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    Museo del Oro PrecolombinoPre-Columbian Gold Museum San Jose, Costa Rica
    The Pre-Columbian gold museum in San Jose, Costa Rica is located in a subterranean structure beneath the Plaza de le Cultura and managed by the Banco Central with more than 1600 relics of pre-Columbian gold that dates back to about 500AD. This fabulous collection contains the nation's first coin, the Media Escudo that had been minted in 1825, El Guerrero, a life-sized warrior figure that is adorned with gold ornaments is set inside a glass case, and animal figurines, erotic statuettes, amulets and earrings. In the country's early days, gold was considered a symbol of authority, and also showcases the magnificent craftsmanship of those early artisans. The museum also houses a copy of a pre-Columbian grave that had 88 gold objects buried with it that was discovered on a banana plantation located in southeastern Costa Rica in the 1950s. The numismatics museum is situated in the same building, but on the ground floor and houses exhibits that date back to 1516 and include banknotes, unofficial objects like coffee tokens and coins. Another museum located on the same floor is the Casa de Moneda that contains information about minting in the country and highlights it development. The gold museum houses the biggest collection of pre-Columbian gold jewelry in Central America, with over 20,000 troy ounces, which in today's market is close to $300 million. The displays are bilingual and many of the figurines are of frogs and eagles, the two animals that the early cultures believed had more spiritual importance than any other figures. It also hosts rotating art exhibitions, but on another floor. The structure contains three floors beneath the plaza making it more secure because of the tremendous value of this extraordinary collection.

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    Museo de JadeJade Museum San Jose, Costa Rica
    The Jade museum of San Jose, Costa Rica has become world famous for its collection of jade, which could be the world's biggest, and houses a very large amount of jade relics and jewelry. The museum will provide excellent information as to why this culture would revere this precious stone, in pre-Columbian times, how it would be used in trade and how it was used. The collection contains examples of jade from around the Americas, that includes many pieces from the Mayan empire. Actually, jade was considered more precious than gold to these early peoples, in Mexico and Central America, with a majority of this collection dating back to 500 BC to 800 AD. It is located on the first floor of the National Insurance company building with mostly big pendants that had been parts of necklaces and are shaped mostly in the form of animal figures and humans. There is a marvelous display that shows how the hard stone was carved by the early people, and also houses a large collection of pre-Columbian polychrome terra-cotta vases, figures and bowls. Many of these exquisite pieces are considered to be extraordinarily modern in their designs and showcase an excellent advanced technique. One such amazing display showcases a vase that has incorporated human teeth and another highlights the jade embedded in human teeth for decorative reasons. All the information is shown in bilingual languages, of Spanish and English and is a wonderful place to tour and learn more about the early cultures and peoples.

May 6, 2011