Nomads get gold fever as nugget sells for $292,000

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Grey nomads get gold fever as Destiny nugget found near Ballarat sells for $292,000
A find like this will pay for a lifetime of fuel

The huge upsurge in grey nomad interest in gold prospecting and gem fossicking is certain to be further fuelled by the recent sale of a 3kg-plus gold nugget that was found near Ballarat.

The so-called Destiny nugget – which was unearthed by three men in 2012 – sold at auction in Melbourne earlier this month for a whopping for $292,800.

Legend has is it that the men were about to call it a day after prospecting alongside a road near the Victorian town when they came across the nugget, which was just 15 centimetres under the ground.

Weighing 3.663kg, the nugget had been on display at the Sovereign Hill Gold Museum in Ballarat. It was originally valued at $500,000 but gold prices have dropped since the find.

The exact location where the men discovered the nugget has been remained a closely guarded secret, but it has certainly a greater number of people to try their hand at fossicking … many of them travelling Australia in their caravans and motorhomes.

“I think a lot of people will be interested in the results of the sale,” said Harry Glenn, an auctioneer with Mossgreen who conducted the Destiny nugget  sale. “I think it will start a bit of renaissance in the gold prospecting field.”

Certainly, an increasing number of grey nomads are finding that fossicking is a hobby that can help with the fuel bills.

And the New South Wales government is currently considering a push by fossickers for greater access to national parks, following claims that restrictions are holding back regional tourism

NSW Resources Minister Anthony Roberts says fossicking is an important part of regional economies and, while fossicking is already allowed in state forests, he could “consider more fossicking districts as required”.

NSW and ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association president Stephen Dangaard said about 20% of the state’s national parks could be suitable sites for fossicking and prospecting.

  • Do you travel with a metal detector or a sieve? What’s the biggest treasure you’ve unearthed? Comment below.

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3 Responses to Nomads get gold fever as nugget sells for $292,000

  1. We always travel with prospecting gear. especially as it is free to prospect in NSW.

  2. I was fossicking in NZ a few years ago and came across another wishful washer of alluvial and asked how it was going. He said he hadn’t found any gold and that all he was getting was this black stuff. I watched him throw the black stuff away and try again. He soon left the river and it was then that I went and fossicked for the throw away black stuff. It turned out to be platinum which had a value far in excess of the gold he wanted.

  3. We spent the Oct long weekend at Mudgee for the food and wine festival. While we were there we bought some gold pans and tried our luck in the river. It was fun and if we had decided to do it earlier I am sure we would have found more. As it was all we found was the smallest speck of gold that I now keep in the van. I think it could be a great way to have some fun while just relaxing out on the road.

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