Amateur gold digger finds $160,000 nugget

Originally published at: Amateur gold digger finds $160,000 nugget | Boing Boing


So Lasseter’s Reef hasn’t finally been found then.


Does this now make him a professional?


Oh my. I bet there’s a pocket out there somewhere


used a Minelab Equinox 800 gold detector that sells for around $800

Just for the nerdly curious, i believe these all depend on metal detectors equipped with phase shift detectors. That is, you pump ‘downwards’ the usual RF but instead of just focusing on the reflected RF you also attempt to measure how the phase of the reflected RF has been shifted. Every metal has its own phase response. Yet gold, i gather, is not being easily discriminated from aluminum, for example. there; worth every bit of pyrite you paid for it. one nebulous reference. (“how about more episodes about this for The Detectorists?”)

(from an Bugs episode where he acted as a gold detector to a flummoxed Yosemite Sam. depicted here at Fort Knox)


I’d really like to get a sample of gold infused quartz some day. Probably the only way to do that is to get really lucky if I ever make it out to CO again…

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As opposed to a professional gold-digger?


I hope they keep it as a geologic curio than turn it into jewelry or money. Or maybe give it to a geology museum since it’s a nice specimen (or better give it the indigenous Australians since its part of their land? Just a thought.).


The one on the left?

He’s a professional in anything?


Nice pair of them there… /sarcasm

(i.e. one’s a grifter, the other’s a gold digger- they might be the same person, they might be both persons…)


What a stroke of rock!

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Ohhh-weee, the Minelab Equinox 800… durn, that new ME800 model makes prospectin’ a snap! I cain’t even pull together enough flakes o’ gold to buy myself more than a pan and a screen… shucks… when my pee-paw bought us a 48" Highbanker by RDH, I thought for sure we’d be livin’ the high life soon enough.

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They’s a great set o’ gals; anna won’t hear a bad word about 'em.



i read “gold digger” and thought of an entirely different type of person, and then i realized this refers to more of a Miner 49er.


Just confirming that Don Knotts and Tim Conway are no longer with us, so everyone can rest easy.


The catch of course is that extracting that gold is not easy. The old timey freelance prospectors worked the rivers because there all you have to do is sluice and you get gold.

This guy accidentally signed up for hard rock mining, which is a whole other ball game. Getting that gold out of that rock is very difficult. He can now bust out the mercury like the illegal African miners do, or he’s going to have to pay someone a lot of money to extract that with safer methods.

Still, it’s neat that nuggets that big still exist. Most gold mining these days is micro-particle dust extraction. It requires so much elaborate sluicing machinery that they literally measure the return rate in ounces of gold per 1000 gallons of diesel burned. They barely break even in many cases because of how small the gold is getting. They mine thousands of tons of dirt and sluice it all to get a little bit of dust.


I sometimes watch Aussie Gold Hunters as mindfloss.

Basing all my knowledge of gold prospecting on that, if he had kept the speccie (specimen) in one piece he would have got more for it from a collector.

That’s why Aussies are called diggers.

So are “collectors” the kind of dickhead who would plop a nugget like that on his desk, while also feeling a need to stash it in a safe each night?

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Can’t you just grind it up and melt it out?

I think collectors are the kind of dickhead who has dickheads to protect their collection.