GEORGETOWN – Gold has been regarded as the most valuable metal since time immemorial because it symbolises status, sovereignty, health and wealth.
The notion that gold is a symbol of purity, has high value, a measurement of currency and can act as a bulwark against the effects of inflation still holds true in this modern time.
Hence an increasingly number of people are keen to own gold not only as personal accessories but also as investments but have you ever seen or touch a bar of pure gold with your hands?
Currently gold enthusiasts are given the opportunity to feel the ‘aura’ of these gold bars at the Penang Public Gold Museum, especially those weighing 50 kg that are worth RM7.5 million.
Visitors can also get to hold silver bars, weighing 30 kg, worth over RM70,000 in the 7,000 sq ft museum.
They are provided with information and comparison on the value of gold and currency whereby a gold bar weighing 12.5 kg was worth RM400,00 in 2001 but has exceeded RM1.8 million at present.
Located in Lebuh Bishop, it is not only the first such museum in Malaysia but also Southeast Asia and is no ordinary one as it brings visitors back to the olden gold mining days.
According to museum manager Denise Tang, it takes about an hour to explore the museum and its designs such as the underground route with sounds of digging that was done centuries ago to produce a unique and nostalgic atmosphere.
“Starting with information and history on gold, visitors will also be able to have a feel at the process of ‘mendulang’ to separate the impurities using a big tray and anyone who finds a gold nugget is considered lucky.
“The process of refining silver will also be demonstrated to visitors who also get to view an exhibition of gold collection of over 60 years and gold products from Public Gold,” she told Bernama.
Tang said various kinds of equipment and moulds to produce gold-based products such as anniversary coins, lockets and gold items are being displayed besides gold-based beauty products that are currently gaining popularity.
She said the gold museum which was opened last May is aimed at sharing with the public the value and history of gold as well as to enhance their knowledge so as to avoid being cheated with fake gold.
Since its opening, the museum had received 3,000 visitors, especially from schools besides local and foreign tourists, including the Arab countries, Australia and Indonesia, she said.
According to her, most of the visitors were impressed with the design of the museum, which was not only unique and attractive but gave them the opportunity
to obtain information and have fun while walking inside the gold mining route. The musuem is opened daily from 9 am until 6 pm, including public holidays. – BERNAMA