Australians have been finding gold nuggets all over the outback for centuries. With the proliferation of gold mines all over Victoria fossicking for gold has been waning as a lot of people believe that all the nuggets that can be found already have been found. A Victorian Family’s discovery has proven this not to be the case. The Butterick family have been finding gold nuggets in their Wedderburn home since 1950. In 1959 when Dave Butterick was 68, he and four sons found $500,000 worth of gold nuggets in their backyard over a period of 12 to 18 months. The story made headline news in 1950 and the story of the find made Dave Butterick and four of his sons in laws: Rex Chapman, Jack Cole, Bill Matthews and George Webster had their stories told to newspapers and their pictures splashed on the front pages of some of the leading newspapers like The Argus of March 18.
It was a story of rags to riches that was told by the farmer and a story of a family who found hope in the back paddock. Butterick was quoted as saying that they had been broke all their lives and the find eased their immediate money worries. Card games played for money are fun again when you know you have a backyard full of gold. The grandchildren were playing cards with gold nuggets worth $145 something that they could not even fathom in their wildest dreams. But dreams do come true and finding a gold nugget can change lives quite drastically.
The discovery of gold nuggets in Victoria did not end in 1950. Rags to riches stories of people finding gold in Australia includes the story of Cordell Kent, the owner of Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop and amateur prospectors who found a 5.5 kg golden nugget worth $300,000 using nothing but a metal detector. This was back in 2013 when metal detectors were not as technologically advanced as they are today. However besides this find, there have been several smaller finds, mostly below 2.8kg. Another discovery was made in 2014 by an unnamed person in West Victoria using a metal detector.
A century has passed since the Australian gold rush began in Ballarat but there are still nuggets being found in the area. This means that there are still gold dealers who specialise in nuggets. It is important to find someone who knows nuggets so that when you do sell gold nuggets you get the best deal for your finds.
Not all nuggets get melted down and purified for gold. Nuggets are rare. They are rarer than diamonds and the best specimens fetch great prices when they are sold to the right dealers. Nuggets can either be melted down and gold refined to remove impurities or it can be used in making jewellery. You can sell gold nuggets to collectors too who value them for their uniqueness and rarity.
More nuggets have been found in Australia. In 2016 a 4.1kg gold nugget, called “Friday’s Joy” was found in the southern edge in an area known as the Golden Triangle in Southern Australia. It could be worth a quarter of a million dollars.
A lot of the gold found in the outback is never reported mainly because people fear that it would trigger a rush of some sort in a place where they hope to get more gold from. Judging by the number of Australian gold nuggets which are sometimes referred to as Placer gold on the internet, there are nuggets still out there that are waiting for someone to stumble upon them or unearth them using metal detectors. There has also been a rise in the number of fossickers in the Victoria area which means that people know that there is some likelihood that there is a lot of gold to be found in the area.