This stone obelisk commemorates the discovery of the world’s largest gold nugget

This stone obelisk commemorates the discovery of the world's largest gold nugget

In the 1850s, thousands of people traveled to Victoria, Australia in search of their fortune as part of the Victorian Gold Rush.

The first recorded gold discovery in the Moliagul area took place in September 1852.


Two miners, John Deason and Richard Oates , originally from Conwell, England, owned small farms. In February 1869, Deason was scouting for gold when he struck what he thought was a rock. After hitting it a second and third time, he cleaned the ground and dug up the huge nugget .

Oates was busy plowing in his nearby meadow and was summoned by Deason’s son. They covered the nugget and waited until it was safe to remove it and then took it to Deason’s house.

Deason and Oates, accompanied by a bodyguard, transported the nugget to the town of Dunolly and sold it at the London Chartered Bank in Australia. As there were no scales on the bench large enough to weigh the nugget, it was transported to a local smithy to reduce its size. The whole nugget is believed to have weighed around 110 kg before being cut .

Now a large stone obelisk surrounded by a fence commemorates the discovery. Only 0.00000011% of the earth’s crust is made up of gold. As I explain in the book The Element of Which There Is Only One Gram :

Gold constitutes the epitome of luxury, the materialization of the chrematistic, the only material whose Phoenician brilliance is capable of short-circuiting the synopses of the most sane people. Around the year 4700 BC it was one of the first metals used in the Varna necropolis in Bulgaria, one of the most important deposits in the world. India has 10% of the world’s gold reserves and makes 25% of the world’s purchases. In 2011, for example, it acquired around 1,000 tons of gold. And most of that gold goes to jewelry.