The Miners' Ten Commandments were written by James Hutchings and first published in the Placerville Herald in June of 1853. The commandments were later reprinted as a letter sheet and sold to miners and prospectors who used it as stationary to write letters.
Within each mining rush there is typically a transition through progressively higher capital expenditures, larger organizations, and more specialized knowledge. They may also progress from high-unit value to lower unit value minerals (from gold to silver to base metals).
In the last 6,000 years a little over 125,000 tonnes of gold has been mined. But this history is clearly divided into two eras: before and after the California gold rush of 1848. Some calculations suggest that up until then scarcely 10,000 tonnes of gold had been excavated since the beginning of time. Thus more than 90% of the world's gold has been produced since 1848