A Gold Mining and Prospecting Quick List

I felt the need to compile a mining and prospecting "quick list" for all you small-scale guys and gals out there. You old salts and veteran miners are probably right on top of these list items, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded of certain things. As for you greenhorns and newbies...take note.

1. Start small and then go big.
2. Travel as light as possible.
3. Check your gear beforehand.
4. Learn something about gold geology.
5. Study the ground around you.
6. Read that stream or wash.
7. Use your eyes first.
8. Work your ass off.
9. Think outside the box.
10. Check out anything unusual.

11. Watch for "signs."
12. Dig deeper.
13. Bedrock is your best friend.
14. Oxides are red flags.
15. Check those benches.
16. Go where the gold is.
17. Sample, sample, sample.
18. Take note of what's in those heavies.
19. Go for quality and value.
20. Get to those hard-to-reach areas.

21. Dry placers are contrary.
22. Check out the country rock.
23. Colorization is a giveaway.
24. Clays stop gold.
25. Obstructions are stopping points.
26. Ignore fast water stretches.
27. Waterfalls are wayyyyyyy overrated.
28. Black sands are everywhere...gold is not.
29. Always check float.
30. Drop offs are gold traps.

31. Follow your intuition.
32. Don't claim jump.
33. Stay away from blowhards, loudmouths, and BSers.
34. Help other miners when needed.
35. Pass on the tradition.
36. Stop whining, bitching, and complaining.
37. Hard work never killed anyone.
38. Nuggets are icing on the cake.
39. Stop believing the dream merchants.
40. Specimen gold always commands higher dollars.

41. Crush that "pretty" rock or have it assayed.
42. Don't buy claims on eBay.
43. Act like a jackass and be treated like one.
44. Don't preface your first name with "Prospector."
45. Gold, like life, is ephemeral.
46. Show the kids how to pan.
47. Save your black sand concentrates.
48. Persistence pays off.
49. Gold ores come in many forms.
50. Enjoy every moment out there.

(c) Jim Rocha (2018)

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. Great list of advice JR. I especially like "Act like a jackass and be treated like one"
    I know a lot of folks that have not figured that out!

  2. Well said Jim. Most of those rules apply to everyday living also. Glad your doing well. I haven't been out prospecting for awhile. Doing too well in Oklahoma on my drilling rig. Look forward to many more posts!

  3. Love it.
    A comprehensive reminder/check list. I will refer to it often.

  4. I am a green horn and try not to be easily discouraged. I agree with having to be persistent in working hard and no whinning bitching or complaining. When your out there if your having a moment just kick back and take in the surrounding environment need i say more. If your a newbie and get frustrated go back to where you once found gold sometimes staying in the same area helps you to go forward.
    My name is Bernadette and i have beenprospecting for 3 years just this year i found three grams. Hard work and still its hard.


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