Tips on "Seeing" Where the Gold Is (Part 2)

Here is the second installment of my tips for "seeing" gold in a streambed:

Tip Number 2: Gold Moves in Straight Lines

This you may or may not have already known, but many would-be placer miners forget this basic rule of thumb. Gold moves in straight lines. Once again, gold's density and weight are the primary factors that ensure, for the most part, that placer gold will follow paths in a stream that are straight or as nearly so as is possible.

Mining Equipment

Unlike the gravel and rock being moved around it that tend to go every which way during flood conditions, gold will not in most instances. For the most part it's path will be predictable to a great degree despite a given stream's twists and turns. The basic idea here is to understand that most placer gold (particularly the heavier or coarser pieces) will move according to fixed lines.

Take a good look at the photo at the beginning of this post and pay particular attention to the 3 main inside curves pictured within it. Now try mentally drawing a line from the inside bend gravel bar in the distance to the tip of the small inside bend to left center and then just touching the partially submerged gravel bar deposition point just this side of that juicy looking bedrock that also sits on an inside bend.

Go ahead, picture that mental line you've drawn passing through these 3 key stream points. Got it? Good. Now you know (at least in this particular instance) the overall line that gold will take when traveling this stream. Ahh, now you see the light, don't you?!

Lest this understanding of how gold travelscomes too easy for you, there are other critical factors such as the location of high and low water pressure points, obstructions, and most important of all, stream high water or flood conditions. For it's one's ability to "see" how gold moves in the latter conditions that separates the "newbies" from the old sourdoughs.

More on that later. Until then, be safe and keep smiling!

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "A Tough Way to Get Rich"

(c) J.R. 2009

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