The Northern California man who found a 6-plus pound gold nugget acknowledged he was lucky when stumbling on the find, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
But in an interview with the publication, for which he insisted on anonymity at least until the nugget is auctioned, he cited his knowledge of the geological region where he found the precious metal, the technological equipment that enabled his find and the hard work he devoted to unearthing the treasure. The land is near the old mining town of Washington.
"I'm just a little paranoid about people knocking on the door and putting a gun to my head and saying, 'Where is it?'" he told the publication.
He had his Nevada County property assayed for possible gold deposits, which indicated the presence of fine gold and indications of more. His friend allowed him to use a ground-penetrating radar.
"We found an anomaly – a crevice or crack that indicated that would be a good target," he said. "We started to use the gold detector and we got a very strong signal."
In addition to finding what's known as the Washington Nugget, he also found two additional nuggets - one weighs about four troy ounces, the other about 10 troy ounces. He took his find to an experienced mining engineer in Nevada.
"His eyes popped out of his head," he said.