When I was looking for more washing copper disasters I found this article. It doesn’t involve an innocent washer woman being set alight or unattended children falling into boiling water. This is a cautionary tale on what not to do with a giant chunk of gold and quartz. The Holterman nugget was found in 1872 and weighed 286kg. It was 1.5m long and contained 57kg of gold. Originally worth £12000, this boiling devalued it by £500.
I was wondering how that much gold managed to not break the bottom out of the copper when it managed to collapse the floor of a hansom cab on the trip to the mint. His copper must have been a stronger version than mine! Having seen photos of this famous nugget I am not sure it would even fit into a copper.