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History & Geology

The Silver, Gold and Gemstones of Candelaria, Nevada

The Candelaria area is of interest to prospectors not just for silver, gold and other metals, but also for the beautiful gemstones found there.

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Butte, Montana—The Richest Hill on Earth


I recently had the opportunity to spend a day exploring around Butte, Montana and was amazed by the amount of mining that has taken place there. The old-timers called Butte “the richest hill on earth” and had pretty good reasons for doing so.

Ancient River Channels of Trinity County


Trinity County is located in the far northwest corner of California and stirs up many different memories for those who have been there.

The Goldfield Mining District, Nevada—Part II


The majority of the gold produced in Goldfield has come from ores that are close enough to the surface to be oxidized by the air. This oxidized ore is normally a soft, shattered, earthy material usually stained yellow to brown by oxides of iron.

All About Garnets


I get a lot of questions from prospectors about garnets, their value and what they tell us about the geology of some types of mineral deposits. So I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the lowly garnet and learn a bit more about it.

The Strange History of the Utica Mine


In the summer of 1854, John Selkirk, a discouraged placer miner who was down on his luck and ready to go back to Massachusetts, tied his mule up in a gulch north of what is now downtown Angel's Camp.

Perception of Mining vs. Reality


Many modern mining companies have taken to making a special effort to ensure the goods and services they need are supplied as much as possible out of the local economy.

Gold in Quartz


Because quartz and gold may be deposited together across a considerable range of temperatures, not all quartz veins are the same, and there are several different types of gold-quartz deposits.

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