Dreams Of Gold
Man’s desire for gold has always been legendary, since the time of our ancestors to modern day. In 1849, over 300,000 people traveled to California in search of gold. Days, months, and even years were spent hunting treasure. Many of these people found nothing; others found riches beyond their wildest dreams. There is still gold to be found in the United States, it just takes people with the know how and desire to go get it.
Gold is often found in deserts where rivers used to flow. Hopefully, gold can be found in nugget form, but often gold is found in flakes scattered around in the soil. Either way there is necessary equipment that any good miner must have.
- High Tech Metal Detector – Good metal detectors can locate gold as tiny as a half a grain, but their small size makes them detectable only at low depths. Larger deposits such as gold nuggets can be located at significantly greater depths.
- Digging Equipment – shovels, straining scoops, Picks, and digging trowels
- Ore Collector – A locked container, with no leaks or gaps. A box might be sufficient for nuggets, but for flakes the container must be thoroughly sealed.
For separating gold flakes:
- Sluice Box – Trough-like mechanism which has a grid of obstructions known as “riffles”, along the bottom edge. The gold containing materials and soil are deposited into the upper end of the sluice box while water is flowing through it. This water pushes the materials over the riffles which then separates and captures the gold. A sluice box is most effective near running water, when there is not running water available you may consider a dry washer.
- Dry washer – Dry washers are less effective and slower than traditional water methods, but they can be useful in an incredibly dry area. Dry washers use airflow instead of water to separate the gold.
Steps For Finding Gold
To get started you must choose a location for soil sampling. Sampling the soil will determine whether or not to dig in that area for gold. This will involve running your metal detector over many potential areas and finding the one with the most hits. When you have located a suitable site; set up camp and your sluice box (if necessary).
Next, clean up your site by removing rocks or boulders to uncover the material underneath. Map out your site in a grid formation square size of roughly a foot. Run your metal detector over each square of the grid until you receive a hit. Start Digging.
By making your site into a grid you can mark off areas where you checked with the metal detector, and did not receive a hit. This will reduce the change of you digging in an area where there is less gold.
If you keep receiving hits, but cannot find any large pieces of gold, chances are that you have come across many gold flakes. Take a sample of the soil and have it tested for gold. If the soil comes back positive for gold flakes, then set up your sluice box and start shoveling it in.
It is important to thoroughly check each step of the process to ensure as much gold is found as possible. The final step is making a claim to acquire your gold.
Making A Claim
Staking a claim is the most important part of digging for gold. If you do not have a proper claim others can move in and take your gold. There are also severe legal penalties for digging on land that is not claimed.
Finding a resource listing the public lands available for claims is essential. Gold clubs can provide these resources and more. Gold clubs will often provide information on locations where people have had the most luck, and resources on different mining methods.