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History & Geology

Gold Deposition and Gradients of Placer Streams—Part I

When placer miners from the gold rush era began experimenting with the slope of their sluices, they must have pondered the ideal slope for trapping gold in a creek bed too. Logic suggests the same is true for streams...

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SS Central America Gives Up Millions in Gold Rush Era Gold


A treasure-seeking young man whose name will forever remain anonymous made the months-long journey either over land or by sailing ship to California after word spread about the gold strike in 1849.

All the Gold Ever Mined...


If you have been prospecting for any length of time, then you have probably heard something like, “All the gold ever mined would equal a cube 60 feet on each side.”

The Forms of Crystalline Gold


The largest and most perfect single gold crystals are nearly always in the form of octahedra. These large octahedral crystals often possess deeply recessed faces.

How Far Has That Gold Traveled?


Let’s examine why your placer gold looks the way it does and what you can tell about its journey based upon its appearance.

Connecting With The Past With Gold Rush Coins


Exploration Rush at Tonopah, Nevada


A few months later, a young, greenhorn lawyer agreed to pay to have it assayed, and the quartz turned out to be rich in both gold and silver.

The Tombstone Silver-Lead District, Arizona


In 1877, a prospector named Ed Schieffelin discovered silver in “the middle of nowhere” and staked two claims: “Tumbstone” and “Graveyard.” Soon a town and mining district were organized and acquired the name “Tombstone” after making a spelling correction.

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