Paris Exhibition 1867

Nova Scotia’s geology was well-represented at the Paris Exhibition (World’s Fair) in 1867.

An impressive collection of Nova Scotia minerals and rocks was displayed, including coal, iron, manganese, building stone and gems to show off Nova Scotia’s resources.

Gold nuggets and gold-bearing quartz from eleven different gold districts were displayed.

So was a pyramid with gold gilt/plating to illustrate the quantity of gold that had been mined in the province between January 1861 and September 1866: 85,000 ounces. The pyramid was about five feet high and 18 inches square at its base. It represented $1.6 million in gold production in 1867 dollars, about $28 million today (all figures in US dollars).

Nova Scotia gold at the time was worth about $19.50 per ounce, compared to about $1600 per ounce today.

The value of the gold displayed at the Exhibition was estimated to be $1500 ($26,000 in today’s dollars).

Gold production figures for the first couple years of mining in Nova Scotia no doubt underreported what was actually produced. The Department of Mines was not established until 1862 and complete production reports were not done until 1863. Gold was discovered in Nova Scotia in 1858 in Mooseland and our first gold rush started in 1861.

After the Paris Exhibition, much of the mineral collection was displayed at the new Provincial Museum in Halifax. The Nova Scotia Museum, as it’s now called, was established in October 1868 as a general museum of science and history. Today it has 28 museum sites and is one of the oldest provincial museums in the country.