Attention has been already directed to the many large pieces of gold which have been found in the neighborhood of Dun- olly; and, when the printing of this work was nearly completed, on the 5th February, 1869, there was unearthed by John Deason and Richard Oates a nugget weighing more than 2,280 oz., 10 dwts., 14 grs. It was found on the extreme margin of a patch of auriferous alluvium trending from Bulldog Reef. According to information furnished by Mr. Knox Orme, it appears that this mass of gold was lying within two feet of the bed-rock (sandstone), in a loose, gravelly loam, resting on stiff, red clay. It was barely covered with earth. It was about twenty-one inches in length and about ten inches in thickness; and, though mixed with quartz, the great body of it was solid gold. The annexed engraving has been reduced from a large sketch made by Mr. Francis Fearn, which was certified by the discoverers as a fair representation of the nugget found by them. Comparing it with a photograph of a sketch made from memory by Mr. Charles Webber, it would appear to represent not incorrectly the outward appearance of the “ Welcome Stranger.” It is to be regretted that a cast or a photograph was not made, and the weight and specific gravity of it ascertained when it was first dug oeit of the ground. The discoverers appear to have heated it in the fire in their hut, in order to get rid of the quartz, and thus to reduce its weight before conveying it to the bank at Dunolly. The melted gold obtained from it was 2,268 ozs., 10 dwts., 14 grs., but a number of specimens and pieces of gold (weighing more than 1 lb.) were detached from it before it got into the hands of the bank manager; and what was broken off in the hut while it was on the fire, it is useless to guess. Mr. Birkmyre says: “The gold of this nugget, from the crucible assays, I found to be 98'C6 per cent of pure gold. It thus contains only 1-75th of alloy, composed chiefly of silver and iron. The melted gold, with that given away to their friends by the fortunate finders, amounted to 2,280 ozs., or 2,248 ozs. of pure gold—its value at the Bank of England being £9,534." The neighborhood of Dunolly is almost unprospected country. For many miles there are out-cropping reefs which have yielded very large pieces of gold : and it is not at all improbable that other pieces of gold will be found as far .exceeding the “ Welcome Stranger “ in weight and value as that nugget exceeds any yet recorded. Near the spot where this mass was found there were unearthed two nuggets weighing respectively 114 ozs. and 36 ozs. Very heavy gold is characteristic of this district; and large nuggets are found nearly every day.—From R. Brough Smyth's “ Gold Fields and Mineral Di8tricts of Victoria.'
This article was originally published with the title "“The Welcome Stranger” Nugget, Found Near Dunolly, in Australia"