A Man Finds England’s Largest Gold Nugget with a Broken Detector

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Mar 29, 2024

Richard Brock, a 67-year-old metal detectorist from Somerset, didn’t start his day with the promise of treasure. After a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Shropshire, he found his metal detector malfunctioning and had no choice but to use an older, less reliable model.

Arriving an hour late for a group dig, Brock’s prospects seemed bleak. But as any seasoned adventurer knows, fortune often favors the bold — and the prepared.

Striking Gold

The day’s disappointment quickly turned to astonishment as, within 20 minutes of starting, Brock unearthed something extraordinary. Buried just six inches below the surface was a gold nugget weighing 64.8g.

Close up of Hiro's Nugget

Source: Mullock Jones/SWNS

This find, which he later dubbed “Hiro’s Nugget,” was the largest gold nugget ever discovered on English soil (via Sky News). This transformed Brock’s luckless day into a historic event.

Hiro's Nugget Unearthed

Hiro’s Nugget was found near the village of Much Wenlock, a place steeped in history and nestled in the rich landscapes of Shropshire.

A man using a metal detector

Source: Fer Troulik/Unsplash

The area, known for its old tracks and railway lines carrying stone from Wales, was the unlikely stage for Brock’s monumental find.

The Value of Persistence

Brock, who has been honing his metal detecting skills for over 35 years, never lost faith in his hobby, despite the initial equipment failure. “I couldn’t believe it,” he recalled (via BBC).

Treasure Hunter on Beach with metal detector

Source: Bas Geerlings/Pexels

His perseverance underlines a universal truth: sometimes, the greatest rewards come when least expected, and persistence can turn even the most inauspicious beginnings into tales of success.

The Auction Anticipation

Hiro’s Nugget is a treasure with a significant monetary value, expected to attract bids of at least £30,000 (roughly $38,000) at auction (via CNN).

A briefcase filled with $100 bills.

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

This impending sale has stirred excitement among collectors and historians alike, highlighting the nugget’s dual significance as both a piece of history and a valuable commodity.

A Stroke of Luck?

Reflecting on his find, Brock mused, “It just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter what equipment you use” (via Sky News). This statement emphasizes the unpredictable nature of metal detecting, where success can depend as much on luck and intuition as on technology.

A person holding gold pieces in their open hands.

Source: Alexander Grey/Unsplash

Brock’s experience also challenges the notion that newer equipment is always better, showcasing the value of experience and attentiveness.


A Golden History

England’s landscape is rich with hidden treasures, but Hiro’s Nugget sets a new standard.

Gold Bar Lot

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

Before this discovery, the largest gold nugget found in England weighed in at 54g, making Brock’s find not just a personal milestone but a historical one (via The Guardian).


Beyond England's Borders

The story of gold in Britain extends beyond England’s rolling hills to the rugged terrains of Wales and Scotland.

View of the vast countryside in Aylesbury, England

Source: Britannica

Here, significant nuggets like the 97.12g find in Ynys Mon, Wales, and the 121.3g Reunion Nugget in Scotland speak to the diverse geology and rich history of the U.K. (per Sky News). Brock’s discovery adds a new chapter to this story, bridging histories and regions with its lustrous gleam.


The Science of Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is a blend of science, patience, and luck. Tracing back to the 19th century, when the first metal detector was invented for military purposes (according to High Plains Prospector), this hobby has evolved into a sophisticated field of study and technology.

Person with Metal Detector

Source: Cosmin Gavris/Pexels

With advancements in equipment and techniques, enthusiasts continue to unearth treasures and unravel mysteries from the ground beneath our feet.


Much Wenlock's Mysteries

Much Wenlock, the backdrop for Hiro’s Nugget, is more than just a scenic village. Its historical paths and geological features may hold the key to why this area concealed such a significant treasure.

Town of Much Wenlock

Source: Tanya Dedyukhina/Wikipedia

However, there is still speculation about why this particular area was so rich in gold deposits.


The Future of Treasure Hunting

Brock’s extraordinary find has reinvigorated the metal-detecting community and attracted new interest in the hobby.

An old treasure box. It looks old and battered and is made of wood.

Source: PublicDomainArchive/Pixabay

With advancements in technology, enthusiasts are hopeful of discovering even more significant treasures in the future.


The Legacy of Hiro's Nugget

As Hiro’s Nugget moves from the earth to the auction house, its story becomes a part of England’s rich tapestry of history and treasure-hunting lore.

A treasure chest opens, revealing a golden glow.

Source: Ashin Suresh/Usnplash

The tale of Hiro’s Nugget is sure to ignite a dream in the hearts of upcoming explorers.  Brock’s legendary find will live on, inspiring others to walk in his path and, hopefully, uncover their own piece of history underground.