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Gold prospecting

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Anybody into gold prospecting here?

The town I live in was an old gold rush town, and there are public lands near me where prospecting is allowed. The chances of much being left behind is slim, every square inch was worked to death up until about WW1, but I'm thinking I'll have a shot at it anyway.

I've also been binge watching the various versions of the Gold Rush TV show, since being put onto it by @Toothpick, and that is giving me motivation.


So I'm putting together my beginners prospecting kit. So far I have a Fisher Gold Bug detector, a small and large pan from Turbopan, A little shovel, a geologists pick...

Is there anything else I should add?

Any hints, tips or stories of your own adventures you would like to share?
 
I was talking to buddy of mine about prospecting after watching too many episodes of white water gold rush. He said his uncle would occasionally find small amounts detecting in the long winding piles of rocks/dirt that were removed from the mines. He called them something but cant remember what it was. Seems like a good place for rattlers to hang out though.

Unfortunately, the geographical area Im in isnt conducive to gold deposits. At least thats what google said. Good luck.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I was talking to buddy of mine about prospecting after watching too many episodes of white water gold rush. He said his uncle would occasionally find small amounts detecting in the long winding piles of rocks/dirt that were removed from the mines. He called them something but cant remember what it was. Seems like a good place for rattlers to hang out though.

Unfortunately, the geographical area Im in isnt conducive to gold deposits. At least thats what google said. Good luck.
The waste rocks and dirt are called tailings. In the old days the mining was not so efficient, so yes, with modern equipment you can still find a bit of gold in there. Where I live there was a big community of Chinese miners who went through the tailings left by the original miners, so I don’t think I have much chance with those.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
Where I live there was a big community of Chinese miners who went through the tailings left by the original miners, so I don’t think I have much chance with those.
In British Columbia there were several gold rushes back in the 1850s and onward, notably the Fraser River and then Barkerville (but there were others too.) The general impression is that the white guys got there first, and got all the big nuggets, and didn't bother with the little flakes; then the Chinese came in after and were patient enough to build their gold stash flake by flake by flake ... so if the tailings were worked by the Chinese as well, they were pretty much done.

I think nowadays guys can use modern high-tech equipment to still get a bit out of those old tailings, but that's more a question of running large volume through big machines ... not a prospector with a pan in the river.

When I was a kid my parents would take me to Barkerville in the summers and I'd get to pan for gold at their tourist shop.

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You were "guaranteed" to find a bit of gold (unless you were clumsy and washed it out of the pan). They still have that nowadays but, with the price of gold the way it is, it's very expensive and the gold they give you is miniscule.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
Is there anything else I should add?
A sense of humour and/or perseverance. This isn't something you do to "make money by finding gold" ... it's something you do to have fun mucking about in the wilderness, being cold, wet, and dirty ... and loving every minute of it.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
.
 
My kids and I camped in the North GA mountains a couple of Labor Day Weekends several years ago. I wasn't aware of the prospecting history there until I saw several people panning in the Etowah River behind our campsite in Elijay. A stretch of US 19 in that area is called Gold Digger's Road. Great place to get outside!
 
There’s a great short story by Jack London called ‘All Gold Canyon’, I’d recommend it.
Actually I just saw there’s a film on Netflix made up of about 6 short films called ‘the ballad of buster Scruggs ’. The 4th short film is London’s all gold canyon. It’s good but the book is better.
 
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Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Actually I just saw there’s a film on Netflix made up of about 6 short films called ‘the ballad of buster Scruggs ’. The 4th short film is London’s all gold canyon. It’s good but the book is better.
Oh yeah. With Tom Waits in it. I've seen that. I'll try to find the book.
 
I got into GPAA awhile back, didn't do much because of life. Gold prospectors of America. Join and can camp on their property through the U.S and they have an Alaskan camp as well. Very worth it imo. The father also had the original gold show way way back called Gold Fever they continued. They founded the Outdoor channel as well. Haven't kept track of the newer stuff. I always liked the no bs real cheap and real life video they put out.its alot more informative and I believe better than the produced crap out now.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Did you try some Gold Prospecting this weekend David?
Nah, it’s my wedding anniversary, so I am busy doing family stuff. And next weekend is the kids second birthday...

Coming into autumn though, so ideal weather for getting outside.
 
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