19th c.
17.75 in WIDE
(45.08 cm WIDE)
Museum Purchase

Early California Art and History, Science Special Gallery, December 2007 - September 2009

Gold Dust sign 19th. cent. "J.S. Ellis Exchange Office No. 16, Gold Dust Bought." Signboard is split down middle, set in 1 1/4", black with gold lettering; frame is hand planed, painted black on outside but chipped; back has light grey stain; sign shows wear but is in good condition. From the History Information Station: Object: Wooden sign,"J.S.Ellis, Exchange Office, No.16, Gold Dust Bought" History: Gold dust was often used as the medium of exchange in Gold Rush California. Merchants kept small scales on hand for weighing it. But gold dust could also be exchanged for more easily counted gold coins. Private assayers stamped out their own coins---of usually reliable value---until 1854 when the United States Mint was established in San Francisco.
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