Finding Gold in Delaware
According to a story appearing in the Philadelphia Ledger on August 2, 1896 George Edwards a farmer who lived near New Castle, Delaware found gold in his garden while he was searching for a source of fireclay. He took samples to Philadelphia to have it analyzed and was told the soil sample he brought to be analyzed contained $40.00 worth of gold per ton. In those days gold was valued at $20.00 per ounce meaning his soil contained two ounces of gold per ton.
Of all the states Delaware probably contains fewer minerals then any other state in the United States. Most of the state is composed of sand and gravel deposits along with sedimentary rocks. The only hard rock found in Delaware is a small area of metamorphic rocks in the very northwest corner of the state.
This small area of metamorphic rock may contain gold as it appears to be a continuation of the gold bearing rocks in Maryland that we have reported in www.knoji.com in the article ‘Maryland Gold.’
According to all the geologists there is no gold to be found in Delaware. The newspaper story about George Edwards can be considered a “silly season” story because the time of the year when this discovery was made is the time of year when reporters are likely to make stories up to sell more newspapers. It makes one wonder if George Edwards really existed.
That gold doesn’t exist in Delaware because at the Treasures of the Seas museum displays artifacts taken from a Spanish Shipwreck that happened in 1622 that include both gold and silver jewelry. This museum is located in Georgetown, Delaware.
Speaking of Shipwrecks there are plenty of them lying off the coast of both Delaware and Maryland. Many of these ships carried gold and other treasures aboard when they went down. Some of these ships are modern wrecks, but others date all the way back to the discovery of the new world in the early 1490s.
If gold doesn’t come from natural sources in Delaware there are plenty of other sources for gold and other treasures that are washed up by nor’easters all along the coast of Delaware. A good example of this is along Lewes Beach that is known locally as “coin beach” because of the large numbers of English copper half penny coins that have been discovered there. They were washed onto the beach from the wreck of the British ship the Faithful Steward. Most of these coins date from 1740 – 1783. Many were defaced by the Irish rebels by drilling a hole through King George’s nose.
All along the beaches of Delaware coins and other artifacts are constantly being washed ashore. Most of the coins are copper but there is a mixture of gold and silver coins being washed ashore as well. Any of these beaches can prove to be a bonanza after a winter storm for anyone equipped with a metal detector.
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