In which rivers in Haute-Savoie can you find gold ?
Many rivers in Haute-Savoie contain gold. Gold panning has been practiced for a very long time. In what streams and with what equipment ?
The main gold-bearing streams of Haute-Savoie
The search for gold in the rivers of our region dates back to the Roman era and the Middle Ages. The Chéran was already famous a long time ago. One could discover beautiful gold flakes that were detached by the torrent of the crystalline rocks of the Bauges massif.
Upstream of Alby-sur-Chéran, the richest gold-bearing zones are found near Cusy and Moulin Janin. A big gold nugget which weighed 43,5 grams was discovered near the old bridge of Alby-sur-Chéran. The flakes from the Chéran have the particularity of being made of very pure gold at 22-23 carats.
The old lead and copper mines of Servoz contained gold. But the main gold-bearing rivers of Haute-Savoie are : the Rhône, the Arve, the Fier, the Chéran, the Usses, the whole Chéran valley from Cusy to Saint-Silvestre, the Arve and the Drances and their tributaries. We also note beautiful flakes in the sands of Arly between Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Megève. In particular, pyrite veins reveal traces of gold in this area.
Historians report the presence of the yellow metal in the streams near the border with Switzerland.
Gold panning in the Fier
The Fier is a river which crosses Annecy and which can hold some nice surprises for the Sunday gold diggers. During the ice age, an important glacier of 1 000 meters thick, came from Beaufortin by Faverges to Annecy. It carried granitic rocks that contained various metals including gold.
By crushing these rocks, the glacier has released over time the precious metal they contained.
Gold panning in the Fier is now a leisure activity. There is indeed very little gold in this torrent. Many hours are necessary to discover a gram of alluvial gold.
But patience pays off in the end and it is the opportunity to be in contact with nature and the ecosystem of a river in the Alps.
The Rumilly-Albanais Tourist Office offers discovery outings of initiation to gold panning by leading the public to accessible spots: sand and gravel banks. The necessary equipment is provided: shovel, pan, bucket and sieve.
The price of the kilo of gold, The price of parking in airports, a safe haven par excellence, is constantly on the rise. In 1999, it was necessary to pay 7,500 € to buy an ingot of one kilo, more than 33,000 € in 2010 and 48,000 € in 2021.