Finding Streams of Gold
September 2014 by Ray MillsWithout 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.
I will make the assumption that when any of you take a detector in your hand and head out prospecting for gold you are probably anticipating finding some gold. That’s the general idea, right?
This article is about our recent gold prospecting adventure, which has yielded over 20 ounces of specimen gold—with more to come.
I opted for the underwater portion of the river. All I have to do is float down the river and pick large flakes and small nuggets out of cracks and crevices while staying cool in the summer heat.
I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.
One of the first minerals most prospectors learn to recognize is quartz, because, in the right circumstances, it can be an excellent indicator mineral for prospectors. Quartz is common, easy to identify, and is often associated with gold and other valuable metal deposits.
I started with, "Hey, Rusty, tell me about the time..." and that was all it took.
I pulled out the nuggets I had worked on previously and looked at the size of the wire basket that the items to be cleaned are placed into. It looks much like a miniature french fry deep fryer.
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