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Saturday, May 2, 2009

The most “precious” museum of Romania

At the end of the 19th century, few engineers and miners that were working at the mines around Brad (in the Apuseni Mountains) have gathered some interesting mine rocks in order to display them the beauties of the hidden depths of the land.
This was how the Gold Museum came into existence, more than one century ago. At the beginning, the museum hosted only gold exhibits from the surrounding area. Since then due to donations and exchanges, the patrimony of the museum has gained pieces from other parts of the country and the entire world.
Now, the museum exhibits over 2500 samples of minerals, 1000 of which are gold. From the special specimens the light green fluorite octahedron of Cavnic, diamonds from South Africa, pyrite cubic crystals are quite remarkable. However, the main attraction consists in the native gold samples, of different forms and shapes.
At the same time, the museum has a nice mineral collection, ranging from diamond to amber, jasper and agate, sapphire, topaz, emeralds. Here you will also see minerals as they were discovered in Romania for the first time: sylvinite, tellurium, andorit, monsemit. An interesting section of the museum presents the mining history of the area. There are stone hammers over 5000 years old, and a miner hat dating from the 19th century made of cloth impregnated with animal fat. Here you can see the “saidroc”, the tool used in the past to separate gold-bearing sand from water. At Stănija – a nearby village – even today there are peasants gathering gold with the “saidroc”, ( just for fun).
It is worth mentioning that there are only two gold museums in the world, on nearly opposite sides of the globe, united by their fascination of this noble metal: one is in Bogota, the capital of Columbia, and the other is here, in Romania.

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