Gold still being found at Reed Gold Mine
A second gold rush is on at Reed Gold Mine, historically known for its large nuggets.
The new gold is not in chunks weighing 17, 28 or 23 pounds like those found when John Reed owned the mine.
Reed recently held its 30th annual Heritage Days event when roughly 1,500 students visited the site in two days.
On April 13, a fourth-grader from Porter Ridge Elementary found a 6.2-gram nugget in his pan. Spot price with gold at $1,475 per ounce, the nugget was worth $265.50. To a collector it could be worth more.
On April 6, a high school French exchange student found a nugget weighing approximately 3 grams. A handful of nuggets in the $30 to $50 range have also popped up throughout April.
The educational panning area at Reed Gold Mine teaches visitors how to pan for gold in much the same way that the first panners in North Carolina creeks did.
For $2 per pan, visitors search through dirt (ore) taken directly from Little Meadow Creek, site of the first discovery of gold in America, in 1799.
Due to the historical significance of Reed Gold Mine no other forms of prospecting, including panning, or metal detecting are permitted anywhere onsite. Anything found in the panning area belongs to the panner.
If you did happen to find a 17-pound gold nugget at the bottom of your pan, it would be yours to keep.
Since reopening panning for the season, the mine has seen plenty of aspiring prospectors. Many have come away with at least a little color in the bottom of their pan.
Those who did not find anything learned how to pan for gold, which they could use in their own creeks.
From Salisbury to Kings Mountain is North Carolinaís major gold belt (also known as the Carolina Slate Belt). If you have a creek, there is potential to find gold.
Besides panning, Reed Gold Mine offers 1.5 miles of nature trails and a film at the museum, guided underground tour, a working original 1895 Stamp Mill and a picnic area; all for free.
Reed Gold Mine is located in southeastern Cabarrus Countyó12 miles south of Concord, 20 miles east of Charlotte, and 18 miles west of Albemarle. From Charlotte, follow NC 24/27 East to Reed Mine Road.
Reed Gold Mine is part of the Division of State Historic Sites, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, and site of the First Discovery of Gold in America, 1799. For more information, call 704-721-4653 or visit www.nchistoricsites. org/reed. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/reedgoldmine.