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Prospecting & Detecting

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Stories, tips & tricks

How Topography Affects Prospecting for Gold


Keeping in mind how the local topography affects where gold has been deposited can help you find more gold, and is certainly something the prospector needs to keep in mind.

Getting Into Hot Water While Reclamation Dredging


Once I started dredging with heated water pumped into my wetsuit, I never went back to not having heat except late in the summer when the water is very warm.

Strategies for Detecting Heavily Pounded Areas


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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Drywashing Moist Dirt


Over the years, I’ve proved to myself over and over again that I don’t have to wait many weeks after rains before I head out to the goldfields to do some gold digging.

Finding Gold With A Simple Sluice Box


…the sluice is a normal first step up from a gold pan for many prospectors. They are simple to use, easily portable, can capture a lot of gold, and can process gravel 10 to 20 times faster than a person can pan…

Detecting A Trashy Area


Some prospectors would have assumed it was another shotgun shell, but in this case it was 17.6-pennyweight nugget!

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Winter Prospecting


Just because we have snow doesn’t mean we’re not going to prospect, we just have to change our direction and head more down towards the flat lands.

Are You Being Followed?


These “people”—and I use that term loosely—worked together with others. What was happening to me was like scenes out of the old James Bond movies.

Crisson Gold Mine Robbed At Gunpoint


The suspect brought a duffel bag with him that he filled with two employee cellphones, wallets, cash from the register, gold nuggets and several trays of jewelry.

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Overcoming Repeated Skunks


When hunting for nuggets does not yield any gold for a couple days, it can get pretty frustrating. But it turns into serious mental anguish when it stretches into weeks or months.

Butte County: Another Mother Lode Favorite


There are so many places in this region to discuss that one article won’t be enough to cover it all, so I’ll focus on a couple of places that we found interesting while searching for gold.

Small High-Grade Pocket Districts


…the excitement passed so quickly that little work was done, but they still have good potential, and I find they are not as well-known and not hit so hard by most prospectors.

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Underwater Reclamation


Working underwater certainly has its challenges, but since I wanted to learn how to blast underwater, I just  needed to dive in headfirst and take charge of the operation.

Gold Detecting—Are You Up For It?


“What does it take to get into gold detecting?” This may seem like a simple question, but the more I hear it, the more I realize it is a frequent question that needs to be answered.

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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Prepping Your Gold Detecting Spots


All bedrock cracks that appear to be wide and deep should be cleaned out completely, and if you cannot clean it out thoroughly then you should break the bedrock apart…

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.

'Outer Space' Diamond Headed for Auction


Black diamonds, also known as carbonado, are extremely rare, and are found naturally only in Brazil and Central Africa. The cosmic origin theory is based on their carbon isotopes and high hydrogen content.

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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?

Colorado to California for Gold


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.

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