52-year-old Gold Nugget Queen crown recovered after Camp Fire

A Camp Fire survivor recovered a piece of Paradise history thought to be lost, a 52-year-old Gold Nugget Queen crown.

Posted: Aug 30, 2019 11:14 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2019 11:54 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- A Camp Fire survivor recovered a piece of Paradise history thought to be lost, a 52-year-old Gold Nugget Queen crown.

Paradise jeweler John Woodworth got the surprise of his life when he cracked open a safe, ravaged by the Camp Fire.

"I expected to see a burnt box," Woodworth said. 

Inside that burnt box, in perfect condition, was the Gold Nugget Queen's crown. It's appraised at more than $7,000. 

"To see something like this survive, it brings hope to people," Woodworth said. 

His dad, also a jeweler, made that crown decades ago for the very first Gold Nugget Queen. It's graced the heads of each queen ever since.

"That's part of Gold Nugget Days is the queen, the crown, the symbolism it gives," Woodworth said. "It shows that in all the horrible things that have happened, there's still some very, very bright spots."

And Woodworth is thrilled a piece of the town's heritage can continue, after a little polishing of course. He knows this little piece of jewelry will inspire others in big ways.

"There's hope. This made it, we'll make it," Woodworth said. 

As for what's next for the crown, Woodworth said he'll polish it and send it off to the Gold Nugget Museum Committee for safekeeping.

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