After 37 years of searching, Syd Pearson has finally hit the jackpot when he struck it lucky at a Victorian gold fields. 

The 68-year-old garbage man from Maryborough was elated to discover the gigantic piece of 4.3kg gold nugget after years of trying.

The rock is worth almost $300,000 which he was unaware of when it was first dug from the ground.


SYD Pearson remembers the exact moment he struck it lucky in Victoria’s sprawling gold fields. Pacing across a little patch of earth out the back of Dunolly last December, the 68-year-old heard the distinctive hum set off by his metal detector. He chipped away at the spot with a pick axe and then felt the kind of “clunk’’ that would light up the eyes of any prospector. Hands already shaking, the garbage man from Maryborough brushed away the dirt to discover a 4.3kg gold nugget — one of the largest ever dug up from Victoria’s historic goldfields. “I lit a ciggie and made a cup of tea but I didn’t have to bloody stir it,’’ Mr Pearson said.

Soon after he put the stone in his toolbox he drove home to tell his wife the good news. He decided to name the stone Lady Catherine as a way of honouring his wife.

The stone has now been lodged in Victoria’s prospecting history books, part of the rich tapestry of the state’s contemporary gold rush.

Sandwiched between Avoca, Castlemaine and Wedderburn, thousands of enthusiasts have returned to the ‘Golden Triangle’ in a bid to strike it rich.

At around 96 per cent, the gold pulled from the soil in the area would be considered among the purest in the world.

Prospectors have to only issue  a $22 permit to legally claim the gold that  they discover.

Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria president Olly Oleszek told the Herald Sun that Mr Pearson’s nugget was one of two discovered in the last six months.

It was among the largest found in the last decade, adding that larger rocks still remained in the ground.

Mr Pearson and his business partner Jason have been digging for gold nuggets for decades and said 166 years since the first rush began, they didn’t mind continuing it.

It’s like fishing,’ he said. ‘You’re always after another big one.’

The Lady Catherine has since been sold sold to a private buyer in the US but not before Mr Pearson had two replicas created for keepsake, while the other one was used as a displayed at the Melbourne Museum. 

‘I always dreamed of finding the big one. I was persistent and never gave up.’



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