I just went on a trip to Death Valley in California and it turned out to be surprisingly jewellery-related. Death Valley attracted its fair share of miners during the late 19th century gold rush, but interestingly there were hardly any profitable mines in the area. One mine which was profitable was the borax mine! I may have been one of the most interested parties walking around the borax museum!! The museum was an outdoor selection of equipment used to mine and transport the borax mostly from the 1880s.
the museum, I went to see the old borax mine. It's quite amazing to
think of the miners slogging away in the desolate surroundings,
especially as the average temperature during the summer months is 47C.
If you click on this photo, you can read a bit about "white gold"! And
you can see a photo of the iconic mule trains that were used to
transport the borax. The mule trains became a symbol of the miners
working in the Death Valley area, despite the fact they were only used
for about 6 or 8 years total!
We also went to the ruins of what was a profitable gold mine...about which more later when I get the photos downloaded.