I found this information on page 184 in the book Trivia Lover’s Guide to Even More of the World by Gary Fuller. There are 150 fun facts that answers things like “What country translates as Black Mountain?” (Montenegro on the Balkan Peninsula) or “What pirate aided the U.S. in the battle of New Orleans?” (Jean Lafitte).
The book Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History by Eric Chaline also talks about ‘Heavenly Gold’ and some of the brutal history associated with nations acquiring it. Of course, there is the theory that the whole Earth was created from asteroids and meteorites. Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites by Roy A. Gallant is an excellent and informative children’s book that explains what each one of them are, and the differences between them.
Dr. Kimberly Tait talks about meteorites being one of three kinds: stony, stony iron and iron-nickel in the book Gems and Minerals. While she doesn’t mention gold specifically, she does talk about how meteorites show us what the very first rocks to form in our solar system were like. This book has beautiful pictures and identifies raw and then cut gems and minerals. The Illustrated guide to Rocks and Minerals by John Farndon is a wealth of information for any rock hound, especially a beginner! It teaches where to look, how to collect, and how to test and identify your samples. Gold occurs in two types of deposits: lode and placer. He explains the difference between them, and shows how panning is done at placer mines.
Many people trekked west searching for gold. Gold Rush and Riches by Paul Robert Walker is a kids book with tons of information and detailed drawings showing what the west was like during that time and the different ways prospectors looked for gold.
You don’t have to ‘rush’ to California to find gold; there are many spots in Washington where you can look for gold. Gold Mining in Washington State is a geological survey and gives precise locations of mines, with information on who owns it and how much gold it has produced. The book also talks about mining deeds and filing a claim. Fists full of Gold by Chris Ralph tells you what you need to know to (try to) get rich panning for gold. He tells you what kind of equipment to use and some ways to set up panning, dredging or sluicing.
Lastly fairy tales, along with the rest of the world, are obsessed with gold. Rumpelstiltskin made a deal with a Princess to spin straw into gold. Rump; the True story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff is a kids book that is a bit of a different twist on the story most of us grew up with. King Midas by Demi tells of his “golden touch” and there was also Goldilocks and the Three Bears (retold and illustrated) by Jan Brett. This version has lovely artwork with lots of fun details tucked into the drawings.