We’ve talked about gold being found in small quantities at Lake Superior before, and with that come the believers, the finders, and the pooh-poohers. Some people still don’t believe gold can be found at our Great Lakes, and others feel like “so what? It’s not enough to get rich on!”

Well, they’re probably right, but that’s not the point. The point comes in the excitement, fun, panning, discovery, and eventually finding these little specks of gold. Depending how long you want to keep prospecting, you could possibly make a few bucks, but yeah, not enough to live on.

If you’re in the Upper Peninsula along the shores of Lake Superior, look for areas of black sand…here’s where you could find some gold specks. The news of finding this gold has been ignored by the majority of people, since they figure it’s too difficult to find and not enough to be worth their while.

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But that mindset is slowly changing. The search for gold in upper Michigan has gained new interest and more Michiganders – and Wisconsinites – are scouring the black sands of Lake Superior.

Where did this gold come from? Thanks to the glaciers all those thousands of years and Ice Ages ago, raw ores that contained gold traveled here from Canada to Michigan and all over the upper Midwest. Once the glaciers began melting at a rapid pace, these fragments of gold were washed up and settled on our lake shores by the never-ending, relentless waves of Lake Superior.

Remember, if you want to give it a try, always look for the black sand to pan and prospect. The most common way is to use a gold pan, but there is also a Gold Cube, a shaker table, and automatic panning. You won’t find rocks, stones or nuggets, but you may find little tiny specks of gold in your pan…save up enough of these and you can either display them, or you might have enough to cash ‘em in for a pound of hamburger.

The gallery below shows what a typical, determined gold prospector can find...

Gold Found at Lake Superior


Abandoned Silver Mine, Lake Superior

Abandoned Unknown Mine, Upper Peninsula

Old Michigan Shipwrecks, Early 1900s

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