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Britain’s largest golden nugget worth £80,000 is found in Scottish river

The gold nugget was unearthed in a Scottish river (Picture: Lee Palmer/Paul Jacobs/Pictureexclusive.​com)

Britain’s largest gold nugget, weighing a whopping 121.3g, has been unearthed in a Scottish river.

An unnamed explorer made the find used the traditional method of sniping, which involves lying face down in a river wearing a snorkel and dry suit.

The nugget is thought to be worth £80,000 but may now legally have to be handed over to the Queen.

The gold was actually found in two pieces, which slot together perfectly, earning it the name The Reunion Nugget.

It also has a hole in the middle, which may have been caused by a strike off a rock or glacier or even a tool used by a farmer during the Iron Age.

The find was made by an explorer using the traditional method of sniping (Picture: Paul Jacobs/Pictureexclusive.​com)
The two halves fit together but the hole in the middle may have been made by a strike off a rock or glacier or even a tool used by a farmer during the Iron Age (Picture: Lee Palmer/Pictureexclusive.​com)

The mystery nugget finder approached expert Lee Palmer, author of Gold Occurrences in the UK, for help after the find in May this year.

Lee said: ‘This is now the largest nugget in existence in the UK.

‘When you look at it, it’s doughnut-shaped.

‘There are no impurities in it, it is just pure gold nugget of about 22 carats.

‘It really is a remarkable find.’

The nugget was found in two halves, which fit together perfectly (Picture: Lee Palmer/Pictureexclusive.​com)
Gold hunters at work in Scotland (Picture: Lee Palmer/Pictureexclusive.​com)

The British enthusiast unearthed the larger piece first, which weighs 89.6g, before finding the other 31.7g half 10 minutes later.

Together they are just under the weight of a billiard ball and smash the previous record of 85.7g for The Douglas Nugget.

Lee, 50, said: ‘The man just threw the bigger piece in his bucket with the rest of his stuff – he knew it was big but didn’t realise how big.

‘He found the second nugget 30 centimetres away and chucked that in his bucket too.

‘It wasn’t until a couple of days later that he had a look at them and realised how big they were and that they fitted together.’

The find weighs 121.3g and was found in two halves (Picture: Les Palmer/Pictureexclusive.​com)

Both the finder of the nugget and the owner of the land where it was discovered are keeping their identities secret due to its magnitude.

Lee hopes it will be purchased by either the National Museum of Scotland or the Natural History Museum, but legally it may have to be handed over to The Crown Estate.

He added that the fact it is in two pieces should not affect its value.

Lee continued: ‘Even if you took the largest individual piece, it is still the biggest one in the UK.

‘Add together the second piece and the story behind it and you’ve got something amazing.’

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