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.
Back in October I read with great interest Chris Ralph’s article on the use of a metal detector while drywashing, and I wholeheartedly agree—I wouldn’t even consider going drywashing without using a metal detector in conjunction...
That is the course and intention for this article—to wander through some of the lessons I have learned in my thirty-two years of metal detecting and prospecting.
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.
With a little homework and a methodical approach to sampling, a prospector can determine if a deposit is worthy of more of an investment...
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
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.
Detecting is not very complicated and the rewards can be tremendous. The difference between success and fruitless toiling can be remedied by a few small adjustments and a whole lot of perseverance.
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