THE WELCOME STRANGER NUGGET
how it was found
on february 5th 1869, a cornish miner called john deason was searching around the base of a stringybark tree when he struck the ground with his pick and it broke. when he scraped around, john found a huge nugget. when he could not budge the nugget by using a crowbar, john called out to his partner richard oates to help him, and together they removed the huge nugget from the ground.
how big is it?
the welcome stranger weighed about 2316 troy ounces or 71.01kg and to this day is the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found. its measurements are about 60 by 45 by 19 centimetres.
what is it worth?
depending on the currency exchange rate, this nugget could be valued at between 2 and 4 million dollars. only just recently gold was priced at nearly $500 an ounce in london, hitting a price only last reached 18 years ago in december 1987.
how is gold formed?
gold is dissolved then transported in warm to hot salty water through the earth’s crust. metamorphism happens when rocks in the earth’s crust are altered by extreme heat, pressure, and the introduction of new chemical substances. during this time, any gold deposits in the rocks are heated, dissolved and squeezed out, and carried away by the water-bearing minerals into gaps in between the rocks where fluid may pass. it usually travels up to cooler parts nearer the earth’s surface. the gold eventually begins to crystallise, mostly surrounded by white silicon dioxide, know as quartz. over time, erosion breaks down the rocks, and the quartz and gold are exposed to the elements and found by gold miners
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