It took a long time for anyone here to actually realise the potential of
In 1851, a portly and slightly ridiculous Edward Hargraves travelled with his companion Lister and the Brother’s Tom just over the
" The resemblance of its formations to that of
could not be doubted or mistaken. I felt myself surrounded by gold. California
"This is a memorable day in the history of
, I shall be a baronet, you will be knighted, and my old horse will be stuffed, put in a glass case, and sent to the New South Wales !" British Museum
Hargraves did find a small deposit of alluvial gold and was willing to reveal the location of the field, but he cleverly ensured he would be rewarded regardless of whether any further gold was mined there. The field was examined and five hundred pounds paid to Hargraves for his discovery.
The government declared a gold discovery on
Speculators spread to
Just as he had prophesised, Hargraves was appointed Crown Commissioner of the Goldfields, and paid 10,000 pounds for his trouble. Hargraves never shared his wealth his companions Lister and the Tom Brothers, despite their protests and he made a hasty effort to silence his original financier, ensuring no claims would be made on his wealth.
The audacity of Hargraves knew no bounds,
"it was never my intention ... to work for gold, my only desire was to make the discovery, and rely on the Government and the country for my reward".
Of course in those days, Gold was the standard – the mineral against which all promissory notes (money) were levied. Who knows what drives the value of today’s notes . . .
I think Mae West had a point :
“No gold-digging for me, I take Diamonds,we may be off the gold standard one day.”