Silence is "Golden"

Before I get to the heart of this post, I'd like to apologize to those of you who've experienced problems having your comments published in Bedrock Dreams. I use Blogger as the platform for the blog and it does have its issues at times. I am supposed to be notified via e-mail when a new comment comes in for review/publishing, but for the past month or longer that hasn't been the case, so I've taken another look at the blog comment settings functions. The reason I need to see and approve the comments before they're published is to avoid "spam" comments with BS links, redirects, etc., which I receive quite frequently. Anyway, let's see what happens after I've made a couple of adjustments. But apologies and please keep commenting when the spirit moves you. Now onto the topic at hand...

You Guessed It

There are numerous old sayings floating around that we've all come across at one time or another in our lives. "Silence is golden" is one of those sayings or wise admonitions and when it comes to all things gold mining (and in treasure hunting as well) it's worth its weight in...yep, you guessed! This isn't a new topic for me to bring to your attention or discuss as many of you already know. I've touched on it a number of times in the past in Bedrock Dreams, albeit briefly. But I think it deserves a bit of re-examination and discussion because it's so important to your overall success as a small-scale gold miner or prospector. In all honesty I can't stress its importance enough.

15 Minutes of Fame

Human beings are interesting in very many ways...some good and some not-so-good. As a long-time student of human behavior as well as mining, I've made it a point to learn all that I can about both subjects. One of the big takeaways from all this research of mine is that many people can't control their egos and subsequently, can't keep their mouths from running like a small stream cascading down a mountainside. In other words, the ego and the mouth are connected in a symbiotic relationship that conspires to bring many folks to their knees. That is, if that relationship hasn't already cut them off at the ankles. Now I'm not talking about generic blowhards here, I'm talking about you and I. Blowhards and wannabes need constant attention and recognition. You and I don't. Loudmouths and blowhards will spill the beans anytime and anywhere, especially if it means they'll get recognized for their achievements or discoveries. These are the folks who find something good out there and then have to broadcast it to the world at large so the local TV news station or paper will give them their 15 minutes of fame. But I'm here to tell you that even 15 minutes of local fame is going to cost you plenty in the end. I've been a miner and treasure hunter for 40 years so I know of which I speak.

Even Small Successes...

I could list a multitude of examples of what I'm talking about here but it serves no real purpose. What's done is done and it doesn't matter if you found a multi-ounce nugget or a stash of stolen 20-dollar double eagles in a tin can while you were taking a nature walk. Or maybe you hit an extensive paystreak or a rich pocket. I don't care what it is. Even a small success out in the field like recovering a handful of small nuggets or a couple of troy ounces from a spot you've been eyeballing for some time can come back to bite you on the ass if you haven't learned that "Silence is golden." The need to be recognized or have people slap you on the back isn't just relegated to blowhards, loudmouths, and wannabes. This burning desire to receive kudos for your finds or successes and get your 15 minutes of fame can (and does) at times infect the egos and mouths of folks who otherwise are as quiet as church mice in the daily context of their lives. I know because I've seen it countless times and if you haven't to this point in time you will. There's always somebody on the telly, or in the newspapers, or even on YouTube bragging excitedly about a good find and making damn sure the rest of the world knows all about their luck or success. All I can say to those folks is "Enjoy it while you can."

Think Again

So now the question is why would I say that? No mystery there. You see, after you get your attention and all that backslapping every Tom, Dick, and Harriet in your immediate environs is gonna be looking to: 1) take a piece of your newly found "pie;" 2) take it ALL away from you; or 3) overrun your diggings or treasure hunting location so that they too can get in on your action and maybe get their 15 minutes of fame. There are a lot of ways your finds can be whittled away in this regard. If you've truly hit a "big one" it'll be landowners; lawyers; courts;  judges; state, local; or federal "authorities;" friends and relatives who are so distant you can't even remember their faces; charitable institutions; thieves or break-in artists; and/or anyone else who thinks they've got a shot at the "goods" you've found or mined. It's like being struck by lightning and winning the lottery. Suddenly you're filthy rich. But the downside is that everyone wants a piece of that luck and they'll do anything to get it. That's the extreme end of things and if you think I'm overstating things here...think again. It's pretty much happened with every big money find out there. And your success or luck doesn't even have to be in the millions or tens of thousands. People kill people for a whole let less than that every day on the streets of America. And gold in any form is a big enticement.

Keep Things on the Down Low

Even if your finds are good but small in dollar value my best advice to you is...once again...keep your ego in check and your mouth shut. With large dollar finds you damn well better keep things on the down low and forego posturing on YouTube, giving interviews to the TV news, or having your picture plastered in the papers. It's bound to end badly for you in some way, shape, or form. I know because I've been there in a smaller capacity. Early on in my mining and treasure hunting career I opened my mouth too wide to the wrong person about a really good find and it was whisked away from me. I wasn't looking for attention either...just trying to be helpful and a "nice guy." Well, in truth, nice guys (and gals) always finish last in certain contexts. It's simple really. The more people you reveal your "goodie" finds to the more likely you will run up against some greedy people and some bad odds. It's just like a math this thing, subtract another thing, and the sum total is gonna be zero or close to it. I'm reminded here of the old movie, "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" with Walter Huston, Humphrey Bogart, and Tim Holt. To quote the old-timer gold prospector and miner (Walter Huston) in the film:

" long as there's no find the noble brotherhood will last. But when the piles of gold begin to grow...well, that's when the trouble starts."

Remember, "Silence is golden."

(c) Jim Rocha 2018

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Damn right!
    Glad you got that thing fixed. Figured you would want to know it wasn't working right. Thanks again JR. I hope you are having a good summer.

  2. Hi Howard,

    Out of all the advice you have given Curtin and myself over the years this was always the most valuable. You have spoken of it before. I'm retired now and still stumbling around in The Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona. I'm glad to see you keeping up your fine work. Best to you always.

    Fred C. Dobbs

    1. I wondered about you and Curtin, Dobbsy! Glad you're hanging in there and still prowling the Bradshaws. How goes the gold??

    2. Hi Howard,

      Stumbling would be the key word here. Curtin and I might have found enough gold to fill a few good sized cavities. We still use our power sluice but a few years ago we purchased a couple of the older Fisher Gold Bug M-Scope detectors. We now travel deep into The Bradshaw's on our week long trips walking thru the steep and narrow canyons swinging coils over the benches and over any exposed natural bedrock traps. We get into places where we think surely no man has walked here before. We leave camp after breakfast and return just before sundown to flop down in our chairs. Exhausted, sore, with arms that feel like lead and all stickered up from the country brush. One of us will look towards the other and say, Great day hunting! The next day we repeat the process.

      Like Curtin and Dobbs we are Greenhorns but we're learning. We keep our mouths shut and stay away from The Dream Merchants and keep pushing forward. One day we will find that pay streak of nuggets that The Old Timers missed and it will all be worth it.

      But until then we keep searching.

      Fred C. Dobbs

    3. You guys are going about it the right way. And you're day you're gonna hit something good Dobbsie...just you wait and see. Keep the faith brother!


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