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Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen

Posted by Bill Dameron  
avatar Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 20, 2010 10:27PM
    
Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, in Hillsboro, Oregon, just outside of Portland, housed a stunning collection of 107 (mostly) crystallized gold specimens in all sizes; many of these were wire thumbnail size pieces from the famous Ace of Diamonds mine, Liberty, Washington. Most of these treasures, some cabinet specimens from Breckenridge, Colorado, a 42 oz leaf gold from The Alabama claim, Jamestown, California and a few others were stolen the evening of Friday, April 16, 2010. Ninety three of the specimens in the collection formerly belonged to John Barlow, and the loss to the mineral collecting community is great.

While it is not likely they will be offered for sale on the collector market, please be on the lookout and notify curator Rudy Tschernich immediately ([email protected]) if you learn of anyone offering for sale or trade similar specimens without a well documented history. Two photos are attached, one of the leaf gold from The Alabama Claim and one of an Ace of Diamonds specimen. If for some reason you do not reach Rudy immediately please contact Washington County Sheriff's Department Detective Jim George at 503-846-6093.

Bill Dameron (Director, Rice Museum)
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 20, 2010 11:02PM
    
Oh my lord, what a loss. Words escape me. :(
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 20, 2010 11:27PM
    
is it just me, or has there been an uptick in thefts these days?
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 21, 2010 08:43AM
Do you know if there was an alarm system in place? or at least video cameras?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 21, 2010 03:07PM
    
We are not discussing details about the security systems, safe or other matters at present. Thanks for your understanding.

(p.s. I wasn't clear when making the original post: I am one of four members of the Board of Directors. I am not "THE" director!

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 21, 2010 03:34PM
Indeed. This forum is not the place to speculate on how the crime was committed, or to question security arrangements. We are simply concerned getting the news about these specimens out into the community as fast as possible to help in their return.

It might help posting more photos if you have them. I would also suggest circulating photos to the local newspapers and media outlets emphasizing the phenomenal loss to science if these treasures are melted down.

Jolyon
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 22, 2010 07:15PM
Hi Rock,

It was one of those formidable vaults!

But that is besides the point since it turned out to be something of an inside job. This just in:

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) - The Washington County sheriff's office says detectives have recovered nearly all the gold that was stolen from the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro.
Detectives were led to the gold at an apartment in Tigard by a suspect who was arrested Wednesday in Portland.
He's identified as 28-year-old Jeff Harvey of Portland, the great-grandson of Richard and Helen Rice who founded the museum in the 1930s and the grandson of Bill and Sharleen Rice who donated most of the gold.
The gold, valued at more than $250,000, was taken from a safe in a Saturday night burglary at the museum west of Portland. Assistant museum director Linda Kepford said one 42-ounce nugget is valued at more than $50,000.
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 22, 2010 07:24PM
Fantastic news!
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 22, 2010 08:45PM
    
Indeed. Please remove the thread; the Curator and acting Director have been so busy there hasn't been time for any official museum e-mails Bill

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
April 22, 2010 09:36PM
    
Awesome news! Heck, I'm rummaging through the couches right now looking for some extra dough---$50K for a 42oz. nugget sounds like a steal!!! Ooops, no pun intended. In any case, it is great to hear that the specimens will be returned but awfully miserable to learn that a member of the family was involved. Pretty tragic in all regards.

Dana
David M. Crawford
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
August 10, 2010 04:34PM
Well you know what they say " you can pick your friends but not your relatives " .
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
October 16, 2010 01:49AM
Google "Gregory Liasco" for the latest installment in the ongoing saga of idiots trying to grab the Rice museum's gold. Story ended well this time, with a bizarrely dressed suspect bitten by police dog and in custody before he even got into the museum. This is great publicity for the museum actually - retold in so many news media... no amount of money could pay for this much public exposure. Further good news is that thankfully Gregory Liasco (as per his Facebook page) seems to have had no connections to mineral collectors or interest in minerals, so not an inside job (I would consider it truly disappointing if a real mineral collector were ever caught breaking into a museum).
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
October 17, 2010 08:05PM
Here's a link:
[www.kgw.com]

He's wearing a ghillie suit, otherwise known as a bigfoot costume.
-YvW
Re: Rice Northwest Museum Gold Collection Stolen
October 18, 2010 12:35AM
    
Yinan Wang,

The news report is hilarious; I hope the police dog was given a large porterhouse steak as a reward by the museum.

Best,

Joe
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