LOST TREASURE USA
THE TREASURE HUNTER'S NEWSLETTER
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In the movies, the old Gold Rush prospector was a colorful character, who lived alone out in the hills (with maybe a single mule for company) in his Quixote-like search for riches. Unfortunately, he usually got shot just as soon as he finally struck gold.
History has always fascinated me and the sagas of the various gold rushes that spurred Westward expansion in the United States is more than mere footnotes in the history books. California and Alaska both became magnets for settlers as a result of the discovery of gold.
But if you think the days of prospectors are long gone, you are in for a surprise. Even today, you and your family can experience the thrills and excitement of finding gold in the very places where claim jumpers, back shooters, Indians and assort ed villains made life tough for the old prospector (and his mule).
In North America, you can pan for gold in California, Alaska, the Yukon Territory and even Vermont, and relive the actual experiences of the old prospectors (minus, I hope, the claim jumpers, back shooters and Indians).
First, letís talk about how to pan for gold. Below is a set of instructions I found on explorenorth.com/library/howto/ht-pan.htm
How To Pan For Gold:
1. Find a pan - anything with sloping sides will work, or see a list of gold pan dealers below.
2. Choose a likely location - see tips and links below for ideas.
3. Fill your pan with sand and/or gravel.
4. Dip your pan into the creek, or pour water into the pan.
5. Shake the pan in a sideways, back-and-forth manner. The gold will now start to settle to the bottom of the pan.
6. After a couple of minutes of shaking, pick out the bigger rocks that are getting separated (make sure than you don't throw away any nuggets!)
7. Tilt your pan away from you a bit and start letting gravel fall out. Remember, the gold is rapidly settling to the bottom of the pan now.
8. Add water as necessary to keep a good "soupy" gravel mixture - it helps the gold settle.
9. Keep tilting the pan more and more, and letting the gravel on top fall over the side. The bottom of the pan should always be lower than the lip of the pan, though, or the gold will fall out.
10. As you get to the last bit of sand in your pan, adding a circular motion to your shaking will make the gold separation more obvious - not more effective, but more fun to watch.
11. The last bit of sand takes care, and is the slowest part - as long as you don't tip your pan too far, though, the gold will stay in the pan. The traditional declaration of success is "Bonanza!"
12. Get a small glass container.
13. Put your gold into the container - it will stick to your finger in the pan, then wash it! off int o the container.
14. Display the container on your mantel to impress the neighbors!
15. Repeat as needed.
1. Don't use a teflon-coated pan - the gravel will wreck it, and you will lose a lot of your gold.
2. You can try panning anywhere. The best places are along creeks, particularly behind boulders where eddies form.
3. Although "black sand" (magnetite) is difficult to separate from the gold, it's a great indication that you're in the right spot.
There are several places listed on the web that offer wilderness tours involving panning for gold. All of them (that I found) will teach you how to pan and will let you keep the gold you find. The general impression I gathered was that finding gold is a sure thing, albeit seldom in large quantities.
Here are places you can find information and locations to get started in your new life as a prospector (and you donít even need a mule):
Sharp increases in the price of gold over recent years have brought a new breed of prospectors out into the hills. Interested in making their own strike of gold, they are also enjoying the recreation of being outdoors and good exercise. In the deserts, on the hillsides and in the mountain streams, there is still gold to be found in many places. Every year there are still great finds being made, mostly in the western states (at least as far as locations within the USA). Even large nuggets over an ounce in size are still being recovered Ė they are not all that common, but they are still found. Flakes and small chunks of gold are far more common finds. Its not easy, and not every day will be a home run, especially for the beginner. Patience is required and some days just have to be chalked up to the quest to gain knowledge and experience.
Placer gold means gold that is in the form of loose individual grains which have eroded out of the host rock in mountains and hills freeing it so that it can be recovered without further crushing of the host rock. This includes things such as gold flakes and nu! ggets. T his is the type of gold that is of the greatest interest to individual prospectors. Placer gold has been mined from gravel deposits throughout the western US in many different types of environments, both forest and desert.
Many types of efficient placer gold recovery equipment are available for the individual. For the small operator, the choice is usually determined based on the environment he desires to prospect in, as well as his spending budget. In desert environments, dry washers and metal detectors are the chief choices. Other water conserving devices may also be a possibility. For those with access to water in a close to their placer deposits, options like sluice boxes and small-scale suction dredges can also be considered. The versatile gold pan gets used in almost all environments, although in dry environments one has to bring water and the tub to hold it in order to use the pan effectively.
The cost of prospecting equipment used by individual prospectors covers quite a range. Small plastic gold pan can be purchased for less than $10. Top-of-the-line metal detectors designed to find gold cost over $4000. A large suction dredge may cost up to $10,000. Other equipment covers all levels in between. It is not necessary for the new prospector to start with the most expensive items. It is both sensible and reasonable to start off small, purchase some books to learn about how to prospect and have his equipment grow with his knowledge and abilities. So my suggestion is to give it a try, start out small and see how you like it.
If you are new to prospecting for gold and just getting started, I have some suggestions for you. This is a great recreational pastime, and with some sincere effort, you will learn what you need to know and soon be out there digging some nice gold of your own.
First off, I'd suggest you join a prospecting club like GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) or one of the other well-known regional/local clubs. Being part of a club that owns their own ! claims w ill give you access to places to prospect and a chance to talk about local places to look, regulations and what really works to get gold in your neck of the woods. These things are all really important to the new prospector trying to learn the ropes. It will also give you a chance to meet some folks with more experience in prospecting for gold. Attend the group outings and hang around with some of those more experienced guys. Most will willingly share information about how to find gold, and how they have found gold in the past. The friendships you will gain are worth far more than the cost of the membership dues. Even many experienced prospectors are members of more than one club, because of the friendships and prospecting opportunities they present. It's highly unlikely you will strike it rich, but if you work at it you will find some gold and have a lot of fun along the way.
COPYRIGHT : This LOST TREASURE USA newsletter, and my website at www.LostTreasureUSA.com are copyrighted 2003-2007 by FLOYD MANN ( D.B.A. Lost Treasure USA ). But, you may ( please ! ) forward it to as many people as you like.
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