Gold Mining Boom in the Carolinas
July 2012 by Craig E. RedickNot too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
What today appears to be a “road to nowhere” was once a road to somewhere. At today’s precious metal prices that somewhere can be of great importance to you.
I have always enjoyed finding things. As a kid and up through college I searched for arrowheads, rocks and fossils. One day I saw an ad for a metal detector in a magazine, and a week later I was digging up everyone’s yard...
The question I had, and likely you have too, is when an old channel is cut, how far does the placer gold in the cut channel move down in a river or creek that continues to erode deeper and deeper?
As a guide to those who are thinking of taking up this activity or those who currently practice this trade, I have created a listing of the primary tools and equipment I use when nugget hunting.
This was “pocket” country. All around were “pockets” that had been hand dug by old and new miners.
Luckily, at about that time, I buddied up with a somewhat cantankerous, but very helpful, guy named Rod. He had become a local legend for his ability to consistently find gold.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
The Bawl Mill • Gold Depositiion and Gradients of Placer Streams—Part II • The Life of an Independent Prospector • Gold in Guyana—Part I: Porknocking on the Puruni River Road • That Something Extra • Prospecting for Copper Ores—Part II • Metallic Trash—Scourge of the Prospector • California Suction Dredging Update • Mine, Baby, Mine! • Hecla to Reopen Lucky Friday Mine • Nova Scotia Shows It's Serious About Jobs & Mining • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices