Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Where Is Gold Found?

by James Nottage, Eiteljorg chief curatorial officer | Mar 16, 2015

Letter sheet_image01
Miners Weighing Their Gold,
ca. 1855
Image courtesy of Richard Rogers

Gold has been found throughout the world and in nearly every state, including Indiana. In the 1960s, submicroscopic gold began to be processed from ground where it was essentially invisible. Modern technology makes it possible to extract such minute quantities. Historically, gold has been found and processed from different settings and in different forms. Gold can be in the form of timeworn nuggets, grains like sand, in crystal forms, and embedded in quartz and other minerals.

The yellow markers on the map below indicate significant gold strikes in the United States dating back to 1828.

Gold_ map of North America

Map of North America, 1849
Charles Smith
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division; G3300 1849 .S6 TIL

A Few Terms 

Alluvial deposits consist of clay, silt, sand, gravel, gold, or other mineral or unconsolidated material deposited gradually over time by flowing water. 

A bar is a bank of sand, gravel, or other material at the mouth of a river, or similar gold-bearing material in the slack portion of a stream. Individual bars sometimes bear colorful names such as Rich Bar or Indian Bar.  

Gold placers are areas of sand or gravel containing gold nuggets and/or coarse, medium, fine, very fine, and the almost powdery flour gold. Placer mining is done by washing dirt from the deposit to separate the heavier gold from the other materials. 

High grade refers to especially rich ore or to selectively mining the best ore in a deposit.  

A lode is a mineral deposit (gold) in solid rock. 

A matrix is the rock that contains the lode (minerals or ore).

Veins are fissures, faults, or cracks in a rock filled with minerals that have traveled upward from some deep source in the earth.




  1. 2 Edith D. Smith 24 Mar
     thanks for sharing good article.

     shakeel rehmat.
  2. 1 Marie D. Merritt 24 Mar
    this is very good for read.

        tahir prince.


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