What Was the Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found in Australia?
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Gold nuggets have been found all over the world, but Australia’s, in particular, seem to produce large gold nuggets that are generally very pure. As recently as 2020, large gold nuggets have been found in Australia, with two South Australian prospectors finding two gold nuggets worth around $350,000.
Gold nuggets are generally between 20.5K and 22K purity, but gold nuggets in Australia are generally found to be 23K.
Feel like doing some gold prospecting of your own? Check out these guides:
- The Best Places to Prospect For Gold in Victoria
- The Best Places to Prospect For Gold in New South Wales
Two gold nuggets lay claim to being the largest found in the world, the Welcome Stranger—found in Moliagul, Victoria in 1869—and the Canaã nugget—found in Pará, Brazil in 1983. The Canaã nugget is the largest gold nugget that still exists in its original form today.
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The Welcome Stranger nugget however is not to be confused with the Welcome Nugget which was found in Ballarat’s Bakery Hill area in 1858.
These are the biggest gold nuggets ever found in Australia.
1. Welcome Stranger
The Welcome Stranger gold nugget was found in Moliagul, Victoria in 1869 by Jason Deason, and Richard Oates and is the biggest gold nugget ever found in Australia. The nugget was found only 3cm under the surface near the base of a tree. It weight 78kg when it was removed from the ground.
The Welcome Stranger nugget would be worth $12M if found today.
2. Welcome Nugget
The Welcome Nugget is Australia’s second-largest nugget and was found in June 1858 in the Bakery Hill area of Ballarat, approximately where McDonald’s is located today. It was mined by the Red Hill Mining Company and weight 69kg upon extraction from the ground.
3. Lady Hotham
The Lady Hotham nugget is the third-largest gold nugget ever found in Australia, and was named after the wife of then Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham. Like the two largest nuggets, the Lady Hotham was also found in the Ballarat goldfields in 1854. The nugget weighed 36kg and was found by a group of nine miners.
4. The Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is the fourth-largest gold nugget found in Australia, and was discovered by Jim Larcombe and his son in the Western Australian Goldfields-Esperance region. Found in 1931, the nugget weight 35.3kg.
5. The Heron
The Heron was found in Golden Gully, in Victoria’s Mount Alexander goldfields in 1855. Found on the miner’s second day of digging in the goldfields, the nugget weighed 31.4kg.
6. Hand of Faith
The largest gold nugget found with a metal detector, the Hand of Faith was discovered by a prospector in 1980. Found in Kingower, Victoria, the nugget weighed 27.2kg when found and was found standing vertically in the ground.