Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found
So what is the largest gold nugget ever found? You’d think that would be a fairly straightforward answer wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong :).
The largest single mass of Gold ever found
In 1872 the largest single mass of gold ever found, called The Holtermann Nugget was discovered in New South Wales Australia. It weighed a whopping 270 kilograms/9523 troy ounces . Unfortunately it could not be classified as a gold nugget as it was still in the quartz vein from which it came, therefore it was actually a mother lode or the source of the gold. This is however, the largest mass of gold ever found. The image below shows gold still trapped within its quartz host.
The largest Gold Nugget ever found
The largest NUGGET ever found no longer exists, it was smelted down shortly after its discovery and had to be cut into three pieces to be weighed, thankfully a photograph was taken before it was smelted and cut into pieces. This is the largest gold nugget ever found, The Welcome Stranger Nugget
The Welcome Stranger Nugget weighed 2200 Ounces/71 kilograms, worth a whopping 4 million dollars with the gold price as it is today, but no doubt worth a lot more due to it being a collectors item.
A replica has been made of this nugget based on the photograph above and several paintings that were done before the nugget was smelted down –
The largest gold nugget ever found (that still exists)
So, as we have seen from the paragraph above, the largest gold nugget ever found no longer exists. So what is the largest gold nugget ever found that is still in existence? That title belongs to the “The Hand of Faith” which currently resides in The Gold Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. This nugget was found by a man with a metal detector in Victoria, Australia in 1980, what a find!!!
The Hand of Faith nugget weighs in at a whopping 880 ounces/27 kilograms. The Gold Nugget Casino purchased the nugget for one million dollars (in the 1980s), not bad for one man with a metal detector :).
But the story of the largest gold nugget ever found does not end there, scientists have glimpsed some gold nuggets that would put all of the earths current gold reserves to shame, read on:).
The REAL largest gold nugget ever found
Using a scientific instrument called a spectrometer, scientists can find out what elements are contained within comets, asteroids and even stars. Recently scientists turned one such instrument upon the asteroid Eros. When they examined and deciphered the information that was sent back to them from the probe, they found that Eros contains several hundreds, if not thousands of tonnes of Gold. So as you can see the answer to the question “what is the largest gold nugget ever found” is not a straightforward one. For me, the largest gold nugget ever found is Eros, floating around out in space and unknowingly worth trillions and trillions of dollars. Deep Space Gold Prospecting anyone? :).
How to find large gold nuggets
Unless you are very lucky and stumble across a glory hole or a coarse gold paystreak while panning or sluicing, a metal detector is usually required in order to find gold nuggets. Bedrock sniping (chipping away at bedrock with a hammer) can also yield nuggets but they will usually be smaller than those found with a metal detector. Hard rock mining (hammering away at the walls of a mine) is another way to find nuggets but this will usually involve some heavy machinery and also requires a lot more attention to health and safety than other nugget finding methods. For those reasons, i would recommend getting a decent metal detector when looking for nuggets, it’s so much easier and more exciting than other methods – the adrenaline rush of hearing your detector scream the high pitched tone that you get to know means “THERE’S GOLD HERE” is hard to beat.
Browse our books and gold maps sections to see if nuggets or coarse gold has ever been found where you live, if they have been, we have a good collection of metal detectors available for sale, as always, previous customer reviews can be found by clicking on the images, happy hunting –