Some gold has been recovered in Santa Cruz County. It has been obtained from creeks in the Ben Lomond and Felton areas, small quartz veins in granitic rocks in Ben Lomond Mountain, and from the ocean beaches along Monterey Bay. Some time in the 1850s or 1860s, a large boulder was found in Gold Gulch four miles north of Santa Cruz that was reported to have contained $30,000 to $50,000, according to the various stories. Much work was done in the area following this discovery, but only small amounts of gold were found.
The black sand deposits on the beaches between Santa Cruz and Pajaro to the southeast were first placer-mined in the 1850s. Later, during the 1880s and 1890s, attempts were made to work these deposits with various mechanical devices, but none were commercially successful. During the depression years of the 1930s the beach sands were worked by small-scale hand methods. These black sand deposits are found both on the present beach and older marine terraces and low hills in back of the beaches. The black sands occur in strata that range from a few inches to several feet in thickness.
Huguenin, Emile, and Castello, W.O., 1921, Santa Cruz County, gold: California Min. Bur. Rept. 17, pp. 235-236.
Watts, W. L., 1890, Santa Cruz County, auriferous sand: California Min. Bur. Rept. 10, pp. 622-624.