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4 hours ago, coalminer78 said:

New member here from IL.  I work in a underground coal mine.  Once in awhile find gold in the shale at about 300 ft down.  Wanting to get in prospecting Spoon River mainly here in IL.  Came here to learn and start a new hobby.

Welcome to the forum!

From my research I would have to agree that most likely what you're finding is pyrite, but if you could verify that it is indeed gold you will have discovered for the most part the first known gold deposits in shale in Illinois, there are a couple of reports but not verifiable that very minor and not commercial viable gold deposits have been found quartz, limestone and chert formations.

That being said there is fine gold in some of the streams and rivers in Illinois but it all was brought down from Canada during the ice age by glaciers, here's a bit of info on the fine glacial gold in Illinois, which indeed shows that you might find a little bit of fine gold in the Spoon River. 

"Gold in Illinois

Gold has not been found in sizable quantities in Illinois. Even as a byproduct of other types of mining there are limited reports of any significant amounts of gold being recovered. Nonetheless, Illinois is like many of its neighboring states that have been blessed with at least limited amounts of placer gold deposits in the form of past glacial drifts.

Thousands of years ago, glaciers that moved southward from Canada carried richer gravels that contained gold. As these glaciers slowly receded, they dropped these gravels into many of the eastern states in the US, including Illinois.

These deposits are generally scattered throughout large areas, and do not accumulate in quantities that are economically feasible for mining, but do provide recreational prospecting opportunities for gold seekers. A few areas with reported gold occurrences are listed below.

In Macon County, the Sangamon River and its tributaries have some gold.

Fulton County produces fine gold in the Illinois and Spoon Rivers.

The Vermillion River in Ford County has produced small amounts of gold in the past.

The Embarrass River in Jasper County has also produced some placer gold.

In Wabash County, the Wabash River and tributaries have fine gold."


A bit more info on gold in Illinois.


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