Since the first discovery of gold in 1848, there have been several sizeable gold nuggets found of the precious metal. In the years after following the discovery of gold, the gold-rush which started in California rapidly spread to the rest of the USA and further afield.
Some miners came across nuggets of gold which held record-breaking sizes and weights, famously becoming the largest gold nuggets ever discovered.
How Big Were the Gold Nuggets?
The “Welcome Stranger” Nugget
Discovered in Australia on the 5th February 1869, this is known to be the world’s largest gold nugget to have ever been found. It weighed in at an incredible 72.02kg and was melted down before 1990 and shipped to the Bank of England.
The “Welcome Nugget”
This nugget was found on the 9th June 1858, before the discovery of the “Welcome Stranger” nugget and was the largest nugget found until the 1869 discovery. This nugget weighed 68kg and was discovered by a group of miners in the Ballarat goldfields of Australia. The first two miners to see the nugget fainted at the sight of it.
This was melted down just over a year after its discovery by the London Mint and was turned into gold coins. However, before this was done, replicas of the nugget were created.
Fricot Gold Nugget
Weighing in at 6.25kg, this gold nugget is the largest crystalline gold nugget to have survived from the Californian Gold rush era. Unlike the previous two gold nuggets mentioned, the Fricot Nugget was not melted down for use in coins. It was discovered in 1865 at a mine along the American river near to Sutter’s Mill, which was where the gold rush began in 1848.
This gold nugget was thought to have been lost but was found in 1943 in a safe deposit box and has been moved to a display in the California State Mining and Mineral Museum. In September 2012 thieves managed to break into this museum and stole $2 million in gold. However, the Fricot nugget’s security systems were too sophisticated for the thieves to get past and so was not stolen.
Alaskan Gold Rush Nuggets
The Alaskan gold rush began in 1899 and during the first five years, three large gold nuggets were discovered. These were the largest gold nuggets to be found in Alaska and weighed 3kg, 5.1kg and 2.7kg. At the time of their discovery, they were worth $1998, $3367 and $1794 respectively. However, with today’s pricing these are worth at least 90x their original amount now.
Selling Your Gold Nuggets
If you’ve got some enormous gold nuggets lying around at home that are taking up space, then why not sell them with us at The Manchester Gold Exchange? We use the latest in technology to weigh and analyse your gold, whether that be a more modest item of gold jewellery or a century old gold nugget!
At the Manchester Gold Exchange we offer competitive prices for your gold items, and provide same day cash in hand.