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History & Geology

California: The Land of Big Nuggets—Part II

There are a number of Tertiary river channels in the area, most of which trend south-southwest. They tend to be steep, narrow, and rich with coarse gold.

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Placer Gold Deposits of Utah


The placer deposits of Utah occur in two distinct types of environments. These are 1) placers found adjacent to, and derived from, gold, silver and base-metal deposits; and 2) placers found in major rivers and derived from unknown, distant sources.

Eolian Gold Deposits


Prospectors who specialize in electronic detecting for nuggets in desert areas are especially interested in this type of deposit, as it yields nuggets that are close to the surface of the ground...

Rare Silver Nuggets And Their Origins


Silver nuggets have been described as “ultra-rare,” “prized” and “unique.” Naturally occurring silver nuggets are rare enough to suggest caution when purchasing. Fakes have reportedly been produced and misrepresented for sale as genuine specimens.

The Golden Days of Julian, California


Some scattered reports say that gold may have been washed from streams here as early as the 1840s, but the undisputed major discovery came in 1870.

Gold of Plumas County


Plumas County has a rich heritage of gold mining, much of it from placer deposits that can still be searched and panned today. Being at the far northern end of California’s famed Mother Lode, it is quite often overlooked by those searching for gold today—really a well-kept secret after all of these years!

Alluvial Paystreaks


The gravels in contact with the bedrock or false bedrock base are often the richest. The same facts apply to the alluvial paystreaks that are formed on gravel bars; the lowest level of the gold-bearing gravel is normally the richest.

Benches and Fossil Placers


Unfortunately for us mortal humans, we have a poor perspective on geologic time. When we look at a landscape such as a stream valley, we see it only in two, or at the most, three dimensions. We have poor comprehension of the valley’s fourth and most important dimension—time.

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