On this day - February 5th

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Welcome Stranger

The Welcome Stranger is the biggest alluvial gold nugget ever found, which had a calculated refined weight of 3,123 oz (214.1 lbs). It measured 61 by 31 cm and was discovered by prospectors John Deason and Richard Oates at Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, about 9 miles north-west of Dunolly.

At the time of the discovery, there were no scales capable of weighing a nugget this large, so it was broken into three pieces on an anvil by Dunolly-based blacksmith Archibald Walls.

Deason, Oates, and a few friends took the nugget to the London Chartered Bank of Australia, in Dunolly, which advanced them £9,000. Deason and Oates were finally paid an estimated £9,381 for their nugget, which became known as the "Welcome Stranger". It is estimated that the nugget would have been worth around $3-4 million in 2013 prices.

The nugget was soon melted down and the gold was sent as ingots to Melbourne for forwarding to the Bank of England. It left the country on board the steamship Reigate which departed on 21 February.

The discoverers — Cornish men

John Deason was born in 1829 on the island of Tresco, Isles of Scilly. In 1851, he was a tin dresser before becoming a gold miner, He continued with gold mining and workings most of his life and, although he became a store keeper at Moliagul, he lost a substantial proportion of his wealth through poor investments in gold mining.

Richard Oates was born about 1827 at Pendeen in Cornwall. After the find, Oates returned to the UK and married. He returned to Australia with his wife and they had four children.

Today's question is in which year was the Welcome Stranger nugget found?

Click here for the answer

The Welcome Stranger was found on the 5th February 1869

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