Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There's GOLD in them thar hills!

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!)
We all had some nuggets (specks!) in our pans. And some of us managed to get very wet.

Then we did some gem grubbing-much more gratifying!
Meme found a garnet!  


Jinjer said...

I would get claustrophobic in the tunnel...but this looks like a ton of fun!

Paula said...

This sounds sooo cool! I will have to remember this the next time we're in GA!

Kim Thomas said...

I really want to spend my summer in Georgia with the Braun's instead of in California with work.

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