VIDEO: 'Celebrity' gold nugget sold to secret buyer

Source: The Courier

The famed golden nugget found near the Victorian town of Ballarat last month that created international headlines has been sold.

The whopping 5.5 kilogram (177 ounce or 18.47 Troy pounds) nugget was sold to a secret buyer last week, for an undisclosed price.

It was sold within Australia and has officially been named 'The Ballarat Nugget'.

Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop owner Cordell Kent announced the sale earlier this week, since the buyer of the nugget did not want news of its sale released immediately due to security concerns.

A replica created by Melbourne-based environmental creator Dean Smith will now be displayed in the Lydiard Street North shop.

Mr Kent said he even fielded a number of offers from groups and individuals who wanted to pay for the naming rights of the nugget, which he declined.

"The Ballarat Nugget was the perfect name for it," he said.

"This will go down in history and will continue to be an excellent ambassador for Ballarat, its surrounds, its goldfields and local tourism."

News of the gold nugget has spread across the world and although Mr Kent said he knew it would become massive news, he did not expect the global hype.

Not that it is a bad thing.

The original YouTube posting of the nugget has attracted more than one million views and Mr Cordell estimated he had done 150 interviews both in Australia and internationally.

"This is something the people of Ballarat should be proud of," he said.

"For Ballarat to be the focus of the world is great for the city and it always will be from now on with this nugget.

Even celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres took an interest, giving the nugget a mention on air last month.

DeGeneres joked that any locals who sent her a nugget bigger than the one found, which is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, would win a free T-shirt.

And although Mr Kent remained extremely tight-lipped on the sale price of the nugget, he did give a hint that price was extremely high.

"I think the prime minister and the treasurer should be pleased with the GST generated from this sale," he said.

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