The Value of Old Patches
June 2019 by Michael Greyshock
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.
A gold prospector in central Victoria, Australia stumbled across an 87-ounce gold nugget in early February 2015, after his wife told him to head outside to get some air. He had given up smoking a few weeks prior and was getting a bit “grumpy,” she told him.
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.
Imagine for a minute the year is 1850. You’ve read and heard that gold was discovered in California and the creeks are so rich you can just scoop it up with your hands.
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
So let’s dive in and see what I can do to convince you that this is the year you should be out staking your own claims.
For the last two years we’ve held a hands-on prospectors training session in the Iowa Hill district of California’s Mother Lode country as a part of our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit event. Because of this, I thought it might be good to take a look at the history, geology and opportunities that the Iowa Hill district still offers to the individual prospector.
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