129 Fremont Street
Located centrally on Fremont Street below the Viva Vegas canopy, it is consistently one of the busiest hotels in Las Vegas and the Downtown area, and is the highest rated hotel, more similar to hotels on the Strip than her neighbors. The Golden Nugget is by most estimates the nicest hotel casino in the Downtown area, and it certainly has the nicest nugget.
Nuggets are a mass of gold that is usually found in stream beds or in soil. They are also referred to alluvial deposits. Nuggets are usually not all gold but a solid mass containing a significant amount of gold. The early 1800’s saw the first major gold rushes.
Named for its vague resemblance to a hand, the Hand of Faith is often touted as the world’s largest golden nugget at 27.21 kg or 72 troy pounds and 11 troy ounces and 47 cm x 20 cm x 9 cm (around 61 pounds and 11 ounces). It is in fact not the largest gold nugget ever found despite nearly endless reports to the contrary, it is though the largest ever found by a metal detector when it was discovered only 12 inches below the surface. It may currently be the largest complete nugget on display today and is quite impressive either way. The Hand of Faith was the second largest gold nugget found in Australia in the 20th century. There were many gold nuggets found during the Victorian gold rush in the 1850’s that were much larger than the Hand of Faith. Many of the largest nuggets ever found were located here and in the 1850’s it saw one of the most lucrative rushes in history. The actual largest known nugget was found near Moliagul in 1869 and contained 2,300 ounces of gold. By comparison the Hand of Faith only contains 870 ounces of gold.
Kevin Hillier discovered the Hand of Faith using a metal detector in 1980. The discovery was announced in a press conference on October 8, 1980 and Kovac’s Gems & Minerals was appointed the selling agent. Reportedly the sum it was sold for was $1 million US dollars to the Golden Nugget hotel casino. The exact amount of the sale is not confirmed.
Today the Hand of Faith is proudly displayed and a favorite of visitors to Downtown Las Vegas. You can view the amazing nugget free of charge. It is displayed next to a smaller 13 pound gold nugget.