The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush

More than a century and a half ago, California was nothing but a backwater town, but an incident took place that transformed California to what it is today – the discovery of gold. Gold fever enveloped the region and many came to California with dreams of becoming rich! It was in January of 1848 when James Marshall who was working at Captain John Sutter’s mill that was located about 40 miles away from Sutter’s fort observed a glint of yellow radiating in the water. Having a hunch it was gold he picked it up and brought it to Sutter who then verified it as gold. Four months later in the month of May, a businessperson who went by the name of Sam Brannan showed his gold to the people of in San Francisco and mentioned the origins, like a raging wind on a forest fire rumours started to spread. People from different ‘walks of life’, became overnight prospectors who were in search of gold around Sutter’s Fort. The gold rush had begun and waves of people in the thousands started arriving to the region from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Although the data cannot be precise, but logical estimations were made and based on these estimations barely a year had passed when an inflow of nearly 100,000 people who came to California looking for gold nuggets. Some of these exoduses begin from as far away as Europe and China. These early prospectors came in crowded vessels or vats that were ill equipped, many perished in these voyages due to dysentery, illness or drowning. Even the crews abandoned their ships to join the gold rush leaving their ships behind anchored at port, more than 500 sea vessels were ‘abandoned’ to the whims and fancies of anyone that came by these ghost ships. Most of these prospectors eventually ended up with nothing as the gold was quickly ‘staked and claimed’ by the first few thousands who arrived. As the inbound exodus got larger, the gold practically vanished along with the dreams of thousand who were dreaming to make it rich.

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The incoming prospectors however, did give rise for other areas of trade in the then barren Californian region. These trades included shops, schools, hospitals, railways, blacksmiths, tailors, bars, salons and other infrastructures that were ‘required’ by the ever-growing midnight population that were primarily made up of individuals who would eventually sell gold or trade gold. The main item of trade in California then was off course gold. Gold trading ‘has not been left behind’ in this information age more than a hundred and fifty years later! The gold trade will never lose its shine. Until today, those who wish to dabble with the gold trade are able to do so with the multiple reputable websites that offer gold trading services for a small fee.

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Those who own gold and want to trade or sell gold jewellery or bullions could do it online and with ease. Websites such as Cash for Old Gold based in Australia ( are fine examples of successful and reliable gold traders. The gold rush of yesteryears are different now, people have resorted to looking for scrap gold or other forms of gold dealing – gold is still a very profitable business avenue – just as it has been for thousands of years.

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