John Smith and the other founders of Jamestown came to Virginia looking for gold. They didn’t find any gold. That was too bad for them, but very good for you.
There are lots of places around Virgina for amateur gold miners to prospect. The you may not find as much gold as you could find in other states, but there are a lot of great places to mine.
This article is from the Virginia Division Mineral Resources. It has an outstanding map. You can see that there are good places to try you luck within easy driving distance of all of Virginia’s major cities. You can literally pan for gold inside the Washington Beltway – without stooping to becoming a lobbyist. Check it out: GOLD In Virginia