Get a fascinating glimpse of California’s mineral wealth, colorful mining history and geologic diversity, at the California State Mining & Mineral Museum. This museum represents California’s official collection, containing over 13,000 gems, mineral crystals and mining artifacts, including the “Fricot Nugget,” a rare and beautiful 13.8-pound piece of crystalline gold found in the American River in 1864.
The museum is dedicated to helping families and students learn about the importance of mining and minerals to our history, our environment, and our future. The museum offers free activities for children and youth groups, including the Junior Ranger Program. They also provide school tours relating to geology, rocks and minerals, the gold rush, and mining history to hundreds of students each year. Gold panning is available throughout the year by appointment only.
The museum sponsors an annual gem and mineral show each spring featuring exhibits, speakers, food, educational children’s activities, and dealers of beautiful mineral specimens and lapidary work from around the world. Call the museum for dates and times.