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.
As he was working near the extreme low end of the ground sluicing, I heard a yell through my headphones. Making my way down to him I could see the smile from a long distance.
Steve got his first nugget within minutes of turning on his metal detector. It only took me about an hour to find my first piece.
Bela and Barbara Kovacs began prospecting for gold about seven years ago as a family orientated outdoors activity. A welder by trade and lured by the simple fact that beach sands can contain small bits of precious metals, Bela decided a few years ago to build a sand sucking contraption that can sift the shoreline for anything worth keeping.
Down around 10 or 12 inches I hit a large cobble that appeared to be one type of hot rock for this area. I thought bad things about the new technology until I checked the rock.
Take a look at the picture—it’s pretty simple and you can build it yourself.
So, I took the plunge. I decided on the maximum I would pay for the claim, then placed my bid. A day later I received a congratulations e-mail that I was the high bidder, and oh, by the way, send us your money.
Most of our gold recoveries have been in the cracks of the bedrock. Hot rocks in the form of dikes cross the creek at various locations, causing us to skip those 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