The Field Museum's new exhibit is effing golden. Here's what shines.
You may have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but you probably didn’t own this toy. The 18-karat gold and mother-of-pearl Tiffany rattle was manufactured in 1890 and created with a “chased” gold technique, which entails pushing, pulling and hammering the metal in order to create intricate grooves and designs.
It sounds as fascinating as a pet rock until you hear the story behind the little case. The box was recovered from the San Roman, shipwrecked off the coast of Florida by a hurricane in 1715. The item looks undamaged by the water. Reason being: Gold doesn’t tarnish like silver.
The name Leadville is a dead giveaway to the city’s history of providing metals like gold, silver, magnesium, copper and, of course, lead. Located 82 miles southwest of Denver, this very high city (about 10,430 feet) was once a booming mining town. You don’t have to head to the hills to view nature’s specimens: There’s a rare crystallized nugget from Leadville on display at the museum.
Go for the gold at the Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr (866-343-5303, fieldmuseum.org). Opens Fri 22; daily 9am–5pm. $22, seniors and students $18, kids ages 3–11 $15. Discounts for Chicago residents.