Exploring The Historic Rand Mining District, Southern California
September 2019 by Dan Stanton
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
The father-son duo spent years combing this bit of Pennsylvania wilderness with high-end metal detectors, drills and other tools to prospect for a fabled cache of Civil War gold.
There is a unique anticipation that comes with waking in gold country. The long early morning rays bring warmth after a cold night. Restless nights allow thoughts of gold hidden in the ground for too long.
Looking for nugget laden bedrock in forested mountain regions, you first need to explore the banks of the gold-bearing streams and look for the bedrock that is exposed as this is your starting point.
Depth is not an issue unless the site is thoroughly cleaned of shallow trash, and it is far easier to isolate and remove targets using a small coil in a target rich location.
In some places valuable ores can be found within the waste material of mine dumps, sorted ore piles, and detrital vein matter at the surface. Though many of these old mine sites can be an excellent source of gold, not all are created equal.
Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.
As I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - How do I remove the silvery-white coating from my gold? • Ask The Experts - Is it possible to mine glacial moraine placer deposits? • Ask The Experts - Why are some valid mining claims missing from apps when researching land status? • Ask The Experts - Is using a drywasher legal in California • A High Country Patch • An Update On The Father's Day Gold Discovery • Disturbing Trend: Federal Judges Disregard Mining Laws • My First Carolina Nugget • How to Refine Silver—Pt I • Step-by-Step Crevicing • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mom Finds 3.72-Carat Yellow Diamond • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices