Click the locations report tab on the left for Gold Prospecting including lost treasure locations in Wisconsin. We are the number one site on the net for information on Recreational Gold Prospecting and Metal Detecting in the state of Wisconsin.
We also have info about prospecting equipment, panning for gold, gold pans, dredging for gold, gold mining, treasure and clubs including the L.D.M.A G.P.A.A and local Recreational Gold Prospecting clubs and chapters Located in Wisconsin and all around the United States.
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Dan Fagnan's friends think he's "a fruit loop" for panning for gold near his home in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, but when the amateur prospector recently scooped up a 1.22-carat diamond, his unusual hobby finally paid off.
As Fagnan told the Pierce County Herald, he initially thought the irregularly shaped transparent stone was a piece of glass. He found it in a wet pile of sand and rocks excavated from 120 feet below the surface by a friend who was digging a well and invited him to sift through it. Fagnan had hoped to find a few tiny flakes of "Wisconsin gold," which isn't worth much. When he found the interesting stone instead, he took it to jeweler Karen Greaton in New Richmond, to find out what he had dug up.
Greaton thought it might be moissanite, or silicon carbide, but after tests and a consultation with a mineralogist, she was convinced it was indeed a diamond.
“My dad told me it’s unlikely to find a diamond here, but diamonds can actually be found anywhere in the world,” Greaton told the newspaper, noting that what was once considered nature's hardest substance is often formed near volcanoes. She said it's possible the Wisconsin rock was pushed south from Canada during the Ice Age.
Fagnan has asked Greaton to set the stone in a necklace for his soon-to-be-born child.
Gold Trails, a new TV show produced by the Gold Prospectors Association of America, promotes the lifestyle of the prospector. Host Kevin Hoagland travels the country working with local prospectors and equipment manufacturers in search of the next big gold strike.
Information on gold prospecting in Wisconsin from the DRN
Panning for gold and rock collecting on the Chequamegon-Nicolet
The collection of minor amounts of rock samples and gold panning as a recreational activity is allowed on National Forest land, but is strictly limited in the type of collecting activity and intensity of activity allowed. Recreational rock collecting and gold panning activities do not grant any rights to any discovered valuable mineral deposits. The 1872 General Mining Law does not apply to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest lands.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest authorizes recreational mineral collecting, such as panning for gold or rock collecting without the need for a permit. Gold panning is only allowed with the use of small hand tools (pan, small shovel, and hand pick). Occasional recreation panning, for an individual or group is limited to extremely small areas of stream disturbance: A few scattered areas of less than 1 square foot and totaling less than 40 square feet within a 500 foot segment of a stream and would occur less than 5 days per year. The Forest does not issue permits for more substantial recreational collecting. The use of suction dredges, any type of motorized equipment, mercury or any kind of chemical, and sluice type devices is prohibited.
Gold panning activity is not permitted in classified trout water before April 15th and after September 15th. You must also avoid disturbing fish spawning nests. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has the responsibility and jurisdiction concerning water quality. Past contacts with the WDNR have indicated that occasional recreational panning with no equipment other than small hand tools (pan, small shovel, and hand pick as defined in Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 345.03(8)) would not have substantial effects on water quality and a permit would probably not be required.
Recreational rock collecting or "rock hounding" means the collecting of surface rock samples without the need for digging tools or surface disturbance. Rock hammers or geo-picks are allowed for use to break off small hand samples from larger rock outcrops or surface boulders.
Digging for Quartz Crystals is prohibited at a specific historical quartzite crystal collecting area known as "Quartz Hill", located in Oconto County, north of Townsend and a 1/4 mile east and northeast of the junction of FR 2123 and State Highway 32. This area has had unauthorized digging activity that has resulted in adverse visual and environmental impacts. You may collect small amounts of surface rock samples but may not do any kind of digging or other surface disturbance.
The Forest Service needs to know the locations and dates of your proposed recreational panning or rock collecting. Please contact the individual below in advance of this activity. Contact Greg Knight, Forest Geologist, Medford-Park Falls Ranger Station, 850 N. 8th, Hwy. 13, Medford, WI 54451, 715-748-4875, ext. 26, or email [email protected]
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Coker Mine No. 1 Livingston, Wisconsin Martin Mine Benton, Wisconsin Martin Mine - Benton, Wisconsin. Biddick Mine - Livingston, Wisconsin Montreal Mine - Montreal, Wisconsin - 1888 Illinois Iron Mine - Larue, Sauk Co., Wisconsin Germania Mine - Hurley, Gogebic Range, Wisconsin Cary Mine - Hurley, Wisconsin Frontier Mine - Benton, WI Plummer Mine Headframe - Montreal, WI Montreal Mine - Montreal, Gogebic Range, Wisconsin Montreal Mine - Montreal, Wisconsin
Lead ore was the first metal ore mined in Wisconsin, followed by zinc and iron. Although southwestern Wisconsin is best known today for its rich farmlands, place names such as Mineral Point, Hardscrabble, New Diggings, Black Jack and Lead Mine evoke an earlier time when local mines produced much of the nation's lead. In the early nineteenth century, Wisconsin lead mining was more promising and attractive to potential settlers than either the fur trade or farming. Its potentially quick rewards lured a steady stream of settlers up the Mississippi River and into Grant, Crawford, Iowa, and Lafayette counties in the early nineteenth century. By 1829, more than 4,000 miners worked in southwestern Wisconsin, producing 13 million pounds of lead a year.
During the 1820s, lead was discovered around the Fever River (now the Galena River), in northwestern Illinois. By 1828, mining had spread north into southwestern Wisconsin, where more extensive lead deposits were found near Mineral Point and by 1829, more than 4,000 miners worked in southwestern Wisconsin, producing 13 million pounds of lead a year. By the mid-1830s, news of the “lead rush” in the Upper Mississippi Valley had reached all the way to Cornwall and a steady stream of skilled, hard-rock miners began to filter into Mineral Point. The Mineral Point, Wisconsin land office was opened in 1834.
In 1850, about 7,000 of the 27,000 British immigrants in Wisconsin were Cornish. Records show that by 1850, some 6,000 Cornish immigrants were living in the counties of Grant, Iowa and Lafayette in Wisconsin. Lead mining in the area went into decline during the 1850s, and many of the Cornish moved on to the copper mines of Upper Michigan and the gold mines of California. It is recorded that during the period, some 700 people left for California from Mineral Point. On one particular day, 60 wagons left, all headed west.
Using new technology in the 1850s, miners began to extract zinc ore from deposits where it was found with lead. For a short period of time in the 19th century, Mineral Point had the largest zinc smelter in the world.