Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice
April 2019 by Chris Ralph
Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!
Unfortunately, not all the gold that we prospectors find is pretty, or appealing to the eyes. They are not all nice, bright, shiny nuggets with lots of character that carry high collector value.
As 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.
There may be lots of smaller gold I cannot hear with a detector, but it looks just fine in my pan once it is out of the crevice.
Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.
Because of multiple take-out points along a ditch line, the ditches themselves become a wealth of knowledge to us present-day miners.
NOI or POO for small backhoe
...this county contained some of the richest placer ground found in all of California and still produces some pretty impressive finds to this day.
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