A gold nugget is a naturally occurring piece of gold, which usually ranges between 82-93% in purity (equivalent to 20-22 carat). Gold nuggets can be found during certain types of gold mining and most are a smaller than a few grams. Large gold nuggets are extremely rare and highly sort after due to their incredible value. Even though many large nuggets were found during the gold rush years, there are still some being discovered today. If you have ever wanted to know the largest nugget of gold ever found, keep reading to find out!
What is the largest gold nugget ever found?
The largest gold nugget was found in Victoria, Australia, in 1869 by gold prospectors John Deason and Richard Oates. This nugget was named the “Welcome Stranger” and contained a massive 71 kg (156.5 lbs) of gold. It was found near the root of a tree just below the surface of the soil. It was so large that it had to be broken up before it could be weighed! The miners were paid £9,381 for the nugget and today it is estimated that it would have been worth well over £2 million today.
Prior to the discovery of the “Welcome Stranger” the largest gold nugget was the “Welcome Nugget,” which was also found in Victoria 11 years earlier. The “Welcome Nugget” weighed in at 68.2 kg.
The largest gold nugget found with a metal detector is known as the “Hand of Faith.” It was also discovered in Victoria, Australia by Kevin Hillier in 1980. It weighed 27.21 kg (60 lbs) and is currently on display at the Golden Nugget Casino. The following is a video of the nugget on display:
Did you know?
Gold nuggets from some parts of Australia have unusually high levels of purity. Many of the nuggets found during the Victorian gold rush contained at least 95% gold!
A group of people, including Bernhardt Holtermann, found the largest piece of gold ever discovered in 1872. It weighed about 286 kg (630 lbs) and had an estimated gold content of 57 kg (125.7 lbs). It is known as the Holtermann Nugget, but it was actually a vein of gold embedded in quartz and wasn’t a true gold nugget.