The North Carolina mountains are the site of America's first gold rush. Lost mines, silver hordes, and veins of gold are all part of this area's rich history.

In the 1830's an immagrant by the name of Christopher Bechtler settled in Rutherfordton. Bechtler, an inventor and metalergist, made a living minting gold coins. At a time when the closest mint was in Philidelphia prospecters came from all around to have there gold minted by Bechtler. Between 1831-1840 Bechtler minted over $2,000,000 worth of gold coins. Bechtler made only three denominations but his coins varied in size due to the varying quality of the gold they contained. The gold amount of each coin, depending on the demomination, was always consistant. Today these coins are a very valuable find worth more than 100 times US paper money of the same time.

*FACT* gold found in the mountains is more dull in coler than gold found in the piedmont.