DENVER - Sixty-five ounces of pure Colorado gold is being shipped to Italy to be rolled into gold leaf that will be shipped back and used to cover the State Capitol dome.
The gold was mined from the Cripple Creek and Victor area and donated to the state by the AngloGold Ashanti and Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V). Up to 75 ounces of 24 karat gold, valued at approximately $120,000, was mined, refined and held especially for the project, spokeswoman Danielle Dascalos said.
"It was Colorado gold that originally covered the Capitol over a hundred years ago," said State Architect Larry Friedberg in a quote provided by Dascalos. "We are especially pleased that AngloGold Ashanti shares our respect for the building’s history and continues its legacy by once again donating the gold from the same Colorado source more than a century later."
The gold will be rolled into 1/8,000 millimeter thick sheets that are 3-1/8-inches square at a facility in Florence, Italy. It will be applied to a copper base plate and then attached to the structure of the dome.
The project is estimated to require approximately 140,000 sheets of the gold leaf. It will start to be applied to the dome, at a rate of 50 to 100 square feet per day, in the summer of 2013. Any leftover gold will remain with the State for use in future replacement or repair.
Dascalos said that underneath the current scaffolding, the cast iron structure of the dome has been restored. They're still working to repair the cast iron surround the exterior observation deck.
More information on the dome restoration project and the opportunity to make donations to support the project is available at www.ShareInTheCareColorado.org.