I feel like starting a hobby of gold prospecting. I feel like knowing the equipment is easy and even finding gold but hard part is finding a place to look for gold, as well as asking permission to use private land, using the BLM records, staking claims and all that.
I live in Northen Virginia and my peliminary research pretty much states the first gold mining in the US was actually done right here on foot hills edges of the Shanendoha.
I was doing some test panning in the upper Potomac at a friends house and found a few flakes a month ago but nothing really worth going home about.
I bought an ATX gold metal detector and a high banker sluice.
Anyone here know a good place to start here? Clubs, claims and the whole process of getting permission.
I want to make clear I don't plan on getting rich or making living, I just want to do something outdoors and maybe possibly get some spending cash for more trips out.
I wish I lived out west to do this
sounds like you know this, but mineral rights are a serious fucking deal, so do your research before you step on someone's goes. claims are a matter of public record, but i don't know where to get them. start at the county building, maybe? they could probably at least tell you where you need to go to find out.
Look into getting a membership with the Gold Prospector's Association of America. Part of the benefit of membership is that have 100s of private claims across the country that members can access. An added benefit of membership is their mining guide publication that tells you about each claim, what to expect, and turn-by-turn directions. It also lists all the public places in the US you can prospect. You also get a periodic newspaper that updates you with newly added claims.
Here's the link about memberships:
Clarification: what you'll want is a Lost Dutchmen's Mining Association Membership from the GPAA
Looked it up and it is all just GPAA membership (no LDMA membership now required):
One year $84.50
Two year $57.50 per year
Three year $51.67 per year
Two and three year memberships get a free DVD boxset of Season 1 of their Gold Trails TV show.
Also OP, there was a huge gold rush in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, where a 28 pound nugget was found in 1800. At today's gold spot price of $1,135, it would be worth $508,480.
If you strike it rich, a lifetime membership is $1,450 with every Gold Prospector magazine and every Gazette ever printed with an engraved copper gold pan, and a few other goodies thrown in.
I'd say the book and claims access to hundreds of claims and hundreds of thousands of acres is a pretty good deal. The book also has information on lost treasures caches that you can search for if you're into that.
>This guys mining tutorials
The eventual fate for all boys/out/s when they starting looking for gold
I pan a lot and we have a mapping app with our states Dept. of Natural Resources. Basically it's a layered map of mineral and water rights. Where I live a lot of stakes have been claimed but the state also has places where they won't let people have mineral rights and anyone can pan for gold, and use a high banker, but they don't allow sluice boxes or anything like that in the streams.
Just googleing and knowing what it takes in my state I would start here.
Also your layered map is as difficult as ours to figure out so my link might be wrong as I didn't really look into it to much.
And in our state you have to renew your "claim" every year so if you snooze, you lose. A coworker took over a claim.
>my minimalist panning stuff in pic
> out xest
Pardner, there is gold in every state of the Union, except Hawaii. Proven fact you would know uf you wated Tom Massy's Gold Fever Show!
Join GPAA, GET YOUR MAP AND GET GOLD FEVER!
You might not strike it rich, but you might get /out/!
(...and it's called panning, not mining)
unrelated to gold, I was in coober pedy to mine for one summer, and the law of the land people used when dealing with claim jumpers and ore theft was to blow up their cars and equipment with blasting explosives.
WA gold panner here. Basically just an excuse to get out. Never even found a flake but I still go when I can.
I need a steel sluice. These cheap plastic ones are too floaty and gotta be anchored down with rocks.
This is the book I read when starting. Lots of good info about reading the stream, where to do your exploratory pans before setting up and using the sluice.
I dont know how it works in the States, but here in Canada rivers are owned by the crown. Technically you do need mineral rights to gold pan, but it really isnt an issue unless you are doing anything major. No one gives a shit if you go with a pan and try to find some gold.
The biggest trick to panning is digging a hole as deep as you can. Gold is heavy so after thousands of years it sinks to the bottom of river beds.
idk, the longer I go without finding shit the more I get a hankering to try to find it. Plus I enjoy the scenery, poke around the streams, and get to wear my waders.
And I enjoy the process. Even though I'm shit at it lol
If you're not catching anything it sounds like you have the sluice angle set up wrong, or in too fast of water and the gold is washing out. Spray paint some lead shot bright orange, and practice with it. It is heavy enough to simulate gold, and you can spot it easily. The proper location also helps, such as digging on the inside bend of a river.
hmm that's interesting, I'll give it a shot. I always figured I just was in a bad stream / dont know what Im doing.
I try to dig behind boulders too. I heard they can allow the heavier stuff to settle directly behind them.
it depends but for the most part at least in Virginia the area bellow the high water mark is considered state land. However if your going through parks, BLM land things change.
That being said asking for permission to go onto private land isn't super hard. However you often get asked to favors like fixing a farmers fence or cull deer/vermin
I would consider changing spots or re adjusting your sluice box. You should be pulling in ALOT more then that.
A good point is basically stay in the "crests" of river bend, as in the places you want to pan would almost be a straight line down the river without hitting any bends if you were looking down at the river from a birds eye view.
Guess I got some new shit to try this year.
How much should I run through the sluice before I check the miner moss? I normally do a whole 5 gallon bucket of classified shit before I look. Too frequent?
Not really, if you don't make enough to cover your equipment and transportation then it means didly fuck all. A flake isn't work shit, and it takes a fuck ton of flakes to even make a gram.
If it's running well you just do a visual inspection and if you have a good amount of gold forming in the first portion of your shit then I would clean it. Pan your tailings to check for any your sluice missed, if you find none you are doing good.
See I always figured flakes would stand out but never have seen any. I must be hitting the wrong spots.
pic related. where I pan in eastern WA.
There really isn't any right time to check it since its all dependent on the amount of material, water flow and the angle of the sluice box.
That being said the heavier material will first collect in the upper segment of the box and later towards the bottom. You might want to clean out when the material piles down to where your not comfortable with it.
Also a nifty piece of equipment to invest in is an automatic panner. The Desert fox one is awesome because it recycles the water and can be run with just 2 gallons. You put your concentrates in it and it does a lot of the work.
You do have to pan at some point to clean your material if your placer mining also what is /out/s opinion on these jerkoffs?
I posted the pic of my pan above and I primarily pan. It's about how much material you run through. Also you don't take your gold to a buyer, if you're smart. You put it in little vials of a few flakes and put it on eBay.
The Schnable family, Parker, are well known in Southeast Alaska and so is Gene Cheeseman. The rest are goofy except maybe Tony Beets but I've never met him. Also a lot of the places they mine have been mined before but not with new equipment.
I thought Parker and his grandfather were only semi pro/hobbyist miners that are just riding the whole reality show meme.
If I had to deal with a little 17 year old shit like Parker or the borderline criminal and drug addicts like the Hoffman's and that Dutch fucker Tony Beats I think I would secretly mine on their shitty claims just to spite them.
good advice on that note if you get any nuggets larger then 8mm or any visible gold in minerals like quartz don't melt them down or sell them to gold buyers.
Rock hounds and museums are always looking for nuggets and minerals and the nuggets are often worth more then their weight in gold.
>I thought Parker and his grandfather were only semi pro/hobbyist miners that are just riding the whole reality show meme.
Parkers family owns Southeast Roadbuilders. His grandfather owns the mine outside of Haines at Porcupine Creek. They are the real deal but are probably memeing it up for TV and now they do panning tours at the old mine. Gene is definitely real. I just don't know Tony but he comes off as the sort of crusty Yukoner.
Yeah I sell these. You make a lot more but I'm careful not to say because I don't report it as income. A days work pays for itself though.
Not speaking about you of course, but how many hours a week would somebody in a similar position put in working? How about expenses on equipment? Also, not speaking about you of course, what could somebody with a similar operation expect to clear for a year after expenses?
Feel free to not answer the last one. But I'm curious about what somebody would put into a small operation as far as labor and expenses to be able to make a reasonable living.
To get this
This is my stuff, I also use a "Gold Grabber" pan.
I only go out maybe a couple of times a month in the spring through fall months. I think I could make a living at it but I have a pretty good regular job. I probably have around $200 invested in everything I have, I have a few pans and some other things.
Here's what a quick Google search turned up:
A list of places in Sweden:
A video of two women that found gold ore that contains gold at ten times the concentration of most mines. At 1:05 they mention where it's at.
Location is everything, but it you're at a stream known to have gold, you should have seen at least something by now. Get a gold pan if you don't have one. Start out doing test pans at locations before actually sluicing a large amount of material. If you're getting black sand, you've dug deep enough to where gold would be if there's actually gold there. If there's no black sand in your pan, your not deep enough or at a location where gold isn't settling out.
I'm the one with the green pan posted above. This place here was really good. The red arrows point to bed rock that was only a few feet deep in the water, the one arrow actually is on the bedrock but I didn't take a wide enough pic for the arrows. The blue is the water flow. Gold floats down the rough part of the river then came into this little settling pool, landed on the bedrock beneath the water, then moved on down the river. Sometimes you come across a place and you actually pee a little.
This guy gets it. When you put gold and water in a small vial, it looks really impressive from the side, because the gold acts as a magnifying glass, and people like to show it off. When viewed from the bottom, there's no magnification, and you realize how little is actually in there.
Also if you have moss near the water pan that. I also do real good with moss sometimes. The "plastic carpet" in a sluice box is called miners moss for a reason.(at least I think that's why it's called that)
Not that guy, but why all the hate? I thought the whole point of /out/ is just to get /out/, and even a little money from a hobby is just a bonus. Otherwise it's kinda slamming a guy fishing with a pole for not using a fishing trawler and nets.
How do you figure? There is hardly anything in the vial, it's mostly black sand, pyrite and I can even see a piece of fucking quartz in that. Not to mention he didn't clear the water. Fail. Fail hard.
I actually prospected one summer up at the GPAA claim on Cripple Creek outside Nome. A bunch of old guys would just go up there to get away from the wife, and fish and hang out. There were also guys that were incompetent at prospecting. They always wanted to have something to take home so they could brag about how much gold they 'discovered.'
To go to the claim, you pay to stay a week at a time. The local Inuit had a pretty good racket going. They would show up the last day of the week before people left, and the old guys/incomptents would actually buy gold from them. The locals would only put a tiny amount of gold and water in the vials, but the magnifying effect of the water made it look really impressive. The idiots were probably paying 5 times the going rate for gold. Their egos couldn't handle the fact that they didn't find any gold, or they had to justify the expense of the trip to the wife, and convince her that they found valuable gold.
Here's some pyrite that I found on a quarts/iron rock. I sure do feel bad now selling pyrite on eBay.
Are they taking anyone to go up there and prospect or work for them? I wouldn't mind working for Snabbel Senior. I read his story and just comes of as guy who came from a shitty background and yet turned it around and made himself a better person for him and his kids. Hes like that granddad you never had.
I just want a job in Alaska gold mining that will take me out of D.C and NoVa for the summer
>Are they taking anyone to go up there and prospect or work for them?
I doubt it. Mostly it's tourist operations and they "salt" the pans (put gold in the dirt they let them pan) You have to wear what they think looks like old miner clothes, pic related. You basically get minimum wage but if you're a good bullshitter you will get good tips.
I'm a certified diver and I want to dredge near or in porcupine creek. Im not interested in joining or hosting tour groups.
Unless the whole thing is just one giant scam and the real money is swindling plebs with vials of gold flakes and pay dirt.
I thought it was him Parker and his grandfather that ran a placer mine near porcupine creak? I want to work in that type of mine.
>I thought it was him Parker and his grandfather that ran a placer mine near porcupine creak?
Yes they did but after the TV show it turned into a tourist attraction. Have you ever seen the TV show Bering Sea Gold? You have to be a certified diver to do that.
No they actually did you dipshit. That 3M stuff marketed as minerals got its name for when placer miners back in the day would line the lower portions of their sluices with moss from the sides of river banks as a technique to improve gold recovery rates.
Also to add that don't use miners moss or carpet except as a spacer between riffles.
The best recovery rates I've gotten have been with rubber mats particularly the ones with the square indentations.
Also as a rule of thumb the longer the sluice the longer you can run it between clean out, the wider the sluice the more concentrated material you will collect.
I've only seen stories of them using real moss. Not one documented case, you find me documentation I'll believe you. Even if they did it would have been quickly dumped for something better immediately
Good luck finding a claim you can work on, and I fucking hope you get caught if you claim jump someone elses. Enjoy your massive fines you faggots.
I'm a legitimate gold and mineral prospector and you newbs really need to get a clue
I'd rip you a new asshole in court.
I'd bet dollars to donuts your claims aren't legally staked and won't pass the reasonable person test.
we trash hobby miners like you on a regular basis in the West.
>is anyone /out/ looking for coins or old treasure?
I hunt coins sometimes.
you'd make more money washing pots at Burger King, but coinshooting is more fun.
Nice finds, Virginia is a mecca for metal detecting and artifact hunting but at the same time that really restricts you to where you can hunt since you can't obviously MD on Federal Land or Battlefields.
That being said I know there are heaps of clubs and historical societies that get contracted by parks and private land owners to aid in archaeological projects and retrieve artifacts for museums and parks
Things are pretty much the same here in Colorado. I just make it a point to know who owns the private property and be on good terms with them. Most people don't care about what you might find, and really the average coin that's been buried for a hundred years isn't going to be worth much.
Yeah the problem is shitlords with metal detectors have done things like loot arecological sites illegally or undermined wrecked river banks for finds. Basically ruining it for decent MDs.
I like coin shooting and THing. One thing I always do in the early spring is always scout out locations and look for flowers. There may be noting left to show where old cabins were at, but often times you can find flowers that grow from bulbs like daffodils that were planted around the cabins. Also old fruit trees that grew near houses/cabins are easier to spot when they're flowering in the spring.
Yeah, where I'm at in Colorado I look for a type of iris called blue flag. They were really popular back in the 1800's and the survive in the old gardens still.
most of those old timers didn't have much money though. Or much of anything valuable. Most of the cool stuff I've found has been around old saloons and whore houses. Or in the road. Seems like people lost a lot of change in the roads.
Damn ya'll & this thread. You're making me pick up new hobbies & spend $. 8-)
Thanks for the suggestions on equipment to purchase to get started. I'd gladly spend $200 for hours of fun with this little guy digging in the river, throwing rocks, listening to the sounds of the river, & soaking up every minute of being out with him.
Now if we actually found some gold, damn that'd be cool as well.
I would go prospecting in Sweden but I honestly feel uncomfortable going to another country to do gold prospecting. I feel like it should be left to the locals to enjoy.
That being said I'm sure there's great spots there, problem is the weather and cold. I wouldn't invest in doing any placer mining in places that have limited seasons.
Orange day lilies are sterile and only reproduce by division. They were introduced by ben Franklin. Any time you see one it literally in a scientific sense used to be owned by ben. They are common around old house sites.
Here's a shot of an old stone foundation in a ghost town mining camp near my house. The blue irises in the foreground were cultivated by the miners or their wives.
I once found a spot where these flowers grow in a perfect rectangle over a slight depression in the ground. The rectangle measures about 3x5 feet, probably the grave of a child or a woman. It was just out back behind where a cabin used to be back in the 1800's. There's some cool stuff to see in these old places.
*You mean my treasure
I should really go to bed.
But yeah, I'd really like to go out with a metal detector and see what I find. There are lots of neat old places to visit where I live in New England.
I live in Spokane and don't know anywhere you can find even color, let alone anything worth bragging about. You'd think there'd be something in the Spokane river since it flows out of Coeur d' Alene, but even Idaho's pannable areas are a little further south around, surprisingly enough... placerville.