The Aussie Gold Rush.

One of Australia's most iconic events.

What is gold?

Gold is a rare, precious metal and its colour is well…gold! It’s quite soft, just harder than a fingernail, but softer than glass. 24 carat gold is completely pure gold, so it’s worth quite a bit of money. Any gold that is below 24 carats is not exactly pure gold. Sometimes they have a bit of tin in it, or some copper, or even some quartz. Even if a bit of gold is 23 carats, it’s close to pure gold but it isn’t.

What is gold used for and how do you obtain it?

Gold is used for lots of things! It’s used in electronics, because it’s a very good electricity conductor. It’s used for jewellery, because it’s quite shiny, it looks nice and it moulds easily. It can be used to conduct heat as well as electricity, so that means it could be in heaters and kettles but copper is used the most. It can be used as gold leaf, which is basically gold pressed so much, it doesn’t cost or weigh so much. Gold is found in rivers, caves, creeks and lakes. There are two different ways of getting gold:

1. You can get a pan with holes and scoop up some gravel or dirt or anything in the river. Then you sift it though for quite a while, until you find tiny little glimpses of gold light reflecting off the sun. You then sift again and again until you get your final product: gold! This method is unsurprisingly called…panning!

2. The other way to get gold is by getting huge army of diggers, bulldozers, and a mountain of explosives and an enormous army of miners to make a big dent in the earth to mine the precious metal. This method is called mining.

Discovery

The very first human bean to reach the Australian gold was this person called James McBrien. He found the shiny stuff in 1823 at Summer Hills, quite close to Bathurst. The second guy who found the gold was WB Clarke in 1851. Someone else called Edward Hargraves also found gold in Bathurst with his team.

The Eureka stockade

The Eureka Stockade was basically a…well stockade! A stockade is a ring or circle made with walls. This wall can be made out of anything, but this stockade was made out of wood. The (gold) miners built this stockade as they weren’t the happiest people in the world. They wanted their own rights to vote, they lived in bad conditions, and they didn’t really approve of the gold licenses that the government set up to get money out of the miners. Anyway, the miners, (called prospectors) wrote a letter to the Gold Commissioner demanding for changes to the law. The Commissioner replied with simply with a no and actually enforced the laws. Then the prospectors got super mad, so that was the reason why the built the stockade. The prospectors locked themselves inside the stockade, and they disobeyed the law. They burnt their licenses and made a little town as well. Then it wasn’t just the prospectors that were mad, the Gold Commissioner became fuming mad too. He sent out troops to ambush the stockade at dawn, 1854, 3rd of December while the prospectors were asleep. 38 people died during the battle and 33 people were prospectors and the other 5 were troops.