How Long Does It Take to Find and Recover An Ounce of Gold?
June 2019 by Chris Ralph
Some ask if a prospector can collect an entire ounce in a day. It is possible; I’ve done it before.
I worked my way to a flat area along a ridge where I could see a quartz blowout. As I got within 100 feet of it, I started seeing rock that I knew to be associated with gold.
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.
I remember in the couple of years after that 1997 flood, prospectors around California did very well, taking ounces of gold from places that had not yielded any gold for years before that.
And we eventually reached gold. It was a winding crevice of beautiful white quartz lined with small nuggets and loaded with fine gold. There were flakes and small granular pieces—there had to be a hundred or more.
I will have to admit, I actually was brought to tears just thinking about what I had just done. I knew the gold was there, but I never thought I would be so fortunate to find such a prize nugget.
...your sampling procedures should not be designed to catch gold your mining technique will never recover.
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