February 5 - Welcome Stranger Discovery

Posted on February 5, 2018

In 1858, a really large gold nugget was found in Australia, and it was named "Welcome Nugget."

Well, of course a really large gold nugget would be welcome! It was very valuable!

Flash forward almost a decade, to this date in 1869...and another, even larger, gold nugget was discovered in Australia. It was the largest nugget ever found!

This one became known as "Welcome Stranger"! 

This is a wood carving carefully made to show the size,
shape, and features of the Welcome Stranger nugget.
I imagine it was just as welcome!

Two miners were looking for gold in Australia when they found this gigantic nugget buried among the roots of a tree. Thank goodness there were two of them! The nugget weighed almost 300 pounds (about 110 kg), but after it was trimmed to just the gold, it weighed 210 pounds (78 kg). If you can believe it, the nugget was too big to be weighed on the bank's scales, so it was broken into smaller pieces so it could be weighed and assessed. Apparently the gold was more valuable melted down and used to make stuff than it was in nugget form - even though it was the largest nugget in the world!

What was it worth? About 3 to 4 million dollars, in today's money.

The largest gold nugget that still exists today (NOT melted down) was also found in Australia. It was found in 1980 - and in modern times, large nuggets of gold are so rare, people will pay up to four times for the entire non-broken, non-melted nugget than just the worth of the gold. This particular piece was sold to the Golden Nugget Casino, in Las Vegas, for about a million dollars. It's worth more than that today; the gold alone is worth at least 1.5 million!

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