Forty-niners rushed to California in pursuit of gold and a better life. Lured by the promise of vast riches, the trip to get there — and the life that awaited them — was harsher than the dream.
First, the trip to get there.
If you lived on the East Coast, you had three options. The wealthy could travel by ship, in a five-month journey around the tip of South America. For less money, you could sail to Panama, cross the Isthmus of Panama by foot or horse to the Pacific and take another ship up to California. Or, for the lowest cost, you could traverse the continent by wagon on the famous Oregon Trail. In the summer of 1849, 25,000-30,000 took the last choice.
Whichever way you went, the peril was great. You could get sunk by a hurricane at sea. You could lose your life to accident or disease in some lonely corner of the Great Plains.
Then, once you got to the promised land, there came the realities of life as a gold miner. Backbreaking work. Isolation. Physical danger. You probably lived in a canvas tent, and your staples were bacon, beans, and coffee. And the gold wasn’t nearly as plentiful or easy to find as advertisements made it out to be.
In short, it took a lot of work to extract gold from the Sierras. Which makes the gold the miners did extract all the more precious.
In 1857, 30,000 pounds of gold were sent from San Francisco to the East Coast by sea…and never made it. A hurricane sunk the S.S. Central America, and all that wealth vanished, not to be seen again for over a century. The sinking contributed to the Panic of 1857, a major financial crisis.
When the S.S. Central America was discovered, it was one of the great shipwreck finds of the century. Amidst all that wealth were real California gold nuggets, mined by those very miners who risked so much.
Today we offer you those nuggets: real, California gold rush nuggets, buried at the bottom of the sea for over 100 years. The nuggets are encapsulated in a custom-made medallion with Lady Liberty on one side and an eagle on the other.
Imagine the miner who extracted those nuggets. What was his life like? What did he risk to get to California? Did he build a better life for his family?
Imagine owning a piece that combines TWO historical events: the California Gold Rush and the sinking of the S.S. Central America.
There’s nothing else like these pieces. Because they’re custom made and we have them in limited quantities, this is your only chance to get these stunning pieces.
To get yours, buy online or call us now.
Prices Shown Subject to Change
The pricing quoted on this page is based on the current market price for this precious metal, which constantly fluctuates and we continuously update from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday.
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You will be charged the market price at the time you lock in your order with us.