gold nugget
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 6, 2024 ·  4 min read

Amateur gold digger finds massive nugget worth over $160,000.

A gold digger from Australia recently hit gold (no pun intended) when his budget metal detector found a rock weighing 4.6kg, which had a gold valuation of A$240,000 ($162k USD). The man- who didn’t want to be named for obvious reasons- made this incredible discovery in the goldfields of Victoria. For those who are unaware, Victoria had been the center of the Australian gold rush back in the 1880s. The individual who had purchased their specimen after valuing it, Darren Kamp, went on to state that this was the biggest piece he had ever seen in his 43-year-old career.

Speaking to BBC, Kamp stated, “I was just gobsmacked… It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find.” Interestingly, Mr. Kamp hadn’t thought much of it when he noticed this anonymous prospector walking into his shop with a backpack in Geelong. The buyer commented that he had seen quite a few people coming to his shop in the hope that they had landed a jackpot. [1]

Mr. Kamp further spoke, “But he pulled this rock out and as he dropped it into my hand he said, ‘Do you think there’s A$10,000 worth in it?’ I looked at him and said, ‘Try A$100,000.’” The individual then dropped the rock in Mr. Kamp’s hand and claimed that this was just half the jackpot. The entirety of the rock contained about 83 ounces or 2.6 kg of gold. After Mr. Kamp valued it, he decided to purchase it. As a result, the gold digger got extremely elated, and stated, “Oh, the wife will be happy.” Although this might be considered an extremely rare event for most of the world, Australia is supposed to have the largest gold reserves in the world, and some of the biggest gold nuggets are found in Australia. 

Darren Kamp, the gold digger, with the 4.6kg rock.
Image Credits: Lucky Strike

Gold Digger Discovered A Gold Nugget In Australia- It Could Potentially Change His Life

Mr. Kamp further mentioned that the gold digger had used a Minelab Equinox 800 detector which had a price of A$1200. Kamp added, “It just proves that a 1,200-dollar machine can find gold.” The gold connoisseur stated that his shop had been making a profit by selling more detectors recently- considering how the interest rates were consistently going up and individuals were hoping to supplement their income. The largest specimen that Kamp had found himself was a 24-ounce piece, which would have a valuation of A$70,000. A decade ago, his friend had apparently discovered a gold nugget that was 600 ounces. Under the current gold valuation, a single gram of gold currently has a cost of A$94. Kamp mentioned, “It’s well worth looking for. You only need two little bits and there are 200 Australian dollars basically.” [2]

A couple of years ago, a few gold diggers prospecting in Southern Australia found two huge gold nuggets, which had a valuation of A$350,000 in historic goldfields. A decade ago, an amateur explorer discovered a gold nugget that had a valuation of A$300,000. Historically, the discovery of gold nuggets in the regions of Bendigo and Ballarat of Victoria in 1851 was what led to a massive series of gold rushes in the country in the 1850s. Some fortune seekers did find big nuggets, with the largest, called the ‘Holtermann Nugget’, weighing around 200 pounds. 

A close up of the approximately A$240,000 rock.
Image Credits: Lucky Strike Gold

Lucky Windfalls For Other People

But this gold digger isn’t the only lucky individual who struck gold, fortunately. In November 1992, a farmer from Hoxne, Suffolk came across a veritable treasure when he asked Eric Lawes- who had a metal detector- to search for his lost hammer. While the hammer was never found, the farmer and Lawes managed to hit gold as they came across a treasure that dated back to the Roman empire. While the British government did secure the property as its own, both Lawes and the farmer split an easy 1.75 million pounds. [3]

In Arkansas, US, W.O. Basham discovered a 40.23-carat diamond back in 1924. He wasn’t mining in South Africa, but in the United States- in a park that has now been called the Crater of Diamonds State Park. The big diamond was nicknamed ‘The Uncle Sam Diamond’, and was the largest diamond ever found in North America. The diamond was then brought down to 12.42 carats and sold for $150,000 in 1971. 

Being A Gold Digger Might Be Pretty Fortuitous

Another individual who secured a nice nest egg was not a gold digger, but an ordinary citizen from Nashville- Michael Sparks. In one of his shopping sprees, he had purchased a candleholder, a set of shakers, and a dried print of the Declaration of Independence. Initially, Sparks thought that this was just one of the newly printed ones, but a quick Google search and he discovered that this was one of the only 36 intact Declarations of the 200 written by John Adams. Sparks took a year to authenticate and were sold for $477,650. 

There was yet another incident when an individual almost came across a treasure when, in 1992, Teri Horton went to a local thrift store to purchase a gag gift. She found a painting that was quite large and ugly- in her opinion. She paid $5 for it- but was later informed by an art teacher that it could be worth millions if it was an original Jackson Pollock painting. Although the retired truck driver had this painting analyzed by several forensic experts- no one could verify it. As such, the painting still remains unsold.

Keep Reading: Collector Once Found $2.4 Million in Gold Bars in a Tank he Purchased on eBay


  1. Amateur Australian gold digger finds massive nugget.” BBC. March 2023.
  2. Amateur gold digger finds huge nugget worth $160,000 in Australia.” CNN. Amarachie Orie. March 28, 2023.
  3. 6 People Who Accidentally Found a Fortune.” Mental Floss. February 26, 2014.