Pennsylvania Gold

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Pennsylvania has a rich mining tradition for many minerals including gold. Gold is found throughout the state with the most in eastern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a long and rich tradition of mining especially for anthracite and bituminous coal as well as iron. What is not generally known however is the state is also produced a considerable amount of gold. It has a well-trained workforce of miners many of whom have a tendency to be prospectors also. Because of this some iron miners down around Cornwall have actually produced more than 40,000 ounces of gold while they were mining the magnetite iron ore.

The eastern part of the state is covered with crystalline rocks producing gold lodes as well as placer gold. This gold weathers out of the crystalline rocks and is collected in the rivers and streams of eastern Pennsylvania. This is not the only source of gold however, in the western part of the state if the last glacier failed to get into Pennsylvania there are several that probably did during the past million years. Any of these glaciers were capable of bringing gold down from Canada where one of the richest gold belts the world the Abitibi is found in Québec and Ontario. According to some geologists there have been as many as 24 episodes of glaciation that have affected the northern part of the United States in the past 2.5 million years.

Although the eastern part of the state is mostly covered with crystalline rocks that produce gold as low gold that weather is out and becomes placer gold that collects in the rivers and streams found in eastern Pennsylvania. Far from being the only part of the state containing placer gold the rest of the state has been glaciated one or more times. If the last glacier missed getting into Pennsylvania there are any number of preceding glaciers that may have. According to the geologists there may have been as many as 24 different glaciations in the past 2.5 million years. Any of these glaciers are capable of bringing gold into the state from the north.

One of the places where gold has been found is along the Susquehanna River where it has been found as both nuggets and flakes of gold. Generally Wyoming County has been a good place to look for gold as well as in the surrounding counties. In York County placer gold is associated with the deposits of diabase that make up the tops of many ridges. The action of weathering releases the gold from bedrock allowing it to migrate downhill into the streams and rivers in the area.

During the Civil War the great battle at Gettysburg was fought on some of these diabase ridges with names like Little Round Top or Cemetery Ridge. There is no doubt that the rivers and streams around the Gettysburg Battle Site undoubtedly contain gold.

Gold is often found associated with granular magnetite such as that found in Cornwall Pennsylvania near the iron mines. It should be noted that a lot of the gold found in Pennsylvania has been associated with the iron mining industry. This is not the only area where gold is associated with iron. The gold deposits of Nova Scotia, Canada are often associated with granular magnetite.

The best way to find out where the gold is in Pennsylvania is to research old newspapers and town histories. The state only keeps track of commercial mining operations and not that of individual prospectors. Old newspapers are often the source of stories about where one of the local citizens has found gold in their town.

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