Quality And Price Of Gold In The Araluen Gold Rush

6) Ore Crusher

A local digger, Doc. Ladmore, sold 8 pounds of gold that assayed out at 23.68 carats (24 carats is pure gold). It is considered to be some of the purest gold ever found. That discovery allowed Ladmore to purchase a stamp battery that was used to crush ore for all the small mines that could not justify a stamper of their own.

In 1899 Albert Sebbens found a 4.5 oz.nugget in this region and during the depression a Mr. Christina found a nugget weighing 7 oz. More recently a nugget was found in the district that supposedly weighed 9 oz.

During the gold rush the price of gold was 3 pounds ($6) per ounce, which is vastly different to today. Average weekly wages just before the rush were 3-4 shillings (30-40c). Estimates of diggers' earnings during that period vary but a local survey taken around Majors Creek in the 1860s, indicated earnings at being around 4 pounds ($8) per week. It was quite common for diggers to find up to 3 ounces per week. From this it is easy to see why the towns and farms quickly became deserted as people from all walks of life bought pans and picks and headed for the bush in search of their fortunes.

Further Reading