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

(Fisher's "Gold Bug 2" has always been a reasonably priced and highly effective/sensitive gold detector.)

There's really no limit to the tools and equipment that can be used in gold crevicing or "sniping" and many of these items can be made or modified cheaply on a do-it-yourself (DIY) basis at home in your garage or workshop. Metal detectors don't fall into this category of course. Although detectors are not a crevicing "necessity" by any stretch, they can add an additional dimension to your crevicing activities.

11. The Tool and Equipment Factor (More on Using Your Detector)

OK, let's assume you have a decent gold detector in your hot little hands, you've become an expert at ground balancing that puppy, and your ears have learned to discern the difference in sound between a bit of rusty wire and a small nugget. What next?

Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

You'll operate initially just as if that detector wasn't in your crevicing arsenal at all. In other words, your eyes and your crevicing knowledge and experience will guide you to likely bedrock cracks and crevices just as they always do (and always have).

I can't say this will work well for all of you out there, but my approach to crevicing with a detector goes something like this (working above the waterline or dry):

  • I generally rig my gold machine (nowadays I either use my Fisher "Gold Bug 2" or "Gold Bug Pro") with the smaller 3.5-inch "nugget" coil attached. This smaller search coil gets into tighter spots and is more sensitive to very small pieces of placer gold. Understand this however...using a smaller coil is a trade off where you're focusing on greater shallow sensitivity to very small pieces of gold at the sake of more deeply buried targets and a wider detectable area. For very large, deeper crevices you may want to use the bigger elliptical coil that comes standard with most machines today. Remember the trade-off dynamics I just mentioned, however.
  • I ground balance my machine, place it in "ALL-METAL"or ferrous (iron) mode and begin sweeping that crack or crevice from multiple directions BEFORE I remove any material at all from it. If I hear nothing I'll start removing a few inches of material and spread that out on one of those large plastic garbage bags and sweep over this material again. If I don't see a nugget staring back at me or hear anything again, I'll dump that material in a 5-gallon bucket and repeat this process again and again until I've cleaned that crevice out completely. Depending on where I am (wet or dry placer) I'll pan that bucketed material on the spot or take it to my panning tub to see what it contains. 
 (Detecting bedrock cracks and crevices.)
  • If I detect a ferrous target in that crack or crevice I'm a very happy camper, overall. Ditto for small pieces of lead (fishing weights, bird shot, etc.). Why? Because in crevicing (and other aspects of bedrock mining) those bits of "trash" metal will often be right next to where the gold is since the specific gravities of all three metals are close enough to bring them into proximity to one another. Trust me on this point. I've actually found small nuggets fused to clumps of oxidized iron in crevices before. If your machine is properly ground balanced and you hear ANYTHING (ferrous or non-ferrous) down there, dig that crevice out carefully and thoroughly. If you start seeing/recovering bits of old rusty iron, old nails, pieces of lead, etc., chances are there's decent gold in that crevice as well.
Positioning and Pinpointing

The reason I swing my coil over a crevice or creviced material from multiple directions is due to a range of factors, but most importantly how a target is positioned in a crack or crevice and/or its metallic make up or constituents. A scan or sweep with your machine from one direction may yield no signal at all while a sweep from another direction will. This approach also helps in pinpointing targets.

Speaking of pinpointing, a reader asked me a while back whether I used one of those small hand-held pinpointers that many coin hunters use these days. Actually, I've used one of those little electronic "wands" in my crevicing activities in the past but I've found the one I own has to be right on top of a small piece of placer gold to detect it. I think pinpointers could be a valuable asset in crevicing though...perhaps the one I own is not one of the best. Who knows?

Best of luck to one and all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 10)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Bravo..Great series of information. Thanks J.R. Got a new detector for Xmas and need to relearn signals. Crevicing is one of my favorite prospecting tools.


  2. Thanks Greg! With your experience and knowledge using that detector as a supplemental tool to your crevicing activities will be a no brainer. Take care my friend! J.R.


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