A Barkerville miner uses this rocker box to separate gold from muck in 1868. Photo: Royal B.C. Museum and Archives

Canada’s National Capital Region gets a retrospective look at yellow metal mania as Gatineau’s Canadian Museum of History hosts Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia. On display from April 8 to January 15, this will be essentially the same exhibition that appeared at Victoria’s Royal B.C. Museum until October 31, but without the Allure of Gold, which featured pre-Hispanic gold artwork from Colombia. 

Gold Rush “describes how the world’s gaze turned to the place that would become British Columbia, after the discovery of Fraser River gold in 1858 and the later discovery in the Cariboo in 1862,” the Canadian Museum of History states. “Excitement and violence marked the era.”

Something like 300 artefacts—presumably under the watchful eye of security—will include B.C.’s 1,642-gram Turnagain Nugget, a golden box by native artist Bill Reid, a restored stagecoach, miners’ tools and personal belongings, and the Royal Canadian Mint’s $1-million gold coin.

Activities, interactive displays and special events enhance the exhibition’s family appeal.

“The objects and information presented in Gold Rush! illustrate the great symbolic and monetary value of this malleable precious metal, as well as its uses in science, technology and medicine,” the museum adds. “They show gold to be a catalyst for personal and political conflict, an inducement for immigration and a cause of environmental destruction.”

See more information about Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia.

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