The largest gold nugget currently in existence today is the world famous Hand of Faith Nugget. It was unearthed in the spring of 1980 in Wedderburn, Victoria, Australia by Kevin Hillier. He discovered it using a metal detector, and rumor has it that he almost didn't dig for it because he thought his detector was acting up. Fortunately he did dig, and at less than a foot deep, he pulled out a massive nugget that weighs a whopping 876 troy ounces!
While small amounts of gold were discovered in Australia as early as 1823, it was payable amounts of gold discovered in the early 1850's that spurred a large scale gold rush to the continent. Men from all over the world pulled up stakes and headed to Australia to strike it rich. As with most gold rushes, only a small percentage of the miners were fortunate enough to find much gold. And only a lucky few found anything even close to this size!
This nugget is just one of many impressive discoveries made in a well known gold producing region of Australia known as the Golden Triangle.
Natural Gold Nuggets
The "triangle" is simply an imaginary line connecting 3 towns in Victoria, Australia. This region not only produced the Hand of Faith, but also some even larger nuggets including the Welcome Stranger nugget, which is the largest known gold nugget ever known to exist in history. It weighed a whopping 2,316 troy ounces and was found in 1869, but sadly it was melted down and no longer exists.
The Hand of Faith is currently the biggest natural gold nugget in existence, and the biggest ever found with a metal detector. It was purchased for over one million dollars by the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be viewed by visitors. So often large nuggets are squandered away and put into private collections, it is a unique opportunity for the public to view a rare gold nugget such as this.