Kingower, Central Victoria, Australia
A small town in Victoria, Australia, Kingower was once quite populated during Gold Rush of mid-1900s. The Kingower goldfield was discovered in August 1853 by Captain John Mechosk. The discovery resulted in a rush of over 4000 prospectors as the field became famous for unearthing monster nuggets.
In August 1857, Robert and James Ambrose and Samuel and Charles Napier discovered the Blanche Barkly nugget, at that time the world's largest gold nugget, weighing in at 1743 ounces. The Blanche Barkly remains the third largest gold nugget ever discovered to this day.
The discovery of the nearby Inglewood goldfield drained Kingower of most of its population in 1859. From then onward, only a small number of diggers continued "working the field," despite large nuggets still being unearthed from time to time.
In 1980, Kevin Hillier was fossicking in the forest behind the old Kingower school house when he came across the 875 ounce 'Hand of Faith' nugget. The nugget was sold to the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas for over US$1 million and remains the largest nugget still in existence in the world today, and the largest ever found with a metal detector.
The present nugget is remarkable for its size and form: capable of standing on its own, this highly sculptural nugget, bears slight traces of quartz and oxides from the rich Australian soil in its crevices. Numerous naturally pierced holes and rounded edges are testaments to its ancient past. Weighing approximately 1682 grams (54 ozt) and measuring 4 x 4 x 2 1/4 in