State Mineral


Gold is the precious metal that made the state of California. Since its first discovery in the 1820s, no other mineral has had a greater impact on the course of the state’s history than gold. The product of violent geological upheavals over millions of years, gold is often found along the mineral rich fault lines of the West.

Though most of the gold was mined along the Sierra Nevada’s famous Mother Lode, it is found throughout much of the state. It was extracted by placer, hardrock, and hydraulic mining. According to the State Mineralogist, up until 1969 California produced over 3,630 tons of gold, more than any other state. As the Golden State, it was only natural that California’s Legislature made gold the State Mineral in 1966.

(Added by Statutes, Chapter 89, 1966)

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