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Searching for gold in our backyard…did we get rich?!

Posted By ShoutCarolina,Date: 08.24.2008

It was late afternoon, hotter and steamier than ever. Still in high spirits from our rock hunting Cowee Ruby Mine adventure, we stopped at Gold City Mine to culminate our quest with some good ole gold panning.

Gold City Gem Mine

Some boy hit the jackpot finding a 1061 ct sapphire at Gold City Mine and we wanted to do the same with the gold. Didn’t matter the whole thing happen more than 10 years ago (as shown by the People Weekly article proudly displayed outside the store… I just chuckled seeing Val Kilmer featured as heart-rob…).

Unfortunately we came short that day. Kids had to be tall enough to reach the panning table on their own. The lady told us panning it’s a tedious hour long process that young kids most likely will not enjoy. We decided to purchase ($20) a 5lbs bag of gold ore dirt instead and try our luck at home, in the shade and on our own terms.

Fast forward a month later…

Lana is ready to strike it rich
Lana is carefully gold panning

Even our puppy wants to help. They don’t call it a golden retriever for nothing!
Puppy is searching as well

Gold Finger here we come! (”No, Mr. Bond I expect you to Die!”…best Bond movie line ever…had to throw that in)
Gold finger, literally

30 minutes later here is what we ended up with: lots of mica flakes and little gold dust. No gold grains as advertised but hey we really didn’t pan by the book.


Maybe you’ll have a better luck. Here are two customized Google maps with most of the mines around Franklin and interesting family attractions in the Upstate.

Try to get rich in the always colorful Carolina mountains!

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    One Response to “Searching for gold in our backyard…did we get rich?!”

    1. “I feel lucky!” gem hunting fun at Cowee Ruby Mine in Franklin (things to do with kids near the border and Foothills Trail) « Shout About South Carolina Travel, Family Attractions and Free Things to Do Says:

      [...] Gold panning (and gem mining) at Gold City Mine located between Franklin and Sylva. May be too tedious task for younger [...]

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