Currently viewing the tag: "gold"

The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad… The Gold Rush initiated the California Genocide, with 100,000 Native Californians dying between 1848 and 1868. By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory to the home state of the first nominee for the Republican Party…

The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, and they were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. Of the 300,000 people who came to America during the Gold Rush, approximately half arrived by sea and half came overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail; forty-niners often faced substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California…

At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of “staking claims” was developed. Prospectors retrieved the gold from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. Although the mining caused environmental harm, more sophisticated methods of gold recovery were developed and later adopted around the world. New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service. By 1869 railroads were built across the country from California to the eastern United States. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today’s dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, many returned home with little more than they had started with. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during the California Gold Rush.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the craziest thing you ever did trying to make money.

Art Prompt: California Gold Rush

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how the California Gold Rush changed the US.

Photo Credit: Panning on the Mokelumne on Wikimedia

In 1848, when news of the Gold Rush began spreading, people were so desperate to get to California that all sorts of dubious vessels were pressed into service, Everett says. On arrival, ship captains found no waiting cargo or passengers to justify a return journey—and besides, they and their crew were eager to try their own luck in the gold fields…

Sometimes the ships were put to other uses. The most famous example is the whaling ship Niantic, which was intentionally run aground in 1849 and used as a warehouse, saloon, and hotel before it burned down in a huge fire in 1851 that claimed many other ships in the cove. A hotel was later built atop the remnants of the Niantic at the corner of Clay and Sansome streets, about six blocks from the current shoreline. –New Map Reveals Ships Buried Below San Francisco by Greg Miller

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an abandoned ship.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something you left behind that you wish you still had.

Art Prompt: Abandoned ship

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about the California Gold Rush.

Photo Credit: Whaleship Niantic on Wikimedia

The Brink’s-Mat robbery occurred early on 26 November 1983 when six robbers broke into the Brink’s-Mat warehouse, Unit 7 of the Heathrow International Trading Estate near Heathrow Airport in west London. At the time, it was described as “the crime of the century”.

The gang gained entry to the warehouse from security guard Anthony Black. Once inside, they poured petrol over staff and threatened them with a lit match if they did not reveal the combination numbers of the vault. The robbers thought they were going to steal £3.2 million in cash, but they found three tonnes of gold bullion and stole £26 million (approximately £79 million in 2016 pounds) worth of gold, diamonds and cash…

Much of the 3?1/2 tonnes of stolen gold has never been recovered and the other four robbers were never convicted. In 1996 about half of the gold, the portion which had been smelted, was thought to have found its way back into the legitimate gold market, including the reserves of the true owners, Johnson Matthey. According to the BBC, some have claimed that anyone wearing gold jewellery bought in the UK after 1983 is probably wearing Brink’s-Mat. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a daring heist.

Journaling Prompt: What is the most valuable thing you’ve ever stolen, even if it was just a moment of time.

Art Prompt: Heist

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a daring heist.

Photo Credit: Gold Bullion on Wikimedia

NBP Gold


What would happen if something rare, and therefore valuable, all of the sudden became common?

A lovely world indeed is Galgala the golden, where myriads of auriferous microorganisms excrete atoms of gold as metabolic waste. It is everywhere on this planet, the lustrous pretty metal. It turns the rivers and streams to streaks of yellow flame and the seas to shimmering golden mirrors. Huge filters are deployed at the intake valve of Galgala’s reservoirs to strain the silt of dissolved gold from the water supply. The plants of Galgala are turgid in every tissue, leaf and stem and root, with aureous particles. Gold dust, held in suspension in the air, transforms the clouds to golden fleece.

Therefore the once-precious stuff has grievously lost value throughout the galaxy since Galgala was discovered, and on Galgala itself a pound of gold is worth less than a pound of soap. But I understand very little about these economic matters and care even less. Only a miser could fail to rejoice in Galgala’s luminous beauty. We have been here six weeks; we have awakened each morning to the tinkle of golden chimes, we have bathed in the golden rivers and come forth shining, we have wrapped our bodies round with delicate golden chains. -Robert Silverberg, The Travelers


Writing Prompt: Create a story about a valuable commodity that suddenly becomes common. What happens to your world?

Journaling Prompt: What beautiful and/or rare item do you wish were common and why?

Art Prompt: Gold

Photo Credit: miong on Flickr