Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 2)

 (One day's take from underwater crevicing or "sniping.")

I'll say it again. If you're a small-scale placer gold miner who doesn't have the time, money, or desire to mine on a commercial scale, crevicing (gold sniping) remains one of your best methods for recovering gold. In my previous post I discussed the concentration I want to bring another important crevicing factor to your attention.

2) Location Factor

Crevicing for placer gold is a lot like the old real estate's all about "location, location, location." By the same token, this location factor is composed of a number of characteristics that can make or break your surface or underwater crevicing recoveries.

That said, here are some general rules you should follow:

Don't waste your time trying to crevice or snipe within one mile of the nearest public access point, campground, or otherwise easily accessed location. Granted, this mile distance rule can be fudged slightly upward or downward depending on where you are in general and where exactly you want to work but in general, the farther away you are from these sorts of public accesses the better off you'll be in terms of gold recovery potential.

Rats in the Cage

The reason for this is quite simple and should be readily apparent to one and all. To use a blunt metaphor of sorts, the more rats in the cage there are, the less cheese you're gonna get. Plenty of other folks out there know the advantages of crevicing and gold sniping and will have already cleaned out those easy to reach crevices near the above-mentioned access points. Sure, they'll miss one or two along the way, but why waste your time in a spot like that when better crevicing ground can be found by humping your gear to more distant and harder-to-reach locations?

(The more rats in the cage, the less cheese for you and I.)

By way of example, I can cite numerous instances in my own small-scale mining experience where I've seen as much as one third to one half troy ounces of gold taken in a 5 or 6-hour crevicing day (the most I ever got in that time frame was a little over 7 grams, or about a quarter troy ounce). I've also seen quite a few nice (but small) nuggets pulled from crevices. The largest nugget I've seen recovered crevicing weighed 11.3 grams.

I Empathize With You

Sounds good, doesn't it? However, if you think you're going find good gold like this working easy to reach ground where the other "rats" have already eaten the cheese, I have only three words for you...forget about it. The creviced gold recoveries I mentioned above took place in areas that, in some instances, were genuine ass busters to reach (and I was a much younger guy back then). I'm talking about traversing very steep ravines, humping your way up and down hillsides, fighting your way through brush, thorns, or cacti, stumbling over miles of river rock, or crossing rushing streams and creeks to get at those "virgin" cracks or crevices.

Gold Concentrates
Gold Pans
Gold Concentrators
Now I know some of you reading this are probably feeling a bit disappointed because your age or certain health issues have severely restricted your ability to get out to those harder-to-reach crevicing spots. I empathize with you completely on this and want you to know there are other ways to get in a bit of decent crevicing, even close in to those easily accessed areas if you're willing to be patient and thorough. E-mail me if you're interested in learning more.

Good luck out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Common Gold Mining Myths and Misconceptions (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Great points you've made in this post. We do several outings through our store (American Prospector Treasure Seeker) and we do our best to explain to our participants "the more that you go off the beaten path, the higher changes you have". We do a lot of sluicing and drywashing for gold. Thanks for sharing, great information here!

  2. Thanks for the supportive comments. Shoot me an e-mail with your website URL and I'll place it in my links section. Best, J.R.


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