UK’s biggest gold nugget found off coast of Wales
A TREASURE hunter has found Britain’s biggest gold nugget, worth an estimated £50,000, off the coast of Wales.
Vincent Thurkettle, 60, discovered the 3oz nugget – the size of a small chicken’s egg – under the water at Anglesey.
The previous record-holder, found in Cornwall in 1808, weighed just over 2oz.
The prospector kept his find in 2012 a secret so he could continue to search the area for gold, going public only when he was sure there was no more there.
The nugget is believed to be part of a £120million haul of gold that went down with the Royal Charter when it was shipwrecked during a hurricane in 1859, killing 450 people.
Mr Thurkettle spent seven summers scouring the shore before finding the 23-carat nugget.
He was “absolutely stunned” when he saw the glimmer of gold, five metres below the water and 40 metres from the shipwreck.
He said: “I was only expecting to find gold dust, so I couldn’t believe it when I realised it was a huge nugget. It was a magical moment.”
Mr Thurkettle had to notify the Receiver of Wreck and the piece is now property of the Crown. He expects to receive a finder’s fee but believes the nugget could fetch as much as £50,000 if auctioned.
He added: “It has broken my heart to part with the nugget, but I think it is important that it ends up in a museum.”