New York State Gold
Although it is popular a popular belief that there is no gold to be found in New York State there are plenty of prospectors that think otherwise because they have found gold where there is none. That raises the question of where did this gold come from? The answer lies to the north. Not far over the line in Canada is one of the great gold producing provinces of the world found in Quebec and Ontario.
Although in eastern New York State there are older crystalline rocks found in the Manhattan Prong. Most of the state in mantled in a layer of sedimentary rocks ranging from the Precambrian rock of the basement of the state thru the Ordovician to Silurian rocks of the Queenstown Delta to the Devonian rocks of the Catskill delta. The only other crystalline and low-grade metamorphic rocks found in the state are the Adirondack’s in the far northeastern corner of the state.
The rocks of the Adirondacks and the Reading prong are Precambrian in age. Conversely the rocks found in the Manhattan prong are younger Paleozoic rocks. It is possible that either of these rock suites could contain pockets of lode gold. Lode gold has been reported in the neighboring states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. There is no borderline fault that should stop it from wandering into NY.
In a recent trip to the Schwangunks the author observed the caprock on these mountains that are part of the Queenstown Delta is composed of quartz conglomerate that historical geology has taught us that washed in braided river channels off the mountains located mostly in New England.
A likely place to look for this lode gold would be associated with magnetite or veins of milky quartz. Another association is with copper or lead deposits like the lead mines in Ellenville that looks right up at the crest of the Schwangunks. This has been known as a good collecting site for many years.
The probability of finding gold in sedimentary rocks appears to be pretty bleak, although gold in great quantities has been found in conglomerates of pre-Cambrian age in both Canada and in the Witwatersrand of South Africa. The Witwatersrand produces more gold than anywhere else in the world.
A similar situation appears in the Abitibi region of Québec and Ontario just north of New York State. Most of the gold that was found in the area came from ancient conglomerates as attested by a stone from one of the gold mines in front of the library in Timmins Ontario that was gold ore from one of the mines located there.
Within the past hundred thousand years York State was visited more then once by a great glacier that in places was over 2 miles thick. According to the glacial striations found in New York State this glacier swept over the Abitibi region and gouged out gold on the way that was eventually carried into New York State and deposited there. There is little placer gold to be found in Quebec and Ontario, where did it go? The obvious place was straight down to New York State.
This is undoubtedly the origin of the placer gold that is being discovered by prospectors in the area of New York State that is covered by sedimentary rocks. It was carried here by the glacier that melted out as recently as 12,000 years ago.
The Porcupine Gold Rush that took place in the early 20th century has far exceeded the production of gold that was found by the 49ers in California. This gold rush took place in what later became Timmins Ontario that is right in the heart of the Abitibi gold belt, and 600 miles from New York City. It stands to reason that the glacier would've eroded gold bearing rocks from the surface of this region, and deposited them in New York State and any gold in those rocks too!
For more information about gold mining go here!
Some of this is based on experiences of the author and doing mapping of sand and gravel deposits in eastern New York, and at least looking at the geology of a good portion of the rest of the state.
NYS Gold Site, http://nysgoldsite.com/
Geology of New York State, Hofstra University, http://people.hofstra.edu/j_b_bennington/ny_geology/
Carter, John, Cobalt & Gold in Connecticut,
Carter, John, Connecticut Gold Rushes,
Carter, John, The Porcupine Gold Rush,