Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gold in the Southeast: Tennessee


Placer Gold in the Caney Fork

Like a number of its neighboring states (Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama), the State of Tennessee contains placer gold and presents good opportunities for the small-scale or recreational gold panner and placer miner. Here are the details:

Placer gold can been recovered in the Caney Fork River about 5 miles below Center Hill Dam. The majority of the gold recovered here has been in the form of small grains, although there have been unverified reports of placer nuggets weighing 2-3 troy ounces recovered at this location. If this is true, the area below the dam may hold great potential for more experienced placer miners.

Good Color in the Maryville Area

Some of the best areas to pan or placer mine in Tennessee are in the southeast part of the state. The main gold occurrences lie in a narrow belt of auriferous stream gravels about 50 miles long in southern Blount, Monroe, and Polk Counties along the North Carolina border. Of these counties, Monroe is probably your best bet for finding decent placer gold values.

Gold-bearing stream gravels in the Maryville area of Montale Springs contain good color, with the majority of the gold recovered in this area coming in the form of finely disseminated grains and small flakes. Additionally, nearly all the steams east of the Chillowie Mountains will produce placer gold.

Permits Needed

There is pannable gold in Monroe County along Coker Creek and along the Whippoorwill Branch of the Tellico River in Tellico Plains. Gold prospecting and panning is allowed here in the Cherokee National Forest along the lower portions of the Tellico River from Turkey Creek to the forest park boundary. Permits ARE REQUIRED in this area (stop by the local ranger station for details).

Good gold values can be found near the mouth of Wildcat Creek and in recent flood gravels. Gold suction dredges with up to 3" intakes can be used here, but again, permits are required for each individual for ALL mining activities, including gold panning.

(Gold panning on the Tellico.)

Finally, there are reports of finely grained placer gold being found at unnamed locations in Wilson County in the middle of the state. Additionally, I suggest you read the comments section below this post for input and info from other Tennessee miners.

There you have it. If you live in or near the "Volunteer State," you may want to grab a gold pan and a few crevicing tools and try your luck. Who knows, you may hit Tennessee's version of the Motherlode!

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2008

53 comments:

  1. Great, detailed information! I love seeing other bloggers sharing information about gold in the Southeast United States. Thank you for this post! I am currently trying to provide users with as much info about Southeast prospecting as possible. Check it out,
    http://goldprospectingtips.blogspot.com

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  2. Thanks for the good comments. Best of luck to you. Jim

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  3. Thanks for all the information. I live in Chattanooga TN and I believe I am going to give it a shot. You never know, just might be the lucky one!!

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  4. Go get 'em and best of luck to you! Jim

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  5. I understand there were some rumor of gold in middle Tennessee and some records of gold ore worth 16 dollars a ton in streams near the kY border back in the 1870's. Does anyone have any knowlede of such efforts? This are would have been in streams near present day Pickett County.

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  6. I suspect that you could find the info you seek via thorough research online or through state records. Or, contact one of the GPAA chapters or prospecting clubs in Tennessee. Sorry, but I have no additional info on the area you mention or the ore. Best to you! Jim

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  7. Do you think i would have a chance to find gold if i went panning in gatlinburg/pigeon forge in creeks that are coming staraight off of the smoky mountains?

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  8. It's worth a shot although I have not heard of any placer gold recovered there. Best of luck to you. J.R.

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  9. You can definitely find small amounts of gold in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River running through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, as I have been there and panned decent gold on numerous occasions. I have heard the same for the West Prong in Gatlinburg, but I have tried it myself to verify that it is true. Allen T.

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  10. Thanks for commenting and for providing this valuable info to the readers. J.R.

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  11. I have tested most of the streams in the Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg area and have found small amounts of color. Best places are on the East side of Bluff Mtn. There are many rumors of gold up in Greenbriar but that is in the Nat'l Park. I do plan on sucking out some good cracks in bedrock this Spring. contact me at
    frogalleyaviator@aol.com

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  12. You Tennessee miners take note...Steve has given you his e-mail if you have additional questions. Thanks for the comments and info Steve. J.R.

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  13. I recently found some color above center hill lake and below Burgess falls you can go to my page at http://www.facebook.com/jjfish1 you will find a few photos as well as some information on the Alaska Deal I'm working on.

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  14. Thank you for commenting and providing this info for Tennessee miners. Best of luck out there. J.R.

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  15. has anyone heard of any gold in tennesee in carter county up around watauga lake or the surrounding areas

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  16. Would anyone care to respond to this question? Thanks! J.R.

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  17. When the weather starts getting nice I get the worst urge to get the ol gold pan out and do some poking around. This Spring I plan on checking out a few areas in and around Sevier Co. A good friend of mine is a geologist and we often travel the back roads together, so I pick his brain on possibilities. I have also found wire gold in my sampling of the little stream that comes out of the Laurel Grove Golf Course in Townsend. Steve C.

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  18. Thanks for commenting and for the good info Steve. Best of luck out there. J.R.

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  19. A few friends and I are looking to do some panning (beginners). We live in Nashville. What location to prospect for gold would be closest to us?

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  20. You can find that info by contacting one of the GPAA chapters or prospecting clubs in Tennessee or doing a bit of research online. I don't know much about gold near Nashville. Best of luck, J.R.

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  21. anyone heard of any gold showing up near roane county tennesse?

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  22. Any Tennessee miners out there want to respond to this question? Thanks! J.R.

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  23. Has anyone had any luck in Jefferson County?

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  24. HAVE ANYBODY HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE CLARKSVILLE/DOVER AREA IN MIDDLE TN??

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  25. any gold in suck creek outside of whitwell outside of chattanooga

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  26. You Tennesseans care to respond? Thanks, J.R.

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  27. I've lived in smithville tn. all my life an never heard of any gold in the caney fork river.

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  28. Well it's there my friend...may not be able to strike it rich but it's there. Contact a Tennessee prospector or miner. There's a mining club or two not far away. Best, J.R.

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  29. good group of post guys. ive panned a little in sevier county and yes there is color, I live in Cocke county, has anyone ever had any luck in my county?

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  30. Any of you Tennesseans care to reply to Nick's questions about gold in Cocke County? Thanks, J.R.

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  31. what area do you prospect JR?

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  32. New Mexico and N. Calif. mostly these days Nick. Best, J.R.

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  33. oh i didnt know if u was in my neck of the woods or not. so how bout that new mexico gold? good color?

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  34. There are some good spots here, but hard to get into these days...much of the very good areas are private property these days. Take care, J.R.

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  35. i know someone said they found some color bout 5 miles from center hill damn. where bouts. its been a while sense i've been down there. around happy hollow or bettys island? or do i need to float it to find shallower spots in the river. might be makin a trip there soon. to see if i have luck..

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  36. Would one of you Tennessee miners like to answer this question? Thanks! J.R.

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  37. ive heard of center hill dam but not exactly sure of its whereabouts, i live here in east tn and may be able to help ya out. ive got a id on facebook its Nick ED. hit me up on there sometime well get ya some help id say

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  38. I HAVE LIVED IN MIDDLE TENN MOST OF MY LIFE AND ABOUT 50-60 MILES OF CENTER HILL LAKE. NO LOCAL WORD ABOUT GOLD BELOW DAM. I WOULD NOT WASTE MY TIME THERE. I GO TO EAST TENN. RETIRE AND HAVE TAKEN UP PANNING.

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  39. any word on gold near the cocke country area it is right on the N.C. border ive tried numerous creeks around here and the pigeon river comes out of N.C. lots of black sand but no luck yet I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR OF A FOR SURE WORD WITHIN A 45 MINUTE DRIVE FROM HEAR.THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY RESPONSES

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  40. Looking for the closest place to Memphis to find some color. Any ideas out there? There is not a GPAA in our area. Thanks!!

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  41. Any Tenn. miners/gold prospectors care to respond to this person's query? Thanks, J.R.

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  42. i live in smithville tn and their is a waterfall back behind my home and it seems old its down a valley anyone heard of gold in smithville Tenn??? and not many people know of this waterfall..

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  43. I think I'll let the Tenn. miners out there respond. It's been many years since I've been in the Volunteer State. Best, J.R.

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  44. I live in Claiborne County,Speedwell Tn. I have found alot of quartz rock in the creak next to my home. I don't have anything to pan with. What other clues do I look for to know if there might be gold?

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  45. Amy your best bet is to contact someone with mining and prospecting experience. Try TNgold.com. (http://tngold.com/) Best to you, J.R.

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  46. Check out cokercreekgpaa.com and go to the forum. We have lots of info on there about places to prospect and mine in Tennessee.

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  47. You folks in TN or heading that way to look for color should take note of the info that Allen has provided here. Thanks Al! J.R.

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  48. 2 small nuggets and several spider eyes found in stones river in Murfreesboro,TN the home of the Civil War battle at Stones River, Also stumbled on a few led musket bullets and 3 cannon balls that were embedded in the rock (I assume from impact) But very historical place and probably some better bedrock to pan on the smaller Creeks coming off the river! Worth a trip I came away with 9 grams in all... Happy panning!

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    1. Where in the stones river were you looking? Would love to see those cannonballs!

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    2. Where on the stones river were you looking? Would love to see those cannonballs!

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  49. I too would love to know where you're finding it! I'm a fresh prospector looking to make it a hobbit in middle tennessee. Shoot me an email if you have any spots that you're willing to give up. It's just my girlfriend and I, no big operation lol. Stephen.d.mcclanahan@gmail.com

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