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State Mineral of North Carolina: Gold

Panning for gold at Reed Gold Mineby Michelle Czaikowski and Amy Kemp
NC Government & Heritage Library, 2017

See also: North Carolina State Symbols and Official Adoptions main pageNorth Carolina Gold Rush, Gold in the Uwharries

On June 23, 2011, gold (Aurum) became North Carolina's official state mineral. (Session Law 2011-233)

Selection as State Mineral

The bill was initially introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown of Onslow County on behalf of a fourth-grade class at Clyde Erwin Magnet Elementary School. While a majority of senators were in favor of the adoption, four voted against the bill, citing the opposition of other mineral industries, such as quartz and feldspar, in their constituencies.

At least two other states have designated gold as their state mineral - Alaska and California.

About Gold

The discovery of gold by a twelve-year-old boy in 1799 in Cabarrus County started North Carolina's gold rush. The boy's name was Conrad Reed, and the location developed into the Reed Gold Mine.

Following the discovery, North Carolina remained the only gold producing state in the union until 1828, and the top producing state until the California gold rush of 1848.

While other minerals such as pyrite and yellow mica can be frequently mistaken for gold, the mineral has several defining characteristics. It is soft, measuring a 2.5-3 on the Mohs scale of hardness, but is also a heavy mineral, with a 19.3 specific gravity when pure. Unlike pyrite, gold extremely pliable and can be molded into sheets without breaking. It is also largely insoluble, only breaking down in a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid.

References and additional resources:

Ballew, Sigrid and Jeff Reid. 2000. "Gold in North Carolina."  North Carolina Geological Survey Web site. Online at Accessed 12/2010.

Leslie, Laura. 2011. "Senate okays gold as state mineral." 5/23/2011. Online at: Accessed July 2011.

Reed Gold Mine, NC Historic Sites, NC Department of Cultural Resources. Online at Accessed 12/2010.

Resources on gold in North Carolina in libraries [via WorldCat]




this is fun


Why is gold an Important state mineral



This article on the NC Gold Rush might help.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Librar


why is the pichure not avalibal when I click on it.


Avalibal is available and picture is picture.just saying to correct you so other people know what you are saying ok ;)


The photograph is linked to the North Carolina Historic Site: Reed Gold Mine website. I am sorry for the inconvenience . Please let us know how else we can help you.

Francesca Evans, Government & Heritage Library


so cool that a 12 year old did it


The State Mineral Is EMERALD (Nc)


Wrong it’s state precious stone.

I don’t know why it’s called that.
:) :) ;)


Yeah it is called the precious stone.
I also don't know why it's called that?

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