American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
November, 2006–August, 2007

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
December 2008–February 2009

Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK
April, 2009–July, 2009

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, GA
September 2009–January 2010

Field Museum, Chicago, IL
October 15, 2010–April 24, 2011

Its Latin name, aurum, means “glowing dawn.” Though extremely rare, it is found on nearly every continent. It is prized above all other metals. It is gold.

With its distinctive combination of qualities, gold may well have been the first metal worked by humans. It was easily visible in stream- and riverbeds; it was easily shaped because it is soft; its alluring luster never grew dull. Over thousands of years, the pursuit of gold launched explorers, built empires and inspired artists. Gold itself became a symbol of wealth, beauty, purity, spirituality and the afterlife.

Today, gold is increasingly difficult to mine, but the demand for gold continues to grow. Gold’s high status and value are unsurpassed around the world, its pivotal role in human history unending.


Objects on loan

The ANS had a total of 89 objects on loan to this exhibition. Highlights of the loan include:

Gold Aureus of Antoninus Pius/Marcus Aurelius, Rome, AD 140. 1944.100.47505

Gold ingot of John I, Serro (Brazil), 1810. 1960.166.281

Gold dinara of Wima Kadphises/Vima Kadphises, Bactria, AD 113 – AD 127. 1944.100.30162

Gold ecu a la couronne of Charles VI, France (Toulouse), 1380 – 1422. 1960.111.6

Gold 5 dollar, Philadelphia (Pa.), 1795. 1908.93.226

Gold Stater of Lysimachus, Lysimachia, 297 BC – 291 BC. 1944.100.77420

Gold cut bezant, Syria, 1150 – 1187. 1981.36.1

Gold 8 escudo of Philip V, Mexico City (Mexico), 1743. 1980.109.678

Gold Solidus of Constantine I, Nicomedia, AD 324 – AD 325 1944.100.7970