Where to Find Gold in Georgia: Nugget Panning, Prospecting, Mining

where to find gold in georgia

Old-time prospectors pan for gold in Georgia in the 1800’s.

Although Georgia was the first place in the USA to experience a full-fledged gold rush back in the 1800’s, most people in America think that California was the original strike-it-rich state.  The truth is that people were concerned with where to find gold in Georgia years before they knew that California was rich in gold itself.

Georgia’s gold rush stared way back in 1828, and there are hundreds and hundreds of locations in the state still listed in government records as having been places where gold was extracted.  Today, those Georgia locations (and many others) still offer lots of opportunities for amateur gold prospecting, gold panning and metal detecting for gold nuggets.

In fact, there are still locations in the mountains of North Georgia where you can go to now-closed gold mines to pan for flakes and nuggets.  As we’ve said before on this website, the best place to find gold is in locations where you know it has already been found . . . and you can find plenty of places like this in the mountains of Georgia . . . in creeks, streams, rivers and old mines.

Lumpkin County is still the area in Georgia that produces the most gold today, and it was the spot where gold was initially discovered back in the early 19th century.  Gold continues to be found across north Georgia, though, in dozens of different counties that are part of what is called the Dehlonega Gold Belt.

georgia gold panning prospecting

Gold flakes found by an amateur prospector panning in a Georgia stream.

With a little simple online research, you’ll be able to identify dozens of possible locations for gold panning in Georgia, but there are a few spots that are famous for recreational prospecting.  At the Crisson Gold Mine, amateur prospectors can mine for gold just like thousands of tourists have done since the location became publicly accessible back in the 1960’s.

The Crisson mine is located in Dahlonega, Georgia, and it has mining, prospecting and panning opportunities for both beginners and experienced gold prospectors.  You can buy a bucket of quartz and pan it for gold, or even operate one of the gold mining machines that are accessible at the mine.  They also have a great old museum of antique mining tools, equipment and old-time prospecting history.

Other well-known locations to find gold in Georgia include Dehlonega’s Consolidated Gold Mine, and the Dukes Creek Gold Mine in Helen.  Both of them offer great opportunities for finding gold whether you’re just starting out with prospecting or you’re an experienced old-timer.

Georgia is one of the best places in America to find gold, and it has been for hundreds of years.  If you’re serious about prospecting for gold nuggets and flakes, you should make a point of taking a trip to Georgia to experience panning in the state that saw the first American gold rush.