Tennessee has not produced the large amounts of gold compared to several other states in the southeast such as Georgia, Virginia, or North Carolina. Most of Tennessee’s gold is located in a fairly localized area, but these gold bearing locations are quite rich and have been a popular destination for gold seekers for a long time.
Nearly all of the gold that comes out of Tennessee is found in the extreme eastern portion of the state. The richest placers have been found along the border of North Carolina in a few distinct rivers and streams.
Gold Prospecting at Coker Creek and Tellico River
The most well-known and most productive placer mining area in Tennessee is at Coker Creek, which flows through private land as well as the Cherokee National Forest in certain areas.
In Monroe County, both lode and placer gold were mostly found around the areas of the rural communities of Coker Creek and the Tellico Plains, located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Tennessee.
Tellico River has good gold in it. There are active prospecting clubs in this area, and it is always a good idea to join a club if you are new to prospecting. You can learn how it’s done, and often gain access to some good areas too.
In several areas, gold can be located in the bedrock and stream gravels along the waterways of Cane Creek, Citico Creek, Coqua Creek, Tobe Creek and Turkey Creeks. Also important to note was the occurrence of gold in the main Tellico River around Tellico Plains.
Coker Creek is probably the best known area to find gold in Tennessee. The present stream gravels along Coker Creek, together with its bench and high terrace deposits still hold rich placer gold, and occasionally a nice sized nugget can still be found here. The majority of gold found here is by placer mining, although the gold is likely sources from eroding gold veins nearby.
There is a GPAA claim on Coker Creek and it is one of the better claims in the eastern side of the country.
Other Areas to Explore
The drainages that flow from Waucheesi Mountain and the Unicoi Mountains along the North Carolina border that have good potential for placer gold. From the town of Coker Creek to the east, just about any creek is worth a bit of prospecting as there is a decent chance of finding gold here.
Placer gold has also been found around Marysville in Blount County, specifically near Montale Springs. East of the Chilhowie Mountains is another general area that reportedly has placer gold occurrences.
Also Read: The Rich Gold Deposits Found in Alabama
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Gold can be found in the Tennessee River around Chilhowee Lake, and to the east at Little Pigeon River.
Gold can be panned from the Little River near Townsend. Most of the gold here is quite fine, but there are some picker sized gold that can be found here.
U.S. Gold Map