Look for What the Oldtimers Missed (Part 4)


In Part 3 of this series I brought to light the gold recovery possibilities that can be found in working old claim abutments. In this post on looking for what the oldtimers missed, I will focus on another important type of gold placer that can prove profitable for you.

Gold Pans
Gold Panning Kits
Mining Equipment

"Bypassed" Placers

Exceptional gold recovery possibilities can also be found in working what I call "bypassed" placers. What are bypassed placers? Wet or dry, they typically share one or more of the following characteristics:

small in overall area (may only be a few hundred yards in size instead of hundreds of square miles)

less extensive gold distribution than larger, well-known placers (often under 100 troy ounces total)

composed of finer gold values (few nuggets or coarse flakes or "pickers")

gold "locked" in clays or caliche (material must be broken up and "puddled" before processing)

extremely erratic gold distribution (widely disseminated gold values of a "hit-or-miss" nature)

nearly inaccessible or labor-intensive (extremely hard to reach geographically or more labor required to work than value of expected gold returns)

The Bane of the Oldtimers

These conditional elements were often the bane of the oldtimers when it came to filing and working placer claims. Since there was often very rich and easier to work ground available nearby for them, the oldtimers rightly felt that these types of placers were best left alone (i.e., "bypassed"). It was sort of a "why waste my time mining for beer when I can mine for champagne" sort of mentality.

But for modern miners and prospectors, these bypassed placers can be quite a score if you locate one. The oldtimers may have turned their noses up at 100 troy ounces in a small or limited placer deposit, but 100 ounces would suit me just fine. Yep, just fine.

Yes, I Found One

No, I'm not psychic but I do know the next question you have for me. Have I ever found and worked one of these bypassed placers? Yes, my friend, I have. I won't provide any other details other than to say that there was more gold in that little stretch of ground than I have ever found anytime and anywhere, before or since.

How did I find it? Partly through luck but what led me to the area first of all was good research (old mining bulletins and geological surveys). So take that lesson to heart. You can get out there and roll the dice when it comes to gold mining and new gold discoveries, or you can put on your reading glasses and spend a bit of time researching where your best bets may be found. Your call (but I recommend you do your homework first).


Stayed tuned for one more post on looking for what the oldtimers missed. Until then, be safe and keep smiling!

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Look for What the Oldtimers Missed (Part 3)"


(c) J.R. 2009

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com