Detecting Old Pocket Diggings
February 2013 by Ray MillsLooking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
I thought things started off okay until I realized I had forgotten some of my gear and had to return to the house. My troubled start was not helped when my boy came up to me a few minutes after my return to show me his first nugget of the day.
Once a seam is found it can be traced for miles in either direction. While you are tracing a clay line, you are looking for indicators. The indicators that I look for are ironstone, hematite, different color clays intermingled with the clay line, and a very iron-rich, brown gritty soil.
In this article, I am going to take a look at three Midwest states and go through some of the prime places for prospectors to find nice local gold there.
I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.
The red dot on the diagram points out where the gravels there were also carrying, but not as much color. The gold was sparse below the point indicated.
I frequently get asked, "What should I look for when I am out prospecting that will tell me there are good amounts of gold present in the ground?"
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