Record-breaking 'Reunion' gold nugget found in river
Liam Sheasby, News Editor
4 Dec 2019, 11:32 a.m.
Only a year since the record-breaking Douglas nugget was revealed to have been found in a Scottish river, another prospector has found an even larger specimen hidden on a riverbed.
The anonymous finder was ‘sniping’ (snorkelling) to scour the river for precious metals when he stumbled across the two parts. It was only later on when he inspected what was in his bucket that he realised the enormity of the find.
The gold, dubbed the Reunion nugget, was found in May in two-parts. The parts fit like a jigsaw, which earned it the Reunion moniker, but with a doughnut-like hole in the centre; potentially where an Iron Age pickaxe went through the rock according to historians.
The Reunion nugget is 22-carat gold and weighs 121.3 grams. It has an estimated value of £80,000, though the unusual nature of such an item could drive its price nearer to the £100,000 mark.
The prospector who found the gold has chosen to keep both his name and the location of the find anonymous, but he did contact Lee Palmer – author of Gold Occurrences in the UK. Mr Palmer helped verify the gold’s authenticity and purity, and also documented the find with photographs.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Palmer explained that the gold will now most likely be sold to either a museum – such as the National Museum of Scotland or the Natural History Museum. There are legal precedents however for the Crown to be awarded the gold, as per the Treasure Act 1996. This applies across the UK but has been little utilised in the case of gold nugget finds.