Lauriet Assay Office

Site (Building not reconstructed)

In 1850, you might have found slugs, ingots, and dust here. And they were all made of gold!

Professor Louis Lauriet was an assayer who analyzed the quality of gold mined by the 49-ers. John Bigler directed operations at this Sacramento site. Milton S. Latham served as his assistant. Both men later served as governors of California. Latham was also a U.S. Senator prior to the Civil War.

Assayers cast miners’ gold dust into ingots or slugs. Once stamped with United States mint value, they were legal to spend. Their value ranged from $36.55 to $150. Fifty dollar “slugs” were the most common. This branch office of the State Assay Office opened here on July 1, 1850.

As the gold rush faded, the site housed an architectural and contracting shop.