The Welcome Nugget was one of Australia’s most amazing gold discoveries. Found during the height of the mining boom in Victoria, it still remains as one of the largest gold nuggets ever found on Earth.
It was in June of 1858 when a crew of men working at the Red Hill Mining company found the nugget in the heart of Ballarat, Victoria. This are is remains as one of the most famous gold mining regions in the world, largely due to big nugget discoveries like the Welcome Nugget.
A crew of men were working near Bakery Hill discovered the amazing piece. They were working the night shift at the mine when a man named Richard Jeffrey dug down and struck the piece with his pick axe. Men from the mine quickly came to help extract the nugget and eventually it was brought to the surface.
The weight of the nugget was an exceptional 2,217 troy ounces, by far the largest single mass of gold that had ever been found up to that time. There had been previous discoveries of large reef gold mixed with quartz and other host rock, but the Welcome Nugget was one solid mass of gold with no impurities. The eventual assay of the nugget showed that it was over 99% gold, with almost no impurities.
A decade later, the discovery of the Welcome Stranger Nugget overtook it as the largest nugget, but to this day the Welcome Nugget still remains as the 2nd largest gold nugget ever found.
Also Read: The Welcome Stranger Nugget
The Welcome Nugget was displayed at the Union Bank’s gold office after its initial discovery with much attention. News of the amazing discovery helped to establish Victoria as a world-class gold mining region, and miners from all around the world continued to come into the region in search of riches.
The Welcome Nugget was eventually sold at a price of the lump of 10,050 pounds, and for a year it was put on display in various locations and garnered much attention. However, a year after it was unearthed it was melted down for its bullion.
Prior to being melted down, models were molded of the famous nugget and given to various museums.