Gold is California’s official state mineral, so designated in 1965. The gold discovery in January 1848 rapidly transformed a pastoral landscape with less than 10,000 Mexican citizens into a societal melting pot, as prospectors came from all over the world to seek their fortunes. Between 1850 and 1859, miners extracted 28,280,711 fine ounces of gold which today would be worth more than $10 billion. Malleable and beautiful, gold has been prized for millennia as a suitable metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts. A single ounce can be beaten into 100 square feet. In medieval times, gold was often seen as beneficial for health. Today, because of its ductility and resistance to corrosion, gold has many practical uses in dentistry, electronics, and industry. Estimates are that 75% of all gold ever produced has been extracted, and that much of the gold mined throughout history is still in circulation in one easily recycled form or another. Through the centuries, gold has been used as a symbol of power, strength, wealth, happiness, perfection, and even of wisdom and high achievement. The long-used popular designation, “The Golden State” became California’s official state nickname in 1968.