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 61 centimetres by 31 centimetres, the nugget lay only three centimetres below the surface, near the base of a tree in Bulldog Gully goldfields. It had a gross weight of over 100 kilograms and after trimming was taken by spring cart to the London Chartered Bank in nearby Dunolly, where it had to be broken on an anvil to fit on the bank’s scales. The smelted nugget yielded 2,284 troy ounces (71 kilograms) of gold, for which the bank paid Deason and Oats £9,583 (today’s value would be nearly $4 million). Converted into ingots, the gold was transported to Melbourne, then loaded on the steamship Reigate for the voyage to the Bank of England.

An obelisk commemorating the discovery of the Welcome Stranger was erected near the spot in 1897. Several replicas of the nugget exist, including at Museum Victoria, Melbourne and the Natural History Museum, London.

The Welcome Stranger remains the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found. The second largest, the Welcome Nugget (69 kilograms), was found in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1858.

Technical specifications

Issue date
FDI withdrawal date
Stamp design
John White, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
John White, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper (gummed)
Tullis Russell
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
37.5 x 26
Sheetlet size (mm)
101 x 156
13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Sheetlet of 10
FDI Postmark
Bendigo, Vic 3550
Issue withdrawal date
31 August 2019

Stamp in this issue

$1 Welcome Stranger discovered 1869

The stamp design, by John White of the Australia Post Design
Studio, features a photograph by William Parker showing Richard Oates, John
Deason, Catherine Deason and others re-enacting the discovery of the nugget at
Moliagul in 1869. The stamp also shows a replica of the nugget at Sovereign
Hill, Ballarat.

Shop our stamp collectables

Welcome Stranger stamp:

Welcome Stranger stamp

This is the single gummed $1 stamp from the Welcome Stranger stamp issue.

Shop now


Welcome Stranger maxicard

The Welcome Stranger maxicard is a prepaid postcard with the Welcome Stranger stamp affixed and postmarked on the view side.

Shop now

Sheetlet of 10:

Welcome Stranger sheetlet of 10 x $1 gummed stamps

The gummed sheetlet contains 10 x $1 stamps from the Welcome Stranger stamp issue.

Shop now

Sheetlet pack:

Welcome Stranger sheetlet pack 

The Welcome Stranger sheetlet pack contains the sheetlet of 10 x $1 stamps from the stamp issue presented in high quality folder.

Shop now

Additional products

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.