Finding Gold in Missouri
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Finding Gold in Missouri

There is little gold to be found in Missouri. Gold was brought to the state by glaciers from Canada.

Gold is found in small amounts in the northern counties of Missouri that was brought these by the periods of glaciation that occurred during the past million years. These deposits aren’t native to Missouri, but were brought down from Canada by glaciers. The gold is extremely fine and wouldn’t support a commercial operation. They would be suitable for recreational prospecting though.

The same gravel deposits that hold gold are apt to hold diamond crystals from the same Canadian source. Gold and diamonds can be found in sand and gravel deposits. Diamonds are more likely to be found in payable amounts especially in the terminal moraines throughout the glaciated area. Terminal moraines are recognized by their hummocky appearance and the presence of sand and gravel pits.

Gold has been found in several areas of Adair County near Kirksville in sand and gravel deposits. It is also found in the Chairiton River and its tributaries. The gold is found in pannable deposits along the sand bars lining the river.

There are two areas in Macon County where you can find gold in Missouri, One of these locations is near the town of Elmer where gold can be found in Murray Gulch and in the sand bars found along the length of Sand Creek. Another area north of Murray Gulch gold is found in the glacial deposits in the area around the town of Gifford. Gold is also found in the bed of Chairiton River where it flows through the county.

The Chariton River also flows through Schuyler County and like the other counties it crosses the sand bars and associated sand and gravel deposits are gold bearing. The best advice given by several geologists is not to spend much time looking for gold in Missouri because you are apt to be wasting your time.

That doesn’t by any means mean that Missouri is bereft of minerals because there are plenty of others to find that are scattered throughout the state. One area that has produced lead and zinc was the southwest corner of the state. Although the mines are now closed there are still plenty of mineral specimens that can be collected.

A great deal of information about mineral localities in the state can be had by contacting the Geology and Land Survey, Division of Natural Resources at Rolla. Many of their publications and other material can be bought online by visiting

For more information about gold mining go here!

Division of Geology and Land Survey,

Gold Locations in Missouri,

Additional resources:

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Comments (4)

interesting write-up.

awesome! Next time I'm in Missouri...

Bet I can prove you wrong. 

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