Gold Occurrences in Missouri

The only part of Missouri where gold is found is in the counties bordering the Missouri River where gold was brought down from Canada by the glaciers.  The gold was left behind when the last glacier melted about 12,000 years ago.  Whatever gold is found is extremely, what miners call flour gold that won’t support a commercial operation, but is a lot of fun to find anyways.

This is gold found in terminal moraines that formed where the glacier was continuously melting in one place that are recognized by their hummocky appearance and many sand & gravel deposits. The Gold deposits are often accompanied by diamonds that are more likely to be found in payable amounts throughout the areas where glaciers once trod.  Diamonds are another example of the many riches brought down from Canada by the glaciers.

Gold is found as panable deposits along the sand bars that line the Chariton River and its tributaries.  It has also been found at Kirksville in Adair County in sand and gravel deposits. In Macon County there are two areas containing gold one of these is near the town of Elmer where gold is found in Murray Gulch.  Around the town of Gifford gold has been discovered in glacial deposits.

A group being taught how to pan for gold. 
The advice given by many geologists is not to spend too much time looking for gold in Missouri because you will be wasting your time.  That doesn’t mean that Missouri is bereft of minerals because there are mineral deposits scattered throughout the state.  The area around Joplin used to be the scene of extensive deposits of lead and zinc.  These mines are now closed, but there are plenty of mineral specimens to collect in the area.