Dating back as far as the 1800’s, miners have found gold in Fauquier County Virginia. Hundreds of mining companies applied for rights to mine the belt that runs through Virginia. One of the most famous mines was the Franklin Mines, located in Fauquier County. Using deep shaft mining, open – pit, placer, and panning, the mine produced over 1.2 million dollars of gold up until the Civil War. At one point, there were more than 300 prospects and mines in Virginia. Today, there are only a few that are commercially active, but there are amateur and hobby ones that operate on a small scale.
There is a museum in Goldvein, Virginia called, Gold Mining Camp Museum. The museum is located within the Monroe State Park in Fauquier and celebrates Virginia’s mining heritage. The Museum has been named the Official Gold Mining Interpretive Center of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The buildings at the museum re-create a typical mining camp from the early 20th century. There are free gold panning demonstrations whenever the weather permits from March through November.
Gold mines still exist in Virginia and you could find gold nuggets. If you should come across a nugget remember their value. Even small ones are worth more than they weigh. Mineral collectors, museums, rock hounds, and geology departments want them. Jewelers have numerous items they can make from them. If one would decide to sell their find, there are numerous markets to check on to get the best value.
Big Ten’s Virginia Gold Map has 200 gold mines identified using official geological records. The map shows known locations where gold has been found in Virginia. All known gold strikes have occurred within the fifteen counties listed on the map which includes Fauquier County. The mine locations for finding gold are shown within 25 miles of each site. It is clearly marked where gold has been found in the past. Starting near Fairfax County, the streak of gold mines and prospecting areas reach out approximately 140 miles. This streak parallels Interstate 95, west of Dumfries, and continues southwest into Buckingham County, to east of Lynchburg.
The Virginia Gold Map has been done in color. Information is included on how to look for gold in a stream bed. Text will also inform how to tell “fools gold” from real gold. Instructions are printed on the map detailing step-by-step how to pan for gold. These complete instructions will quickly have you panning for gold.