In Brief

Gold nugget worth £80,000 found in UK river

The record-breaking find weighs more than 120g but location remains a secret

The largest gold nugget ever found in the UK has been unearthed in a Scottish river by a treasure hunter.

According to The Times, a diver discovered the 22-karat, 121.3g (4.27oz) lump of gold in May this year. The diver was using a method called “sniping”, which “sees the prospector use a snorkel, dry suit and hand tools to search the riverbed”.

The item, which was in two pieces that fit together, has been called the Reunion Nugget and is thought to be worth £80,000.

The BBC reports that the previous largest find, in 2016, was the 85.7g (3oz) Douglas Nugget, adding that gold panning experts are “remaining sceptical” until the provenance of the Reunion Nugget can be confirmed.

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Lee Palmer, author of Gold Occurrences in the UK, said: “This is now the largest nugget in existence in the UK. When you look at it, it’s doughnut-shaped. There are no impurities in it, it is just pure gold nugget of about 22 karats. It really is a remarkable find.

“The man just threw the bigger piece in his bucket with the rest of his stuff – he knew it was big but didn’t realise how big.

“He found the second nugget 30 centimetres away and chucked that in his bucket too,” he added. “It wasn’t until a couple of days later that he had a look at them and realised how big they were and that they fitted together.”

Metro suggests that the hole in the middle of the item “may have been caused by a strike off a rock or glacier or even a tool used by a farmer during the Iron Age”.

The BBC adds that the gold panning community is “renowned for its secrecy, and the name of the river where it was found has not been revealed” for fear that the news will prompt a mini gold rush. The diver who found the nugget is also remaining anonymous.

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