DENVER (CBS4) – Gold mined in Colorado’s Cripple Creek and Victor areas is now on its way to Italy where it will be turned into gold leaf and then returned to the state, where it will restore the Capitol dome’s golden gleam.
A total of 65 ounces of gold will be rolled into squares to put on the structure, which is currently undergoing a large maintenance project through the Share in the Care Colorado project.
“Up to 75 ounces of 24 karat gold, valued at approximately $120,000, was mined, refined and held especially for the project,” officials wrote in a prepared statement.
The restoration work on the dome in Denver will start this summer and should be done by 2014. The dome will be completely covered by scaffolding and a white cover during the process.
AngloGold Ashanti and the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company donated the gold for the project.
Officials described the process as follows:
Sixty-five ounces of the pure metal will be sent to Florence, Italy, where it will be rolled into 1/8,000 millimeter tissue-thin sheets of gold leaf that are 3 1/8″ square. The leaf will then be applied to a copper base plate and ultimately to the dome structure. Project managers estimate it will require approximately 140,000 sheets of the leaf to gild the dome, applied at a rate of 50 to 100 square feet per day.