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- The Welcome Nugget -

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On the evening of the 9th June 1858, the night shift men at work on the Red Hill mine came on a monster nugget. It took then half an hour to haul it to the service.

After a file and scrubbing brush had been well used, they saw a huge irregular lump of waterworn, honeycombed gold about 20 inches long, 13 inches broad and 8 inches thick.

One end was thick and shaped like a horse’s head. To this thick end was a narrow neck about 4 inches in circumference. Then it widened out again. It was 99.6 pure gold. The luck party of 22 Cornishmen had sunk to 190 feet and had already found nuggets of various sizes up to 45 ozs.  

When this monster was weighed it was 2,217 ozs. The lucky finders called it the Welcome Nugget and exhibited it for some days, in aid of the Hospital funds.

Witkowski Brothers bought it for 10,050 pounds and after exhibiting it to crowds of people in Melbourne, sent it to London where it was shown at the Crystal Palace till November, 1859, when it was melted down and made into sovereigns.

A granite monolith, on the corner of Mair and Humffray Streets Ballarat marks the site of the finding of this monster nugget.