The United States of America is the third largest producer of gold and silver in the world, following South Africa and Australia. Nevada, specifically Northern Nevada, leads the nation in this production. The major producing counties are Churchill, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, and Pershing. Mineral, Nye, and Washoe counties also contributed historically to the bonanza of precious metals. Currently, large mining companies such as Newmont, Barrick, and Placer Dome are producing millions of ounces of gold and silver annually. Without exception, the gold that comes from these huge open-pit mines is micron sized, in other words, the gold is invisible to the naked eye, and, in fact, it is invisible with a powerful microscope.
Historically, there were the big bonanza silver camps such as Austin, Eureka, Tonopah, and the Comstock. There were also hundreds of high-grade hard rock gold mines in small mining districts such as Battle Mountain, Bullion, Central, Goldfield, National, Pamlico, Seven Troughs, and many more. These were mostly bonanza-type gold and silver mines that produced multi-ounced gold ores, usually from quartz veins.
These mines operated around the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most used primitive mining techniques such as hand-held drilling procedures, candle lighting, and mercury-amalgamated stamp mills. There were also many small placer mines that operated during that period which were revived during the 1930s. Needless to say, the old-timers did not get all the gold. If they could not see it in the rock, or pan it, the gold went out on the waste dumps. Many small prospects within these camps did in fact contain visible gold (VG). However, for whatever reason, they were not developed. Perhaps the prospects were over-looked or were too small; perhaps the mineralization was too low-grade or a processing mill not near or justified.
Then came the electronic metal detector, a new tool for finding what the old- timers missed or over-looked. In fact, new deposits were found, lode and placer, using these machines. Northern Nevada Gold (NNG) is the result of using a metal detector to locate gold specimens and nuggets, after which they are expertly processed.
This will be a dynamic site, as I replace and list new specimens. Please be aware that specific details and locations of collecting sites are necessarily vague, because I am still visiting some of these sites, and competition is intense. It is comparable to protecting the location of a favorite fishing hole! There is just so much pressure that can be applied before a site fails to produce. Some of the sites are described in more detail and are even location specific, since these sites are either exhausted, or the locations are now closed to prospecting.
Occasionally specimens of exceptional beauty, quality, and rarity, are encountered from other regional areas other than Northern Nevada. Most are from adjacent states mining districts, or goldfields, such as Idaho or Oregon. Therefore they are included on this website.
Recently, a number of very nice quartz crystals have become available. They are large, sharply edged, and nearly water-clear pieces from Northern Nevada. As you are aware, there is an association between gold and quartz; however, there is no gold in these quartz crystals. They are being offered simply as variety items.
All gold specimens are kept off-site for security reasons.