The biggest gold nugget in the world

Can you find gold nuggets with a metal detector?

Have you ever tried to find Gold with a metal detector? If you have, you likely found many other things, nails, screws, cans, chains, etc. but no gold. It isn’t easy to find naturally occurring Gold with a metal detector. But maybe these stories can give you some motivation to continue the hunt.

The biggest gold nugget ever found, “The Hand of Faith.”

The biggest gold nugget available today is the world-famous “The Hand of Faith”. It was unearthed on September 26, 1980, in Wedderburn, Australia, by Kevin Hillier. Its weight of just over 27 kg makes it the largest gold nugget today and was found with a metal detector. It is valued today at about $ 5 million.

A strange story

The story behind the discovery is as incredible as the gold nugget itself. In 1978, Kevin Hillier, his wife Bep and four young children left Western Australia to travel around the country in an old refurbished bus called “Gus”. The family had a difficult time. They moved several times, having a hard time finding work and were short of money.

The largest Gold finds in the world.

After a series of circumstances, they were in the Victorian goldfields several years later. And on September 26, 1980, Kevin Hillier and his wife Bep discovered one of the world’s largest gold nuggets behind an abandoned elementary school in Kingower, Victoria.

Kevin found it with the help of a metal detector, and at first, he did not intend to dig because he thought the metal detector gave a false result. Luckily, he dug, and he found a massive Gold nugget at less than 60 cm depth that weighed just over 27 kg!

Where to discover Gold in Australia

This Gold nugget is just one of many found in a well-known area in Australia called The Golden Triangle. The “Golden Triangle” is simply an area between three cities in Victoria, Australia.

The biggest gold nugget ever

Not only “The Hand of Faith” has been found here, but also some even bigger nuggets such as “Welcome Stranger nugget”, which is the largest historically known nugget of Gold ever found. It weighed just over 65 kg and was found in 1869, but sadly, it was melted down and no longer exists.

Man showing a replica of biggest gold nugget in the world "welcome stranger"
Replica of “Welcome Stranger nugget”

Australian Gold

Small amounts of Gold were discovered in Australia as early as 1823, but more significant gold deposits in the early 1850s launched a large-scale gold rush to the continent. Men from all over the world came to Australia to get rich.

But as usual, only a few were lucky enough to find enough Gold. And even fewer found something close to “The Hand of Faith” in size!

Golden Nugget Casino

The “Hand of Faith” is currently available at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas (where else?). It was bought for over a million dollars and can be viewed by visitors to the Casino.


The “boot of Cortez” is the Biggest Gold Nugget found in the western hemisphere.

Boot of Cortez biggest gold nugget

In 1989, a gold digger using a metal detector found a gold nugget weighing almost 13 kg! The piece was excavated in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico, about 100 miles south of the Arizona border. Due to its unique shape, which resembles a boot, it was named Boot of Cortez.

Gold in Mexico

Mexico is rich in Gold and other valuable minerals, and some large gold mining mines in Mexico produce significant amounts of Gold. But Mexico is also much less explored than many other areas. The harsh desert climate limits the opportunities for research and exploration. The lack of water in the area means that the only option is to investigate using a metal detector or so-called dry washing. So many areas remain to be thoroughly investigated in Mexico.

The largest gold nugget is a rare collector’s item.

Man lifting Boot of Cortez the biggest gold nugget

A Gold Nugget like Boot of Cortez is exceptionally rare. It is the largest existing gold nugget found in the western hemisphere! Some significant nuggets were found during the early days of the gold rush, but they have all been melted down and sold. 

Using a Gold Detector

Gold nuggets like Boot of Cortez are highly sought after by collectors, if only because they are scarce. Most large gold nuggets found today are found using a metal detector. The reason is simple, Gold Detectors are designed to find Gold, and with a Gold detector, you can quickly and efficiently cover a lot of ground.

The founder of Boot of Cortez used only a cheap metal detector from Radio Shack. Today, there are better alternatives and metal detectors intended for just Gold Search. Metal detectors such as Nokta | Makro Kruzer Gold or MINELAB gold monster 1000 can find Gold worldwide.

There are lots of other exceptional Gold Nuggets out there waiting to be found. So who will find the next Boot of Cortez? Will it be you?

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