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What did the Book of Mormon Plates Look Like?

    <<  A Replica of the Book of Mormon plates. I myself, Phil Michel, made these plates.  I was using information from various witnesses who saw and or handled the plates.  Years later after making these plated I came across additional information and a more accurate understanding of what the various witness were saying about the Book of Mormon Plates.
I made two mistakes on making these plates.  The first mistake was that on the 'D' shaped rings the left side of the 'D' should have been at least six inches long and through the plates, not just two inches long and on the bottom.  The second mistake, which I may correct sometime, is that, Mormon in making the plates, did something so as to make the engravings "black" so they could be read easer.  My engravings are not 'black' on these plates. 


Material  --  The plates, having "the appearance of gold", were most likely made out of "Tumbaga" - a mixture of gold and copper.

What Kind of Ore Did Nephi Use to Make the Plates? (Book of Mormon Central, KnoWhy #22) (Video 1:10 min.)

Weight  --  The plates weighted about "60 lbs."  If the plates were made out of pure gold they would have weighted about 200 lbs.

Individual Plate Dimensions --  
The plates were about six inches wide by eight inches long”.

Thickness of Each Plate  --  
The plates were "not quite as thick as common tin” or "about as thick as parchment".

Volume Thickness  --  The whole bundle of plates combined was about "four" to "six" inches thick.

 Sealed and Unsealed Portions  --  “About two-thirds, [of the plates] were sealed..."

Rings and Binding Format  --  
The plates “...were fastened with "three" rings...in the shape of a capital D ..."

Reading Order  --  
“... the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general."  [Read from right to left.]

Characters  --  
The plates were filled with characters on the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art of engraving.

Text, and Plate Surface  --  
“Upon each side of the leaves of these plates there were fine engravings, which were stained with a black, hard stain, so as to make the letters more legible and easier to be read.”

How Witnesses described the "Gold Plates"
By: Kirk B. Henrichsen
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume - 10Issue - 1, Pages: 16-21  
Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 2001

  << A replica of the Book of Momrmon plates, made by Steven Pratt, using information from various witness who saw the plates.
What did the plates Look Like? 
By: Kirk B. Henrichsen - July 2007 New Era


How could the Book of Mormon fit on a few metal plates?

"Joseph and others said the plates were thinner than common tin, which was typically around 0.02 inches thick at the time. Others said the plates were as thick as parchment or thick paper. An estimate of 0.015 inches per plate thus seems reasonable. Adding 50% air space..., we can estimate that each plate occupied 0.03 inches. A stack 6 inches thick would hold roughly 200 plates, one third of which was sealed, leaving about 133 plates and 266 surfaces from which our modern 500-page Book of Mormon was obtained. If the characters were compact and fine, as some accounts describe them to be, there is no difficulty in fitting the Book of Mormon onto the available plates - a collection that could have easily weighed around 60 pounds."   (Metals, Weapons, and the Book of Mormon, by Jeff Lindsay, Welch, op cit., pp. 275-277)