Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Precolombino “Álvaro Vargas Echeverría” ” ‘) is an archaeological museum located in San José (Costa Rica), located on three floors below ground level, under the Plaza de la Cultura, and managed by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. It is considered one of the three most important Latin American museums dedicated to pre-Columbian gold objects (after the Bogota and Lima Gold Museum). The collection is composed of 1600 pre-Columbian gold coins dating from between 300 and 1500. Most of the objects come from south-west Costa Rica and testify to the mastery of the Chibcha and Diqui Indian tribes.

Among the exhibits are animal figurines, amulets, earrings, erotic statuettes, a life-size warrior adorned with gold ornaments (El Guerrero) and a replica of a pre-Columbian tomb containing 88 gold objects, discovered in the 1950s in a banana plantation in the South-East (site of Finca 4). The Museum of Numismatics occupies the same building. It presents various objects (coins, banknotes, bags of coffee and banana) dating back to 1502, including the first piece of the country (Medio Escudo), minted in 1825, when Costa Rica was part of the Federal Republic of America Central.

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