Vacuuming up a fortune!

Posted on by Online Carpets

Gold fever took hold in San Francisco and at the San Francisco mint an unusual annual tradition arose!


The San Francisco mint opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Rush and transform the mined gold in to coins.

The floors of the workrooms were covered with perforated iron flooring enabling the floor to be swept of any gold dust that had landed. Over the course of a year gold and silver dust was swept up and collected, which would now value nearly $158,000.

The carpeted adjusting rooms of the mint were full of female workers cutting, shaping and filing gold into coins and strips. This process would create a cloud of precious dust that fell, invisible, in to the carpets.

The owners of the mint came up with a clever idea of salvaging all of the lost gold dust. To combat this potentially disastrous loss of money, every four years the carpets would be stripped out and burned. This would reveal the invisible gold dust and enrich the mint even further!

This carpet burning ritual is still continued in similar environments were precious metal dust is created and is also practiced in some jewellers.

Keep that in mind next time you're cleaning and vacuuming your carpet, it might contain a small fortune!

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