Maitland Bar Gold Nugget
The Maitland Bar gold nugget has a value far beyond its gold content. It is the only remaining documented example of a large gold nugget discovered during the late gold-rush years of New South Wales. An alluvial nugget (deposited by the movement of water), it was found by Jonathan Thorpe, Isaac Holmes and Frederick Leader at a depth of 3.4 m in an abandoned shaft adjacent to Meroo Creek, New South Wales. The nugget has some milky quartz patches among the gold. It weighs 10.7 kg.
Meroo Creek Hargraves, near Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia
16 x 24 x 9 cm
Featured in the Westpac Long Gallery
Discovered on 15 June 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, it is also known as the Jubilee nugget. The Maitland Bar was purchased by the New South Wales Colonial Government for £1236, 14 shillings and 1 penny, and was initially displayed at national and international exhibitions as an example of the fledgling colony’s wealth up until the 1930s. The specimen was stored in vaults of the New South Wales Treasury and temporarily mislaid until rediscovered after an auditor’s search in 1956, still in its Wells Fargo box from its last trip to America in 1922. It was said that the box had been used innocently by Treasury officers as a wicket for impromptu cricket matches among the safes. The specimen is on loan from the New South Wales Department of Mineral Resources.
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