Master gemologist Mona Miller is currently piecing together an appraisal of the gold that was stolen from the Siskiyou County Courthouse on Feb. 1.

Master gemologist Mona Miller is currently piecing together an appraisal of the gold that was stolen from the Siskiyou County Courthouse on Feb. 1.

When the appraisal is complete, it will be provided to the insurance company when the county files its claim, said Siskiyou County Administrator Brian McDermott.  

“Ms. Miller will be able to piece together a very accurate depiction of what was taken, plus a current appraisal of the remaining gold,” McDermott said.    

 At its meeting on April 3, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the $35,000 expenditure for the appraisal from the county’s Risk Management Fund.     

According to McDermott, the county will be able to include the cost of the appraisal in its insurance claim.  
 
Miller, of Pacific Gem Laboratory in Portland, Ore., said that it will take several months to complete the appraisal.      

When the thieves broke into the courthouse during the night and raided the gold display case, they stole the large pieces and left the small chunks in the case. According to Miller, the small pieces will be used to determine the value of the larger pieces.  
 
She said that earlier this month, she traveled to Yreka to place the small pieces of gold in an X-ray Fluorescence Machine. A laser analyzed the alloys and chemical composition of the nuggets to ascertain the average gold content of the nuggets mined in various regions.   

The next step is for Miller to recreate the gold display with the help of photographs and records, and figure out which pieces are missing.  

She said she will  recreate the missing gold chunks by region, mine and gold content to determine value.      
“We will look at the rarity of the nuggets and when they were mined,” she explained.      

The overall analysis will make it possible to determine the value of the missing pieces.