How to Find Gold Veins & Gold Deposits in Rock Formations

find gold veins

A vein of gold located in a quartz deposit.

Most of the prospecting methods for finding gold that we discuss on this blog include panning for flakes and dust, metal detecting for nuggets. or large-scale mining.  There is another, less common method of finding gold, however: searching for gold veins that exist as deposits in exposed rock formations above the ground (usually mixed with formations of quartz).

Learning how to find gold veins is fairly simple to do, but you need to realize that veins of gold aren’t very common and can be fairly difficult to discover.  It’s possible, though, to identify formations of quartz that have embedded gold veins, extract the gold by hand, and sell the raw gold or make jewelry out of it.

Unlike placer gold deposits in creeks and streams, above-ground gold veins can’t be readily found in most states, so you’ll need to do some online research to see whether or not prospectors have found veins of gold in your area in the past.  As with gold panning and metal detecting for nuggets, you should always look for gold in places where it has been found before; a little research will quickly show you where these locations are in your state.

There are some very simple tools that you’ll need to make sure you have with you when you’re trying to find gold veins: a toothbrush, a bottle of water, a chisel and a hammer to remove any gold you find.  When you’re out in the field, be on the lookout for stretches of solid, unbroken rock, such as in cliffs, hills or spurs in the ground.

If you see veins of quartz in the solid rock, then you’ve found a good candidate for gold deposits (quartz crystals are frequently white in color, but they might also be grayish, pink or even clear).  Pour small amounts of water over the quartz deposits and gently brush it with the toothbrush to clean away dirt and mud, then examine the deposit for gold veins.  If you have a metal detector with you, you can also use it to identify whether or not gold might exist in the quartz vein.

Not many prospectors have discovered the secret of how to find gold veins above ground and make a significant profit from it as they have with metal detecting for nuggets or panning for placer flakes.  Looking for veins of gold, however, can be a fun and rewarding outdoor experience that can teach you about rock formations, geology and is a great excuse to explore local wilderness areas.