Tauranga metal detector strikes gold stumbling across $46k Aussie coin

A Tauranga metal detector has managed to turn his hobby into profit, making almost $50,000 with the sale of one of his precious metals.

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Joe McGregor spends a lot of time with his metal detector, and boy did it pay off. Source: Seven Sharp

Joe McGregor spends lots of time with his metal detector, but he couldn't believe his luck when he stumbled across an Australian 1855 half-sovereign coin with his "beep stick" on a beach.

The coin sold for $46,671 at auction.

"The moment I came across the coin was probably an anti-climax but I was with my dog and she did see me dancing around like a prized clown after I found out what it was," Mr McGregor told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

He almost mistook the coin, which was only about half a foot down, as a bottle cap, though.

"I'd been digging bottle tops and rubbish all day and, yeah, it was just going to be another one."

However, after getting onto a video call with a mate in Rotorua, it was then Mr McGregory realised the value of his new discovery.

"The auction house from the states rang me about eight hours later and they lost their stuff over it, which was fantastic, and told me what it was worth."

When asked how it was watching the auction, Mr McGregory said he was "stomping around like Thomas the Tank Engine".

"I was like a little kid that stole the lollipop. It was just amazing, absolutely amazing."

While his daughters still tease his "geeky" habit, Mr McGregor said after the big find his wife no longer minds if he heads out for a few hours for a hunt with his "beep stick".