Excessive expenses ravaged the Gold Rush. Men left their homes and
business of earning $4-$8 a day to the California Gold Fields. In the
gold fields, many essential tools were sold at high prices, so the
business people could earn the most money to level out the prices to
ship it to the store. The prices to ship goods were high because there
was significant demand for the goods and there was not an abundant
amount of goods. To add the high shipping cost, California was hard to
reach so the shipping cost would go even higher. Many essentials were
rare in the Gold Rush so miners had to pay high prices for them. The
businessmen would have to raise the prices high to break even, and they
would have to raise the prices even higher to make a profit. A barrel
of flour was $800. The price of a pound of pork was about $1.00. Mules
were $65.00-$100.00, and it would be about $30.00 for a canvas tent.
Even doing the laundry was expensive. It was less expensive to send the
laundry to China than to do it in San Francisco unless there was a
typhoon. The Chinese offered a cheaper deal shipping it to China than
washing it in San Francisco. Taking a bath was a horrendous amount of
money. It depended on how close the miner was to a water source and
whether it rained a lot the past year. If it rained a lot the past
year, the prices would be low, and if Sacramento was in a drought the
prices of baths were high.
In terms of the measure of money, the
amount miners acquired differed. Miners could gamble and lose or gain
money by losing the bet or winning the bet. Similarly, miners could
also lose money by paying high prices and not finding gold to even the
Miners found small and big amounts of gold.
Like, in Rich Bar, four men in one day found $50,000 worth of gold.
Also, in 1854, the Calaveras Nugget was found. It weighed 162 pounds
and was worth $43,534. The California gold fields were called the
Mother Lode. It produced more than $250,000,000.00 worth of gold. When
people found more gold they could buy more goods from the businessmen,
and they would make more money. Then they could supply more goods, and
the town could become a city. The town became a city because the
economy grew at a fast pace and all the people could be better
accommodated. Accordingly, the towns upgraded to cities. Though, the
California gold fields produced a significant money, many of the miners
lost more money than they gained by having to buy essential items at
high prices. Alternatively, miners struck it rich on big bonanzas and
gold veins. The California Gold Rush had times of great wealth for some
people and depression on others.