Beginner Gold Prospecting

Gold is one of the most highly sought out metals in the world; carrying through markets and recessions. It’s a symbol of high society and royalty, and you might be surprised to know it’s everywhere. In your river beds and mountainsides, maybe even your backyard. However, we don’t suggest back-hoeing your neighbor’s lawn in hopes of striking it rich.

We do, however, suggest if you’re in the market for sluicing, getting together some must-have equipment and starting while the market is hot! So, let’s discuss how to set yourself up for striking gold, potentially.

Where’s the Gold?

I know we said gold is everywhere, but in reality, it is probably best to do some research on your area. Usually, when found in an area, there is a larger chance of finding more of it.

Rockseeker.com suggests locating alluvial deposits in your surrounding area. These are mother natures ‘deep pockets’ where gold is known to accumulate after the soil has washed away.

Digging for Gold: The Novice

It doesn’t take much to get to diggin’ and we suggest doing a little homework before you get started to learn what you are looking for and how gold actually settles. When searching for gold, there are other minerals that are around that you can collect and can also be good indicators that there might be some gold around.

Starter Kit

Gold pan – These are inexpensive, usually plastic, and have gravity traps or ridges that catch the gold as you swirl the water. This is your top tool in finding gold.

Sluice box – Sluice boxes are set up with the flow of the river to catch black sand and gold deposits, allowing other materials to pass through it. The opening is flared to assist faster water flow. Don’t let it flow too fast, however, because that creates white water which can push the gold right out the other end.  Cost for sluice boxes vary depending on size.  The bigger the sluice box, the more dirt you can move!

Pick/shovel combo – A must have for beginners, this simple tool is going to help you move dirt and rocks much easier. These tools allow you to scoop and pick your way around that bedrock so you can get to the gold.

Bucket – This is an all-around helper tool. It is useful for storing and carrying your tools, and it can also hold black sand back with you to pan later on, leaving more time for prospecting. A bucket is a very versatile and must-have tool that also helps keep you organized.

This is more than enough to get you started. Expert diggers invest in much larger equipment such as high bankers and dredges.

Dredges suck up rocks and sediments, which are then carried or automatically sent through a machine with water. The machine design is similar to a large sluice, separating the goods stuff from the rest of the material that passes through it.

High banker machines mimic river flow by pumping water and sediment from river beds into large sluice boxes, which pan through a much larger amount of soil faster.

Gold, one of the most highly sought out metals in the world; carrying through markets and recessions. It’s a symbol of high society and royalty and you might be surprised to know it’s everywhere. In your river beds and mountainsides, maybe even your backyard. However, we don’t suggest back-hoeing your neighbor’s lawn.

We do, however, suggest if you’re in the market for sluicing, getting together some must needs and starting while the market is hot! So, let’s discuss how to set yourself up for striking gold, potentially.

Where’s the Gold?

I know we said gold everywhere, but in reality, it is probably best to do some research on your area. Usually, when found in an area, there is a larger chance of finding more of it.

Rockseeker.com suggest locating alluvial deposits in your surrounding area. These are mother natures ‘deep pockets’ where gold is known to accumulate after the soil has washed away.

Digging for Gold: The Novice

It doesn’t take much to get to diggin’ and we suggest doing a little homework before you get started to learn what you are looking for and how gold actually settles. When searching for gold, there are other minerals that are around that you can collect and can also be good indicators there might be some gold around.

Starter Kit

Gold pan- These are inexpensive, usually plastic and have gravity traps or ridges that catch the gold as you swirl the water. This is your top tool in finding gold.

Sluice box- Sluice boxes are set up with the flow of the river to catch black sand and gold deposits, allowing other materials to pass through it. The opening is flared to assist faster water flow. Don’t let it flow too fast, however, because that creates white water which can push the gold right out the other end.  Cost for sluice boxes vary depending on size.  The bigger the sluice box, the more dirt you can move!

Pick/shovel combo- A must have for beginners, this simple tool is going to help you move dirt and rocks much easier. Allowing you to scoop and pick your way around that bed-rock so you can get to the gold.

Bucket- This is an all-around helper tool. It is useful in storing your tools for carrying and can carry black sand back with you to pan later, leaving pore time for prospecting. Pretty much, a bucket helps keep you organized

This is more than enough to get you started. Expert diggers invest in much larger equipment such as high bankers and dredges.

Dredges suck up rocks and sediments, which is then carried or automatically sent through a sluice box or trammel, separating the goods from the not-so-goods.

High banker machines are more like a manual dredge.  Instead of sucking material up, it is scooped in manually.  Water is pumped in at the top to wash the sediment through the high banker and through a sluice box.

However, you should probably wait on that investment until you are sure you found a gold mine. Happy prospecting!