A Father and Son Prospecting Adventure
May 2013 by Joe ChmielAs I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
It was round and I thought it was a dirty piece of lead shot, but after feeling the weight and giving it a spit-cleaning I knew I had one! Small as the nugget was, I felt happy and gratified for my little success
Fran, and I had made a practice of turning big boulders in gold producing areas to find some great rewards. Sometimes it was slow and frustrating, but in the end “We got the gold!”
It was time to prime the pump and start the engine! Dan’s priming method is to use a small, submersible, 12-volt pump. My priming method is to use a hand-operated diaphragm pump.
At first, I tried to shift things around, but then a hand with a rock would appear, so I would stop trying to adjust my gear and grab the rock to keep things moving.
The whole purpose of sampling mineralized ground is to measure the values in a small volume of material that would be representative of a much larger volume of similar material. The key word is representative. Chemical and fire assaying will not accurately represent placer deposits by themselves.
We all continued over to another location at the top of a massive placer operation. Arriving at the draw, I showed everyone where gold had been found before and we all began detecting.
Years later I returned with a new detector with a smaller coil and detector technology more sensitive to smaller nuggets. I found my first nugget within five minutes. I had a second five minutes after that.
The Bawl Mill • Gold Rush in the Congo • Find of a Lifetime • All About Quartz—Part I • Over the Divide • Your Guide to Prospecting in Alaska • Shallow Water Crevicing Can Bring Big Rewards • Home Office Deductions • Advantages of Modern Prospectors • Searchers' Dreams • Gold in Unlikely Places • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices