A gold nugget is a piece of naturally occurring gold. Gold fragments that break out of an original lode constitute gold nuggets. Channels of flowing water can help create the nuggets. Gold nuggets may also be found in deposits of alluvial sands where minerals form by gravity separation.

Largest Gold Nuggets

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People proclaimed that they had found the largest gold nugget in 1872 at Hill End, New South Wales in Australia. The hulking nugget holds the record of being the largest single piece of gold ever discovered. It weighed in at a massive 290 kg. It was named the Holtermann Specimen. Many people do not consider the mass a nugget because it wasn’t technically separate from the host rock. Rather, it was a type of “reef gold.”

This finding came on the heels of the discovery of another nugget in 1869 in Moliagul Township in the Australian state of Victoria. The nugget, which was nicknamed “Welcome Stranger,” weighed 72.04 kg. The nugget no longer exists today because it was smelted into smaller parts.

Another big nugget was found in 1858 and named the “Welcome Nugget.” It weighed a whopping 68.2 kg.

If you want to see a giant gold nugget for yourself, you can visit the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kevin Hillier found the nugget in 1980 using a metal detector outside of his trailer in Wedderburn, Victoria, Australia. The gold nugget is named “Hand of Faith.” The mass weighed 27.2 kilograms or 876 troy ounces. Hillier later sold the gold nugget for a million dollars to be displayed at the Golden Nugget Casino.