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Gold Nugget 'Welcome Stranger' (1869)

WELCOME STRANGER

Image: WELCOME STRANGER

Source: Museum Victoria

The 'Welcome Stranger' was found on 5 February 1869 by Cornish miner John Deason, who was working in Bulldog Gully, near Moliagul in central Victoria. While searching around the roots of a tree he discovered, 3 cm below the surface, a gold nugget. He concealed his find until dark, then with his partner, Richard Oates, dug it out. They then held a party during which they revealed their find to the guests.

The 66kg 'Welcome Stranger', then the world's largest-known gold nugget, was taken to Dunolly where it had to be broken on an anvil before it could fit on the bank's scales. It was worth 10,000 pounds - around $3-4 million in today's money. Deason returned to Moliagul and his descendants are still in the area. Oates returned to Cornwall.

References:
Fairfax Walkabout web site http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/VICMoliagul.shtml

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