Australia Post marks 150 years since discovery of the Welcome Stranger

Australia Post is marking 150 years since the discovery of the Welcome Stranger gold nugget with the release of a commemorative $1 stamp.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said collectors, geologists, and history buffs will be delighted with the stamp release which celebrates the largest nugget ever found.

“The stamp features a photograph by William Parker depicting Richard Oates, John Deason, Catherine Deason and others re-enacting the discovery at Moliagul in 1869. It also shows the magnificent replica of the nugget from Sovereign Hill, Ballarat.”

The Victorian gold rush of the mid-19th century attracted prospectors from all over the world eager to make their fortune. On 5 February 1869, Cornish miners John Deason and Richard Oates literally struck gold near the town of Moliagul with their remarkable discovery of the massive nugget known as the Welcome Stranger. Measuring approximately 61cm x 31cm, the nugget lay only three centimetres below the surface, near the base of a tree in Bulldog Gully goldfields.

Deason and Oats were paid £9,583 – which in today’s value would be nearly $4 million – for the 2,284 troy ounces (71kg) of gold yielded from the nugget. The Welcome Stranger remains the largest alluvial gold nugget – one formed by water movement – ever found. The second largest, the Welcome Nugget (69kg), was found in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1858.

Several replicas of the nugget exist, including at Museum Victoria, Melbourne and the Natural History Museum, London.

The products available with this commemorative stamp issue include a $1 stamp, Stamp Pack, Maxicard, First Day Cover, and Postal Numismatic Cover.

The Welcome Stranger stamp issue will be available from 26 February at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at, while stocks last.

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