Find Gold Bearing Placer Deposits, Gold in Quartz, Veins of Gold, A Gold Piedmont, and Minerals Found with Gold
It is one thing to know high probability areas for finding placer gold near a stream. It is quite another thing to locate property that is a good contender for holding gold. Finding a property that might contain gold is the subject of this article. And, just as there are places to look on a claim where the nature of placer gold is likely to dictate where it "falls out" or settles, there are some fundamental rules for selecting an area not claimed.
Finding gold this way is much harder than searching on a claim (where gold has already been found), but the rewards can be very large.
One of the first things to look at is geology. Since most areas containing placer gold are downstream from a lode (a hard rock source), you probably will want to look somewhere not far from mountains. If there is a range where some gold has previously been found, that is even better. As rain and melted snow run over rock formations, bits of gold break loose, and these flakes wash downstream. Since gold is very heavy (19 times heavier than water), the force of the water determines where the gold settles. As the force decreases, flake starts to fall out. The larger flakes fall out first. The lighter flakes continue to be carried downstream until the water slows sufficiently for the gold to settle to the bottom of the water way. So, one of the first things to look for is a piedmont.
A piedmont is a foothill region. In gold prospecting the term designates an area leading away from a mountain to its base. It is created by material washing out of the mountains. This material deposits itself in a distinct pattern. Heavier material is at the top. Then follow heavier pebbles (where gold nuggets can be found), then smaller pebbles and gold flake. The original word from its classical roots means "at the foot of the mountain". Another term for this type of region is alluvial deposit.You more than likely have seen them in the past.
If there is a lode (hard mine deposit) above, there will be placer below. In reality, most areas downstream from a discovered load have been claimed. But if you discover placer gold in an area containing a virgin gold lode, you will find placer flakes. Remember, gold outcroppings occur in multiple fingers. Where there is one, there may be many close by.
The next thing you might want to do is to hike up the mountain side and see if you cannot find the lode. Of course, there could be an out cropping of quartz with gold, or you may have mineral deposits that contain gold. Either way, exploring could be worth your while. While highly improbable, experts know that all of the gold on earth has not been discovered. Placer flake is the focus of this article.
Next, you might want to look for benches. Benches are hard rock cuttings formed by water running swiftly over a combination of hard and soft rock. It might take thousands of years to cut through hard rock, but if the swift water finds a layer of soft rock, the water will cut through it relatively quicker than the hard. Suppose you have a granite-hardness type rock that suddenly becomes limestone? The limestone portion will be cut faster. As the water level drops down the cutting side, the hard rock (granite) is left behind. This gives a rock formation on a canyon wall that resembles a bench; yes, something you could sit on.
These “gold benches” can have cracks and residue on the seat and back of the bench. By vacuuming and prying open cracks, gold that has previously gotten stuck can be sucked out. Material on the seat of the bench can be collected and panned. Many a prospector has discovered gold in this manner. I frequently use a whisk broom.
- Buy Gold Prospecting Equipment
Here are vital equipment ideas for successful gold prospecting.
Gold can be found as very small particles in rock. Also, in particular a by-product of copper mining, gold is recovered from the extraction process along with other valuable metals. It is often said that the gold, silver, and platinum content, a result of the copper ore processing, provides mining companies with enough money for their whole operation - copper is frequently referred to as pure profit. Gold is often mixed in sulfide minerals. In addition, Fool’s Gold (pyrite) can contain gold. Quartz can often be mingled with veins or nugget size pieces of gold.
One of the most famous and oft sought signs of the possibility of gold is the sight of white quartz. This purer/richer form, perhaps more exciting, is found in veins. At the surface of these veins the deposits tend to be richer. So, investigate the white quartz with a close eye; it is important.
Another thing to look out for is ancient waterways. As you may well know, water can travel along a course for many years, and then for some reason it will divert. Perhaps large boulders fall into a stream or river bed and direct the water to the side. A new water passage is created. If this area is descending, the water may move down for even more distance until it begins to take its new course. Looking for old waterways (now dry) is based on geology. If you look at the top of a waterway and see to the sides layers of rock and pebbles, that means that the current waterway diverted from that. That area to the side is a good spot to prospect for placer and nuggets.
And now, a word about gold ore. Brown is often the color of gold. It can be iron-stained rock or huge white quartz deposits. Gold ore usually contains only small traces of gold. You extract the gold by crushing the ore to practically powder size, and then the gold is separated by panning or some large mechanized version of panning that allows for the processing of more material (shaking tables, etc).
Here is a list of 13 minerals that gold is associated with in nature:
6. bysmuthide maldonite
While discovering a virgin lode gets harder and harder (if not nearly impossible), quartz bearing gold can still be found at old lode sites. You must be a fortunate prospector, but it happens. Remember, commercial operations end when it is no longer profitable. That does not mean when the gold is exhausted. Investigate areas near the site of former gold quartz ledges. Finding new areas of placer gold that have not been claimed is in my opinion “easier”. Fine gold flake can be found for many miles on waterways and their tributaries. Looking at satellite photos of earth’s surface in the proximity of already- discovered gold country is very useful also for detecting prime gold bearing candidates.
Copyright 2013 by John Wilsdon
- Rules for Where Find Gold & What to Look for When U are a Newbie; Gold Prospecting in the Best P
New folks to prospecting for gold have a common problem on their first gold club outing. They have heard about how to pan for gold, and may even have heard about how to use gold recovery equipment, but arriving at a real claim and determining where t
- Silver Money (Coins) Value Used as Bullion During Times of Hyperinflation
Thought about putting your silver bullion up for sale? This article may sway your thoughts. During inflationary periods, especially hyper inflation, the value of precious metals goes up. The value can go up at other times too, but when fiat paper cur
- Gold Panning in Cottage Grove Oregon
Cottage Grove, Oregon Gold Mines, Gold mines in Oregon , Ghost Mine , miners and all about mining right here!
- Where You Can Free Pan Gold at State of California Park in Coloma, CA
I gold panned free on the South Fork American River in Coloma. I got to see the area where 49er’s did their California gold digging. John Sutter’s partner, James Marshall, saw the shiny lustrous gold at the sawmill. The South Fork American River HAS
- A Treasure of Free Homemade Gold Prospecting Equipment Plans and Commentary
Think the cost of gold prospecting equipment is a bit pricey? Here is a site with a world of plans for making your own, FREE. Reference all kinds of thing you can build for your next trip to the claim. May all your nuggets be gold.
- Making Arizona Placer Gold Flake Mining Easier: A Piece of Desert Equipment, the Dry Washer
Gold supplies (those items gold prospectors need) are essential not only for the largest mining companies, but also the recreational gold miner. Dry washers are a brand of equipment useful in the dry southwest, particularly Arizona. Portability is im
- Not So Common Places I Have Found Gold, A Hub for the Curious Prospector
Placer gold hunters usually follow the age old gold prospecting rules by digging in waterways. Here, I share places that have yielded me gold that may not be so well known. Enjoy and good hunting!!
The Best Video About Locating Gold
John Wilsdon - Sixty-three year old interested in photography, books, treasure hunting, and fishing. - I am retired. I fish, prospect for gold, garden, read, and hunt for rocks for jewelry making. - Superior, Arizona - My biggest passion is gold pros
© 2013 John R Wilsdon
More by this Author
Now dry, the ancient rivers were changed during the Tertiary period when the earth was extremely active. Volcanoes covered existing waterways and mountains cut off rivers. These are gold sources.
Gold supplies (those items gold prospectors need) are essential not only for the largest mining companies, but also the recreational gold miner. Dry washers are a brand of equipment useful in the dry southwest,...
New folks to prospecting for gold have a common problem on their first gold club outing. They have heard about how to pan for gold, and may even have heard about how to use gold recovery equipment, but arriving at a...