Those with dreams of getting rich quick might be willing to try anything from necropants to Bitcoin but unlike the uncertain world of Internet investments, gold famously holds its value. Unfortunately just because you find the biggest nugget in history does not mean you will be set for life. Even today if you pan for gold you might not get to keep your treasure.
The world’s largest gold nugget was found on February 5, 1869, in Victoria, Australia. Two Cornish miners called John Deason and Richard Oats discovered the nugget while prospecting. The nugget was dubbed the "Welcome Stranger", weighed 72 kilograms (158.7 lbs), and was 61 centimeters (24 inches) long.
The two men took the nugget to the town of Dunolly to be weighed at the London Chartered Bank. Unfortunately, the nugget was so large it did not fit on the scale, instead, it was broken up before it could be photographed. Replicas were made from drawings done at the time. The two men received just under £10,000, while the nugget was broken down and melted into gold bullion. BBC News suggests a similar nugget if found today would be worth around £2 million.
In other giant nugget news the Pepita Canaa takes the top spot for being the largest golden nugget still in existence, this chunky survivor weighs in at 60 kilograms (134 pounds). It was discovered by Julio de Deus Filho in Brazil in 1983. The nugget is currently on display in the “Gold Room '' of the Museu de Valores do Banco Central in Brasília.
The rise of different technology has a role to play in some big ol’ gold discoveries and never more so than with the “Hand of Faith”. Found in 1980 by Kevin Hillier this whopper of a nugget takes the title of being the largest chunk of gold ever found using a metal detector. Despite also being found Down Under, this extraordinary nugget is now on display at a casino in Las Vegas after being sold for over $1 million. It is said to contain 875 troy ounces of gold.
Troy ounces were used in gold weighing before the introduction of the metric system and are still used today to weigh precious metals and gems by those in the business. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams. This is different from the more usual avoirdupois system where 1 ounce usually equals 28.5 grams. Prices for gold sold today may be given in prices per ounce but they are usually referring to troy ounces.