When Gold Moves, Placers Form
July 2010 by Chris RalphWhat it takes to move gold is turbulent, fast-moving water. Normally the water is heavy with clay and all sorts of sentiments that have been ripped up from the bed of the river or carried down from the tributaries above.
Half the prospecting adventures I’ve done on the Kenai Peninsula occurred in winter. Not because I enjoyed looking for gold among the ice flows or 34-degree water, but on some creeks winter is the best time to find gold after violent swirl holes slow down.
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.
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In the late 1850s, a prospector named Andrew Kennedy discovered gold in an outcropping of quartz not far from the present-day town of Jackson in California’s Amador County. His productive claim soon developed into the...
The problem is every other nugget hunter and drywash prospector had the same idea. As a result, you can spend days, weeks, and even months detecting these areas and not find a single nugget.
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