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Article: The Gold Story - The California Gold Rush

Die Goldgeschichte - Der Kalifornische Goldrausch

The Gold Story - The California Gold Rush

In 1848, John Sutter began building a large sawmill on the American River in California. The responsibility for the construction lay with one of his closest employees, James Marshall.

On the morning of 24 January 1849, Marshall came across shiny gold nuggets during the construction work.

Although initially attempts were made to keep the discovery secret, news spread in a matter of months and the California Gold Rush became a reality. The impact was so enormous that within a few years San Francisco went from being a small village with only 200 inhabitants, to a city of hundreds of thousands of gold seekers.

The World's Largest Nugget - The Welcome Stranger Nugget

In 1869, two Australians made a spectacular discovery when they dug up the largest gold nugget called the "Welcome Stranger" about 200 kilometres northwest of Melbourne. This piece of gold weighed an impressive 72.02 kilograms (equivalent to 2316 troy ounces) and was located only a few centimetres below the earth's surface. Due to the lack of a suitable scale, the gold nugget was divided into three parts to accurately determine its weight.

hree years later, in 1872, another enormous gold piece called the "Holtermann Nugget" was found in Australia, weighing about 214 kilograms.

Nevertheless, the "Welcome Stranger" remains known as the world's largest gold nugget to date, as the Holtermann's Nugget is strictly speaking a gold quartz nugget.The world's largest nugget adorned the "Australia Nugget" gold coin from 1986 to 1989 and is a symbol of the impressive story of the gold rush and the discovery of the exceptionally large gold nugget in Australia.