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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gold Occurrences in New York State

Although gold is known to occur in New York State a law dating back to the birth of the United States in 1776 dictates that any gold found in the state will remain the property of the State of New York. The effect of this law that is still on the books has acted as a damper on any efforts to find gold. Even if you were to find gold in your own backyard if you read the fine print on your deed you will find that gold does not belong to you but to the state. Efforts are now being made to change that law to date it is still in effect. Not only gold is affected by this law, but so is silver. Plainly the law says all gold and silver deposits found in New York will remain the property of the state. This law has been amended several times over the years allowing the finder of a gold deposit a period of several years to work his claim.

This is what gold looks like in the form of the Latrobe Nugget on display in the London Natural History Museum.
Photo by Gump Stump

Looking at a geological map of New York State it is easy to see that there are several environments in the state that are likely to contain both lode and placer gold. Probably the most likely place where you can find lode gold is in the Adirondacks, and the second most likely place is in the Hudson Highlands, and strangely enough right in New York City. These are areas in New York State where the bedrock is made up of crystalline rocks that may, or may not be the host for gold.

There is a lineation associated with the west bank of the Hudson River called Logan's line that marks the westernmost part of the Taconic orogeny. Anywhere to the east of this line it may be possible to find gold especially in the quartz veins found in the Slate belt of eastern New York along the border with New England.

This is how you pan for gold.  USGS

Two of the counties gathering attention are Columbia and Saratoga counties. Although the particulars of these deposits are not clear from examining the geology found in those counties it is apparent they are probably lode deposits.

Another potential source for gold is found in the conglomerate of both the Schwangunks and Catskills where it was weathered out of high mountain ranges that light to the east. The rocks that are found in the Schwangunks were deposited in the Queenstown Delta, and the conglomerates that are found in the Catskills were eroded from another later mountain range that light even further east. These ancient conglomerates could be the host of fossilized placer deposits similar to the Witwatersrand Reef in South Africa, the world's largest deposits of gold.

It may look like Manhattan, but there is likely to be gold under its streets.
Wikimedia Commons

There is likely to be gold found in placer deposits across the length and width of New York that were brought down by the action of continental glaciers in at least three glaciations in the past 1 million years. Immediately to the north of New York State lies the Abitibi Gold Belt of Québec and Ontario. This extends for over 500 miles from Wawa, Ontario to Val ‘Dor, Québec. The scouring action of the glacier removed any gold that was loose in the soil of these provinces and took it south to be deposited across the width of New York State.

Just to the north of the Pennsylvania State line is the terminal moraine of the last glacier. This is an area that would be no doubt be good for prospecting in the many streams and rivers that cut through the glacial deposits. The action of running water would tend to concentrate any gold that was deposited in this area by the melting of the glaciers.

The plunge pool under Niagara Falls probably contains gold if you can find a way to get it!
Wikimedia Commons

The other big terminal moraine in the state is Long Island, there is the possibility that a small amount of gold was brought down from New England by the glaciers forming deposits in the sand and gravel.

Although you may not get rich hunting for gold in New York State at least there is enough that may be found to at least see what it looks like. Maybe someday the state assembly will change the law about the possession of gold to where the average New Yorker will be able to keep any gold that he finds.  

69 comments:

  1. Excellent information, John! Very informative article !

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  2. Thanks John. Can you provide any more information on Saratoga deposits?

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  3. leave it too new york state too keep steeling from it's people will it ever end! and they ask why every ones leaving!

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    1. Amen! I thought the minerals were the peoples minerals. WE the People and the true owner is God if you believe.

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  4. Great article!
    Thank You! Whats amazing is and I suspect may be happening is. Finding large gold quantities and claiming them in states that have lax laws of prospecting and ownership!

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  5. Altho there have been about 11,000 document submitted to the secretart of state for New York claiming to have found gold there is only one well documented claim. The story goes back to a man named Truman Hurd. He lived along the hudson river and paid for everything with gold. Yes this is a documneted case. Truman Hurd actually fought in the American revolution.

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    1. Tom... I am not doubting you or arguing with you but where can this info (from the secretary of the state) be obtained? I know there was a short story written about Truman Hurd... but never seen anything to prove that it is more than short story. Do you have any links or anything to back it up? Thanks

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    2. A book you may be interested in is " The search for aderondack Gold" by Ron Johnson. March 2004. Available at amazon.com. The Story of Truman Hurd is probably true. There was a paper trail to back it up.

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    3. yes in all actuality of the matter i believe there is not mad fortune in new york but i do believe there is certainly enough gold in new york to sustain small and mid scale prospecting by far and a few acres here and there might be prosperous enough for a large scale mine. the idea that there is little gold comes from a failure to realize when this was stated recovery was inefficient for example on gold rush at porcupine creek they ran tailing from about 100 years ago. but also remember it wasn't till 1919-1920 that gold was even worth $20 now that recovery is much more efficient and gold prices are still on the rise gold mining in new york becomes a plausible thing. then a 3rd factor makes it almost attractive for people to come from out of state and try and that is because its all virgin ground almost every last acre in the state

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    4. Most of the rocks in NY are sedimentary. Very little of the states rocks are those that usually contain gold. I do think that NY should open up panning for gold. Right now the laws do not allow you to keep gold panned from the creeks. If the State of New York did open up for panning I think we would discover more gold... But NY is not in the best geographic (rock formations) are to find gold. I would love to see gold mining take off in this state.. but others have been trying for the last 200 years with out much luck.

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    5. I do stand corrected. There has been gold (probably from the glasciers) found in some creeks beds. Not alot but some. The story is seen on youtube. Please NY open up to people who want to pan.

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  6. I am here on Long Island, and in the process of building a miniature highbanker to process material and see what proability of gold there is here in our till moraine environment. There was one report of gold here on the island in a nearby town called Manorville. In the 1850 there was a somewhat productive gold mine there, so I am thinking possibly that the Peconic river may have some placer gold. I'll post a follow up pending finding anything

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  7. It strikes me the Peconic River might be a good place for looking on Long Island since the whole island is composed of glacial drift from New England. There are no surface outcrops of bedrock on the island, so all the gold found there will be placer gold.

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    1. hey geotek this is a great article it has been a real useful tool in my research but a follow up on the finger lakes and southern tier area would be awesome i believe there is a fair amount of gold out here not even close to enough for a mid or large scale mine but enough to where a small group with hand equipment can certainly go have a good time and maybe pull out a good amount of gold. waverly, owego, binghamton, cortland, ithaca, and watkins glen all have major glacial deposits in the forms of wisconsin end moraines, stratified drifts, and outwash with alluvial. there has been 2 semi known gold claims on these glacial deposits the first was the sugar hill mine outside of watkins glen which i dont know much about but there was a claim in binghamton in 1910 that was said to hold $44.50 of gold to the ton and back in 1910 gold was worth only about $19 an ounce. so in all actuality if this nys law gets changed then new york may become home to some small mining operations. well hope you enjoy the information it would cool to see another new york post ohh ps. would it shock you to know that because of the locations of gravel pits in tioga and broome counties there well you can sometimes pan the material from the sides of paved roads and actually find some gold yep shoulda seen the look on my face im still waiting to test it so dont start tearin up roads yet. but yes this has made me pretty sure there is some decent placer deposits in the area...

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    2. How can we get the law changed ? Its stupid we are the only state that has that dumb law !!!

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    3. please send me a email th3r0nr18@gmail.com I have a couple ideas now to make it happen first we need to establish contacts with the community who want it changed next we need to establish a means of organization and communication and then we build support and define how to mine our responsibilities to the environment and standards and ethics that the law and one another can hold each other to uphold

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  9. I live in upstate ny near Binghamton, where would be the most likely place to look for gold along the PA border in small streams/rivers or just out in the middle of a valley carved out by a glacier. Would a older dryed out stream be a good place too? Thanks just thought maybe something me and my son might try on the weekends.

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    1. the creeks by the oakdale mall might be a good place to start

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  10. From what I understand there is some gold to be found out there in New York. We are in California (American Prospector Treasure Seeker - www.aptsgold.com) and we have several customers who purchase gold prospecting equipment from us in the state of New York. It's a great family hobby to be involved in, I say get out there with the family and do some diggin' and find yourself some color! Happy Diggin!

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  12. Anyone hear about any gold around lake George ny

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    1. yes there has been gold found historically in edinburg, day, thurman, warrensburg,chestertown and cornith near the actual town of lake george is big hollow road and prospect mountain road... i would start there or on the other side of the lake shelving rock road also looks good enough to try good luck

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    2. Hey - wow, I'm from Edinburg, and I have heard some OLD stories of local gold... do you have any more info?? My Grandparents grew up in Day, which is now underwater...

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  13. Where is the quartz vien found in the slate belt located in eastern new york

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    1. between pawling, ny and warwick,ny around peekskill is your best bet

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  14. I live in upstate Duanesburg NY, near Albany NY. I have Normans Kill Creek in my backyard. Whats the chances there is gold to be found here?

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  15. I live in millport right near walkins glen and you would be surprised whats in them creeks

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  16. I found gold in near the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County as a child. Stuck in a large Quartz Crystal. Really amazing.

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  17. I live in the Mohawk valley near the well known Herkimer Diamond mine. I have a aspberger child would be great hobby to get him in to.

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  19. Theron Reese, I live in Cortland and have been extremely interested in a prospecting hobby. I just now found this thread an now I'm ever more excited .... Where and what types of areas would be a proper starting point to begin this journey? I am a driveway paver by trade so digging is in my nature ....lol. I am ready to buy the needed supplies to start exploring. I definitely need to start becoming educated to the do's, don'ts, what's and where's .... any educated help and advice will be happily accepted !! I can provide my email or other communications if needed! Thank you.

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    1. th3r0nr18@gmail.com please send me an email sorry the years delay in response I'll see what help i cant provide!

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  20. I would like to let everyone know that there are gold mines in Upstate NY. I KNOW THIS because I was fortunate enough to have a grandfather who had discovered one of the lost mines in the Adirondack mountains. He decided to share the where abouts of it with me just before he had past. I wasnt really sure what to expect when I visited the location and not quite prepared for what I found. Simply amazing. so for those of you that have their disbeliefs, toss it aside. But like mentioned on this site, NY STILL HAS THE LAW laying siege to all precious metal. But even with that it is still amazing to be apart of something I might only be the last person to know of this LOST MINE.

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    1. It would be cool to check it out as I live at the base of the Adirondacks.

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    2. There is a creek at the bottom of prospected Mt. try there.

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    3. Okay, so it is illegal to keep any Gold that you find in NY. So if you find some Do you report it and if you do, what does the State do? I would imagine that they will force you to turn it over to them. That's fine, but is there any record of you doing that? Is there any record of how much Gold is turned over to the state and what is done with it? Is it thrown in the garbage? Is it used to give the State assembly and Senate elected officials bonuses for denying laws that would make Gold Prospecting legal? If the people that can't have it, then who can. Is there any reason why an accounting of seized Gold can't be public record and why that Gold can not be added to a public fund to add to Education and reduce taxes, build bridges and tunnels and improve transportation in general.

      Imagine the headlines if that is done,
      Eureke, NYS distributes seized Gold Fortune to improve quality of life.. .

      So claim stakers, it's time to demand a public accounting of how seized gold is used and to whose benefit? Even if the fruits of mining are distributed to the public benefit, at least there will be some purpose and knowledge as to what they are being used for and to who's benefit.

      Bruce

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    4. People have to get together and with the News there get the dam law changed!!!!We are the only state that has that law!!!! Its stupid We have to go to the STATE CAPITOL and bitch about it

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  21. I was told by an old timer of a gold mine in the Allegany state park near Salamanca New York.I have been to this site and did find what looked like the entry to a mine that had collapsed in the side of a very steep hill.It was exactly where he said it would be.was there ever a gold mine there that you know of or could he be making this story up.you can actually see where there was a dirt road going through the woods rite to this site.any info would be useful.thanks.

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    1. Hello, Daniel ~
      The reason I found this site was that I was poking around to see if anyone else had heard of a gold mine in or near Salamanca. I went to Salamanca High School long ago, and in a series of classes on the history of Salamanca our teacher, our social studies teacher, a Mr. Sexton, told us of a small gold mine on South Mountain - or that is what I think it was called anyway. There was a narrow gauge railway up there, too. I once saw a small section of the railway remnants while up on the mountain when I was in 7th or 8th grade. This was back in the 1960s. (Graduated in 1970)

      He didn't have much more to say, other than the mine ceased being profitable. But whether due to being played out, or due to the changing costs of mining and price of gold, I don't know.

      I hope this helps you.

      James

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    2. I would love to see this Daniel . I live in Salamanca and work in ASP

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    3. I would love to see this Daniel . I live in Salamanca and work in ASP

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  23. i live in newburgh ny and have a stream on my property..do you think i have chance of any gold in it..it has a 30 foot drop to the stream where i can see bedrock

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    1. try it. it's fun if nothing else

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    2. Try it cant hurt look for white Quarts or if you see an area where you see like rust on the rocks dig some of the dirt out and panit.

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  24. I am a Game Warden in Saint Lawrence County, I have heard some rumpors of small mines here. Any truth? Thanks :)

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    1. Sent a chat request to your google account, or email me at th3r0nr18@gmail.com
      I think we could have some productive conversations if you have the time, thanks!

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  25. Theres lots of gold in n.y.get a pan and try it.u may just get gold fever though.

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  26. Lets get together and get the NY law changed about keeping what you find!!!!!! there is gold here.

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  27. I live in Southern Dutchess County. I have been scouting around looking for areas to prospect.. Any ideas?

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  28. I live in Brewster NY where there are Coal Mines are there any neighboring Gold Mines?

    Also with regards to NYC would there be any Gold in Central park?

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  29. Try the creeks that come from VT. or along the NY PA border creeks.

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  30. I have also heard of someone pulling out gold ore from the Ader. Pounds over the years!!! but not sure of the area .

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  31. I live a few miles south of Conesus Lake. I have been out panning a few times now.
    Now I will NOT say there is or is not gold in my area. I am trying to teach myself how to find gold. I started with a metal wok my neighbor was throwing out and then upgraded to a plastic soup bowl (Don't judge me haha) until my actual pans and classifier came in from amazon. I can tell you so far I have not found anything big. I may have found what I like to call Micro Gold Flour, but I have no clue if it is actual gold or not.
    Has anyone heard or found gold near Conesus Lake? Does anyone even live near me that looks?
    I will post updates if I ever find anything. In the mean time I will just keep having fun out back in the creaks.

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  32. Hi, I'm new to this site but, and sorry about the newbie questions, how do you start to pan for gold? I live less than 5 miles from the site in 1910 where CB Abel tried to get permission to open a gold mine in Binghamton. Not that I'm about to go digging in people backyards, but there is a small creek running through that area (not to mention this place is about 10ish mines from the PA border and there are TONS of small creeks running through the hills here). What do I need? Never even seen panning done before. How do you do this? YouTube? Any suggestions?

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    1. Okay!to start i would try to get the following...
      1-3 1 gal milk jugs and a half gal jug... these are a handy thing to have for a few reasons, they have handle, if you cut the tops off correctly they can be stacked, the half gal also makes a great scooping tool.
      1-3 Planters(the ones you get plants in when you buy them) make sure they are the correct size to fit your gal milk jugs and try to get ones with the same size holes and get one with larger and one with smaller holes, 1/2" 1/4" 1/8" holes work well.
      you can buy a couple gold pans online for under $10 the blue ones with two types of ridges are what i prefer i also have a hex pan which costs more it also has the two types of ridges and works very well.
      There is a bucket list of hand tools and digging tools that come in handy a set of garden tools is a must same with a small shovel. here is a odd list of others: flat head screwdrivers, crowbar, a pickaxe, hammer, the list goes on...
      other useful things to have is a magnifying glass and/or a x10 loupe, a magnet, a snuffer bottle or two is a must!!, a piece of window screen, and a set of work or garden gloves is a must... that should atleast get you sarted. as for how to and where at i will post more tomorrow please send me a email th3r0nr18@gmail.com trying to form a community and hopefully get the laws changed! Thanks!

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  33. Sorry about the typo's... fast typing + auto correct = ugly!

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    1. GOOGLE How to pan for gold there is alot of ikfo. for it!!! Good luck Becky

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  35. Hey r u looking for gold paydirt then
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  36. Hey i saw your stuff really nice but i know one good and best for everyone Carolina Paydirt offers gold prospecting supplies and gold paydirt unsearched from the gold mines of North Carolina.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sorry I have not checked back on this site in a few years now and sadly my computer broke and I lost a lot of my information, research, and resources I have been compiling but for what I lost on my computer I have learned ten fold in the field. since I started my research in 2011 I have done it for the enjoyment and knowledge but now that I know the only way to be able to satisfy my passion, dignify my research, and well make a lifes research into making a lifes living is to now focus on the law I hope to hear from many of you soon I ask if you would like to see the law changed to reply on here and furthermore email me at th3r0nr18@gmail.com so we can organize to change it I want to set a goal that by this time next year we have a fully detailed proposal being voted on.

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  38. I am all for working to get this stupid law changed. The Constitution reads, and I quote, "We, THE PEOPLE", not 'We, the government" as politicians at all levels of gov't (Federal, State, and Local) thinks it reads. For far too long, We, The People have let them use this handicap (not being able to read or understand simple concepts)to control just about every aspect of our lives and it has to stop. We, as Americans, have an obligation to keep these _________(left blank intentionally)in check and under control, and lately, it seems nobody wants to do their part in doing just that. It will take more than one or two people to push this issue but if we work together, we can do it. I think we should all start writing letters and calling our senators and congressmen repeatedly until they do change this idiotic law (and start understanding that we control them, not the other way around)!! Add my name to any list of people willng to take this to Albany (or farther if needed) to fight for a change.

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  41. Any good places to find gold in Greene County?

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