Consolidated Gold Mine Blog

Dahlonega “Rich” in History

Dahlonega “Rich” in History

Many of you know Dahlonega as being the site of the first US Gold Rush, but what other “nuggets” (see what we did there…) of history remain unknown? For starters, there’s the name itself, Dahlonega. Pronounced Duh-Lon-uh-guh, the name actually derives from the Cherokee word “Dalonige” which means “yellow” or “gold”. So it is no surprise that the town would be named for the gold that was found here. As a result of the gold rush, the United States built a branch mint right here in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Mint was established in 1838 and only minted gold coins. The coins were minted in the denominations of $1.00, $2.50, and $5.00. The $2.50 coins were known as a “quarter eagle” and the $5.00 coins were known as a half-eagle. For a short time during the year of 1854, a $3.00 coin was also minted. With more than $6 million worth of gold coins minted, the branch was shut down in 1861 due to the Civil War. The gold rush in California was in its prime during this time and the branch mint built in San Francisco as a result was producing the national needs of mint production. Because of the mint in San Francisco, the Dahlonega branch was never reopened. The Consolidated Gold Mining Company was set up in response to a new wave of gold interest in the early nineteenth century. The largest gold-processing plant east of the Mississippi River, the Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mining Company was a four-story mill with 120 stamps. Consolidated Gold Mine is still open today for tours and mining! Another little-known fact is... read more
8 Things to be Thankful for in Dahlonega

8 Things to be Thankful for in Dahlonega

With the holiday season upon us it is time to take a moment and reflect on some of the things that we are most thankful for. And when you are in a place like Dahlonega, that’s not hard to do at all. 1. Mountains There’s no denying that living in the mountains of north Georgia is unlike anything else. We are especially thankful for our mountains this time of the year as the leaves begin to change and color the hills in brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and even gold. 2. Friendly Faces Dahlonega is a town full of talented and kind people. Whether you’re eating at a restaurant on the square, attending a sporting event at the college or helping out a local charity, you are sure to be greeted by smiling faces and southern manners. 3. “Rich” History Being the site of the first U.S. Gold Rush means one-of-a-kind attractions and places like Consolidated Gold Mine that always offer a fun and educational experience for residents and visitors alike. 4. Partiotism As home to one of the senior military colleges in America, there is no shortage of patriotism in this small town. Retreat playing at 5 o’clock every afternoon, men and women in uniform marching in parades, and white crosses with the American flags that line the streets twice a year; there is no doubt that Dahlonega is proud to be American. 5. Music There is no shortage of musical talent in Dahlonega. With several music venues and live music every weekend, we are thankful for those who share their song with us and give us a reason to... read more
Gold Rush Days Events Not To Miss

Gold Rush Days Events Not To Miss

“There’s gold in them thar hills!” It was true in 1828, and it will be true again this weekend as craft exhibitors, musicians, food vendors, and artisans of all types flock to the Historic Downtown Square of Dahlonega for the 61 annual Gold Rush Days Festival. This festival is the epitome of the Fall season in Dahlonega, and with around 300 craft and food vendors, and main stage concerts and competitive events there is sure to be something for everyone. If there is one thing to get you in the Gold Rush spirit like nothing else you will find at the festival, it would be the World Open Gold Panning Championships on Sunday. Registration will open at 9am and the 53rd Annual Gold Rush Open will be underway by 11am. More details on the competition will be available at registration on the Gold Museum Lawn. This event is hosted by yours truly so make sure you at least stop by to say hey! Also at 11am on Sunday Consolidated’s own Chris Adams will be performing on the Main Stage (sponsored by our friends at Gold Rush Jeeps) with Kate Wright. Together they make the Threadbare Skivvies and it’s a show you won’t want to miss, so if you’re not competing in the World Open Gold Panning Championships make sure you’re at least near the action! For more information about what Gold Rush Days Festival is or what to expect and a full schedule of events for the weekend, click... read more
6 Things to do in Dahlonega this Fall

6 Things to do in Dahlonega this Fall

No matter how hard it seems Mother Nature is trying to fight it, it is undeniable; Fall is in the air. Football season is in full swing, the days are getting shorter and everything is pumpkin flavored now. And if there were ever a “perfect” place to be when Fall arrives, that place would be Dahlonega, Georgia. From candy to wine to hiking and festivals galore, there are always things to do in Dahlonega in the Fall to put you in the spirit of the season. We thought we would share with you a short list of some of our favorite things to do in Dahlonega this Fall: 1. Get a caramel apple from the Fudge Factory It’s apple season in the North Georgia mountains and the local hand-made candy shop takes advantage of that every Fall by bringing in fresh, locally-grown apples to dip in their homemade caramel and a variety of other toppings. With so many options, you’re sure to find something you will enjoy right in the middle of the beautiful, historic downtown square. 2. Go on a Ghost Tour It’s the season of changing leaves and pumpkin spice galore, but it is also the season of ghosts and ghouls. Get your self in the October spirit (pun definitely intended) and get your scare on with a historic and hauntingly accurate account of some of Dahlonega’s most haunted nooks and crannies. 3. Get out and Hike! Though the actual city of Dahlonega doesn’t boast any mountain of its own, this small town is surrounded by some of the best mountains the South has to offer. With... read more
The Life of A Gemstone (& Gem Cutter)

The Life of A Gemstone (& Gem Cutter)

Meet Rick McGee, the resident gem cutter at Consolidated Gold Mines. Forty-two years ago his wife bought him a gem cutting setup for his birthday, and he’s been hooked ever since. Rick took a leap of faith and left his stable job as a contractor in Florida and moved to the hill country to cut stones full-time. I asked him what he liked about cutting stones. “It’s amazing to take a piece of rock and turn it into something beautiful…It’s in there. It’s just a matter of getting it out.” Like Michelangelo sitting down with his mallet and chisel, Rick readies his implements to carve a heart-shaped gemstone. My comparison to Michelangelo isn’t intended to give the impression that gem cutting is 100% art. There’s also a lot of science and math involved. “You see those tick marks?” He says pointing to one of his instruments. “Each represents 1/50,000,000 of an inch.” Yep. You read it right, 1/50,000,000 on an inch. “First you start with a rough piece,” Rick says. These rough pieces are nothing special to look at. To me they resemble a cloudy chunk of broken glass. “Then we trim it down with our diamond saw.” The piece is basically trimmed into a workable size. Next the gem is adhered to a “dop stick” with a piece of wax. The stone is then preformed into the basic shape that it’ll resemble in the finished product. Next is the cutting to pattern. There are numerous different patterns. Most of which you’re probably familiar with, like princess, heart, oval, round, etc. However, Rick has gone so far as to... read more
Not Your Grandpa’s Pan

Not Your Grandpa’s Pan

If you’re fed up with the slow ways of the old gold panning methods using nothing but your boring old pan then you’re in luck! Consolidated Gold Mine just got in the latest and greatest in gold-mining technology. Introducing the Banjo Pan!     This pan is an all-in-one, one-stop shop, top-of-the line product in the world of gold mining. With the pan and sifter all in one device, the Banjo Pan is the fastest and quickest way to sift through the dirt and find the gold you are looking for! The Banjo Pan is perfect for all ages, and simple to use. See for yourself!   Come in today to try your hand at panning with the latest and greatest gold-panning tool!... read more

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