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The Places Where Gold Can Still be Found in America

Gold America
Metal detectorist Erlend Bore discovered the sixth-century A.D. gold treasure, initially thinking he had found chocolate coins. Erlend Bore / University of Stavanger

Searching for gold in America with a metal detector is a favorite pastime for thousands who dream of striking it rich.

Finding gold can be a challenging and rewarding experience as shown in the recent example of an amateur metal detectorist who discovered what archaeologists have hailed as Norway’s “gold find of the century”.

He dug up nine engraved gold pendants, ten gold pearls and three gold rings—all dating to the sixth century A.D. on the island of Rennesøy.

There is also the example of an Australian man who in 2022 found with his metal detector a 10-pound chunk with 83 ounces of gold inside. It’s estimated to be worth more than $160,000.

A team of metal detectorists recently discovered a treasure hoard of American and Russian gold coins in a Polish forest.

New Gold Rush in America

Gold America
Mojave Nugget, a gold nugget weighing 156 ounces. From the Stringer district, Kern County, California. Public Domain

In America, the recent focus of prospectors was in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California. Last Spring a combination of environmental factors, including Californian wildfires loosening the soil, coupled with pounding rains, has stirred up a bounty of the precious metal.

“I once found a nugget the size of my palm,” a prospector told the National Geographic.

He explained that only a fraction of the region’s gold was unearthed during the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, so there’s plenty of treasure still to be found — if you don’t mind a bit of hard physical graft.

“Sure, most people aren’t getting rich doing this kind of work. But out here in nature, I’m guaranteed a lifetime of fun and a million dollars’ worth of experiences,” he said.

The gold rush is also aided by the price of gold which traded this week in the international market near a near seven-month high level.

Gold nuggets of various sizes have been found throughout the world. Historically, the nuggets are melted down and formed into new objects. The Welcome Stranger is the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, which had a calculated refined weight of 97.14 kilograms (3,123 ozt).

Three of the biggest nuggets come from the Brazilian Serra Pelada mine. Most of the largest nuggets were melted down into ingots and so only have historical records of their size and mass.

In California and other places in America, it has become extremely difficult to find gold nuggets. However, gold grains are more easily found.

The best places to find gold in America and Europe

California is the most famous gold-producing state in the US, and for good reason. The state’s rivers and streams contain a wealth of gold, and there are also many ghost towns that were once mining boomtowns. Some of the best places to pan for gold in California include the American River, the San Gabriel River, and the Yuba River.

Nevada is the second-largest gold-producing state in the US, and it is home to some of the largest gold mines in the world. The state’s deserts are also home to many smaller placer gold deposits. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Nevada include the Rye Patch State Recreation Area and the Eldorado Canyon State Park.

Alaska is another great place to find gold. The state’s vast wilderness is home to many gold-bearing rivers and streams. The most famous gold rush in Alaska occurred in the late 1890s, and there are still many abandoned mines and prospectors’ camps to be found in the state. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Alaska include the Yukon River and the Kobuk River.

Montana is home to some of the richest placer gold deposits in the US. The state’s mountains and valleys are also home to many abandoned gold mines. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Montana include the Clark Fork River and the Ruby River.

Colorado was the site of the first major gold rush in the US, and the state is still home to many active gold mines. There are also many public lands in Colorado where you can pan for gold. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Colorado include the Clear Creek River and the South Platte River.

The best places to search for gold in Europe are the Scandinavian countries, especially Finland which is the top gold producer in Europe, and it has a long history of gold mining. The country’s Lapland region is home to some of the most extensive gold deposits in Europe.

Second on the list is Sweden. The country’s northern region is home to some of the most extensive gold deposits in Europe. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Sweden include the Rönnbäcken mine and the Björkdal mine.

Bulgaria is also a major gold producer in Europe, and it has a long history of gold mining. The country’s Chelopech mine is one of the largest gold mines in Europe. Some of the best places to pan for gold in Bulgaria include the Chelopech mine and the Krumovgrad mine.

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