7 Of The Largest Gold Nuggets Ever Found…Ever!

While numerous sizable gold nuggets have been found throughout history, this article showcases seven of the most impressive examples. These are just a sample of the many remarkable finds that highlight the ongoing allure of gold prospecting and mining.

Below you’ll find a list of the largest gold nuggets ever found.

1.The Welcome Stranger Gold Nugget

welcome stranger nugget

Between 1851 and 1861 Australia is reported to have exported at least 850 metric tons of gold, which is equivalent to more than one third of the total amount of gold produced in the world.

It was soon after this main gold rush, in 1869, that the Welcome Stranger nugget was discovered by Cornish miner John Deason and his partner Richard Oates near Moliagul Victoria, Australia. 

Although many of the historical reports of the Welcome Stranger’s weight vary somewhat, it’s believed that after being smelted, the nugget yielded about 156 pounds of pure gold and is believed to be one of, if not the largest, gold nugget ever found in the world.

You would think that a gold nugget as large and as valuable as the Welcome Stranger nugget would have been found deep within a gold mine or located after significant excavation. But that’s not the case. The Welcome Stranger nugget was simply found by digging around the roots of a stringybark tree. It was lying just over an inch below the surface!

2. The Beyers and Holtermann Nugget

In 1872, Australian gold miners Bernard Otto Holtermann and Louis Beyers discovered an extremely large gold nugget while working at their Star Hope Mine near Hill End, New South Wales.

Though not technically the largest single piece of gold ever found, this “Beyers and Holtermann Nugget” contained an estimated 3,000 troy ounces of gold mixed within a large quartz rock specimen, making it the largest mass of gold ever discovered.

As the mine manager and part owner, Holtermann felt a personal connection to the specimen and even offered to buy it from the mining company at a premium to preserve it intact. However, his offer was declined and the valuable nugget was ultimately crushed along with other gold-bearing rock from the mine in order to extract the precious metal.

While legendary among gold miners, the Beyers and Holtermann Nugget exists only in records and stories today. Its discovery contributed to the short-lived wealth of the two miners and the legend of Australian gold country.

3. RNC Minerals’ 1 ‘Nugget’

credit: sdbullion.com

In an astonishing discovery, RNC Minerals, a Toronto-based company, unearthed a colossal gold nugget in Western Australia’s Beta Hunt Mine. This nugget, weighing a staggering 2,440 ounces, is potentially one of the largest ever found. The discovery was part of a haul totaling about 9,000 ounces of gold, valued at approximately $15 million. This groundbreaking find, which occurred after blasting a 130-tonne cut of rock, has significantly impacted the company’s operations and future plans for the mine.

4. The Welcome Nugget

welcome gold nugget

Not to be confused with the other large gold nugget found in Australia that shares a similar name, the Welcome nugget is the second largest gold nugget to ever be found weighing in at 152 pounds.

It was discovered by a group of twenty-two Cornish miners in 1858 at the Red Hill Mining Company site at Bakery Hill in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. And much like you would expect from a discovery like this, the Welcome gold nugget was located deep underground in the roof of a tunnel. 

5. Pepita Canaã Gold Nugget

The Pepita Canaã is the third largest gold nugget ever to be found in the world, however, it does currently take the top spot of being the largest gold nugget known to be in existence today. And this monster nugget weighs in at 134 pounds.

This massive gold nugget was found in 1983 by miner Júlio de Deus Filho in the Serra Pelada gold mining region of Brazilian state of Pará and is currently on display in the “Gold Room” of the central bank’s money museum in Brazil’s federal capital Brasilia.

6. Sierra Buttes Monumental Claim Gold Nugget

credit: Geologyin.com

In 1869, a group of miners were on their way to work when they saw a small portion of this 109 pound gold nugget sticking out of the ground. The recent rains had washed away enough of the dirt that was covering it so it could be seen by the workers. As you can imagine, they quickly began digging it out of the ground. No one was expecting how big it was. 

You can see a replica of the actual gold nugget in the Kentucky Mine Museum near Sierra City.

7. Golden Eagle Nugget

The Golden Eagle Nugget, unearthed in January 1931 by 17-year-old Jim Larcombe in Larkinsville, Western Australia, weighed 1,135 ounces (32.2kg). Its discovery garnered significant attention, featuring prominently in Australian media. This notable find, bearing a resemblance to an eagle, was later purchased by the Western Australia Government for a substantial sum in Australian dollars.

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