Virginia was one of the first gold producing states. the earliest printed reference to gold was when Thomas Jefferson reported on a 4 pound rock that contained 17 dwt. of gold. The rock was found on the north side of the Rappahannock River about 4 miles below the falls. Most of the gold bearing area lies just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a belt that is about 15 miles wide and 200 miles long. The total amount of gold produced in Virginia was around 170,000 ounces.