Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse
September 2018 by Joe Chmiel
We all love to see that first glimmer of gold when it peeks out from under the black sand in our pan, or feel the weight of a nugget in our scoop when we dig a good target. But sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly.
I picked up a noticeably heavy, fist-sized chunk of what I thought was a heavy piece of iron. After wiping some of the dirt and clay off, I still didn't know what on earth this object was.
The most commonly asked question in metal detecting is, “Which metal detector should I get?” People worry a lot about not getting the right machine. They do not want to waste their money and their time with the wrong metal detector.
Detecting is not very complicated and the rewards can be tremendous. The difference between success and fruitless toiling can be remedied by a few small adjustments and a whole lot of perseverance.
We decided to run a detector over each piece. If we got a decent signal we placed the piece into a high-grade pile and the rest went into another pile to be worked on later. This high-grade pile wasn’t that large—maybe 25 pounds...
I figured it would be quite conservative of me to shoot for about four ounces of gold instead of the twelve ounces I had found in 2013.
I have always enjoyed finding things. As a kid and up through college I searched for arrowheads, rocks and fossils. One day I saw an ad for a metal detector in a magazine, and a week later I was digging up everyone’s yard...
I was amazed and surprised, and I took a moment to admire how beautiful this coarse chunk of gold was. It later weighed exactly one-half ounce.
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