You might be surprised to learn that you can still find gold in the United States. In fact, over 80% of the world’s gold is still yet to be found. I guess once you realize these facts the questions are: Where can I go to find gold? And if I do find gold how can I be sure I get to keep it? Well, there are two likely routes you can go to answer these questions. First, you can join the Gold Prospector’s Association of America (GPAA) then you are entitled to go out and prospect on any of there gold claims or land leases across America. If you are the more adventurous type you can strike out on your own on any of the open public land across the country and try and stake your own claim.
Here is the Idiot’s quick guide on how to find and stake your very own gold claim:
Step 1: Find the open public land.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulates the public land in the US. This includes mapping and recording gold claims. To find the open land where you can prospect for gold you should order the maps that the BLM sells for just a few dollars. These maps show where all the BLM land is. This land is where you want to start your quest to discover the little yellow rocks.
Step 2: Find Gold!
Sounds simple right? Well, if it was easy we all would be miners and gold wouldn’t be worth that much money right? Once you have discovered gold you are going to need to mark the spot and take down the GPS coordinates of the location.
Step 3: Check to see if that claim is available
This is the step where you find out if you are lucky or not. Go online or contact the BLM to see if someone already has a claim on that spot of the Earth. Here is a link to the LR2000 which is a database of all the claims across the US. Odds are that if you have found gold in the area you are in it might already be claimed. If that is the case you can NOT remove the gold from the claim. And YES, you can be sued if you take gold off of someone else’s claim. But if that spot has not been claimed you yet or is on an expired claim you can claim it for your own!
Step 4: Claim you spot!
If your little slice of the public land is still available you can now claim the spot through the BLM. You can get all the forms you need through the BLM website or you can go down to one of there many field offices if you need assistance. It costs around $140 a year to maintain a claim on about 20 acres of land.
Step 5: Get to work!
You can now go back to your discovery and remove all of the gold you can find and keep it for yourself. But please be good to the land and leave it in good condition. After all it is the public’s land.