California State and US National Gold Panning Championships
November 2018 by Don Robinson
This was two days of gold panning, with just over 250 gold panners trying to win a medal to show they were one of the best of the best.
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.
Detectors have been around for decades now. And with thousands of them swinging, many of the best or at least most likely nugget places have seen a swinging coil. The part that amazes me is that so many nuggets still get pulled out of these seemingly pounded places.
Confluences of placer streams are well known as concentration sites for heavy minerals. The basic reason is that...
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
How big is the deposit? Are there boulders you will need to move? Do you just want to recover the nuggets or do you think there is good fine gold that you will also want to capture?
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.
When you approach a location, even if you've been there before, you should consider all the factors and conditions present at the site. This includes both natural and man-made factors.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Skim Bar Placers article clarification • Ask The Experts - Is LR2000 working correctly? • Ask The Experts - What claim papers am I required to file at the county level? • Fall Drywashing—Just the Right Time of Year • Humble Beginnings • Understanding Large Gold Deposit Types: Discovering New Mines • Roads to Nowhere • Treasure Hunters Challenge FBI Over Dig for Civil War Gold • Out of the Ashes—New Access to Gold • Alluvial Paystreaks • Arizona Prospector Rescued from Mine Shaft • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices