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History & Geology

"Gold Rush: Alaska" in the Porcupine Mining District

Honestly, I don’t believe it is likely there would be a glory hole where they described one at the bottom of the waterfall because plunging water with enough energy to scour out a large hole in bedrock would have the scouring ability to grind up and...

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All About Quartz—Part II


In our May 2013 issue, we took a look at the mineral quartz, a mineral very commonly associated with gold. However, gold is not the only reason prospectors are interested in quartz. Quartz can also be very valuable as a gemstone

Gemstones to Die For


Some gems can potentially poison you, make you sterile and even make you forget who you are.

The Rochester Mining District of Nevada


Only the richest ores could be worked and shipped off for processing at a profit. As a result, early mining in the southern part of the Humboldt Range was short-lived. In the 1880s, placers were discovered in Spring Valley and American Valley on the east side of the range...

Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting


The holes were overloaded with explosives, but I didn’t know it. I was just a green mining engineer fresh out of school and told to watch as the experienced miners set the charge.

When Legends Were Made and Fortunes Found


Sylvester Smith and his younger brother Nathan were among this group who rode and led their Indian ponies, while climbing the rugged Salmon River breaks and rockhewn mountains, looking for a path that would lead them up and over the uncharted wilderness.

One Question, Forever Unanswered—Did He Really Find the Gold?


This was one of those stories where you have no doubt that the person telling it believes it to be true. But was it?

Silver Peak, Nevada: A Little of Everything


Silver Peak is a small mining community in Esmeralda County in west-central Nevada, about 30 miles west of Goldfield. Although it’s fairly remote, it’s been an important mining center since the early days.

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