The State Museum of Gold and Precious Stones is the museum of natural history and jewelry in Astana.
It is one of the five most famous wealth vaults in the world, with a value equivalent to the British Crown Jewels and Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia.
The museum’s permanent exhibition consists of two wings that demonstrate the Art of the Early Nomads, known as the Hall of Gold, and Decorative Arts of Kazakhs from the 18th to 20th century, known as the Hall of Silver. Also, there are always a variety of temporary exhibitions going on.
Some of the jewelry in the exhibits of the museum are made from pure gold, without any composites, that belonged to ancient nomads called Saks. These national rarities have already been presented in museums in the United States (San Diego), Germany (Munich), Turkey (Istanbul), Unites Arab Emirates (Abu-Dhabi), and many other countries.
A special place in the History of Arts wing belongs to unique Saks animal style, which was formed by Saks tribes in the vast area of the Great Steppe in the 8th to 9th century BC. The global interest of “Golden Man”, the young Saks warrior with clothes covered with more than four thousand golden parts, has not diminished since 1969 when Kazakh archaeologist Kemal Akishev found him in the Issyk barrow near the city of Almaty. There are no such accounts of the jewelry style of the Golden Man, which makes him highly distinguished and individual.
In another part of the museum there are a variety of silver jewelry and weapons. Kazakhs believed that silver has magical properties of purity and widely used it for jewelry. Elements of nomads’ daily life: belts, cloth buttons, women jewelry, horse equipment and weapons, such as knives and cavalry swords, all are made from silver with incomparable mastery.
Foreign guests walk around the museum in admiration when they visit. Archaeologists say that it is an amazing fact that while Romans wore animal skins for clothing, tribes in the Great Steppe already extracted metals and developed their distinctive style of jewelry decoration.
Visiting the museum is free of charge, therefore I highly recommend foreign guests to stop by this amazing place and discover the cultural heritage of Kazakhs.
Travel tip shared by Moldir Nurazkhan
Note: Pictures are retrieved from the Museum’s official website – museumgold.kz