Gold nugget discovered off Anglesey coast is largest in UK

Britain’s largest gold nugget has been found off the coast of Anglesey. But anyone prepared to get swept up in a gold rush has been warned – the find was four years ago.

Vincent Thurkettle, 60, found the 97g nugget in 2012 and has extensively searched the area since for more of the precious element. Now confident he hasn’t missed out on any future loot, he has revealed his find.

The nugget, about the size of a small chicken egg, was found on the seabed near Moelfre .

The gold nugget found by Vincent Thurkettle
The gold nugget found by Vincent Thurkettle (Image: Geoff Robinson Photography)

It was close to where the Royal Charter ship went down in a storm in 1859 – carrying £120m worth of gold. Around 450 people are believed to have died in the disaster.

Britain's biggest gold nugget found near shipwreck in Wales – The History Blog

Since the sinking treasure hunters have spent 150 years trying to find traces of the lost gold. The ship was bound for Liverpool carrying the precious cargo from Australia.

Lligwy ward councillor Derlwyn Rees Hughes said he knew treasure hunters still visited the area regularly. He said: “You hear about these treasure hunters who come near the wreck.

“Some say they have found something and some say they don’t . “But you see very little proof, very little is confirmed with hard facts.”

Vincent Thurkettle who found a gold nugget off the coast of Anglesey
Vincent Thurkettle who found a gold nugget off the coast of Anglesey (Image: Geoff Robinson Photography)

Warren Kovach, who works at Anglesey History, said there was a lot of interest in the site shortly after the wreck. He added: “Quite a lot of people in the area suddenly got richer in the years after.

“It’s not a protected site, I believe, anyone can try and find gold. “But I have not heard about many finds recently so Mr Thurkettle has been lucky.”

Despite it not being a protected site, the gold hunter had to tell the Receiver of the Wreck, and the piece is now the property of the Crown. The nugget, nearly twice the weight of the previous record holder, will soon go display in a museum.

Mr Thurkettle will get a finders fee which he hopes will be around £50,000.

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