Waanyarra is known to have produced the purest gold ever found in the world, being 99.9% pure. Waanyarra is also known for the large amount of alluvial nuggets found there.
Nuggets fascinated the digger more than the awesome amount of finer gold produced on the fields. A dull time on the fields was always revitalized by the discovery of a nugget.This can be seen by the various rushes which occurred at Waanyarra over the years.
The Inglewood Advertiser on 3rd January, 1862 reported “Mining at Jones’ Creek is generally dull”. But it was only a matter of weeks before the place was rushed after the news that a 52 lb. nugget had been found at “Secret Hill”. Then followed larger finds and Waanyarra was bustling again.
Due to the unstable conditions of life on the goldfields diggers felt it was wiser to conceal their gold than to advertise it. The discovery of many large lumps of gold was often never disclosed, hence the very incomplete record of nuggets. It is safe therefore, to assume that less than half the nuggets found were recorded. No systematic list was ever kept of large gold finds by individuals. Local newspaper reports advertised the findings of huge nuggets, but many sizeable lumps were broken up before sale and the details never came forth.
The Chinese were known to have found vast amounts of nuggets but records were rarely kept.
Early reports of the Waanyarra area painted a vivid, if unrealistic picture of the Jones’ Creek diggings:
Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, 1857.
“Specimens were being constantly discovered, so much so that the diggers used to enjoy their Sundays by strolling about the Ranges picking up nuggets in all directions, and of all sizes and richness”.