Most people have heard old stories of the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century. Prospectors from across the United States, and even across the world, headed for the West Coast in hopes of striking it rich. Some of them found their fortunes, others were not so lucky, but the thought of such an endeavor may be exciting enough to make 21st century folks wish it were 1848 all over again.
What many people don’t realize is that the gold rush is not over. Well, perhaps the ‘rush’ part is a thing of the past, but that is not to say that people don’t still find gold. Gold prospecting is alive and well for those that have the ambition and spirit to do it. For those adventurous few, there may be no better method than suction dredging.
To be the most successful in your endeavor to pan for gold you will need some basic equipment and some practice. The good news is that the equipment is fairly easy to get. As for the practice that is up to you. Here is list of basic equipment for the job.
- Gold Pan Black or Green Plastic doesn’t matter you just need something to contrast the color of gold.
- Snuffer bottle
- Small squeeze bottle of dish soap
- Classifier in size 1/4 inch (4 mesh)
- Small glass vial with lid
In the early gold rush days the sluice box consisted of a simple wooden trough lined with raised obstructions placed at a ninety-degree angle to the flow of the water. These obstructions are what are known as riffels. When all of the gold carrying gravel is “run” through the sluice the water is shut off and the riffels are removed. The heavy materials containing the gold known as concentrates would be gathered. This run would sometimes consist of processing several tons of gold-bearing gravel through the box. Continue reading
When I first started looking into how to find gold I assumed that all of the gold that was there to be found already had been. As it turns out, I was wrong. Really wrong. Less than 10% of all of the world’s gold has been extracted from the earth. That is great news for those of us that still want a chance to go out and find our share. Continue reading