Keeps me searching for a heart of gold, and I’m getting old…

They’re California gold tokens, souvenirs peddled to newcomers and tourists who wanted a piece of the action…but didn’t necessarily want to pan for it.  The family story about this pair is that a relative went out to San Francisco around the time of the Gold Rush, probably to see about getting rich quickly, and ended up working at the US Mint for a few years before hustling on back to God’s country.  Seems the vast majority of people who got rich during the Gold Rush did so by selling things like supplies, shelter and “comfort” to the miners.  The little tokens came to Tennessee with him to live their sheltered lives in drawers and jewelry boxes, handed down through the generations as though they were crown jewels, though in reality they might be worth the cost of a couple of beers today in Oslo.  Like most things I guess, the real value lies in the story, not the possession.  (13 July, 2011  Brentwood, Tennessee)