Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found in the UK Could Be From Scotland

UK's largest gold nugget, weighing a hefty 121.3 grams (4.28 ounces), found in a Scottish river

UK’s largest gold nugget, weighing a hefty 121.3 grams (4.28 ounces), found in a Scottish river

In May of this year, the world’s largest gold nugget was allegedly discovered in a river in Scotland. A gold-hunter who has chosen to remain anonymous apparently found the nugget using a technique known in the treasure hunting community as “sniping.” The treasure hunter reports the nugget weighs in at a whopping 121.3 grams, or 4.28 ounces. If this proves to be legitimate, then the lucky seeker will have broken the record set by the ‘Douglas Nugget.’ In other words, the treasure hunter will have found the UK’s largest gold nugget. 

How We Found Out

Lee Palmer wrote “Gold Occurrences in the UK: A Gold Prospector’s Guide,” and spoke with CNN about the nugget. “It’s priceless,” he remarked. The piece was split into two parts, weighing 31.7 and 89.6 grams apiece. However, an anonymous prospector was able to fit the two pieces together to form a precious jigsaw puzzle. 

Mr. Palmer wants the piece to be put into a museum, but as is, he is unsure what the fate of the precious metal will be. They do things a little differently in Scotland, as its part of the UK. When it comes to treasures, the government might step in and claim precious metals like gold or silver as property of the Crown. This differs from laws in the United States, where courts have usually ruled that old treasures with no clear owner belong to whoever finds them. That means the UK’s largest gold nugget could be displayed in a private Royal collection somewhere, and inaccessible to the public. 

Origins of the Gold a Mystery

While Lee Palmer’s story says one thing, there is no proof as of yet whether or not the gold even came from Scotland. Since this is the case, there is no definitive way to verify the gold’s legitimacy. Gold expert Neil Clark remarked to CNN that, “the only way of checking to see where a piece of gold has come from is to locate the impurities in it, and even then, it’s very difficult.” Even if the gold can’t be verified as authentic Scottish metal, its owner might still end up being royalty. 

The UK’s largest gold nugget would certainly be a sight to see, but as is both its fate and origin is a mystery. Hopefully, experts will be able to determine the authenticity and rarity of the artifact. Amateur treasure hunters everywhere will be able to rejoice in the fact that ‘panning for gold’ is more than just an analogy again. 

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