Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
History and museums
The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Spanish: Museo del Oro Precolombino) is a museum in San José, Costa Rica. It is located in a subterranean building underneath the Plaza de la cultura and is managed by the Banco Central de Costa Rica. The museum has a substantial collection of over 1600 artifacts of Pre-Columbian gold dating back to AD 500.The collection includes Costa Rica's first coin, the Media Escudo which was minted in 1825, animal (notably frog) figurines, amulets, earrings, erotic statuettes and El Guerrero, a life sized gold warrior figure adorned with gold ornaments in a glass case. In Costa Rican history, gold was considered a symbol of authority and the items are testament to the craftmanship of the Pre-Columbian period. There is also a replica of a pre-Columbian grave containing 88 gold objects which was unearthed on a banana plantation in southeastern Costa Rica in the 1950s.
The Museo Numismático (National Coin Museum) is also located in the same building on the ground level and features displays dating back to 1236, including coins, banknotes and unofficial items such as coffee tokens. The "Casa de Moneda" is also located on the ground level with information on the history of minting in Costa Rica and displays illustrating its development.