California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part I
December 2017 by Chris Ralph
The nugget sat there in plain sight, though it was covered in dirt, while hundreds of people had passed that way every day.
My hunch was that the gold is coming down the apron, falling off to both sides and into both gulches. I say that because the gold we found previously has the same characteristics and color across the entire area.
The most commonly asked question in metal detecting is, “Which metal detector should I get?” People worry a lot about not getting the right machine. They do not want to waste their money and their time with the wrong metal detector.
It’s been seven years since Forrest Fenn announced the existence of the buried treasure, said to be worth nearly $2 million. It has prompted thousands to comb areas of New Mexico, Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere.
The higher the sensitivity setting, the louder and sharper the signal from a gold nugget or other metal target.
There are not a lot of tools needed to get out and take advantage of the situation. Other than my wetsuit, I typically travel light with a gold pan, maybe a pry bar and a few crevice cleaning tools.
After your excitement peaks when you first receive the high gold assay from the vein you just exposed, you ponder how you will extract and sell your gold. You will need to develop a flow sheet for your process to optimize your recovery and minimize your costs and permit requirements.
Has anyone made it through childhood, or even adulthood, without at least one dream of finding gold or buried treasure? It is the stuff of daydreams—the kindling for the flame of hope. We so long for it that we eagerly accept stories and maps from friends and strangers alike that promise us fame and fortune.
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