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Geology and stories from the past

Quartz: The Indicator of Gold


Quartz: The Indicator of Gold

The Forms of Crystalline Gold


The largest and most perfect single gold crystals are nearly always in the form of octahedra. These large octahedral crystals often possess deeply recessed faces.

The History of Mining Claims


Congress decided that if they shared the riches of our lands with the people, we would colonize and expand the states at a much faster pace, thus the birth of public lands and mining claims in America.

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Small-scale and commercial suction gold dredges.

Gold: Is It Everywhere?


Gold, on the other hand, is super rare, and is one of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust. It averages only 0.000004 percent of the earth’s surface. That is four parts in a billion.

Blast from the Past: Jeff Casserly Tells His Own Story


I have been finding nuggets all my life, beginning in Sierra County 50 years ago, and believe me they don’t pop up out of the ground like mushrooms when they see me coming and say, “Here I am and take me home.”

Crystallized Gold Mines of California


Gold specimens that include visible crystal formations are among the rarest, most attractive and most valuable forms of gold to be found.

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How Far Has That Gold Traveled?


Let’s examine why your placer gold looks the way it does and what you can tell about its journey based upon its appearance.

Why Is The Gold On Bedrock—Or Why Is It Not?


Gold on the bedrock is a good rule of thumb, but not one that is 100 percent effective. There are plenty of exceptions. So, how does a prospector recognize those exceptions?

Historic Dredge Uncovered in North Carolina


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.

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Residual Placers: An Often Overlooked Gold Source


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.

A Short History of Hydraulic Mining in California


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.

Another Prospecting Adventure: Coulterville


What also helped keep Coulterville alive was the fact that the town itself happened to be sitting on top of one of the richest veins in the Mother Lode. The ledge itself was three hundred feet wide.

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Downieville: Another Gold Rush Favorite


I didn’t know what to expect because the area we were working was not close to the water, but we were pleasantly surprised when we began to pan out some nice flakes and a few pickers.

Gold Placers of Southern California


I grew up in Southern California, and found my first nugget there, so I know my way around. Because there is good gold there, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at the many placer gold opportunities found in the southern part of the state.

How To Identify Minerals


There are a number of characteristics that are used when one identifies a mineral. Each characteristic gives an indication as to what the mineral might be, and the combination of them will point to what it is.

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How Mesothermal/Orogenic Gold Deposits Form


These deposits are very widespread across the planet. In fact, they are so extensive that something around 75% of all the gold ever mined comes from these types of deposits (if one includes the placer deposits that also formed from them).

Georgetown CA: A Historically Rich Mother Lode Treasure


The interesting thing about the Mother Lode area is that we can pretty much find at least a little gold in any creek or river (and even in some of the many dry gulches).

Why So Much Gold in Nevada?


Nevada produces about 75% of all the gold mined in the US. This means that all the other 49 states combined only produce 25%, and this includes California, Alaska and Arizona.

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The Historic Gold Rush Town of Quincy


…we focused on various layers of hard-packed flood material out of the creek, and we also obtained some material up quite a ways from the creek itself on bedrock.

Rand, Red Mountain, Atolia Mining Districts of Kern and San Bernardino Counties, California


This area could be re-evaluated for placer scheelite and gold potential in the future along with sand and gravel processing…

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