A BRIEF HISTORY OF GOLD MINING IN GEORGIA
In 1829, the Gold Rush began in Georgia. Georgia's Governor George Gilmer in 1839 estimated that between 6 and 10 thousand gold diggers with
suppliers and attendants occupied the country between the Etowah and Chestatee Rivers near the mountains where gold was found
in the small streams which flow into those rivers.
It is believed, according to tradition, that the Indians were "working" the gold prior to its discovery in 1829 and settlement of the white's in Cherokee County.
In July 1830, Templeton Reid, a gunsmith and jeweler, in Milledgeville, Georgia struck the first private gold coinage.
In order to be closer to the gold mines, he moved to Gainesville, Georgia where most of his coins were made.
The mint was closed by him before the end of October 1830.
Later, Georgia's governor, George Gilmer, attempted to outlaw mining, but it was futile and gold mining continued.
According to a geologist's report of that time, no county in the state of Georgia had carried on legitimate gold mining as successfully
as Cherokee where a total of 39 operations were worked.
The gold mines in Georgia become very important to the U. S. Government, establishing a branch mint in Dahlonega, Lumpkin County in 1838.
The mint operated until 1861 when the Civil War began and coined approximately 1.3 million pieces, having a face value of more than $6 million.
All coins from the Dahlonega Mint are gold and bear the dates 1838–1861, and they bear the "D" mint mark.
Today, the "D" mint mark is used by the Denver Mint which opened many years after the Dahlonega Mint closed.