The Natural History Museum and the Museum at La Brea Tar Pits are now open. Advanced tickets can be purchased online. The William S. Hart Museum remains closed until further notice. View our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for more information.

Discovering Gold: Exploring the California Gold Rush

Uncover the history of California's Gold Rush through NHM's Gem and Mineral Hall

Gold Rush Case in Gem Hall

California's nicknamed "The Golden State", and it's not just for our sunshine. The 1840s marked the beginning of a gold rush that would change California forever. While it wasn't the last or first time an underground discovery would shape California, it left an indelible mark on California's history as well as the perception of the state in the U.S. and abroad. It's fascinating history, and NHM's Gem and Mineral Hall captures the story like no place else. Join Gallery Interpreter Effie Ralli as she explains how this momentous discovery impacted the people and history of our state!

Gold nuggets
You'll see real California gold—lots of it!