As one of the smallest states in the United States and the second smallest in terms of landmass, Delaware is definitely not at an advantageous position in terms of gold and other natural resources. Despite prospecting and perhaps some mining in the yesteryear, no considerable gold deposit has been found. That is even though Delaware’s neighboring state of Maryland had considerable gold mining.
Delaware does not have a lot of hard rock to show for due to its geological composition. Very few parts of the state’s geography feature metamorphic rocks which are often the prime places for lode mines. Much of the state is simply sand and gravel. Without a considerable lode deposit of gold, it is unlikely to find much placer deposits to explore as well.
Apart from the poor reserve of gold and other mineral, prospecting in Delaware is further hindered by the fact that due to its small size, it is difficult to find much empty land for panning and prospecting. Most of the potential hotspots are private properties and explicit permission is needed before prospecting.
To put it simply, you aren’t going to strike it rich here in Delaware. In fact, you probably won’t pay for the gas it takes to drive out to your favorite prospecting spot.
Even still, gold prospectors can be a persistent bunch. With some effort and determination you can find a little bit of gold. Let’s discuss some tactics below…
Tricks to Find Gold in Unexpected Places
Due to limited available land for prospecting, finding a good panning spot could be a pain. Generally, I would recommend joining a prospecting club in your state, but Delaware does not appear to have any. Neighboring states of Maryland and Pennsylvania have GPAA chapters that you might want to look into.
All of the gold found here is flour gold. Not even small flakes or dust, but truly flour gold. Capturing these tiny specks of gold isn’t easy. You need to have good panning skills and tools to be able to capture it. If you are serious then consider investing in a Gold Cube. Nothing beats it for catching tiny gold in my opinion.
Where do you go? That’s the million dollar question, and specifics are hard to find. Since there are clearly no commercial-grade gold deposits and few prospectors in the state, finding detailed information is next to impossible. I suspect that the truth is that just about anywhere will have similar results. You might find a few colors, but you are going to have to process a lot of material. Don’t expect much.
Mining in Delaware
Delaware has at least 14 mines in operation at the moment which produce iron, titanium, chromium, copper and Magnesite. To my knowledge, none of these are active anymore. Iron was the main mineral product in Delaware.
Delaware is better for rockhounding than it is for gold prospecting. You can find prehistoric fossils, petrified wood and other interesting things from time to time. If I were exploring Delaware I would probably be more interested in fossil hunting, artifacts, and metal detecting for coins and lost treasure. You are likely to have more success than you will looking for placer gold.
Delaware is a poor state to prospect for gold, there’s no doubt about it. However, it wouldn’t take much to get to a decent gold-bearing area. Consider looking in one of these nearby states if you are serious about your hunt for gold: