Gold Prospecting in Georgia

Gold Ore from Georgia

A piece of high-grade gold ore from the mines of Dahlonega.

The western United States get a lot more attention, but prospectors in the East know that there was a lot of gold found here too. And Georgia was probably the richest state of any this side of the Mississippi River.

The Georgia Gold Belt spans several counties in the northwestern part of the state, and the majority of the gold discovered in Georgia comes from this area.


Known Gold Occurrences in Georgia


The first part of the state to report a gold find was Lumpkin County, and the waterways in the county still have a fair amount of unrecovered gold. The early miners found gold near Dahlonega and all most of the mountains of Georgia. They mined for quite a few years, but the California Gold Rush drew most of the prospectors west.

Reliable waters to try your hand in are the Chestatee River, the Tesnatee River and the Etowah River. Keep in mind that you should be watching for signs of old mining activity, because areas that were worked in the past are still going to produce for you today.

Cherokee County provides some pretty good placer opportunities, Two fairly rich lode mines were the Sixes Mine and the Cherokee mine, and the Little River and the Etowah would be worth your time and effort.

Check out the Nacoochee River and the Chattahoochee River in White County along with any smaller creeks. Historically, Dukes Creek has produced some really good-sized nuggets.

Placer gold has been found all through the Georgia Gold Belt, so don’t just aim for the most well known spots. Dawkins, Forsythe, Paulding and Pickets Counties are all worth a look.

Most of the gold in the area is pretty fine, but you can find a nice nugget here and there. Try suction dredging, metal detecting, and look for evidence of old tailings, etc.There are a log of old lodes that might still produce for you.

Most of the best prospecting areas are on private ground. Do be considerate and check with landowners for the right to access their land. You might want to consider joining a local prospecting club, as they are really good about helping out the newbie.

Also Read: Explore Historic Mining Sites to Find Gold


Other Types of Gold…


If buried treasure is your thing, there are several old stories that might interest you.

A wealthy fellow in Griffin didn’t have much faith in banks, so he squirreled his fortune away all over his house. His wife worred all the time about somebody robbing the house, and finally conviced him the money would be safer in the bank.

On the way to the bank, though, he had a chance of heart and buried the $100,000 in a peach orchard without telling the Mrs. When he had a heart attack a few months later, he tried to explain to his wife what he had done and where the money was, but without success, and he died a few days later. So presumably, somewhere in a peach orchard, if it still exists, there is $100,00 buried in Griffin, Georgia.

Many citizens of Georgia buried their valuables during Sherman’s march through Georgia during the Civil War. Undoubtedly, much of this has never been recovered because the owners were killed or died during the war.

It is presumed that Blackbeard the pirate buried some of his treasure on Ossabaw Island and also on Blackbeard Island, none of which has been found.

Next: Gold Prospecting in Alabama

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