North Carolina is one of the best gold mining states in the Southeast. There have been many big gold nuggets unearthed within the state over the years.
The gold rich areas in North Carolina are within an area known as the “Carolina Slate Belt,” which is a auriferous region that crosses from north to south through the state, and also spans across Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia. You will also sometimes hear it this region called the “Georgia Slate Belt” or the “Georgia Gold Belt.”
The Reed Gold Mine
One of the largest gold nuggets found in North Carolina is also associated with the first discovery of gold in the United States. A young boy discovered a huge gold-colored “rock” that turned out to be a huge gold nugget.
This discovery prompted the development of the Reed Gold Mine, which went on to produce gold nuggets that weighed as much as 28 pounds! Several nuggets weighing many pounds were found at the Reed Gold Mine over the years and nuggets weighing several ounces were relatively common during the early years.
Once the occurrence of gold was realized at the Reed Mine, it didn’t take long for new sources of gold to be discovered.
Gold Mines in the Carolina Slate Belt
Another rich mine was the Beaver Dam Mine in Montgomery County. This mine has produced thousands of dollars-worth of gold with some very nice gold nuggets to show for it.
There are many mines in Stanley County that have resulted in large gold nuggets. There are many creeks that produced a huge quantity of nuggets by the early miners.
Some exceptional gold in quartz specimens have also been mined here too. In fact, the first gold/quartz lode mine in the United States was established in North Carolina. Some of the ores were exceptionally rich, with gold-per-ton assays that were as rich as any goldfield in the country.
There are hundreds of abandoned gold mines in North Carolina now. Most of the mining activity took place from 1799 (when gold was first discovered) through 1849. There was a mass-exodus of gold miners that left the goldfields of the Southeast to seek their fortunes in the newly discovered goldfields of California.
North Carolina Gold Mining Today
There is very limited gold mining taking place in North Carolina today, and most of the big gold nuggets that were discovered in North Carolina were found over 200 years ago.
Most of the established gold mines have been depleted of most of their gold long ago. The creeks have been mined hard and the richest ores have been removed from the hard rock mines.
It still seems reasonable to believe that there is some big gold nugget in North Carolina that have been missed by the old-timers.
If you are a North Carolina gold miner who wants to try and find a big gold nugget, it is highly recommended that you research these historic mining areas within the Carolina Slate Belt. The existence of gold has been well established here.
Using modern prospecting methods like metal detecting might be a good way to increase your chances of finding a big gold nugget that the early miners might have missed.
Also Read: Gold Mining within the Carolina Slate Belt