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Prospecting & Detecting

Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice

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!

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Highbanking for Gold


Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.

River Dredging vs. Creek Dredging—Part I


As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.

Route Planning Using GPS


My intention was to end this discussion with waypoints and routes, then I found USGS maps of the Plainfield Quadrangle.

A Family Quest for Gold


Back at our campsite, while the rest of us grabbed a late four o’clock lunch, Fallyn volunteered to do the clean-up panning.

Rediscovering Placerville, California Part II


To get to the gold, the miners had to remove the shale pieces and stack them on the sides while sluicing the remaining material through their boxes.

Mom Finds 3.72-Carat Yellow Diamond


“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas.”

Libby, Montana Prospectors Keep Tradition Alive


Located 23 miles south of Libby, the land surrounding the Libby Creek area has been of interest to prospectors since the early 1860s, when it was home to up to 600 miners working at a camp known as Libbysville.

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