“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Notable Nuggets

Whilst on a recent trip to Las Vegas I happened to visit the Golden Nugget Casino in the Freemont Street area of the city and was surprised to find a rather large gold nugget on display inside. The nugget in question is called The Hand of Faith and claims to be the largest gold nugget on public display in the world, which I assumed to be true as it weighs 27 kg. The Hand of Faith was found in 1980 by a man from Wedderburn in Victoria (Australia) using a metal detector. The caption in the display explains:

"This magnificent gold nugget, the largest on public display in the world was discovered using a metal detector, lying six inches below the surface in a vertical position. It weighs a massive 875 troy ounces, (61 pounds, 11 ounces av.)

A man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, his wife, and four young children were prospecting behind their modest trailer home when they made this spectacular find."

The size of this nugget got me wondering if it was truly a giant of the nugget world or if larger nuggets have been found. It seems that The Hand of Faith is actually fairly small when compared to some of the giant nuggets that have been found:

- The Welcome Stranger Nugget was found at Moliagul in Victoria (Australia) in 1869 and weighed in at 2,520 troy ounces (78 kg).

- The Welcome Nugget was found at Bakery Hill in Ballarat (Australia) in 1858 and weighed in at 2,218 troy ounces (69 kg).

- The Canaã Nugget was found at the Serra Pelada Mine in the State of Para (Brazil) in 1983 and weighed in at 2,145 troy ounces (67 kg). However, there does seem to be some suggestion that this nugget was actually part of a larger nugget weighing 5,291 troy ounces (165 kg) that broke during excavations.

It seems that the Canaã nugget is currently on display in the Gold Room of the Banco Central Museum in Brazil, which seemingly makes the Golden Nugget's claim that The Hand of Faith is the largest nugget on public display false!

The Hand of Faith
The Hand of Faith
Pictures, Las Vegas (October 2013).

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