It might surprise you to know that nearly 3% of all of the gold ever found on earth has come out of Nevada. The majority of the gold that has been discovered in Nevada was found on Native American land of the Western Shoshone tribe. The tribe was soon overwhelmed and overtaken by the sheer number of prospector as who stormed the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain in the year 1859 shortly after the decline of the California gold rush.
In the 20 year time span after the gold rush of Nevada, $500 million in silver and gold was discovered in the mines near Virginia City. A gold prospector by the name of Harry Comstock took over the gold mining claims of two brothers Ethan Grosh and Horsea Grosh and he uncovered the primary gold discovery. His discovery was aptly named the Comstock Lode. Ironically enough, the two brothers died before they ever got the chance to enjoy the fruits of all of their hard work from years of mining that claim.
Virginia City quickly became inhabited by some very wealthy people as a result of these significant gold discoveries. Interestingly enough, Virginia City is also known as being the place where the famous writer Mark Twain actually began his writing career as a newspaper reporter. A second gold rush ensued in the early 1980s that actually ended up being more productive than the first rush. This second and more lucrative rush, produced more than 80% of the gold that was ever discovered in the state of Nevada. Surprisingly, Nevada has the highest concentration of gold mining claims in the United States. Most people would think that California would have the highest number due to the famous California gold rush. The gold mining claims of Nevada alone account for almost 40% of all the gold mining claims in the entire U.S. Not counting the 15,101 gold mining claims that have been abandoned in the state of Nevada, there are 148,370 active gold mining claims that are recorded in the state. A staggering 140,174 of all of the active claims in the state of Nevada are lode claims.
A popular online resource for gold panning maps, goldmapsonline.com had to separate the Nevada gold panning maps for the state of Nevada into 14 separate maps because of the sheer volume of the number of claims in the state.