Map at left shows glacial drift thickness in Illinois, any of the areas with “light blue” color could have exposed bedrock and easy access to good gold deposits. Avoid areas with more than 25ft of drift, these areas usually only produce fine gold and small pickers. Chuck L.
Info from a 1978 Illinois Geological Survey letter.
Several people report having seen gold panned from the gravel in Rock River.
Reported occurrences of gold in Illinois (SEE MAP AT RIGHT)
1. STEPHENSON COUNTY - minor gold in quartz nodules encountered in small zinc mine.
2. WINNEBAGO COUNTY - gold in sand samples from a Rockford water well.
3. LEE COUNTY - indicates gold in Rock River noted in bulletin 49.
4. LAKE COUNTY - gold in sand reported by well driller.
5. WILL COUNTY - samples of glacial outwash near Channahon reported to contain gold in assay.
6. PEORIA COUNTY - gold in sand at a depth of 60 feet in well, near Peoria.
7. CUMBERLAND COUNTY - gold from creek gravel near Greenup.
8. JACKSON COUNTY - gold reported in boulders in field near Carbondale.
Occurrence #1 was reported in the geologic literature in 1899, but commercial production was never attained and the occurrence remains a curiosity. Of the remainder, only #7 is substantiated. All but #1 and #8 appear to be alluvial deposits, either glacial outwash or modern stream gravel deposits derived from glacial materials. From these few reported finds, there is no discernable pattern of occurrence or favorable part of the state within the glaciated portion.
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Copyright 2006-2012 Charles R. Lassiter
I will be adding more as time permits. If you have any Illinois gold locations or gold photos that you would like to add please send me an email
Contributed by Tom VanVleet - “I have a friend down in ,.....well, can't remember the town, about 50 miles south of Champaign, Illinois. We did some highbanking in a creek that feeds into the Embarass river. .His first time gold hunting. We got gold colors too and he went back thru the tailings in my tub and fished out gold I had washed over the edge of my pan PLUS a possible diamond. Small,rounded, almost transparent stone,about bb size.”