Biggest Gold Nugget in the World
Gold nuggets are large masses of gold that can be found in soil and stream beds. It can also be found in residual or alluvial deposits where the nuggets contain lumps of quartz that are enclosed by gold due to the cavities from the reefs that were crystallized. They can also be seen in the tailing piles of previous mining operations especially when gold mining dredges are left. Usually, nuggets show signs of abrasive polishing due to stream action or at times, it contains quartz or other lode matrix materials. Further, they are usually 20.5 carat to 22 carat although in some places, it is higher.
Gold is important and can be used in the manufacture of various products. Aside from its monetary benefits, it is a good conductor of electricity and has the ability to reflect heat. That is why it is used as a heat shield in satellites, electronic components and in aerospace in order to protect astronauts.
Because of this, there are a lot of gold-diggers in the world hoping to find the largest gold nugget. Unfortunately for them, the world’s biggest was already found in 1869.
Compared to the other nuggets that can be found in various areas, Australian nuggets particularly in Victoria has 23 carat or at least 95% gold while the remaining 5% is made up of silver that is dissolved in the gold. It found in this area have the same composition of gold that can be seen in quartz reefs.
On February 5, 1869, the world’s biggest gold nugget was found by Cornish prospectors John Deason and Richard Oates in Moliagul, Victoria in Australia. It was called the “Welcome Stranger” and weighs 2,316 troy ounces or 72.04 kilograms. It also has a measurement of 61 x 31 centimeters or 21 x 12 inches.
Surprisingly, Deason, Oates and company did not dig a deep hole in order to find this treasure. As a matter of fact, it was found only 1.2 inches below the surface, near the bank of a tree. Since there were no available scales capable of weighing the Welcome Stranger at that time, the nugget has to be broken into 3 pieces on order to determine the exact weight. The procedure was performed by Archibald Wall, a Dunolly-based blacksmith.
After such discovery, the group decided to take the gold nugget to London Chartered Bank in Dunolly where they were paid a total of £9,381.00 or an estimated current worth of US $3.76 million. The nugget was melted and sent as ingots to Melbourne which was thereafter forwarded in the Bank of England.
A commemorative obelisk was erected to honor the discovery of the gold nugget. Further, a replica of the Welcome Stranger can be seen in the City Museum in Melbourne to remind the people of the biggest kind ever found.
So what will you do if you found a gold nugget with the same size as the Welcome Stranger? Will you keep it for future use or sell it immediately for instance cash?