Gold exhibit at Field Museum strikes, well, gold

There is nothing else like it.

Nothing else in human history can occupy the space held by gold as the symbol of wealth, beauty and power.

And nothing makes your kids jaws drop, eyes widen and voices hush like gold, and you can see plenty of itat the Field Museum through March 6, 2011.

At“Gold,” kids can marvel at African sandals, Inca figures, rare doubloons (that’s a Spanish coin for those not up to date on their knowledge of 18th-century European currency),a Cartier necklace and Harrison Ford’s Golden Globe award.

Three hundred square feet of 23-karat gold-covered walls are a good lesson in the metal’s properties (the piece was pressed from just three ounces of gold), but the display is more likely to start a bedroom redecorating wish list.

You can also see Chicago speed skater Shani Davis‘ 2006 and 2010 Olympic gold medals, a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Grammy and the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Championship trophy.

A U.S. history lesson is folded into the show, touching on gold deposits from Seward’s folly (Alaska), the last known bar of gold from the 1849 California gold rush and recovered gold coins and bars from the SS Central America’s 15-ton cargo lost to a hurricane off the Carolina coast in 1857.

A version of this article first appeared inChicago Journal, a sister publication of Chicago Parent.

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