ONE hundred and fifty three years ago, the second-biggest gold nugget ever to be found was wheeled around Ballarat in a small wheelbarrow.The Welcome Nugget, weighing in as much as small person at 2217 ounces, was the single greatest discovery in Ballarat. There was magic in the air yesterday as Sovereign Hill celebrated the anniversary of the discovery.People spoke of the exhilaration the 22 Cornish discoverers would have felt as they dug in the abandoned Baker’s Hill claim by candlelight and came across the monster nugget.Richard Jeffery was the lucky miner who struck the gold, which was 99.6 per cent pure.It later became known as the “wonder of the world” and was described by The Times as similar to a skeleton horse’s head and shoulders.The nugget attracted wonder and awe in Ballarat. It was displayed at the Mining Exchange and the Police Court with people paying one shilling towards charity to touch the gold for good luck. The story of the nugget unfortunately didn’t end in Ballarat though, with the Wittowski brothers buying the Welcome Nugget for approximately 10,500 pounds.After thousands flocked to Melbourne to see the incredible discovery, the Welcome Nugget was sold to the London Mint where it was melted down to create sovereigns. Ballarat now has a model replica of the nugget on display.