177 steps to owning a new home
By Cordell Kent
Wednesday January 16th this year started out like any other working day in sunny Ballarat.
Our shop, The Mining Exchange Gold Shop in the centre of the city, was open for business as usual on a day that would turn out to be extremely unusual.
We’ve been established natural gold nugget buyers, and makers of top-quality gold nugget jewellery, for more than 20 years, with The Mining Exchange Gold Shop opening almost 17 years ago. In that time we’ve come to know hundreds of gold prospectors and at 12.30pm on January 16th, one of them walked into the shop.
We exchanged greetings and then he looked at me with a smile and a glint in his eye and said, "Mate, I found a good one."
Now, I knew that the largest nugget he’d found prior to this was about eight grams, with lots of other smaller ones, so I simply asked "How big?"
"Mate, on my scales it goes five-point-four," he said.
"Grams?" I asked casually, figuring I knew this is what he meant.
"No mate," he smiled.
"Five-point-four ounces," I asked, and I admit at this point my interest went up a notch or two.
"No Mate," he said, and he was serious now.
I thought to myself, 'He can’t mean kilos' but I asked anyway. "I don't suppose you mean kilos?"
"Yes mate," he said.