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California Gold Discovery Semicentennial 1898


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Brass, 35mm

 

Hibler and Kappen note that they failed to establish the origin of this medal or much about the "jubilee." I have my own research to do to and believe I can fill out the history with a little work. To begin with, I believe the piece was made by Schwaab Stamp and Steel. Compare the ox drawn wagon with that on the 1899 San Jose piece illustrated below:

 

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I bid on a similar piece from the 1898 gold semicentennial and didn't win. It was in the same frame, also a Schwaab piece.

 

I also acquired a semicentennial badge, also by Schwaab:

 

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  • 6 months later...

I finally acquired the Gold Discovery Semicentennial piece along with several othe Scwaab pieces for the same event. It seems they threw their entire catalog at the event. The wreath encased medal first:

 

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The wreath is unsigned and it is not gold-plated, but it is the same exact wreat design as the San Jose medal.

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And the Scwaab star design souvenir badge adds Marshall's Cabin to the images of the semicentennial:

 

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Update: I have found an ad from the period that indicates this badge was distributed to customers with a purchase by a men's clothing store.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another badge piece, this one featuring James Marshall and the Colma saw mill where gold was first discovered. The crew uncovered the gold when they were excavating the stream bed to build a wheel to power the mill.

 

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I know of one center of a composite medal (like those shown here) with images appearing on other pieces shown here and a badge showing the Arch through which the celebratory parade passed.

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A related piece from 1939 celebrating the founding of Sutter's Fort. The reverse was used for Golden Gate International Exposition medals as well as this one.

 

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A related piece from 1939 celebrating the founding of Sutter's Fort. The reverse was used for Golden Gate International Exposition medals as well as this one.

 

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What's this one made of?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm writing up this collection probably for an article in the TAMS Journal. Although its not a token or medal, I acquired this related piece from the Mining Fair that accompanied the Jubilee. In doing my research, I finally realized why so little is known about these events. The Maine blew up on February 15, 1898 sending the nation to war. Celebrations such as the Jubilee kind of took a back seat to other events and national attention.

 

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The back is marked Sterling and Shreve. Shreve was a San Francisco jeweler who produced badges and other commemorative items.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of two new acquisitions. The first is a Whitehead and Hoag celluloid souvenir badge. Note the image of the three miners is the same as that appearing on the so-called dollar.

 

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My other acquisition is the official badge approved by the Jubilee executive committee. It was designed by San Francisco printer and regalia maker, Walter Brunt, and made by the San Francisco firm, J.C. Irvine Co.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well its not Gold Discovery and it is 1897 Admission Day, but the badge is by Walter Brunt. I thought it might be interesting to see a piece actually signed by him.

 

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See it big.

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