Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gold's Mineral Indicators (Part 1)

 (Mineral identification is more important than you may think.)

Knowing what minerals are associated with placer and lode gold (vein or reef) deposits is necessary knowledge for small-scale gold miners and prospectors whatever their individual levels of experience. In this series of posts I'll be listing and describing some of these gold-related minerals, especially those that are most directly associated with placer or lode gold.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Get Closer to the Source


"Gold is where you find it." The old adage rings just as true today as it did when it was first uttered. But chances are you'll find more gold the closer you are to its source. Therein lies the topic for this post.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Water Flow Levels and Gold Movement

 (California's North Yuba River under normal flow conditions.)

There's always quite a bit of discussion among small-scale placer miners about what sort of water flow is necessary to move gold around in a running stream. Once again, I make a distinction here between wet and dry placers because the latter represent a unique entity for the most part. So the core of this post will be dedicated to water flow and gold movement in wet placers.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Payback's a Bitch

 (A new day dawning?)

The past few years have been pretty hard on small-scale gold miners in the United States. This is especially true in the West and Southwest where the anti-mining and anti-dredging mentality (if you can call it that) has been most vociferous and...as I hesitate to say...most effective. However, a new day may be dawning since the progressive status quo has been disrupted, if not fully slapped in the face.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Of Golden Dreams and Humbugs


 (It's this edition of Curt Gentry's book that I have in my possession marked up with many hand-written notes and drawings from an old timer.)

My friend and small-scale gold mining veteran "Rattlesnake" Jim made a highly interesting comment on one of the posts in my series on Arizona's golden past. I'm going to discuss Jim's premise in greater detail here and lay out a few thoughts I'm certain will infuriate those "true believers" in that will-o-the-wisp known as the Lost Dutchman Mine.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Arizona's Golden Past (Conclusion)

(A 6.59 gram Arizona nugget.)

I'll be closing out this series on Arizona's golden past in this post. By now you've come to realize that the Grand Canyon State had many lode gold and placer strikes and that it remains a good place to be for many small-scale prospectors and miners. So I want to regress a bit here and talk to you about the La Paz placers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Arizona's Golden Past (Part 3)

 (Gold in quartz from the Vulture Mine.)

Henry Wickenburg was too slow on the draw to join in on the fun at the Rich Hill discovery. This didn't bother Wickenburg much since his main focus was hard-rock prospecting and mining, not placer development. The modern day Arizona town of Wickenburg is named after Henry...and for good reason as you shall see.