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Prospecting & Detecting

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What Have You Got to Lose?


It’s accepted knowledge that wet methods will recover more fine gold than dry methods and processing the gravel as a whole will get more gold than only using a metal detector. The question is how much more?

How to Upgrade Your Pocket Plunger


These three simple upgrades, when taken together, will considerably increase a pocket plunger’s magnetic pull and make it less susceptible to breakage.

What's In A Name?


The names attached to these areas came about from many sources. Many are easy to see why the name was given while others had a more contrasting note to them.
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Greenhorn Finds Gold in Colorado


Using a snuffer bottle to pick it out of the pan, he continued his panning efforts. He continued to find more yellowish stuff, but it wasn’t shiny like he thought gold should look.

A New Prospecting Spot


Once indicators start showing up along or below a contact I start to get excited. When I have shale, and outcroppings of diorite with iron-red, gritty soil and some clay thrown in, I really get lightheaded. I may be a mile away from the nearest diggings but that’s okay. I just found a spot that could provide some nice nugget hunting.

Digging It Dry


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.
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Dredging Therapy


The big moment finally arrived. With Norm suited up, I pulled the motor to life and felt instantly better. There’s really something relaxing about the sound of a dredge running—they don’t sound like anything else.

Moving The Big Rocks


The anticipation of finding out if the system of snatch blocks, shackles, chokers, anchor points, and the strap binding the massive slab of rock in the bottom of the river would even budge an inch was weighing on me. 

Modesto, California Man Finds 18-Ounce Nugget


Oscar Espinoza considers himself an amateur gold prospector, but the gold nugget he recently found puts many seasoned prospectors to shame.
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Summertime Gold Panning


I have smaller pans for cleaning black sand concentrates, big pans for taking large samples, pans with corners for pouring out materials, and pans with lots of special riffles. This variation is why I have so many pans—they each have their specialty.

Attention to Detail - Part II


Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.

Modern-Day Claim Jumping


We soon found that our discovery post and other claim markers were gone and replaced with new posts and a notice of location with an earlier date than had been on our notice of location.
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Pickers and Nuggets


Mike and I each selected a side of the creek and started to work our way upstream. We both worked the water and sides of the creek, and better than half the gold found in this area is in the water.

Revisiting the Rocker Box


The first location we worked was a small, dry ravine cutting through many mineralized zones in an area where some hard rock mining had taken place in the past.

Follow Up to "Just One More Time"


…the “One More Time” has turned into three more trips and each of the three has yielded more gold each time down.
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The Highs and Lows of Drywashing


We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.

Successful Detecting Requires Attention to Detail—Part I


So much of gold detecting depends on attention to detail. Every gold area offers its own distinct geological markers and as prospectors we must pick up on those markers.

Panning for Gold on Canyon Creek


I was able to remove the gravels with the assistance of a crowbar and I scooped them up with a garden trowel. This gravel contained over a pennyweight of gold and there were several 2-grain and 3-grain pieces…
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Habits, Procedure, and Where Is The Gold?


In my early days of nugget hunting things were fairly simple. Just headphones, a pack, a detector and a small pick were all I needed for my search for great wealth.

Australian Gold Adventure


I had my heart set on finding a large nugget on this trip, and it seemed to me that pounding known patches was not likely to turn up a monster. Inevitably I would spend at least half my day wandering off...

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