Ask The Experts
February 2016 by Chris RalphDesigning my own dredge...
The sun was beginning to set, which put the light at just the right angle against the hillsides to where I believed that I spotted a very small dig and tailings pile up the hill near the top of the second wash.
I opted for the underwater portion of the river. All I have to do is float down the river and pick large flakes and small nuggets out of cracks and crevices while staying cool in the summer heat.
This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.
Potholes in bedrock can trap placer minerals and even be glory holes. They are, at least, interesting geologic phenomena, and at best, a treasure trove of gold nuggets.
I didn’t know what to expect because the area we were working was not close to the water, but we were pleasantly surprised when we began to pan out some nice flakes and a few pickers.
Gold trapped in the cracks can be encrusted close to the walls or mixed with sand and pebbles, making the gold difficult to see and then extract. Crevicing requires a lot of patience to achieve positive results.
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Gold in Quartz