GMS     The Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.
4138 Steve Reynolds Boulevard
Norcross, GA 30093-3059

GMS Field Trip

If you have any questions about field trips send email to

GMS Field Trip
Tours and Gold
Saturday, June 30, 2018

Water level is the bane of a field trip leader’s existence. Rain and up-stream water releases can turn a great location into a cancelled or rescheduled location. In the days leading up to the June field trip, Charles was monitoring the weather and water gauges closely. It was a difficult call, but the night before the trip he decided the water level was going down and at a rate that should be acceptable for the trip. He was right. The water level was a bit high, but low enough to proceed with the trip.

GMS members Mike Pettis and Casey Sosebee went to the collecting site early that day and prepped a path to the water by weed-eating and cutting back grass and plants along the path, and they made the steps to the water safe too. They also helped Charles set up a tent with food and drinks provided by Trader Joe’s grocery store including water, juices, watermelon, cantaloupe, chips, bananas, and cherries.

The trip included 3 destinations. We started at the Chestatee Diving Bell where we learned about a curious piece of Georgia gold mining history that would have been lost to time if not for the dedicated efforts of the Lumpkin County Historical Society. The next stop was the recently renovated Dahlonega Gold Museum. The exhibits have been completely reworked and are very different from what we saw on prior trips there. Museum personnel, including GMS member Richard Harris who volunteers at the museum, were very gracious and went to great lengths to provide a tour specifically tailored to our group. Richard even gave members an exclusive peek at a fascinating fact in the museum that not all people get to see!

Our final stop was in the water for some real, out in the wild gold panning. Casey Sosebee, Mike Pettis, and John Gaston were happy to teach people how to pan and were even so kind as to offer sand they had already concentrated to other members so they could get to the gold even faster. And there was gold! Several people found some specks and tiny flakes. Nothing to retire over, but still very exciting! The sand was great too – full of dark heavy minerals that will be fun to examine later. Most of the sand will be used for educational purposes. It was hard to get people to stop long enough to refuel on watermelon and cold drinks, but they did and returned to the water refreshed and ready for more panning.

It was a fun and educational trip of many moving parts that could not have been accomplished without the help of so many GMS members. Many thanks to everyone who helped including members, property owners, museum personnel, field trip attendees who stayed safe and had fun, and of course, Charles Carter for yet another great trip.

Lori Carter
On behalf of Charles Carter, GMS Field Trip Chair
e-mail:
Photo by Lori Carter

rocks
Charles gave a brief history of the Chestatee Diving Bell
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
The recently renovated Dahlonega Gold Museum has new exhibits, like this gold assaying display
Photo by Lori Carter

rocks
Sam McDuffie, Historic Site Manager, introduced us to the museum as well as Georgia gold mining history,
then showed us a short film and answered questions.
He also put some of the museum's mineral specimens out for us to see!
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
Updated exhibits include gold specimens like these
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
rocks
The refreshment tent with cold drinks and snacks donated by Trader Joe's.
It was great place to cool off and re-energize for more panning!
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
Gold! Tiny but real!
Photo by Lori Carter

rocks
Another example of some tiny gold
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
Here's how one of the bigger flakes of gold looked in the gold pan
Photo by Lori Carter

rocks
The sand was superb too. I got samples of the heavy sand that naturally concentrated at the edge of the water,
and many people gave me their concentrated sand (without any gold) so it can be used for educational purposes.
Photos by Lori Carter

rocks
rocks
I suspect some fairies or gnomes live at this place based on this cute, mud bank dwelling mushroom
and this cool sand castle with a protective gravel wall.

Click below for field trip policies

policies
Copyright © Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.