BrianRxm Tokens and Medals (Exonumia) 5/96
California Gold Discovery Centennial Slug Medals
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These items were made from the early 1900's to the 1950's in various designs.
The designs included a miner panning for gold and an old San Francisco $50 gold piece or "slug".
The $50 reverse eagle design is from the Augustus Humbert $50 Assay Office coins of the 1850's.
 
The production of these medals increased in the years leading up to the California Gold Discovery
Centennial celebrations of 1949 and 1950.
The American Numismatic Association (ANA) held it's annual convention in San Francisco in 1949,
and some of these medals were adapted for use as badges.
 
They were designed by C.G. Brinker and were manufactured by the Irvine & Jachens Company,
both of San Francisco, California.
The 1948 San Francisco City Directory lists the company as:
IRVINE & JACHENS, WILLIAM F IRVINE, Owner
ENGRAVERS AND MANUFACTURERS, MEDALS-BADGES-SEALS
1068 Mission
Tel MArket 1-7670
The company is still in business, now in Daly City, just south of San Francisco.
 
References:
Reference Guide to Slugs and Facsimiles by Thomas Jankovsky (2008)
So-Called Dollars by Harold E. Hibler and Charles V. Kappen (2008)
 
One of these medals appeared as a "gold coin" in the 1966 television show "Gunsmoke" episode
"The Treasure of John Walking Fox" which starred Leonard Nimoy as an American Indian.
 
For more on the television episode, please visit: Coins on Television - Gunsmoke
For information on a similar medal, please visit: Lost Dutchman Mine Medal
California Gold Slug
1. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Miner Standing
 
Brass, 40mm, 29.66gm, Medal Orientation, Catalog: J-149 (Jankovsky)
 
Obverse:
Miner facing left standing in creek holding pan
THE DAYS OF OLD - THE DAYS OF GOLD - THE DAYS OF FORTY NINE
CALIFORNIA
 
Reverse:
Copy of U.S. Assay Office $50 gold piece with eagle and shield
IMITATION OF FAMOUS CALIFORNIA FIFTY DOLLAR GOLD SLUG, USED BY THE PIONEERS
1850
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FIFTY DOLLS.
000 THOU.
 
California Gold Slug
2. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Miner Kneeling
 
Brass, 40mm, 22.40gm, Coin Orientation, Catalog: J-132 (Jankovsky)
 
Obverse:
Miner facing right kneeling in creek holding pan
THE DAYS OF OLD - THE DAYS OF GOLD - THE DAYS OF FORTY NINE
CALIFORNIA
 
Reverse:
Copy of U.S. Assay Office $50 gold piece with eagle and shield
IMITATION OF FAMOUS CALIFORNIA FIFTY DOLLAR GOLD SLUG, USED BY THE PIONEERS
1850
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FIFTY DOLLS.
000 THOU.
 
California Gold Slug
3. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Miner Kneeling, Cabin, Minerva and Bear
 
Bronze, 40mm, 24.38gm, Medal Orientation, Catalog: HK-496 (Hibler and Kappen)
 
Obverse:
Miner facing right kneeling in creek holding pan, cabin behind him
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA 1848-1948
 
Reverse:
Minerva in Roman costume, bear above, mountains, river, miner digging.
This design is a version of the California State Seal with some modifications.
Some of the bronze medals were gold-plated but this one is not.
 
California Gold Slug
4. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Pioneer Days, Days of '49, Minerva and Bear
 
Bronze, 40mm, 23.47gm, Medal Orientation, Catalog: J-630 (Jankovsky)
 
Obverse:
California State Seal - Minerva and Bear
SOUVENIR PIONEER DAYS OF CALIFORNIA
THE DAYS OF '49
EUREKA
 
Reverse:
Copy of U.S. Assay Office $50 gold piece with eagle and shield
FACSIMILE OF FAMOUS CALIFORNIA FIFTY DOLLAR GOLD SLUG USED BY THE PIONEERS
1850
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FIFTY
IN GOD WE TRUST in banner
 
This medal was probably made in the 1930's.
 
California Gold Slug
5. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Pioneer Days, Days of '49, Minerva and Bear
 
Bronze, 40mm, 24.06gm, Medal Orientation, Catalog: J-640 (Jankovsky)
 
Obverse:
California State Seal - Minerva and Bear
[SOUVENIR] PIONEER DAYS OF CALIFORNIA
THE DAYS OF '49
EUREKA
 
Reverse:
Copy of U.S. Assay Office $50 gold piece with eagle and shield
FACSIMILE [OF FAMOUS] CALIFORNIA FIFTY DOLLAR GOLD [SLUG USED BY THE] PIONEERS
1850
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FIFTY
IN GOD WE TRUST in banner
 
Some of the words have been scratched out and smoothed over.
This medal was probably made in the 1940's.
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