Who to Believe When it Comes to Getting the Gold (Part 1)
There's a ton of gold mining and prospecting info out there these days...some of it good, some of it mediocre, and some of it just plain bad. So who do you believe when it comes to getting the gold?
That's a very good question and answering it isn't always easy, especially for newcomers to the world of gold prospecting and small-scale mining. This is particularly true nowadays when "newbies" and old timers alike are bombarded with an avalanche of mining-related info from books, videos, DVDs, websites, and questionable television and cable shows.
Gold Prospecting Books
Tiptoeing your way through this mess can be daunting as well as confusing. But as I've said many times before in Bedrock Dreams, there's nothing easy about gold mining. Coincidentally, there's nothing easy about who to believe when it comes to getting the gold either. So here are a few thoughts and tips in this regard:
1) Stay away from those websites, books, DVDs, videos, and programs that make extravagant claims about striking it rich or getting lots of gold with minimal effort if you just follow their advice and, most importantly, buy their goods.
Yep, these are the same dream merchants, hustlers, and (in some instances) scammers I've warned you about in the past...the very same individuals, shops, or organizations looking to get their financial tickets punched at your expense. You can spot them a mile away because whatever they're selling is outrageously expensive and they invariably use tantalizing come-ons like "the hidden secrets of getting gold," "get an ounce of gold a day," "mine your way to riches," and on and on and on.
Do these motley P.T. Barnums offer real value for the money? Typically not. Most of the "insider" info and tips they want you to shell out big bucks for is common knowledge that can be found elsewhere much more cheaply, if not entirely for free. In gold prospecting and mining if it sounds too good to be true then stay far, far away from it.
2) Don't waste too much of your valuable time on funky "Mom and Pop" gold panning or "Howdy do pardner, I'm Cactus Jack and I'm gonna tell you all about findin' gold," type prospecting websites with shitty banjo music in the background and graphics so bad they'll cause convulsions if you stare at them long enough. Ditto for books, tapes, DVDs, and videos using this approach.
Now as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow I know I'll piss some folks off with this admonition and probably catch some hell along the way too. That's OK...I'll take my licks. But please understand I'm not saying the folks running these sites or purveying materials with this approach are bad people or looking to hustle you. They're not. What I am saying is that the information they impart is typically quite basic and limited in overall value.
Bear with me here, but just how many times can you watch a generic gold panning video or hear all about the family's weekend trip to the prospecting club claims? Despite the "fun" nature of these sorts of things, what you have to ask yourself is how much good they'll do you as you try to improve your skills, knowledge, and experience and make the transition from greenhorn to miner's miner. (On the flip side, if you truly like these sorts of approaches and aren't looking to "level up," more power to you pard and break out the banjo while you're at it!)
As I See It
Listen up. Like it or not, we live in a society where we're constantly afraid to call a spade a spade for fear of hurting someones feelings or being taken to task for doing so. Ye gods and little fishes people! Heaven forbid any one of us gets butt hurt by someone else's criticism or perspective, or that reality intervenes in our ego-driven, politically correct universe.
Am I always right? No, I'm not always right, nor am I always as sensitive a soul as I should be (although I do my best). That said, those of you who've been with me a while know that right or wrong, I call it as I see it. No frills, no BS, no smoke blown up your butts.
I suspect that's part of the reason you come here, isn't it?
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013