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Dunolly Gold Nugget: The Micro-Welcome Stranger

A rather interesting little gold nugget, found using a metal detector at Dunolly, Central Goldfields Shire, Victoria, Australia.

In 1856 Dunolly was the site of one of the largest gold rushes that Victoria, Australia has ever witnessed, with as many as 60,000 people flocking to the town after the discovery of rich gold deposits. In 2006 me and my mate Les flocked there. We were hoping to find another "Welcome Stranger" nugget. After hiring a metal detector we proceeded to search for gold. We were totally unsuccessful. When we returned to the shop to give back the detector, I bought this 0.431 gram nugget - 17 second video -

Dunolly gold assays as extremely pure, over 98%. This nugget measures 8.0 x 3.2 x 3.0 millimetres. Here's some photos of The Micro-Welcome Stranger -

The shop had previous finds by detector on display, and I asked to hold the following (more substantial) specimen, weighing many ounces -

Apologies for the rather shaky nature of the photos, my adrenaline levels were rather high, due to indecision as to whether I should run out of the shop with it. The dirty fingernails are not unusual, but on this occasion are because I'd spent the day digging out old bits of iron and bullets the rental detector successfully found.

Location of Dunolly (blue arrow)

Large gold nuggets are still being found near Dunolly, this magnificent 4.3kg example found in December 2016 by bin-man Syd Pearson -

As far as Dunolly gold is concerned, Syd's nugget is huge compared with my modest specimen, but tiny compared to The Welcome Stranger. Found near Dunolly in 1869, the 97.14 kg monster is described in "The Gold Fields and Mineral Districts of Victoria" by Robert Brough Smyth, 1869 -

The following from "The Gold Fields of Victoria in 1862" by J. A. Patterson -


References -

The Gold Fields and Mineral Districts of Victoria, Robert Brough Smyth, 1869

The Gold Fields of Victoria in 1862, J. A. Patterson


And Now for Something Completely Different




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