nugget was discovered 20 miles from downtown Ballarat thanks to the prospector's advanced Minelab GPX-5000 metal detector.

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"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. I can’t remember a nugget this big ever being found locally," said while examining the nugget.

Like searching a needle in a haystack, Kent explains that prospectors can go on for years without making a find. In fact, Kent has used his metal detector for more than twenty years but has never made a find remotely as significant as the 12 pound nugget.

Despite the rare odds, Kent believes the story of the incredible discovery will inspire prospectors far and wide to pick up their metal detectors.

“A finding like this gives people hope. It’s my dream to find something like that, and I’ve been prospecting for more than two decades. We’re so far into a gold rush and we have years and years and years of hope ahead of us. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got no doubt there will be a lot of people who will be very enthusiastic about the goldfields again, it gives people hope. There’s nothing like digging up money, it’s good fun.”

Experts believe the remarkable 12 pound gold nugget will be sold to a private collector or perhaps a prestigious museum.

Cordell Kent hopes the gold nugget will remain a treasure of Australia. Given the nuggets immense size, a special permission from the customs is required before the piece of gold can be exported overseas.

See the immense piece of gold being handled in the video below.

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