Welcome Stranger

This is what 3.8 million dollars looks like:

Image

Okay, not exactly true. What this man is holding is a copy of the world’s largest gold nugget, the Welcome Stranger. The original weighed over 200 pounds.

It was discovered in 1869 by a prospector named John Deason. Deason and his partner were working at an Australian goldfield and hadn’t been having much luck. Their creditors were becoming insistent, and the ground was stingy in giving up its gold. But that changed the day Deason broke his pick on a rock hidden at the base of a stringybark tree.

“Damn it, I wish that was a nugget,” he said. And of course it was.

The two men dug the lump of gold out of the ground with crowbars (and great difficulty). It was broken up and melted down. In other words, the Welcome Stranger is no more; the largest existing nugget is the Hand of Faith, found in 1980. (The Hand of Faith weighs only about 60 pounds and currently resides in the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.)

Main source: 1869 newspaper report 

Image source: TreasureNet