As geeks, we get excited about phones that are 10 per cent faster than their competitors, and camera sensors that capture 20 per cent more light. That technological arms race is equally ferocious in the metal detector world, as crazy as that sounds, and avid hobbyists can spend serious money on new toys that they compare with their mates. Sometimes, though, it pays off — like for one (anonymous) Aussie gold-digger that found a 4.1-kilo nugget in Victoria's Golden Triangle.
Informally named "Friday's Joy", the nugget will go up for auction and is expected to net more than $250,000 — the same value that the (relatively) well-known Cindy's Pride, one of the largest single gold deposits ever found in Australia, is worth. The 145-ounce nugget was actually the second one the wisely-wants-to-remain-anonymous prospector found, but it was a damn sight larger than the 9-ounce speck that drew him to the location originally.
Looking for the tech angle? This news comes to us by way of Minelab, the Aussie company that makes the GPZ 7000 — apparently the "next level of gold detection" according to Minelab's website — and a wide range of other gold and treasure detectors. The GPZ is supposedly "equipped with Minelab’s exclusive, groundbreaking, Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology and state-of-the-art features", and "offers the deepest ground penetration and represents the most significant advancement in gold detecting technologies in years". Hey, if it's found a $250,000 piece of gold, you've convinced us.
And apparently gold detecting is a more lucrative hobby than we thought, too; a prospector called Mick Brown found a 2.7-kilogram nugget worth $175,000 that he called "Fair Dinkum" last year, also with a Minelab detector. Maybe we should hang up our keyboards and invest in a metal detector instead. [Minelab]