What is the largest gold nugget ever recorded?

The "Welcome Stranger" was the name given to the largest gold nugget ever found and recorded. It measured 61 cm by 31 cm and was discovered by John Deason and Richard Oates at Moliagul, western Victoria, Australia on 5 February 1869 about 9 miles north-west of Dunolly and half-way between Maryborough and St Arnaud. It was found only 5cm below the surface on a slope leading to what was then known as Bulldog Gully and it weighed 2316 troy ounces or 72.04 kg. The finders were paid £19,068. The Welcome Stranger is not the same as the "Welcome Nugget" found in Ballarat in 1858 which was the largest single nugget prior to the discovery of the Welcome Stranger.

However, larger than this is the Beyers and Holtermann nugget, the largest single piece of reef gold ever discovered in the world. The Beyers and Holtermann nugget was, strictly speaking, not a nugget, but what is called a matrix. Weighing in around 286 kilograms(about 630 pounds), it measured 150cm by 66cm, and was worth at least £12,000 at the time it was discovered, in October 1872. It was discovered by workers at the Star of Hope Gold Mining Co on Hawkins Hill, at the Hill End goldfields in New South Wales, Australia.

As to reef gold, gold sometimes appears as a "vein" included in rock, frequently quartz. In this case it was a quartz reef. By removing the rock around the vein, the gold included in that vein can be recovered in one piece. And that was the case with the Holtermann Nugget.

What is currently the largest nugget on display is probably the Hand of Faith Nugget. This 875 troy ounce (61 pounds, 11 ounce) nugget was discovered in 1980 by the use of a metal detector. It was buried some six inches below the surface of the ground near Wedderburn, Australia, about 40km north of Moliagul, where the Welcome Stranger was found.