Immigration During Australia's Goldrush
Meanwhile the news of these great discoveries had travelled to Europe, so that, after the middle of 1852, ships began to arrive freighted with thousands of men of all nations, who no sooner landed in Melbourne than they started for the diggings. During this year nearly 100,000 people were brought into the country and the population was soo doubled. The following year 92,000 fresh arrivals landed and Victoria thus became the most populous of the colonies. During the two following years it received further accession of a 150,000; so that, in 1856, it contained 400,000 inhabitants, or about 5 times the number it possessed in 1850. The staple industry was, of course, the mining for gold, of which, in 1852, 174 tons were raised, valued at £14,000,000. During the next 10 years £100,000,000 worth of gold was exported from Victoria.
Some of the nuggets that were found are of historic note. The "Sarah Sands", discovered in 1853, was worth about £6,500. In 1857 the "Blanche Barkly", woth £7,000 was discovered; and the following year produced the " Welcome Nugget", which was sold for £10,500 and was the greatest on record, until in 1869 when the "Welcome Stranger" was dug out, which proved to be slightly larger.