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Gold in 9 Museums of the World: A Dazzling Journey

Museums dedicated to gold allow us to explore how different cultures have valued and used this precious metal in different historical periods. Discover some of the most fascinating collections of objects made of the golden metal.

🇻🇦 Vatican City: Vatican Museums

They contain numerous gold pieces, including religious art, chalices, crucifixes and papal vestments. The Treasure of San Pedro stands out for its gold pieces and other precious metals used in papal ceremonies, reflecting the importance of gold in the art and liturgy of the Catholic Church.

Fabbrica di San Pietro
Fabbrica di San Pietro, in the Vatican. Author: Mallio Falcioni

🇦🇺 Australia: Gold Museum Ballarat

Dedicated to the Gold Rush in the 19th century, the museum displays a collection of gold nuggets, coins and objects related to mining. It stands out for its detailed representation of the Gold Rush in Australia and its economic and social impact, illustrating how gold transformed the region and its communities.

🇨🇷 Costa Rica: Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

Located in the basement of the Plaza de la Cultura in San José, this museum exhibits around a thousand  gold pieces dating back to from 500 AD to 1500 AD. The pre-Columbian pieces show the technical skill and deep symbolism that the indigenous cultures of Costa Rica attributed to gold, reflecting its importance in rituals and as a symbol of power.

🇨🇴 Colombia: Gold Museum

Recognized for housing one of the largest collections of  pre-Hispanic gold in the world, this museum has more than 34 thousand gold pieces and tumbaga (an alloy of gold and copper). The artifacts belong to the indigenous cultures of Colombia, such as the Muiscas, Quimbayas and Taironas, and these stand out for the impressive craftsmanship and religious and social symbolism they reflect.

Colombia’s Gold Museum.
Colombia’s Gold Museum. Credit: Clark Manuel Rodríguez. Courtesy of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia.

🇨🇳 China: Gold Museum

Located on the Jinshanling Great Wall, this museum combines the history of mining and the use of gold in China with the emblem that represents the Great Wall. The artifacts from various Chinese dynasties displayed here reflect the legendary importance of gold in Chinese culture and economy.

🇪🇸 Spain: National Archaeological Museum

With one of the most important collections of gold artifacts of the Iberian Peninsula, this museum located in Madrid includes pieces from the Iberian, Celt and Roman cultures. The Treasure of Villena stands out, a collection of impressive gold pieces showing the wealth and craftsmanship of these ancient civilizations.

🇷🇺 Russia: Hermitage Museum

Located in Saint Petersburg, it is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It shelters a collection that includes gold objects from different times and cultures. The Scythians’ Gold, an impressive collection of gold artifacts from the ancient nomadic culture of the Scythians; it includes jewelry, weapons and ornaments that stand out for their beauty and historical value.

A golden vessel with a mythological scene 4th century BC. Kul-Oba Mound
A golden vessel with a mythological scene 4th century BC. Kul-Oba Mound. Credit: Hermitage Museum

🇲🇽 México: Museo Nacional de Antropología

This is one of the most important museums in the world in terms of archeology and ethnography. Its extensive collection includes numerous pre-Hispanic gold pieces, especially in the Mexica room, which exhibits jewelry, ceremonial ornaments and other valuable objects from the Aztec time. These pieces reflect not only the material wealth of the ancients mexicas, but also its deep spiritual and cultural connection with gold.

🇬🇧 Reino Unido: Museo Británico

This London museum houses a vast collection of gold artifacts from around the world, including pieces from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations, as well as Anglo-Saxon and Viking treasures. The Sutton Hoo Hoard, which includes a funerary mask and other gold objects, is one of the most prominent collections.

From medieval times to ancient civilizations, passing through the Chinese dynasties, gold has been a symbol of power, wealth and spiritual connection. Recognizing the importance of gold in 9 museums in the world means undertaking a dazzling journey through history, exploring the rich cultural heritage that gold has left in humanity.

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