Gold mine a true Australian story

Gold in Victoria Australia

I was a little boy of five the first time I saw gold in it's raw state. It had come straight out of the gold miners pan and in to a pickle bottle!

We were living deep in the Australian Bush. Our neighbour's ancestors had hacked a farm out of the dense forest with little more than an axe after WW1. It was to become an established dairy farm.

A creek ran through a section of the farm's old growth forest. The creek was only about 2 foot wide and a few inches deep. The gold that this family had collected came from a few small deep corners in the running stream, and over time they had collected enough gold to almost fill their large pickle bottle.

This little creek is rich in gold due to quite a few  gold bearing quartz reefs close to the surface that continuously become exposed through soil erosion breaking the surface allowing gold to be flushed in to the creek.

In some placed the rich quartz reefs crossed the creek or ran alongside it allowing a sedimentary deposit of gold to be continuously washed into the creek.

Panning for gold in Victoria.

I had a good day, and picked up enough alluvial gold to make a ring.
I had a good day, and picked up enough alluvial gold to make a ring.

Gold nuggets

The unique colour and shape of gold nuggets make each one an individual gem.

I love the colour and feel of the small odd looking rock like shapes that small nuggets come in, and the color is reflected differently from each shape, making each nugget almost as unique as people are! Being around gold prospectors, often with their nugget collections allowed me to see lots of gold nuggets

Something grew then in my young boy's imagination at that time, and I just loved gold!

Where we lived in Victoria there are a lot of famous goldmines. Many inland cities like Bendigo were built on the site of the bigger gold mines with large cities springing up because of gold all over the state in the early years of our development as one of Australia's premium states.

For many years I panned for gold with my father in streams throughout Victoria in places like Walhalla (where the world famous 'Long tunnel" mine is located,) to the upper Thompson river where the Chinese had mined, stacking large terraces of Pudding stones as they washed the gold with a mountain river sluice that had involved moving the river water in to a long canal to wash the soil away to collect the gold.

We worked in the bush, and played there too, so panning and exploring mines was a great hobby to have on my doorstep, exciting and scary!

Kids love gold prospecting and we took ours on all our expeditions.
Kids love gold prospecting and we took ours on all our expeditions.

The real value of gold

My dad was a very good watchmaker and jeweller, although self taught, he had learnt from others, and would listen intently for any knowledge he could use to make something, usually for a family member.

If someone in the family thought dad's time and the beautiful jewellery he had given them deserved a payment, at least for the gold, dad would tell them the gold came out of the ground and had no financial value to him, it was all about what he could make with gold and that they liked it.

I grew up, moved to the city and started a family and a business.Within a couple of years my business had grown as had our two kids and so we had more time to go bush again.

That is when a group of us re-discovered the BBQuartz mine, another story, from inside a mine that has been closed for many years, and was still testing high for gold when it finally closed as the price of gold dropped to around $8 an ounce.

Comments 26 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

sounds exciting! Gold is always exciting!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Wow what an experience!


livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC

Cool story. One of my favorite things to do is go camping. We went camping in North Carolina a couple years at a gold mining camp and had a go at panning. It was fun especially when you seperatet that black sand from the gold flake hiding underneath. We didn't get much gold, probably less than a gram each, but the entire experience was enough to make it an anual trip.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Greetings, Earnest!

I admire your Dad's attitude ... "came from the ground and has no commercial value." Great!

Cheers.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Earnestshub , Great story. You were very lucky to have an adventurous Dad !


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

There is something about gold that has always grabbed me. Looking for it is great fun!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

There is more to come on gold if people enjoy them.Thank you for reading TM!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Such a nice feeling when you shake the pan and see that glitter...wow! I think I would love to go camping in North Carolina too.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

Nice story. No gold fever, just a healthy affection for it. Nice.


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

Going gold digging is a lot of fun as a child and still is!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Tom, I do enjoy prospecting, it is a great adventure. My next hub may change your mind about the fever, I don't know if it was gold fever or curiosity that drove me to enter the BBQuartz mine...


bala99 profile image

bala99 7 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

What a life mate!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

It is great to be close to nature bala99. Cold, uncomfortable, but great!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

earnestshub I noticed you mentioned the 'BBQuarz' mine , man that sounds like it is out of an old western movie. I can't wait to read that one. !


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

There's something about panning for gold that has always held my interest - maybe those old Westerns - both movies and books which I loved! Your Dad had such a wonderful attitude - things of the earth should be enjoyed - not coveted. Look forward to more golden tales!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi agvulpes, It is an amazing adventure going underground in a mine, and this was a doozy!The hub is coming soon.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

Hey there ernest. I lived in Bendigo for a time and I'm not far from Beechworth - another Chinese gold mining area. Gold panning is fun and I got a few specks. A bit like earning money off hubs, rare as hens teeth.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi Jewel, did a bit of gemstone hunting around Beachworth too. It is great fun getting that "flash" of color in the pan.... I wonder if that is where the expression "flash in the pan" came from?


bala99 profile image

bala99 7 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/flash-in-the-pan.html.

Check this out!


JonTutor profile image

JonTutor 7 years ago from USA

Another great article.... So you became the "golden boy"...Beware of gold diggers ;)


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

I am happy you enjoyed it Jon.


Jenny30 profile image

Jenny30 7 years ago from Canada

wow. I enjoyed this story very much! Great photo!


Silver Camphor profile image

Silver Camphor 7 years ago from Maharashtra India

Gold's always "Gold". Great story.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Jenny, I'm glad you enjoyed the story, I missed your post somehow till now. That is some gold nugget isn't it?


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    Forestry camp.

    Friends we took prospecting stayed in this hut on the snowline with us, about 10miles from the gold mines.
    Friends we took prospecting stayed in this hut on the snowline with us, about 10miles from the gold mines.

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