FACT 1: On the 3rd January 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States of America. Alaska is the largest US state, twice the size of Texas it spans approximately 2,700 miles wide and 1,400 miles in length.

FACT 2: The name Alaska is derived from the Eskimo word Alakshak which translates as peninsula or great lands.

FACT 3: The first discovery of gold happened in South East Alaska, near Sitka in 1872 and the second followed in 1876 in Windham Bay.

FACT 4: There are three state parks that allow recreational gold panning, these are, Chugach State Park, the Kenai State Park and Independence Mine - State Historical Site.


Gold nuggets in a panning tray

FACT 5: Alaska was purchased for approximately $7.2 million dollars, by William H Seward. Seaward the then secretary of state purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.

FACT 6: “Welcome Stranger” is the largest gold nugget ever discovered. The lucky finders were John Deason and Richard Oates, just two inches below ground in Australia on the 5th of February, 1869. This nugget is 10 inches by 25 inches and yielded 2,248 ounces of pure gold.

FACT 7: Gold is edible! In some Asian countries gold is put in fruit, jelly snacks, coffee and tea. Europeans have been putting gold leaf in bottles of booze since at least 1500.

FACT 8: In ancient Greece, people believed that gold was a dense combination of water and sunlight.

FACT 9: The Lydians introduced the first gold coin the in world in 560BC. It was actually made of a naturally occurring amalgam of gold and silver called electrum.

FACT 10: Gold and copper were the first metals to be discovered by man, around 5000BC.