Ophir—Possibly the Best Kept Secret in Alaska—Part II
December 2013 by Chuck MerrittI knew the nuggets got into the nugget patch somehow, I just had to figure out how and from what direction they came.
Winter is the time for research, and if you haven’t already done some research to find new places to prospect, now is the time to cram in some last minute research before the good weather arrives.
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.
Most of our gold recoveries have been in the cracks of the bedrock. Hot rocks in the form of dikes cross the creek at various locations, causing us to skip those areas.
I was able to remove the gravels with the assistance of a crowbar and I scooped them up with a garden trowel. This gravel contained over a pennyweight of gold and there were several 2-grain and 3-grain pieces…
There is a surprising amount of detectable gold under the water’s surface. The right tools make it much easier to find, and with a little patience and practice you can take advantage of this underappreciated bonanza.
In my early days of nugget hunting things were fairly simple. Just headphones, a pack, a detector and a small pick were all I needed for my search for great wealth.
A very good baseball hitter might get a hit roughly one time out of every three at-bats, but for prospectors often the results are much sparser and it may take many trips before the prospector hits a home run.
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Sierra County Gold—Part I • ICMJ's Annual Index • Hunting for Hardrock: The Basics • Gold in the San Francisco District Oatman, Mohave County, Arizona • Heavy Glacial Rocks and Gold in the Midwest • Strategic Metals—Part II • The Amazing Mineral Tourmaline • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices