One of the more overlooked aspects of gold investing is the fact that there is still lots of gold waiting to be uncovered! All over the United States from Virginia to California are creek, stream and lake beds with gold just waiting to be found. Gold prospecting might require a lot more physical exertion but there is a great payoff is seeing those fresh gold flakes at the bottom of the pan.
History of Gold in Virginia:
There is a gold belt in Virginia encompasses an area nearly 4,000 square miles. This gold belt starts in Maryland and runs southwest to the North Carolina state line. The gold belt in Virginia varies between 15 to 25 miles in width and measures nearly 200 miles in length.
The Virginia gold belt passes through southeastern Fauquier County, at the Morrisville/Goldvein area. It is here where approximately 18 gold mines existed. American Indians and early European settlers dicovered small quantities of the precious metal, but the Goldvein area did not attract serious prospectors and miners until the early 1800′s.
In the 1830′s, prospectors panned for gold in the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers, and eventually progressed to the digging of trenches(placer pits), and finally in the early 1900′s, the excavation of deep shafts in the search of veins of gold hidden in the earth began.
At one time, Virginia and several states of the South became the major gold producing region in the entire United States. By the 1830′s, gold produced in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia amounted to over $1 million per year. One of the most famous mines in Fauquier County, VA was the Franklin Gold Mine. At this mine, miners dug shafts to reach the gold with some of those shafts reaching 300 feet! Between 1825 to the Civil War, this mine produced over $1.2 Million worth of gold.
Here is a list of 10 places you can pan for your own gold in Virginia:
1) Monroe Park in Goldvein, Virginia (gold panning museum and gold panning demonstration)
The Gold Mining Camp Museum at Monroe Park is the only museum in Virginia solely dedicated to the history of gold and gold mining. Monroe Park, which is located off Route 17 in Goldvein, Virginia, is a wonderful place to learn about local history, while spending time with family and friends at its many recreational facilities. The park offers free gold panning demonstrations starting in March. For $10 they will also provide a bag of sand taken from a local stream that is laced with goldflakes.
If you are looking for some sites to pan for your own gold, here are some recommended locations. Before you begin prospecting, always make sure to ask permission from the site owner if you have doubts about the property being privately owned.
2) Contrary Creek out of Mineral, VA on Route 522-208
3) Byrd Creek in Fluvannah and Goohland Counties
4) Buckingham County: Route 15 on opposite side of Willis Mountain
5) The Roppahanuck River in Spotsylvania County
6) Several Creeks west of Fredricksburg
7) Lower banks and creeks of Great Falls, Virginia above Washington DC on the Potomac River. I’ve heard stories about the Maryland side of the river, but I mostly stay on the Virginia side.
8) Scotts Run Creek. Directions- take Beltway 495 to exit 13 (Georgetown Pike) Drive north toward Great Falls Va. Scotts Run Park and Hiking Trail is located right off the Georgetown Pike Pkwy. Plenty of parking!
If you want some more locations, you can purchase a Virginia gold map from Goldmaps.com