Where to Find the Largest Gold Nuggets: Big Nuggets of the World
It’s every gold prospector’s dream: finding a huge gold nugget worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether you’re an amateur prospector who enjoys panning or metal detecting for gold, you’ve undoubtedly daydreamed about discovering a big, valuable nugget. And while they aren’t all that common, there have been instances of prospectors finding gold nuggets that are so large that they never have to look for gold again.
One problem with compiling a list of locations where the largest gold nuggets have been found is this: people don’t usually like to broadcast information about where they find valuable gold deposits. If they make the information public, then the odds are that hundreds of prospectors will descend on the location to try and find a big gold nugget of their own. So in many cases, we know the country or state where a huge nugget was found, but not the exact location.
The process of how to find gold nuggets is discussed on other parts of this blog; suffice it to say that you will need a good metal detector, the proper tools, and plenty of good luck to strike it rich. But below is a list of some of the largest gold nuggets that have been found across the world, where they were discovered, and how much they were worth.
The Welcome Stranger nugget is the biggest gold nugget ever found, weighing in at more than 100 kilograms at the time it was pulled from the ground. It was discovered way back in 1869 in Victoria, Australia, in an area known as Moliagul. Two prospectors found this massive gold nugget just a few inches beneath the ground near some tree roots. The nugget was so big that they broke it into three pieces just so they could weigh it on the scales that were available at the time. The discoverers of the Welcome Stranger ended up selling their find for about 9,000 English pounds, but today it is estimated that the nugget would be worth more than a million dollars.
The Hand of Faith nugget is the largest gold nugget ever found using a metal detector, weighing in at 27 kilograms. It was found in 1980 in Victoria, Australia, near a location called Kingower, only one foot beneath the ground, by a single prospector who was hunting for gold. The man who found the Hand of Faith, Kevin Hillier, eventually sold it for more than a million dollars. Today, the Hand of Faith gold nugget is on display at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, which owns the nugget.
Ironstone’s Crown Jewel nugget is the largest piece of “crystalline” gold ever found, weighing in at 44 pounds. It was found in 1992 in Jamestown, California in the Sonora Mining Company gold mine. Crystalline gold nuggets are found deposited in veins of quartz, usually deep in the ground, and are different than loose gold nuggets found just beneath the surface by metal detectors. We don’t have information on how much the Ironstone Crown Jewel nugget sold for, but it is known that soon after it was found, a company offered to buy the Sonora Mining Company for $20 million, hoping to find other rich gold deposits in the same location.