Man With Broken Metal Detector Unearths The Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found In England

Published March 26, 2024
Updated March 27, 2024

The gold nugget weighs 64.8 grams and is expected to sell for at least $38,000.

Hiro's Nugget

Mullock JonesHiro’s Nugget, found in England’s Shropshire Hills, could fetch up to $50,000 at auction.

An English metal detectorist recently discovered what is believed to be the largest gold nugget ever found in the country. The chunk of gold, given the name Hiro’s Nugget, was evaluated to be worth between $38,000 and $50,000.

The discovery was made by 67-year-old Richard Brock, who unearthed the 64.8-gram gold nugget in England’s Shropshire Hills, despite the fact that his metal detector was faulty and he showed up late to the organized treasure hunt.

“I actually arrived about an hour late, thinking I’d missed the action,” Brock said.

As it turned out, though, he arrived just in time.

The Discovery Of Hiro’s Nugget

Brock told the BBC that the find was “quite incredible really” and that he only recently learned that the nugget could be the largest ever found in England.

The remarkable discovery happened back in May 2023, when Brock arrived at an organized expedition to search for unknown treasures on farmland in Shropshire. After driving more than three hours to the dig site, Brock “bowled up with three old machines” — one of which stopped working almost immediately.

Richard Brock

Richard Brock via SWNS67-year-old Richard Brock has been a metal detectorist since 1989.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Brock said. Despite the snag, however, he found the nugget within 20 minutes after pulling out his backup detector — which was also in poor shape with a faded screen.

“I turned up late, was only there a matter of minutes, and this treasure hunting expedition was supposed to last all day,” he said.

“I was a perhaps bit too honest and started showing people, and then all of a sudden I had swarms of other detectorists scanning the same area,” Brock said. “I couldn’t look for anything else as I had the landowner, the organizer of the dig, and every other detectorist around me trying to get a look at this nugget.”

The nugget is now being sold by the Shropshire-based auction house Mullock Jones.

The Discovery Was A ‘Rare Find’

Auctioneer Ben Jones told CNN the nugget is considered to be a “rare find” and that it is unclear how the nugget wound up at the site in the Shropshire Hills.

The auction house noted that the site contains an old road or railway line with “remnants of Welsh stone within.” It’s possible that the gold nugget wound up on the farmland as a result of being transported along this track or was unknowingly brought to the area with the stone, though there’s no way of knowing for sure.

The auction for Hiro’s Nugget will come to an end on April 1.

Nugget Next To A 50 Pence Coin

Mullock JonesThe gold nugget next to a 50-pence coin.

As for Brock, he said he plans on sharing the money with the landowner.

“I’m going to split whatever it sells for with the landowner. I found it last May, but I’ve only recently learned it could be the biggest — it is quite incredible really.”

And to think, he could have easily missed the nugget due to his faulty metal detector.

“It just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter what equipment you use,” Brock said, “if you are walking over the find and are alert enough to what might be lurking underneath the soil, that makes all the difference.”

After reading about the fascinating discovery of England’s largest gold nugget, learn about the history of the California gold rush. Or, read about King Midas, the mythical leader of Phrygia who turned everything he touched into gold.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.