Hand of Faith gold nugget was found by Kevin and Bep Hillier. They were living and travelling around Australia in a renovated bus they called ‘Gus’. Towing their 67 HR Holden on the back, they left Western Australia during the summer of 1978 with their four children, Kim, Natalie, Brendon and Lance.
Discovery of the Hand of Faith
On the 26 September 1980, Kevin Hillier discovered one of the world’s biggest gold nuggets, The Hand of Faith near Wedderburn in Victoria, Australia. Weighing 27-kilograms it is the largest gold nugget to be found with a metal detector and the largest gold nugget still in existence today. Kevin and his wife Bep named their find the Hand of Faith, due to the incredible set of circumstances leading to its discovery.
Kevin’s unusual dream about a gold nugget
Around two weeks before the discovery Kevin had a dream about a great discovery, about finding a gold nugget. His dream was so strong and the nugget such an unusual shape that he drew it on a piece of paper and asked a friend to sign it as a witness.
Exactly two weeks later Bep and Kevin were prospecting in Kingower, Victoria when Bep heard a scream through her metal detector headphones. She realised it was Kevin and when she found him he was kneeling on the ground crying and digging around the tip of a 27kg gold nugget that they would aptly name the Hand of Faith.
The biggest gold nugget on public display
It is the biggest gold nugget on public display and was found using a metal detector lying six inches below the surface in vertical position. It weights 875 troy ounces (61 pounds 11 oz or 27,98 kg). (according to the display in Golden Nugget Casino Hotel, in Biloxi, MS).
Dimensions are 47 cm × 20 cm × 9 cm. The nugget was the second largest nugget found in Australia during the 20th century.
The great discovery in the press
The announcement of the discovery occurred at a press conference, attended by the Premier of Victoria Dick Hamer, in Melbourne on 8 October 1980. Kovac’s Gems & Minerals were appointed agents for the sale of the huge nugget, by the gold nugget finder, Kevin Hillier. It was sold to the Golden Nugget Casino Chain for over a million dollars, and is currently on public display at their property Golden Nugget Casino Hotel, in Biloxi, MS.
sources: Hand of Faith web site:http://handoffaith.com/; Wikipedia/Hand_of_faith;