The nugget weighed 2316 troy ounces* (about 72 kg) and at the time of discovery was the largest known gold nugget in the world, measuring 60 by 45 by 19 centimetres. The site of discovery is marked by a stone monument.
A famous gold discovery was made by Richard Oates and John
Deason, who arrived from England in 1854 and settled on land in central Victoria at Dunolly. They worked the land full-time and looked for gold part-time.
On 5 February 1869, while Oates was working in a paddock nearby, Deason worked the claim removing four loads of washdirt for puddling. On the fourth load his pick broke when it struck something hard just under the earth's surface. Thinking it was a boulder, he tried to prise it out of the earth but broke the handle trying to get it out.
When he eventually got it out of the earth, he discovered it was a large nugget - 61 cm by 31 cm. Afraid of theft, he and Oates hid it in their hut under the fireplace till dark, then took it to the bank manager's office where everyone was amazed at its size. The local blacksmith had to be called in to break it into two, so that it could be weighed on the scales that were not big enough.
Oates and Deason were paid 19,068 pounds for the nugget, the largest alluvial gold ever found in the world, which became known as "Welcome Stranger".
The world's largest recorded nugget is “The Welcome
Stranger”. The find occurred at Black Lead (or Black Reef), Bull-dog Gully,
Moliagul and was broken up on an anvil at nearby Dunolly in Victoria,
Australia, to be weighed in that towns bank. The finders were John Deason and
Richard Oats, the find occurred on 5th February, 1869. Different variations of
the find location and ounce quantity exist. For many years the most popular
ounce rating was 2,284 ounces (71.01 kilos).
However the publication “Gold
Nuggets of Victoria” from the Department of mines, Melbourne, Victoria lists
the price of gold at the time as four pounds, one shilling and sixpence, noting
that the cheque for the nugget amounted to nine thousand, five hundred and
eighty three pounds, which equals 2,380 ounces.
A reason for the discrepancy may come from the admittance by Deason and Oats
that pieces were broken off the main piece. It is possible that the main entire
nugget weighed 2,284 ounces and additions from the original find but not still
attached accounted for the total presented to the bank.
The main point is that (without splitting hairs) Deason and Oats in 1869, in
Victoria found about two and a quarter thousand ounces of gold in one piece
which became known as "THE WELCOME STRANGER NUGGET" and this is, as far as we know, the world's largest nugget.
Welcome Stranger Nugget