Cherry-Picking for Gold Nuggets
November 2021 by Ray Mills
We have a location where nuggets over an ounce have been detected over the past twenty years. This location is a small hilltop on which an ancient river channel once flowed.
Because the old timers were so good at locating the better paying deposits—most of them along clay seams in this particular area—it makes good sense to try and locate these clay lines at old mining sites.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
Even with my favorite top-of-the-line gold detector there were several false digs. Many of the hot rocks gave a solid signal that was too much like a nugget to ignore. After trying several tests I just dug everything because it is better to be safe than leave a big, deep nugget for a more diligent gold hunter.
There is a surprising amount of detectable gold under the water’s surface. The right tools make it much easier to find, and with a little patience and practice you can take advantage of this underappreciated bonanza.
“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas.”
My first day using my pinpointer I detected an area where the fellas’ big guns had swooped in and cleaned up all the “big gold” and I got over sixty tiny pieces of gold.
Many miners know that lead is very commonly associated with silver values, but the truth is that it is also associated with gold values in many locations as well.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - What is “flotation” and what type of assay do I need? • Ask The Experts - Easier way to break down compacted clays? • Ask The Experts - Where can I get geological maps? • Ask The Experts - Is there gold under the old cobble piles? • Ask The Experts - Can you help me understand the gold deposition in this area of Wyoming? • Building A Portable Gold Mill • Using A Blasting Machine in Rock Breaking • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Tangling With A Desert Monster • Another Prospecting Adventure: Coulterville • Seven Important Attitudes for the Successful Prospector • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices