The biggest gold nugget ever found, Welcome Stranger, Australia
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The biggest gold nugget – found only an inch under the ground

The biggest gold nugget ever found was discovered on February 5, 1869 in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia. His total weight was 3,523.5 troy ounces (109.59 kg), and the net weight (gold alone) was 2.315.5 troy ounces (72.02 kg, 192 lbs 11.5 oz).

The discovery was made by prospectors John Deason and Richard Oates on the slope near Bulldog Gully. The nugget rested only 3 cm below the ground between the roots of the tree. There was no scale big enough to check the weight on the spot, so Welcome stranger was cut into three smaller parts, weighed and sold at the London Chartered Bank of Australia for 9381 pounds sterling.

At the current price of gold, the value of the nugget would be around 3 million USD, and in 2012, at the peak price of gold, even 4.3 million USD.

The nugget was soon melted down and in bars transported to Melbourne, then to England onboard of the Reigate steamship.

Sources: Unearthing the Welcome Stranger Nugget [picture]. W Parker fl. 1867-1869, photographer. State Library Victoria. Public Domain;
Unearthing the Welcome Stranger Nugget [picture]. W Parker fl. 1867-1869, photographer. Sources: State Library Victoria. Public Domain.

The biggest gold nugget ever found. A wood engraving of the Welcome Stranger published in The Illustrated Australian News for Home Reader on 1 March 1869. Sources: Public Domain

Main picture of the post: replica of the Welcome Stranger nugget.

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