The 'Golden Eagle' nugget was discovered at Larkinville by the 17-year-old son of Mr Jim Larcombe, on Thursday 15th January 1931. Weighing 1,135 oz 15 dwt, and measuring 26½ x 11½ x 2½ inches (675 x 290 x 64 mm), the nugget was the largest discovered in Western Australia at the time and created a national sensation.
The block of ground on which the nugget was discovered was previously held by Mr Bill Sheehan, who had abandoned it. The nugget was found in a hole in the road leading to Mr
Mickey Laskin's camp, having been driven over by local people for months with no idea of what lay beneath the surface. When young Larcombe unearthed the nugget it was reported that 'he uttered such a joyous yell that diggers quickly ran to the spot' where they 'saw the lad staggering with a massive slab of gold in his arms.' As there were no scales available capable of handling it, someone thought of the idea of balancing the nugget on a pole against a bag of sugar and when this was done, the gold easily swung the 60-lb bag in the air giving the crowd a rough idea of its weight.
Mr Larcombe was born at Kadina in 1887 and had arrived at Coolgardie at the age of nine. He had spent his adult life prospecting on various goldfields and was the President of the Coolgardie Prospectors' and Leaseholders' Association at the time of the find. His son had only been working with him at Larkinville for five weeks at the time of the find and had almost abandoned the ground before a 70-ounce slug of gold was found on an adjoining block the previous Friday. This had heartened the Larcombes encouraging them to work their own ground with renewed vigour.
The nugget was sold to the Western Australian Government after Mr Larcombe had refused a private offer of £6000 for the nugget.
Description of Content
Group of men in the main street of Kalgoorlie holding the Golden Eagle nugget, the largest found in Western Australia. A policeman stands beside them.
Copied from Stella Bliss, 26 Oct 1987
Place & Date Depicted
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Australia, Jan 1931
The nugget was discovered at Larkinville on Thursday 15 January 1931 and arrived at Kalgoorlie the following weekend. It was dispatched to Perth by train on Friday 30th January.
Negative, 35 mm, Black & White
Type of item
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 17 Jan 1931, p.10, “Finder Only Five Weeks on Field”. The Advertiser (Adelaide), 19 Jan 1931, p.7, “Finding of Golden Eagle Nugget” ([Link 1]). Examiner (Launceston), 19 Jan 1931, p.6, “The Golden Eagle". Brisbane Courier, 27 Jan 1931, p.11, “Western Australia's Wonderful Nugget” ([Link 2]).