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Artifact stolen from Oakland Museum of California

OAKLAND — The Oakland Museum of California offered a $12,000 reward Wednesday for the safe recovery of a stolen gold-encrusted jewel box — the latest in a series of thefts involving Gold Rush-era artifacts across the region.

The box stolen Monday depicts images of early California history and was originally a wedding anniversary gift from a San Francisco pioneer to his wife in the 1800s, museum director Lori Fogarty said.

It's the size of a small shoebox and weighs about three pounds.

Oakland city officials have said the box was valued at more than $800,000, but Fogarty said it was difficult to put a price on the artifact.

"It's very difficult to assign value to something like this," she said. "But I can say it's a treasure of our collection and a critical piece in our holdings."


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