Man finds ‘England’s largest’ gold nugget, despite metal detector failing

A treasure hunter struggling with faulty equipment has unearthed a gold nugget believed to be the largest ever found in England.

Richard Brock discovered the gold nugget, weighing 64.8 grams (2.3 ounces), in the country’s Shropshire Hills near the border with Wales, auction house Mullock Jones said Thursday.

The nugget is around the size of a UK 50 pence coin.

The find, nicknamed Hiro’s Nugget, has an estimated worth of between £30,000 ($38,000) and £40,000 ($50,700), according to Shropshire-based Mullock Jones, which is handling the sale.

However, it almost seemed that luck had eluded Brock, whose equipment almost failed him on the day of the dig.

When Brock arrived at the site in Shropshire in May, he discovered that his metal detector was faulty, according to a press release from Mullock Jones.

As his hopes dimmed, he turned to a piece of older equipment. At first he found only a coin of little value, but within five minutes he made the shocking discovery, the auction house said.

“It just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter what equipment you use, if you are walking over the find and are alert enough to what might be lurking underneath the soil, that makes all the difference,” Brock said in the release.

The nugget is considered to be a “rare find,” auctioneer Ben Jones of Mullock Jones told CNN Thursday. How it made it to the dig site is a mystery.

Parts of the Shropshire Hills were once under a prehistoric ocean, and pieces of coral are often unearthed there, according to the auction house.

“The site does contain an old road/ railway line and has remnants of Welsh stone within,” auctioneer Jones said, adding: “So [there’s] a variety of possibilities of how it made it there.”

The auction ends April 1.

Although Hiro’s Nugget is believed to be the largest discovered so far in England, several previous finds in other parts of the United Kingdom dwarf it in size.

The record holder is the 121.3-gram [4.3 ounces] Reunion Nugget, found in Scotland in 2019.

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