Gold nugget '˜thought to be UK's largest ever' discovered in Scottish river

What is thought to be the largest gold nugget ever discovered in the UK, has been found in a Scottish river.

The nugget, like the one pictured, was discovered in a Scottish river. Picture: Pixabay
The nugget, like the one pictured, was discovered in a Scottish river. Picture: Pixabay

Dubbed the Douglas Nugget, the find reportedly weighs just over 85 grams and is estimated to be worth more than £50,000 - though this valuation could rise due to its rarity.

The gold hunter, who discovered it while ‘sniping’ (which involves the prospector using a snorkel and lying face down in rivers and streams to look for gold), is said to have come across the nugget two years ago but had decided to keep it under wraps. The man has since refused to disclose the exact location of the river where the nugget was found, despite coming forward with his find.

Gold expert Leon Kirk, from Gold Panning Supplies UK, told the BBC: “This is a very exciting and unprecedented find.

“But 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 an 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.”

Scotland has a long and illustrious history of discoveries of gold.

In 1869, a gold rush was sparked in Helmsdale in Sutherland when Robert Gilchirst, who had returned home after working in the Australian goldfields for 17 years, discovered gold at Kildonan burn.

The Duke of Sutherland issued licences for the search and within six months, 600 hopeful prospectors had arrived in a hope of striking lucky.

While in the 16th century, Abraham Grey, a Dutchman working in the gold fields of Wanlockhead, found enough gold to make a basin that could hold one English gallon.

The previous record for gold discovered in Scotland was set in 2015, after a 18.1-gram lump of gold, worth an estimated £10,000, was hauled from a river near Wanlockhead.