- Personal Finance
Old Jake and His Gold
When You Buy Gold You Are Buying A Piece of History
Gold Has Been A Part Of America For Nearly As Long As We Have Had America
There are stories floating around ‘bout people using a big golden nugget for a door stop' before realizing what is was. Now I’m going to tell you a story about an old timer who lived in some of the golden times in American history. His name was Old Jake and he was a good old soul.
Back in1897 they called him Old Jake but he was not all that old.
He’d been plodding around the goldfields for as long as anybody could remember. He just looked old and worn out. He’d found gold but just enough to keep him looking for more. Digging for gold back then was a mean life. And you could tell by looking at Old Jake’s face and hands to see the price he’d paid.
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Digging in the Klondike was a fool’s game.
But it was all he knew and there wasn’t much else to do. So he kept a digging and talking to himself around the fire at night about the good old days. Except there were no good old days. All the days were the same.
First you had to find the wood to build the fire to melt the dirt before you could dig it up. He lived in dirt and smoke. It was all he knew. But he dreamed of finding the mother lobe and that’s what kept him going.
Old Jake plodding on doing what he had always done. Carrying loads of wood down his tunnel. Lighting the fire and waiting or scratching away here and there. Until the ground was soft enough to dig. Then one night he thought his eyes may have been playing tricks on him.
Books about the Klondike
But there was no mistaking the dull gleam that glowed in the firelight.
Old Jake’s eyes lit up as he slowly scraped away the dirt and frozen rocks. He didn’t say anything to anybody. Old Jake had definitely been around the block a few times. He had lived a long time and he wanted to live a bit longer. So he didn’t say anything.
He just kept on lighting the fires and digging out the nuggets he found. And nobody was none the wiser. Even when Jake said he was goin’ nobody really knew why. He said he had enough and it was time to move on. The cold was getting to him. So one day he packed up to leave.
He filled in his mine, waved goodbye and started walking. Digging up the dirt was not for him. So he plodded on like he had been plodding all his life, to the riverboat port at St Michael.. It was time to start a new life.
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Old Jake knew where he was going.
San Francisco was the place to be, his wife and kids were there. He used to be a shop keeper before he left for the gold. At the towns he stopped in Old Jake would drop his old miner’s hat on the dirt. And tell anybody who’d listen to keep away from the goldfields.
He’d say he went to the gold fields with his bedroll on his back. And he left the gold fields with his bedroll on his back. But Old Jake still kept a tight hold on his bedroll and his big wooden box.
San Fran at the end of the century was the place to be. Old Jake looked at his gold and knew what he wanted to do. So he wondered into the San Francisco mint, dropped a few nuggets on the counter and said “make it into coins”
Now He Had Gold Coins, New Clothes And A Dream.
All he knew was gold. And there was a little old shop around the corner from Market Street. So he set up a little gold coin and gold jewelry shop. He hired a Chinese man to make the silver chains and put his little gold nuggets on the end of the chains.
Very popular pieces, genuine Klondike nuggets.
Also he’d buy old gold and silver coins and old gold. He loved gold and customers loved to hear his stories about life on the Yukon.
Over the years Old Jake become incredibly wealthy doing what he loved, but that all changed on April 18 1906 at 5:12 in the morning.
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The Longest Minute Of His Life As The Ground Heaved And Buckled.
He managed to get his wife and kids out where they should be safe. Then he went to the shop. He crawled in carefully to get to the safe at the back and get all his gold.
He was a careful man so he put as much gold as he could in his inside pockets, and in the specially designed pockets on his pants.
The Klondike had taught him well.
Then he went looking to help other people. Fires raged and people didn’t know what to do. He was shocked when the police and the army started shooting anyone they thought were looters. And that could mean anyone carrying a bag.
Old Jake decided against staying to rebuild the city.
Some people had lived through one of the strongest earthquakes in modern history only to be gunned down trying to save their goods from the fires.
His family made its way to the railhead and heading back East.
At The Beginning Of The New Century New York Was The Place To Be.
It didn’t take Old Jake long to get his little shop set up and in New York things were rocking. The world was good and Old Jake was loving it.
He lost his son to the Great War to end all wars.
He had dug his son out of his destroyed house after the quake with his own hands only to lose him in a foreign land. His two daughters married well, they both married good businessmen.
Then the world was on one big roll with the stock market and business going through the roof. Life was good ,very good, it was a great time to be alive. Old Jake thought it would never end.
But it did.
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It All Came Crashing Down On Black Thursday, 24th Of October 1929.
The Great Depression had set in. Old Jake was always a cautious man, life on the Klondike had taught him well. So he always kept a bit of gold in a vault just in case and now was a just in case.
Business stopped nobody had any money. Now his old friends who were living the high life wanted to borrow some money.
Old Jake had seen it all before on the Klondike and in San Francisco after the quake. He knew it was finished.
So this time he and his family went South where it was warmer.
He Was Looking For A Small Farm He Could Retire Too.
Grow his own food and let the world carry on without him. Now Old Jake was getting old. He’d seen a lot, done a lot, made money, lost money but he still had some gold. And like always it was hidden in different places around the farm.
He always used to talk about the golden apples on his trees, but no one realized they were planted in buckets of gold coins.
On the new farm he didn’t tell anyone that he was a gold merchant from way back and he was lucky he didn’t. He thought he’d seen it all, but then came the day he thought he would never see.
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The Day, April 5 1933, F. D. Roosevelt Issued Executive Order No. 6102 Confiscating All The Gold In The Land.
He had seen how the government had acted in San Francisco after the earthquake. Shooting innocent people who were just carrying their belongings away from the fire.
So he took a few gold coins, that were well worn and rubbed nearly smooth from constant use, down to the bank and handed them in like a good citizen. And didn’t say anything about the rest.
Old Jake Had Some Of The First Gold Coins Made In The USA.
He loved his old “D” coins left over from the Dahlonega Mint, which was closed down during the civil war. He was always on the lookout for a $3 gold coin from the Dahlonega but he never managed to find one.
He had plenty of “S” coins from the San Francisco mint where he started his coin collecting years ago. On his trip from San Fran the family had stopped off at Carson City and he still had the “CC” coins to prove it.
One Mint he never managed to find coins from were the “C” coins from the Charlotte Mint. The Charlotte Mint was also closed forever during the civil war.
But the coin he loved the most was his $20 double eagle “D” from the Denver Mint. He was in Denver when the Mint opened and that is when he picked up the Coin. He also managed to get a few of the old Clark, Gruber & Company gold coins, when he was there.
Old Jake was not really into silver coins but he had a few Morgan Silver Dollars along with the gold $10 “O” coins from the New Orleans Mint.
But his most prized gold coin was not from a Mint but a Bechtler coin from a time before the Charlotte Mint was opened. These were private gold coins that were in circulation for over 20 years.
He had spent his life collecting these coins and little nuggets of gold from the different gold fields. All he knew was gold and gold coins and he wasn’t going to let the government just take it away.
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Now Times Have Changed Or Have They.
The world is tittering on the edge of another great depression. So why not take a bit of advice from an old-timer like Old Jake, and stock up on some gold and silver coins.
You never know, you might even buy one of Old Jake’s lost collection of old gold coins or some of Old Jake's Klondike Gold.
And now with the price of gold and silver skyrocketing upwards, it is time to buy some gold and silver coins before they become to expensive to buy.