Today’s postcard from contributing editor Andrew Nelson leaves us longing for something shiny:
New Orleans’ onetime U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade; 800 568 6968) has struck gold again, only this time it’s a special exhibit devoted to the precious metal. “Gold,” which opened this month, marks the Mint’s grand reopening, having been closed since Hurricane Katrina peeled back the building’s copper roof, allowing rain to damage the interior. Located in the French Quarter, the Mint was built under President Andrew Jackson. It operated until 1909, and later became part of Louisiana’s State Museum. The exhibit documents the use of the metal and its place in the human psyche. Objects include jewelery from Cartier and Tiffany’s and the gold cigar box of King Farouk of Egypt.
“The coolest artifact for me is the Eureka Bar,” says director of exhibits Sam Rykels. “It’s an 88-pound gold bar, but looks like an oversize brick. It’s the last bar from the California gold rush. It was lost in a shipwreck and recovered recently.”
Photo: The Louisiana State Museum