Did you know that the largest alluvial gold nugget was found today in 1869? It was named “Welcome Stranger”. “Alluvial’ refers to loose dirt, sand, and small rocks. Instead of a mine, Welcome Stranger was found under 3 cm of dirt near the base of a tree at Moliagul, Australia. Welcome Stranger weighed more than 192 pounds! It was so large that it would not fit on the bank’s scale. A blacksmith needed to break the nugget up into 3 pieces. The prospectors (a person who searches for mineral deposits), were paid about £9,000; which would be worth about 3.8 million 2018 US dollars!
We hope that you find a treasure trove of knowledge today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
The prospectors that found Welcome Stranger were John Deason and Richard Oates. Initially, to protect their find, they covered the large nugget back with dirt and came back later in the night to unearth their find. They held a ‘reveal party’ for their friends and neighbors before bringing the enormous gold nugget to the bank.
Before being refined, Welcome Stranger weighed about 241 lbs. After the initially cleaning and removal of some quartz pieces, the nugget weighted about 192 lbs. When Welcome Stranger was melted down it produced about 189 lbs. of gold.
Welcome Stranger was melted down and reformed into ingots. After being sent to Melbourne, the gold was transported to the Bank of England at the end of the month.
Sadly, a photograph was not taken before Welcome Stranger was broken apart. Sketches were made from memory and replicas are on display in Melbourne, Australia. There are also historical markers commemorating the discovery.