But one lucky explorer is set for a windfall after discovering Britain’s largest ever gold nugget in a river in Scotland.
Experts say that the 85.7g lump, which is the width of a golf ball, is worth at least £50,000 – and potentially much more.
The valuable nugget was found lodged in a riverbed by a treasure hunter
Gold expert Leon Kirk of Gold Panning Supplies described the discovery as ‘unprecedented’ and expressed his wish that a British museum would buy it.
He added: ‘The nugget’s rarity means it is very hard to put a price on it.
‘I would say it is worth at least £50,000 but, as it’s rarer than a Aston Martin or a Faberge egg, a billionaire could easily come along and pay a lot more for it.
‘Historically, it is off the Richter scale.’
Gold expert Leon Kirk admires the nugget that’s valued at £50,000 (
He found it by ‘sniping’, which involves wearing a dry suit and snorkel and lying face down in a river.
He said: ‘I was following a crack in the bedrock and found around 2g in fine gold.
‘This then led to a pocket, where I uncovered the nugget.
‘I called over my friend to have a look and we both assumed it to be around 5-7g in weight.
There could be more treasure at the site, but its location has not been disclosed
‘We were both stunned and couldn’t believe it. I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.’
Experts believe the shape of the Douglas Nugget indicates there is more gold at the same site – but the exact area has not been disclosed.
The owner of the gold admitted he is unsure what to do with it, but is keeping it in a safety deposit box in the meantime.
Before its discovery, the largest gold nugget found in Britain was a 59g lump unearthed in Cornwall in 1808.