Placers, Paystreaks, and Pockets (Part 2)
(Depending on the location, decent placer gold like this can be found in pockets and paystreaks.)
In a general sense, it could be said that placer gold pockets are a form of paystreak. However, I don't necessarily subscribe to that theory and here's why:
First, paystreaks tend to extend either vertically or laterally for some distance and can be composed of multiple layers. Most pocket gold deposits tend to be isolated or localized in terms of deposition, with little lateral or vertical "movement" or layering. This is a somewhat simplistic comparison, but I think it gives you the basic idea.
Pockets Can be Big or Small
At times pockets can be very rich (multi-ounce) with lots of flakes, coarse gold, and small to medium-sized nuggets or they can hold as little as a gram or two of fines and small flakes. Pockets can be found in both wet and dry placer locations and if you hit one, you'll know it.
Gold Panning Kits
Is there a spot-on method or technique for finding pockets? Not really, but having a seasoned and experienced view in terms of gold deposition physics is a definite asset in finding them.
Bear in Mind
Most of the pockets I've found in wet (running stream) environments tended to rest behind or under larger obstructions, in bedrock cracks and crevices, or resting atop or cemented into clay layers. In dry placers, most of the pockets I've come across were again, lodged behind or under obstructions, resting on false or real bedrock, or (and here's the kicker) were spread haphazardly in isolated instances in bench or terrace gravels.
(Knowledge of stream hydrology and deposition physics is fundamental to finding paystreaks and pockets.)
Theoretically, there's no limit to the amount or quality of placer gold you may find in a really nice pocket, but in my own experience most were under a troy ounce. Let me pass this tip along to you one more time here:
Pockets tend to form or concentrate in a manner that is closely associated with solid deposition physics.
That's it for this round. I want to thank all of you out there for your loyalty, appreciation, and support.
Good luck out there!
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Bisbee Placer Gold"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org