A FORMER garbage collector turned gold digger has found what could be one of the largest gold nuggets ever discovered with a value of £172,000.
Syd Pearson struck gold in the form of a 4.3kg nugget when digging in the Australian state of Victoria.
Syd Pearson, who prospects for a hobby, has found what is believed to be one of the largest gold nuggets ever discovered Credit: Rex Features
This massive 4.6kg gold nugget was eventually sold to a private buyer in the USA Credit: Rex Features
The gold digger who named the nugget after his wife Catherine said he ‘sat there and shook’ at the time Credit: Rex Features
The 68-year-old has talked about how his metal detector was set off, and he heard the distinctive “clink” as he chipped the soil with a pick axe.
But Syd still believed it was a “rabbit trap or can” and was shocked by his discovery in December last year.
“I never let it go, I just sat there and shook,” he said.
He found the nugget in Dunolly, Victoria, which is part of the “Golden Triangle”.
The gold in this region is regarded the purest in the world at around 96 per cent.
Prospectors, who still flock there in droves 166 years after the first Gold Rush began, only need a £12 permit to claim the gold.
Syd named the nugget “Lady Catherine” after his wife and had two replicas made before it was sold to a US private buyer.
This incredible discovery could see even more prospectors flocking to the ‘Golden Triangle’ in Australia Credit: Rex Features
“It’s not just the value of it, I’ve achieved something,” added Mr Pearson.
“I spent 37 years trying and I always dreamt of finding the big one. I was persistent and never gave up.’’
At 72kg the “Welcome Stranger’’, discovered in 1869, is still the largest nugget ever discovered in Australia’s history.
Today, it would be worth almost £2.3 million.