It’s one thing to see a speckled collection of gold flakes looking up at you after you’ve washed a panful of earth, quite another to stumble onto a nugget you can hold up in your hand.
There’s something about nuggets and the instant bonanza they represent that has always excited the imagination of gold seekers, especially in the heady early days of a field when the surface alluvial ground is still largely unworked.
This was a big issue for NSW gold as while it had plenty of gold flakes on offer, the Victorian fields are renowned around the world for their unusually large and abundant collection of nuggets.
This in turn was a major incentive luring people south of the border in 1854.
Left: “Hello you boys” Reproduced courtesy State Library of Victoria (pi001963)