|California State Mining and Mineral Museum|
|Location||Mariposa County, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Mariposa, California|
|Governing body||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
The California State Mining and Mineral Museum is a museum in the state park system of California, United States, interpreting the state's mineral resources and mining heritage. It is located in Mariposa on the Mariposa County fairgrounds.
The museum houses a collection that was started in 1880, with the establishment of the California State Mining Bureau. Henry G. Hanks was the first California State Mineralogist and was tasked with managing the collection. The collection was housed in the Ferry Building in San Francisco until 1983. The collection opened in its current home at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds in 1986. The collection was transferred from the California Department of Conservation to the California Department of Parks & Recreation in 1999. At present, it is the only California State Park without any associated land. Today, the international collection holds over 13,000 minerals, rocks, gems, fossils, and historic artifacts. Some of the museum's highlights include: the crystalline gold Fricot Nugget, weighing 201 troy ounces (6.25 kg), the largest one found during the Gold Rush; a working scale model of a stamp mill which is over 100 years old, demonstrating the process of extracting gold from quartz rock; and a replica hard rock mine tunnel that allows visitors to experience how it felt to spend the day working in California's hard rock mines.
The California State Mining and Mineral Museum offers visitors the chance to explore the wealth of the Mother Lode, view minerals and gems from around the world, and to experience California's mining history.
The California Mining and Mineral Museum was one of the 48 California state parks proposed for closure in January 2008 during the Arnold Schwarzenegger administration as part of a deficit reduction program.