Dig Your Own Gems and Gold in Georgia

Mar 24, 2009Updated 8 months ago

The hills and mountains of northern Georgia are said to be full of gold. One just has to know where to look. Placer gold is gold that has traveled from it's original source due to erosion, and receding ice flows. Placer gold can be found in the many streams and creeks that trickle down out of the mountains. It is possible to find public access to some of these streams, but take care not to trespass or collect on privately owned land.

Panning for gold doesn't have to be high tech, and gold can be collected using a simple high-sided metal gold pan. It requires a little bit of skill in swirling water and gravel out of the pan, while keeping and allowing the gold flakes to accumulate at the bottom of the pan without losing them. No one should expect to get rich quick panning for gold, but it is a fun activity for young and old alike, especially if a gold nugget happens to turn up in the bottom of the pan.

Georgia Gold Prospecting Locations

In northern Georgia, the city of Dahlonega was once the site of the first gold rush and it still maintains a gold history museum there today. Nearby gold prospectors can try their gold panning skills at several nearby gold mines.

  • Crisson gold mine, Dahlonega.
  • Gold n Gem Grubbing Mine, Cleveland.
  • Consolidated Gold Mine, Dahlonega. Offers a tour of the cave and gold panning.
The Loud Mine, located in Cleveland, is a privately owned gold prospecting camp that allows Lost Dutchman's Mining Association (LDMA) and Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) members to prospect for gold. The gold found in this location is believed to be closer to the source due to the size of the specimens found.

Gem Mining in Georgia

Georgia also offers gems and minerals other than gold. One mine that allows rockhounds to dig is Hogg Mine located in Lagrange. Star rose quartz, amethyst, tourmaline crystals, and aquamarine beryl crystals can be found here. These specimens are beautiful. This mine operates by appointment only and occasionally offers additional digging areas. Nearby Jackson's Crossroads was an amethyst mine that at last report had been sold and is no longer in operation.

Savannah River Agate (Chert) can be found along the river road right-of-way outside of Girard. When searching for agate in this location, do not trespass onto any of the privately owned properties lining both sides of the roadway. It is also imperative that any holes that may be dug in the extrication of agate be refilled promptly.

Georgia may still hold a few more hidden gem locations. Serious rockhounds might consider contacting local gem and mineral clubs in the area to see what else the state may have to offer. Other locations to explore lie in nearby North and South Carolina and offer numerous gem digging opportunities to keep rock collectors busy.