Gold and Silver Deposits of Bodie, California
November 2019 by Alex Dolbeare
Bodie, California, in its heyday, was once rumored to be one of the roughest and most lawless towns in the American West.
You can learn a lot from a small mining operation because you have to become proficient in every job. Soon I was preparing fuses, placing powder (dynamite) and learning the ins and outs of drilling and blasting.
Most prospectors learn early that pyrite is fool's gold...but the truth is it can be an excellent indicator mineral for gold and in many cases does contain small amounts of gold.
For approximately 30 years, the mines produced good ore, some so rich it was simply sent straight to bagging, bypassing milling and loaded directly on the rail cars.
In this case, signs of gold were found at the bottom of the alluvial and then traced in a triangle up the face of the mountain until they stopped—that is where the digging began.
Silver nuggets have been described as “ultra-rare,” “prized” and “unique.” Naturally occurring silver nuggets are rare enough to suggest caution when purchasing. Fakes have reportedly been produced and misrepresented for sale as genuine specimens.
Even though these were some of the earliest placer deposits to be worked, there is still plenty of gold left today—it just takes more work to recover. Knowing about the old locations where gold has been found is the first step to success.
• Do as I say, not as I do...
• By the numbers...
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