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Heavy Metal
PHOTO: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
After achieving statehood in 1889, Montana wanted to promote its vast deposits of precious metals at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in a way mere statistics couldn't convey. In its exhibit, the Treasure State erected a 15-foot-tall statue titled "Justice." Modeled after actress Ada Rehan, a favorite of playwright Oscar Wilde and a subject of painter John Singer Sargent, the statue rested on a plinth of solid gold. Comprising 24,000 ounces of sterling silver and 12,000 ounces of gold, "Justice" would be worth roughly $15.7 million today.
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