DIANA GAMBLING HOUSE
PIONEER GOLD COINS
The Diana Gambling House was one of the largest and most frequented gambling houses in San Francisco. The building extended an entire block from Clay to Commercial Streets. San Francisco gambling houses probably were the principal users of rectangular ingots.
An undated $20 gold piece is the only coin known with this establishment’s name. It may have been struck by James William, D. Webster, and Stephen Whipple, owners of the Diana Gambling House in San Francisco. There also is the possibility that this and other similar ingots were prepared by an organized mint for use by the Diana House, or that it may have been a sample, to persuade the Diana establishment to purchase and use a quantity of these ingots. The coins were probably issued in return for gold dust and nuggets for play in the games. Unfortunately, little more is known of this early golden ancestor of the gambling tokens.
--Reprinted with permission of the author
from Donald H. Kagin's, "Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the
United States", copyright 1981, Arco Publishing, Inc. of New