It is quite common for returned Californians to be met by runners inviting them to come and sell their gold dust and get a high price for it. On Wednesday last week two returned Californians went to a well-known dealer in gold dust in Wall street and asked what price he paid for gold. They were told $17 60 cents per ounce. They asked him to weigh one package oi the dust, this was done, and they were told it weighed 11 ozs. 7 dwts. They thought they would try another place, and so they left that office. They were met by a runner from another establishment, who told them he would give them $18 25 for each ounce. This to them appeared to be quite a difference in their favor, so off they went with this liberal fellow to sell their gold and get 85 cents more per ounce for it. The same package of dust was pulled out and asked to be weighed, when lo, it had lost 3 ounces 4 dwts.—it was declared to weigh 8 ozs. 3 dwts. exactly.— " Give us our gold!" was the response ofthe miners ; the scoundrel buyer and runner looked blank, and the returned Californians departed with their dust for another gold brokers office. Here the same package of gold weighed 11 ozs. 7 dwts., and corresponded with the weight of the first broker. In this place they sold their gold—they were sure they had met an honest man. This story we had from the lips of the returned miners themselves. We have no doubt that many poor fellows just returned from California are cheated and deceived by such scamps as those we have described. The difference in the weight of the gold made between the honest and the dishonest brokers on 11 ozs. would have amounted in cash to $52,80. Let returning California emigrants beware of these land sharks—the gold dust runners and dishonest brokers. Lit them at once go to a respectable broker, one whose name and character is established.
Returned Californians Beware
This article was originally published with the title "Returned Californians Beware" in Scientific American 8, 51, 405 (September 1853)