Australia's Gold Rush of 1851

  Map of Victorian Goldfields 1855  
 
Called by some "the largest gold rush in history", the discovery of gold in Victoria, Australia in 1851 caused the sleepy little harbortown of Melbourne to grow in population from 49,000 to 500,000 less than a decade later.
 
A million plus ounces of gold were removed. By the middle of 1852, 50,000 people were estimated to be on the diggings and the average weekly shipment on the gold-escorts from Ballarat and Bendigo was more than 20,000 ounces - half a ton a week being shipped to Melbourne and then back to England. Thousands of British and Europeans prospectors headed for Victoria in the gold rush -it has been estimated that up to 2% of the population of the United Kingdom moved to Victoria in the 1850s. Melbourne grew to be the second largest and second wealthiest city in the British empire . . . lagging just behind London.
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  Otto Holterman with 630 lb Nugget from Hill End