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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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Critical Minerals: Tungsten


Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.

Alaska: Kodiak Islands Mineral Resources


The fresh material is worked and concentrated by the waves on the flat, wide beach platform. The waves wash away the lighter minerals, leaving the heavies near the bluffs and in depressions on the beach.

When Legends Were Made and Fortunes Found


Sylvester Smith and his younger brother Nathan were among this group who rode and led their Indian ponies, while climbing the rugged Salmon River breaks and rockhewn mountains, looking for a path that would lead them up and over the uncharted wilderness.

Prospecting for Pegmatites


…in some cases pegmatites have produced individual mineral crystals that are enormous, attaining lengths of over 40 feet long, and many of the world’s largest mineral crystals are examples that were found within pegmatite deposits.

$50 Million in Gold From 1857 Shipwreck Approved for Sale


The gold is all for sale. Just one tiny coin alone could go for $1 million because of its combination of rarity and the history behind it...

Detector Brings New Life to An Old Lode Mine


…it was immediately evident the previous owner had not been using a detector. During just a few months of working the dumps part-time, he recovered gold in quartz specimens valued in excess of $40,000.

The Oquirrh Mountains, Utah


...we will visit three dormant mining districts that lie in the Oquirrh Range in Utah. Some major activity that transformed the lives of thousands of people occurred here from the mid 1860s to the late 1990s.

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