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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gold Occurrences in Germany

The history of gold mining in Germany goes back to Neolithic times long before the Romans with the discovery of many gold artifacts dating back to that time. Although gold mining pre-dates the Roman Empire the first serious mining for gold in Germany was done by the Roman miners. The problem is identifying the places where gold was by in prehistoric times. From the discovery of objects made from gold it becomes quite obvious that during the second phase of mining in the Middle Ages was the time when much of the gold in Germany was produced.

The area around Neusschwanstein Castle may be gold bearing.

It was during the same period that the first book on mining was published by Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer), “Re de Metallica” that laid the foundation for the modern study of mining engineering, and still finds use as a historical reference book. It was during this period that Nuremburg rose to prominence as a mining and smelting center.

The discovery of the New World by Columbus in 1492 saturated the European market with gold so that the search for gold in Germany or Europe languished from that day on. Most of the Golden Germany is found in volcanic and metamorphic rocks of pre-Cambrian age. Other sources of gold in Germany can be placer deposits in the stream gravels of various streams and rivers. They are also found in what are considered fossilized gravel deposits of Paleozoic age especially in the foreland north of the Alps.

The Crown of Bavaria that could be made from German gold.

Another area of interest is the Mesozoic aged kupferschiefer deposits that occur in sandstone in veins up to a meter thick where the gold occurs as a byproduct of the copper sulfides found in these deposits. In this case the gold often occurs as a thin film between the crystals of the sulfide minerals.

Most of the evidence for gold comes from the discovery of pre-Colombian artifacts that are discovered during archaeological digs. At this point it appears that the number of gold deposits as large, but gold itself is sparse. There is a pretty good chance that more gold deposits may be discovered by a program of exploration using modern equipment and methods.

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