It’s been said that you can find a YouTube video that will teach how to do almost anything, and people certainly use the site as a way of learning about all sorts of things, including, apparently, how to mine for gold.
Interested treasure hunters recently used those techniques, and found the largest gold nugget ever discovered in the United Kingdom in a river in Scotland, according to the British news outlet, the Telegraph.
The nugget is roughly shaped like a doughnut, and is about 22 carats, weighing a little more than 121 grams.
It was actually discovered as two pieces, which were found a few minutes apart, but it was quickly determined that the pieces fit together perfectly, with a small hole in the center.
It’s been named the Reunion Nugget in honor of the fact that its pieces were found separately.
The person who found it was a method called ‘sniping’, which involves diving with a snorkel and using hand tools to explore the bottom of the river.
The person who made the find has chosen to stay anonymous, and the exact location of the find remains undisclosed in hopes of preventing hordes of gold hunters from invading the area.
A gold-hunter claims to have found the UK’s largest gold nugget https://t.co/fbsf8xlvtl
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) December 5, 2019
Gold has been an integral part of the history of Scotland for thousands of years, according to History Scotland.
It’s been mined directly, found as a by-product of lead mining, and it can even be found in the beds of some of Scotland’s 50,000 rivers, as evidenced by this most recent discovery.
Leon Kirk, from Gold Planning Supplies UK, has said that there is a great deal of gold to be found in Scottish rivers, many of which are remote enough that they haven’t ever been thoroughly investigated and can sometimes only be reached by helicopter.
Having said that, thanks to the increasing availability of ‘how-to’ video, and improved tools and technology, more people are taking up the hobby of becoming amateur gold miners.
ICYMI: The ‘Douglas Nugget’ – A man in the UK found the largest gold nugget in British waters in 500 years @RenitaDYoung brings you the latest in #GoldWatch, see more from @ReutersTV https://t.co/nAz0Dzy28d pic.twitter.com/6BNdYFFrGw
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 4, 2018
Sniping is the obvious example, since the method allows hunters to be able to see clearly under the water and make much more complete and accurate explorations.
Kirk’s observations are pretty spot-on. The discovery of the Reunion Nugget was record breaking, but the record it broke was only a few years old.
In 2016, another prospector found a gold nugget which was reportedly the largest nugget that had been discovered in about 500 years, weighing in at 85.7 grams, making it nearly the same size as the larger piece of the Reunion find. He, too, used the sniping method.
The man, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said that he had been following a crack in the riverbed when he found a much smaller bit gold.
That led him to a pocket, which is where he found his record-breaking nugget. Ever since then, he’s been keeping his find in a safety-deposit box, and isn’t entirely sure what to do with it.
Gold and silver are considered ‘Mines Royal’ under the law, which means that technically, they generally belong to the Crown. If a prospector in Scotland want to take away anything they’ve found, they need permission from the Crown Estate to do it legally.
The Reunion Nugget has been estimated to be worth approximately 80,000 pound and the nugget mentioned in the previous paragraph has an estimated worth of about 50,000, but of course those estimates are based solely on the market value of the gold, itself.
Both pieces also represent a certain historical value and rarity that is much harder to put a price on.
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As it becomes increasingly easier for hobbyists to gain the necessary knowledge and tools, as well as it being easier to gain access to remote areas, it seems fair to say that there may be more records broken in the future as a new generation of treasure hunters tries their luck.