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Prospecting & Detecting

It's Hard to Find Gold!

...even the best prospectors have times when they do not find gold. It is all about taking chances against tough odds and succeeding.

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Breaking cemented gravels

Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse--It Was A Dark and Overcast Night


With one outstretched hand grasping the bottle and the other waving at air, I moved forward feeling for the tent. No tent. No tree.

The Reason We Fight


Joy was written on his face, holding up the nugget—his first ever nugget—that he and his grandpa dug up together.

A Father and Son Prospecting Adventure


As I write this, I am still on a rush from taking my 9-year-old son, Jeffrey, prospecting for the first time this past weekend. It’s not that he hasn’t been along on numerous outings before: this is the first time that just the two of us went out for a day of drywashing and detecting under the desert sun.

Finding Streams of Gold


Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.

Detectors: Past, Present and Future


Detectors were invented long before I was born, but it was in the 1960s when they started to become an item popular enough to power a fledgling industry. The key development was miniature transistor technology replacing the old fashioned tube technology of the 1950s, making lightweight, affordable detectors possible.

Summertime Gold Panning


I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.

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The Bawl Mill   • EPA Tries to Intimidate Alaskan Miners   • A Few Pointers About Cracks and Crevices   • Hunting for Gold in the Quartzsite Area of Western Arizona   • The Madonna Nugget   • The Alaska Highway and Beyond   • Partner Withdraws from Pebble Project   • Highbanking at the 144   • Potential Gold at Old Hydraulic Sites   • California State Panning Championships—Foresthill, CA Heritage Celebration   • Prospecting Tales: Forest Service, Fires and Bears—Oh My!   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

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Legislative and Regulatory Update   • Research and Fieldwork Yield Some Promising Gold

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