The total after a great day added with the previous days put them up to 9.07 pennyweight—just under a one-half ounce of beautiful California gold.
The Robinson is a wooden bucket-line dredge that was built in the early 1900s in New York and shipped in pieces to Nash County in North Carolina by train for reassembly.
We chatted for a bit and then we had to take off, but I kept what he said in the back of my mind as we rushed out to some other gold-bearing place in the Mother Lode to feed our gold fever.
After trading for a specialized gold detector, my gold finds went up in a hurry. Even though those older gold detectors were pretty good, things have changed a lot since then.
As we have repeated quite often, rising inflation—or, more particularly, the expectation of rising inflation—has historically been perhaps the most important ingredient of all in past precious metals bull markets.
• Big banks penalized for rigging gold price
• Mining royalties excluded from reconciliation bill
Because the forces of erosion and gravity tend to carry lighter materials like quartz away more easily, the heavy minerals like gold or silver will tend to be concentrated in the general area around the vein outcrop. These concentrations are what make residual placers so attractive.
To add to the confusion, the dam wasn’t holding back a large amount of water. It was full of gravels and had a small creek running through it. I had to know more.
The larger nuggets were all old channel gold, smooth and water-worn. I guessed that a few of them would push a bit under one-half-ounce apiece.
…in spite of the fact that the well-pounded spots probably don’t have much gold left, I see all too many prospectors hike down to a creek or other spot at the first place the road comes near it just because it’s the easiest access point.
Luckily, at about that time, I buddied up with a somewhat cantankerous, but very helpful, guy named Rod. He had become a local legend for his ability to consistently find gold.