We drove up to Dahlonega yesterday to pan for gold. Dahlonega was the site of the FIRST American gold rush-before California! (The title comes from the Georgia Gold rush, although most people think it is from California.) We went to Consolidated Mines and took a tour of the old mine. There was so much gold mined in Georgia during the peak of the rush that the United States established a mint here to mint the gold into gold bricks.
Hard hats required
The tour takes you 85 feet down into the old tunnel system of the mine.
The guide did a great job explaining the ins and outs of mining and how dangerous a job it was.
You can actually see gold in the walls of the mine in the quartz vein.
There is still a lot of gold in the mine. Our guide told us that gold would have to sell around $1000 an ounce to make it worth opening the mine again. And that it's much more profitable to mine the tourists! (Gold opened yesterday at $885/ounce.)
After the tour, we tried our hand at panning for gold. (It's not as easy as it looks!)