The Gold Collection consists of approximately 2300 specimens, half of which are from Victorian occurrences. There are about 850 specimens from other Australian states, and about 300 from foreign localities, half of which are in South Africa.
Most material is for reference and research, as it consists of ore specimens with varying amounts of visible gold. However a number of excellent specimens of gold crystals and small nuggets, such as the 50 ounce Bunyip, are more suitable for display.
The Victorian gold collection is of high economic and geological significance. It is an important record of the historical output of Victorian 19th century mining, while specimens are still being found by fossickers using metal detectors in the central Victorian goldfields.
The museum has purchased small but significant pieces from time to time, which have helped diversify the collection. The collection has both historical and future significance, as Victoria remains a prospective region for gold, and there is also a considerable academic research interest in its origins.
Apart from the monetary value of the gold itself, the greatest importance of the collection is the large number of specimens from deposits that are no longer accessible. This makes it an invaluable resource for future reference by academics and mining companies.
Because the collection contains such a diverse range of habits shown by gold, it is also very important for educational purposes. Some of the more spectacular pieces are ideal for exhibition, subject to appropriate security.
The collection of historical gold nugget models is ideal for display as it conveys directly to the public perhaps the most defining characteristic of the central Victorian goldfields.