Australia is famous for it's gold having the record for the largest Gold Nugget ever found. We have put together this page to show the world some of Australia's famous Gold Nuggets.
We make a range of gold specimen souvenirs, gold mining figurines, pewter mining figurines with genuine gold , gold panners, and gold nugget hat badges and lapel pins. See our article on Gold Panning below
We can custom make a detailed description card for your business or mining area. See Gold Specimens, below
|For centuries man has traded in gold and used it for a basis of currency. Gold is a dense metal with a Sp. G. of 19.3. The colour of gold is related to it's purity and may be naturally alloyed with other elements such as copper and silver. |
Gold was first discovered in Australia in 1823 at Bathurst, New South Wales by James McBrien whilst surveying a road along Fish River. Most of the world's largest gold nuggets have been found in Australia. Australia produces about 300 tonnes of gold annually making it the fourth highest producer in the world.
It was once believed that gold was deposited from a molten state but it has been scientifically established that it is deposited from hot salty solutions emanating from deep within the earth.
Any gold present in these deep rocks is sweated out and carried in solution as complex ions. The solutions migrate upwards through a process of capilarity through fractures in rocks and when conditions are right the gold crystallises out and is frequently associated with Silicon Dioxide that is also present in solution. Hence the combinations of gold in quartz as seen in the specimens above.
|The Welcome Stranger Nugget was found by John Deason and Richard Oates on Friday 5th February, 1869 near the Black Reef, Bull-Dog Gully, Moliagul. The two men had been working the area for several years and were almost broke having been refused loans or credit for even a bag of flour. Deason was working around the roots of a tree when he broke his pick upon striking something large. The huge nugget seemed so large as to be unmoveable. It was taken to the bank and a crowd had gathered to see the prize whilst it was under guard of one Constable. Hammer and chisels were used to reduce the mass in size and it was immediately smelted yielding 2269 ozs 10 dwt 14 grains of pure Gold. A further troy pound of pieces were given away to friends. It remains the largest gold nugget ever found in the world.|
|The Welcome Nugget , weighing 2,217 ounces was found on 9th June, 1858 at the Redhill Mine at Bakers Hill, Ballarat. It was put on display to raise fund for the hospital and later sold to the Witkowski brothers for 10,500 pounds and after exhibiting it in Melbourne sent it to London and displayed at the crystal Palace until November 1969, when it was melted down and made into sovereigns.|
|The 'Beyers and Holtermann Specimen' is the largest single chunk of gold ever found at Hawkins Hill, Hill End on 19th October, 1972. Weighing approximately 3,000 ounces it was crushed at along with 272 tonnes of other ore from the mine containing over 15,488 ounces of gold. A few months later a larger mass of gold was found with an estimated weight of 5,000 ounce but the miners broke it up underground to save the arduous task of manhandling another huge chunk to the surface.|
The Hand of Faith gold nugget, weighing 875 troy ounces, was discovered by a fossicker using a metal detector near Kingower in 1980. It is one of the largest and best known gold nuggets discovered in recent times and now resides in the Gold Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.
Since the dawn of civilisation gold has been prized by man. It has been found in Egyptian jewellery dating back to 4,000 B.C. The 'Hand of Faith' gold nugget is the largest gold of Australian origin nugget still in existence in the world.
New Age Therapists call Gold 'The Master Healer' believing it to be an energy generator. Gold is associated with the 1st Chakra. Gold mixed in drinks is said to comfort arthritis sufferers. It is said to be a stabilising element and calms anger and alleviates stress and depression.
We can customise cards for your business with this message or any other information.
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with Gift Box & Card
'The Master Healer'
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Gold Panning -
Before metal detectors, gold panning was the prospector's best means of locating gold. The gold pan can be anything round and dish shaped from a custom made pan to a large deep dinner bowl.
However, the equipment you take should include a pick, shovel, geological hammer, al long handle shovel, gold pan and sieves. The gold pan should be large enough to catch everything that falls through the sieves. A magnet would also be handy to remove any heavy magnetic material from the pan and another useful item would be a small tarp to spread out over the ground to sort recovered material. An experienced gold prospector will use his sieves to advantage because sieving, if done correctly, will enable the prospector to locate all the heavier material in the centre of the sieve; this method will be described later.
Gold is the heaviest metal most likely to be found in creeks. When panning for gold identify an area where gold has been reported and locate an area in a creek where gold is most likely to be deposited.
The best time to search for gold is after a flood because a lot of lighter material will be washed away.
Choose an area in the creek where flow is lowest and remove larger rock to uncover gravel beds. It should also be remembered that the river or creek has not always been exactly where it is today and by discovering the old river course could yield gold that was deposited years or even centuries ago. Gravel beds containing the gold may now be covered in silt, soil or heavy clay so it may be necessary to remove vegetation and topsoil to get to the gravel beds.
If the location is close to the river a channel should be made to ensure that plenty of water is available for sieving and panning.
Gold will sink into the riverbed, so a lot of digging may necessary to remove the overburden. Ideally, sieving is recommended to remove larger stones from the dig and catch the smaller gravel in the gold pan. Check every stone before discarding because some rocks could contain gold. The gold may not be visible so check the weight by feel to gauge the specific gravity. Even a small amount of gold in a rock will alter the feel of the stone. This method obviously comes with experience and if in doubt chip the rock to see if any gold is visible.
Wooden nesting sieves are ideal because they are easier to handle when using the sieving technique.
Place the pan in the water and then place the 1/2" in sieve over the top of the 1/4" sieve, which is now located on top of the gold pan, and shovel the gravel into the 1/2" sieve. Don't over fill the sieve because it will be too heavy and difficult to handle.
The secret of sieving for gems and gold is to manipulate the heavier material to the centre of the sieves. This achieved with a moderate amount of skill. Place your hands beneath the gold pan at 180º and lift the pan. Keep the stack immersed in water and with a slow up and down motion rotate the stack in an anti-clockwise direction. As you rotate the stack the smaller material will filter through the sieves and into the pan. Occasionally give the stack a vigorous shake from side to side to release trapped smaller material and centre the heavier material.
When you are satisfied with the result, release the pan and the 1/4" sieve and let them rest on the bottom still beneath the 1/2" sieve. Remove the larger stones from the top sieve examining them as you go until all the very large pieces have been confidently discarded. With the same motion as described, lift and drop the sieve in a bouncing motion as you rotate in an anti-clockwise direction. The lighter material will drift to the perimeter of the sieve. Vigorously shake the sieve from side to side and repeat the revolving and bouncing motion until you are satisfied that all heavier material remains in the centre of the sieve. Remove material from the perimeter of the sieve as necessary during this operation. Go to the bank and quickly flip the sieve over onto the tarp.
Sort through the heavy material in the centre of the sieve. It is possible that heavy gemstones may also be in the pile so some knowledge of gems is an advantage.
Gemstones likely to be found in the sieve are zircon, corundum (Sapphire is the gem variety), spinel, garnet, tourmaline and topaz.
Heavier common minerals that could be in the gravel are rutile, cassiterite (tin), Ilmenite and magnetite. Remember, gold could be covered in ironstone so don't discard rusty looking heavy minerals. Keep anything of interest and clean off the tarp.
Repeat the process for the 1/4" sieve and keep anything heavy or anything that looks like a gemstone. Quite often clear quartz (Rock Crystal) will be found and these can also be made into attractive gemstones especially if they have inclusions of other minerals such as rutile and tourmaline.
Panning will concentrate the heavy material and the pan riffle will help prevent small gold flakes from drifting out of the pan. Most of the light materials in the pan will consist of mica quartz and feldspar the common minerals in igneous rocks and as the pan is rotated with a bouncing motion these minerals will float to the perimeter of the pan whilst the heavier minerals sink to the bottom of the pan.
Tilt the pan slightly, whilst immersed in water, and with a soft shaking motion allow the lighter minerals to 'float' over the edge of the pan. The riffle will prevent heavier minerals from being lost.
You now have a concentrate of heavy minerals, which may include specs of gold. All the heavy minerals should be carefully collected to sort later so that your time is more effectively spent in gathering more heavy minerals.
To the experienced eye, gold is unmistakable but the novice can often mistake other minerals such as mica, pyrite and chalcopyrite for gold. These minerals are historically known as "Fool's Gold" and are much more common than gold. All three are much lighter in weight than gold, mica being the lightest and will often be observed close or on top of all other materials in the creek bed. Pyrite and chalcopyrite being heavier than the other common minerals, quartz and feldspar, will be lower down in the gravel beds.
Apart from its weight, gold has a distinctive yellow colour compared to the brassy colour of the other minerals our gold specimens will assist in your identification of this noble and precious metal.
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