Gold in Delaware

Delaware is one of the poorer states when it comes to having mineral resources, and gold is unfortunately no exception. Most of the state is comprised of sand and gravel deposits, and only a small portion of the Delaware has a metamorphic rock foundation with the potential to contain lode deposits. There is limited information about gold mining history in the state, although it certainly has been explored by gold prospectors.

To be fair, Delaware is a rather tiny state, with a landmass that is the second smallest in the U.S. In fact, you could fit the landmass of Delaware inside of Alaska over 290 times. This is worth pointing out because although the prospecting opportunities are limited here, there are several good areas to prospect in nearby states that have good areas to hunt for gold.

One such state that would warrant further investigation is Maryland, the immediate neighbor to the west. At one time there were several mines operating in the state, with peak production of over 1000 ounces of gold just prior to World War II. Gold has been found both as lode deposits and in placer deposits nearby. Even some land very close to the U.S. Capital Building was mined during the early 1800’s. These areas would still produce gold today, although access is likely to be an issue.

Virginia is another excellent state to go prospecting; many good gold producing areas are located less than three hours drive from Delaware. The peak production years in this state were over 6000 ounces of gold, so you can bet that there are still some nice nuggets left to be found.

One important consideration to remember in this part of the country is to always be sure to gain proper permission before doing any mining on private lands. Delaware and its neighboring states don’t have the extensive public lands that many of the western states have. Landowners will often grant you permission to explore their land as long as you are respectful and treat their land as if it were your own. If you are fortunate enough to find some gold, show them what you find. If it is a decent amount of gold, consider striking a deal with them on a percentage basis to allow you to keep working their land for gold. Being honest and transparent will usually work in your favor.

Delaware may not have the greatest mineral resources in the U.S., but it has been said many times that “gold is where you find it.” You never know how much gold there is until you get out your gold pan and start exploring. Good luck!

Additional Reading about Gold Mining:

Gold Prospecting in Maryland

Gold Prospecting in Pennsylvania

Start Finding Gold in the Northeast eBook

Rare Gems and Minerals in Delaware