Ohio has many locations that you can pan for placer gold. Gold in Ohio has been left behind by glacial drifts thousands of years ago, and most of what you will find will be fairly small in size, although it is possible to find nice ďpickerĒ sized nuggets if you look in the right places.
Since there has been limited interest in the past, there are certainly areas in the state that have had very little prospecting done, so donít be afraid to try new areas. The nature of glacial gold deposition means that there could be gold literally anywhere within the state.
Though Ohio is not as well-known for commercial mining, itís a great place for local hobbyists to find success. As many mining enthusiasts know, a river or stream is a great place to go hunting for placer gold. Placer gold is accumulated over time when gold erodes from the hard rock veins and gets transported by the rushing water. Because gold is of a higher density, it sinks rapidly compared to other minerals and debris and thus forms concentrated alluvial deposits in stream beds.
This is useful to note, especially for those who are beginning their placer mining journey, because it also indicates that gold tends to accumulate in areas where water slows down. Instead of hunting the massive expanse of the Ohio River blindly, we know that gold is likely to be found on the inside curves of a river or behind large boulders. One common indicator in a gold-bearing stream is the presence of black sands, which are made up of iron oxides and are usually found together with placers.
Joining clubs will help cut down on the learning curve of how to find gold. Here are a few areas that are known to have some gold.
Scattered Glacial Gold Deposits
In Clermont County, gold can be found in Stonelick Creek and Brushy Fork
. This is one of the better known areas in the state.
Ross County has several creeks that have fine placer deposits.
Richland County also has several creeks that will produce
. As always, check the natural areas that gold want to settle including inside meanders of the creek, and behind large boulders.
Other counties worth investigating are Franklin, Hocking, Licking, and Morgan. All have reports of small amounts of gold. As mentioned earlier, gold is likely to be found in numerous areas throughout the state, many of which may have yet to be discovered.Honey Creek
produces small and fine but consistent amounts of gold since the early 19th century. It runs through Seneca County and Miami County, and is quite a popular hiking location for its scenic views. The gold-bearing areas of the creek are largely located in the Seneca half. Other bodies of water in Ohio that are known to be gold-bearing are the Clearfork River, Friends Creek and Leatherwood Creek.
A New Resource for Gold Prospectors in the Midwest!
Read More >>
Buckeye GPAA Claims
There also three private claims in Ohio that are open to gold prospectors who are members of the Gold Prospectors Association. The first of these is the 62-acre Spriggs Claim
in Scioto County. Right smack on the Ohio River, this rests in the southern area of Ohio in the town of Lucasville. Common methods of prospecting in the Spriggs Claim are either dredging or panning.
The second claim is called the Swank Claim
, located in Richland County on the Clear Fork River. The county experienced a short-lived hubbub in the 1800s when large gold flakes were found in the area. Some tried their hand at commercial mining, which didnít pan out. Placer prospecting continued, and still has successful discoveries today. Gemstones like garnet can also be found in the Swank Claim. In the rest of Richland County, gold is so fine that it requires careful panning to be recovered.
Finally, the third private lease in Ohio that is popular for enterprising prospectors is the Frazee Claim
in Knox. Sitting on a humble 21 acres of land, flakes and fine gold can also be found in Frazee. Similar to the other locations, prospectors are allowed to dredge and pan, but digging into the banks is not allowed.More about Gold in the Midwest:Rare Gems and Minerals in OhioGlacial Gold Deposits in the MidwestFine Gold Recovery MethodsGold Prospecting Articles