Where to Find Specimen Gold in British Columbia

Crystalline gold is the single-most sought after type of gold specimen and commands top dollar at trade shows and from private collectors as well as museums throughout the world. So those of you living in beautiful British Columbia or planning on traveling there soon would be well served to do a bit of research on B.C.'s mining history and crystalline gold production, especially if you want to try your hand at a bit of recreational gold panning or placer mining.

Here is a short list of locations in B.C. known for producing specimen gold:

Zeballos Gold Camp, Vancouver Island

The Zeballos gold camp consists of a number of small quartz veins that are generally narrow and fairly uniform in width throughout their length. The largest producers were the Privateer, Spud Valley, Prident, Central Zeballos, Mount Zeballos, and White Star mines. Pyramidal crystals of gold up to 3/4" long and large masses of hackly gold as well as gold crystals up to 1/8" inch on the cube-edge have been found at Zeballos and in the surrounding area.

Gold Run Property, Pine Creek, Atlin

In the Atlin area, placer operations on Pine Creek produced many dozens of well-crystallized gold specimens. Crystal types vary, with dodecahedral and octahedral forms being the most common and wirelike, dendritic, and hopper-growth features are visible in many specimens.

Wright Creek, Atlin

Simple octahedral crystals and leaf gold have been recovered from placer deposits on Wright Creek. This creek and McKee Creek are well known for producing large nuggets as well.

Red Gulch-Mosquito Creek, Wells

Placer and lode deposits exist on Island Mountain near Mosquito Creek and Red Gulch, a tributary of Mosquito Creek. A number of crystals were recovered in a placer operation there in the early 1960s and have made their way into collections over the years. Specimens from this location exhibit sharp, elongated blades consisting of octahedral planes.

There are many other crystalline gold locations (both placer and lode) in B.C. Here is a partial list of those:

Astonisher Claim, Stirrup Creek, Gold Pan Creek, Dease Lake, Pioneer-Bralorne Mine, Goldbridge, Nickel Plate Mine, Hedley Quartz Tunnel, Van Silver's Brandywine Claims, Whistler.

So there you have it. Hopefully, if you are already in B.C. or heading that way soon, one of these crystalline gold locations is not far from you. If so, grab your gold pan and try your hand at recovering your own share of placer specimen gold.

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2008


  1. Would you know where I can find information on finding claim holders in the Atlin area

  2. I would try contacting the Canadian Gold Prospector's Forum:


    Or alternately, try the GPEX claims website:


    Hope this helps. J.R.


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