Klondike Gold Rush Memorabilia, ca. 1897
Appraised Value: $5,565 - $5,570
IMAGE: 1 of 6
In this segment, appraiser Rosalie Sayyah discusses a collection of Klondike Gold Rush memorabilia and mistakenly implies that the Klondike was part of Alaska, rather than Canada's Yukon Territory.
While there were discoveries of gold in Alaska in the 1870s and 1890s, the specific 1896 discovery that Sayyah refers to was in the Klondike River area, near Dawson City, in the Yukon.
Appraisal Video: (2:39)
Independent Appraiser and Owner
GUEST: My grandfather was a real adventurer, and he was a prospector, and he and his friend-- this is my grandfather and his friend-- decided to go to the Klondike and prospect for gold in 1888.
APPRAISER: Did you know him as a child?
GUEST: No, he died when my father was 12 years old, so I never got to meet him.
APPRAISER: What you have here is an amazing historical group of items. This photograph here is... particularly strikes me funny. This is a picture of his mine. The title is the Need More Mining Company. I love that. In 1896, gold was discovered in Alaska, and by 1897, word got down to Seattle. So all these guys were coming up from California and Wyoming and up through Seattle. And they were making their fortunes. There were some major money makers up there. Now, what is this?
GUEST: That is a gold poke. It's made out of leather and it's just a bag, and that's what they put their gold dust and their gold nuggets in.
APPRAISER: So while they were prospecting, they would tuck it under their belt. Could have had nuggets or maybe gold dust in there. And what he has in the nugget right here is almost nine grams of a gold nugget that's imbedded with a quartz crystal. And a bonus is that you've got a Montana sapphire that he set in there.
GUEST: No, actually, I set that in there.
APPRAISER: You set that in there?
GUEST: Yes, because I was from Montana, and I love the Yogo sapphires, and I just thought they went together.
APPRAISER: They do go together very, very nicely. Yes. And you've also brought this book, which is a book of photographs, and I'm going to open it to one page here that I've marked. The title is called "The Flood at Dawson, June 1898," and it has his signature on there.
APPRAISER: Now, do you know why he might have signed this particular page? Because that's the only one he put his name on.
GUEST: I really don't know.
APPRAISER: The photographs we found are copies, so they have relatively little value. The little poke-- sack-- is worth maybe $65, $70.
APPRAISER: The book is worth about $1,500.
GUEST: Oh, my!
APPRAISER: But the best part is this nugget. And we think this nugget, on a good retail level, is worth about $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness. Thank you so much.
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