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New Prospector looking for sites near Greensboro, NC


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Hi all,

I am new to the prospecting. My kids and I have caught gold fever. Where does a new prospector begin finding locations to do weekend gold panning?

We live in the north part of Greensboro and there is a creek up the street. Should I start there?

We went panning at McCulloh in Jamestown recently, but I think they load the gold in the sand. We are looking for a real panning experience.

So where does a new guy find NC Guilford maps on prospecting?


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Here is a little info that may help and welcome to the forum...

Gold was first discovered in Cabarrus County around 1800. This discovery of a 17 pound gold nugget by a twelve year old in Little Meadow Creek prompted the country's first gold rush. Most of North Carolina's gold deposits were subsequently discovered in Stanley, Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, Rowan, Davidson, and Randolph counties.

Eastern Carolina Belt - An area about 300 mi2 in northern Nash and Franklin Counties, southern Warren and Halifax Counties, and west into Wilson county. Most mines were discovered where Franklin, Halifax, and Nash Counties meet. Carolina Slate Belt - Containing the state's most well-known gold producing areas, is a series of rock formations running NE from Union and Anston Counties in South Carolina to Person and Granville Counties in Virginia. The Gold Hill district in SE Rowan and NE Cabarrus Counties, the Cid District in southern Davidson County, southern Guilford County, and the Reed Mine in SE Cabarrus County are the most famous areas of this belt. Charlotte Belt - Deposits primarily occur in Guilford, Davidson, Rowan, and Mecklenburg Counties. Kings Mountain Belt - Narrow belt running NE from Gaston County, through western Lincoln County, and into western Catawba County. Kings Mountain mine was the largest producer within this belt. South Mountain Belt - 300 mi2 region throughout Burke, McDowell, and Rutherford Counties. Placer nuggets can be found along major streams such as the Silver and Muddy Creeks and the First Broad River. Western Belt - Includes mines west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Georgetown Creek gravels in Fairfield Valley (Jackson County) and the Valley River gravels (Cherokee County) have yielded a significant amount of placer nuggets. You can always ask for permission to hunt on any private property, but there are also several places you can pan and metal detect in public access areas. However, be advised that prospecting is not allowed in NC state parks. The following lands offering some great potential are controlled by the National Forest Service. Contact the local Local Forest Ranger for more information including maps, regulations, and mineral rights.

Murphy (Cherokee County): South of city centered around Andrews from the Nantahala Gorge in the NE to Brasstown in the SW, all north/south creeks and tributaries of the Valley River and Nantahala River. Highlands (Jackson/Transylvania Counties): East of city within creeks around Chimney Top, Sassafras Mountains, east of Cashiers, and south of Oakland to include the Horsepasture River. Marion (Caldwell/Avery Counties): Northwest of city along the following streams: Rockhouse, Wilson, Timer, and Anthony Creeks. Also, Gragg Prong and their tributaries, west of Globe. Troy (Montgomery County): East of city along the Uwharrie River, Crow and McLeans Creeks, Eldorado area creeks, and tributaries on western side of Uwharrie River as far down as the Pee Dee River. The Carolina slate belt and major gold mines (modified from Hatcher and Butler, 1979).

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Welcome to the forum!

Your right on the eastern edge of the gold belt, but it wouldn't hurt to check out the creeks and streams in your area, there may well be gold in some of them, I would head more to the ESE of your location for better results, but check out your area first.

Bill has posted some great info in his post!!

I don't know of any specific gold maps for your area.

Here is one way to help find any mines and possible gold prospects in your area and the rest of N.C., download Goggle earth if you don't have it already, it is a free download, and then download the North Carolina "USGS Mineral Resource Overlays" for Goggle Earth, then when you open Goggle Earth it will show the locations of all the mines (old and present day, closed and active) listed with the USGS on the Goggle Earth map display, when you click on the mine symbols it will open a "balloon" that show what was/is mined at that mine, all types of mines not just gold mines will be displayed, you can toggle the ones that aren't for gold off so they won't be displayed and back on if necessary in "My places" in the "Places" window.

Before you close out Goggle Earth be sure that you have saved the download to "My Places" if not you may have to reinstall the overlay.

Here is a link to a tutorial that will walk you through all the steps of downloading and install Goggle Earth and the overlays, there are also all the links on this page that you will need to download all that I have mentioned, if you have any trouble with any of this just ask and I will help you out if needed.



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Hey Bill,

Hi Au Seeker

I got my first detector do you have any suggestions anplaces near Denver,CO I might try first?00000067.gif

I was thinking that if the gold geology info I was readingis correct I should find gold near a fault zone. Also when I compare thegeologic rock types I can match areas near me with the same geology but whereno gold has been discovered yet.

Clear creek ,CO 39°43'58.78"N 105°35'35.53"W

Locally contains minor hornblende gneiss, calc-silicate rock,quartzite, and marble. Derived principally from sedimentary rocks

This place has a very high density of closed gold mines.Also to the north east is a gambling town founded off old gold mines.

Compared to

Pike national forest …. Rightnext to a fault linespeechless-smiley-016[1].gif

39°26'21.81"N 105°8'32.09"W

Locally contains minor hornblende gneiss, calc-silicate rock,quartzite, and marble. Derived principally from sedimentary rocks

so this is a place I would like to take a look at it.miner[1].gif

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did you kiss the blarney stone ?.

Murphy is a lovely area. I got some gold in helen but my problem there all the land is privately owned and posted.

the gold prospectors association of America has a local chapter in georgia and possibly one there too/ you need to look them up and join the club/ youll get a world of local knowledge and safe places to pan. be awful careful some land owners are very sour and wont take kindly to you taking their gold.

good luck and the gold in that area is some of the finest gold one can get. my time in Georgia all i knew was how to pan if only i knew about the gpaa in georgia and if i had a sluice in time i would have got a lot of gold.

watching on telly the miners are safely rescued/ thats mighty news altogether.

Let us know how you get on.

And go to Helen georgia Octoberfest is on now you and family will love it/ beautiful place in the mountains that the chatachoee flows through. and up at the bridge over the river there is a parking area that has a pub and nightclub along with a huge restaurant that partly over hangs the river get yourself a rack of ribs to eat their to die for lol. tons of little shops and things for kids to do as well and in summer they can tube down the chatachoee river.

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winking0001[1].gifDownload Google earth then download the geologic units overlay for Colorado. I have the links on my site. You can also use a map I been making sourced from the mindat.org info for CO.


Map for Boulder

Mine map for Colorado


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Thanks everyone for your replies. I honestly didn't know I had any until logging in this morning - thought I set email notifications to ON. I would have responded much sooner.

Here's an update:

The Mrs and I walked from my house to a creek about 1 mile from our house yesterday. It had me curious because it is a sandy creek going through the woods. Where does all that sand come from in red clay country? Anyway, there is a lot of white quartz and pyrite along this little creek.

I did about 10 minutes of panning and dug up some samples to take home. In the bottom of the pan was a couple of pyrite specks swirling around and many tiny glitters of something(microscopic gold?) My eyes aren't as good as they used to be.

I still have about 2 lbs of sand left to test. But based on that do you think I am perhaps on the right track to find something?

What I find bothering about the site is in a woodsy red clay area, why is there a sandy trickling creek? I might go back out today and snap some pictures if I can get up the energy. :rolleyes:

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The sand comes out of the red clay soils, I grew up in Atlanta Ga. all of the soil there is "Ga. red clay" and it does contain a fair amount of sand within it makeup, dig up some of the red clay soil around your area and dissolve it a bucket and then pour the dissolved water clay mixture out and you should see the sand out of the clay soil in the bottom of the bucket.

The small specks could very well be gold, or pyrite "fool's gold", do they seem heavier than the know pyrite pieces, when you gently swirl a small amount of water in the pan do these small pieces resist moving compared to the known pyrite pieces?

Did you find any blacksand, if so did the small specks seem heavier and mostly under the blacksand?

You can find gold in areas that have no blacksands, but most areas that have gold will have some if not a lot of blacksand, but in my experience prospecting in N.C. there is a fair amount to a lot of blacksand in most gold areas.

The answers will be the best way to determine if it is gold or not, the best way to ID if it's gold or not is to find someone in your area that is an experienced prospector to ID the specks for you.

One way to help determine if it is gold or not is to get in bright sunlight and then using your hand shade the pan, gold will have very much the same look/glow in the shade that is does in the bright light, pyrite will look completely different in that it will not look like gold/glitter/shine as much in the shade.


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Did you find any blacksand, if so did the small specks seem heavier and mostly under the blacksand?

The answers will be the best way to determine if it is gold or not, the best way to ID if it's gold or not is to find someone in your area that is an experienced prospector to ID the specks for you.


Thanks for the note AND for the Google earth advice. I just loaded it up. It's fascinating.

I am approximately 16 miles from the nearest gold mine (Fisher Hill mine south of my location). Yesterday I was digging in the sand and there was a layer of what I thought was black sand. It looked like Sand>layer of dark sand>sand. I'll pan it out right now and take a magnet to it.

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