Prospecting for Gold

Prospecting for gold is the exploration of new gold or gold deposits. The method and resources used by the prospector will depend on what type of deposit the prospector is seeking to find. This endeavor is mainly done commercially however; in a few developed countries prospecting for placer gold has become a popular recreational activity.

If you were in search for gold nuggets the best places to look would be places where gold nuggets have been found before.

A number if people prefer to pan for gold by bridges where gold bearing streams flow under them. Others hunt for gold in the wild using metal detectors and some people choose to look for gold coins and jewelry on the countryside at schools and old parts of town.

The easiest way to remove gold from sand or gravel in the bottom of a lake or river, also known as placer ore, is by panning. When panning for gold, metal or plastic pans are used and some mined ore is placed inside of the pan along with some water. Rock the pan from side to side and the gold will settle at the bottom because of its higher density and the sand will fall over the edge of the pan leaving the gold at the bottom. If a placer gold deposit is spotted then the miner usually uses equipment that can move through the sand and gravel much faster and more efficiently.

Another way of mining gold is by using a sluice box. This box is used to catch heavier gold particles and is done so by the riffles that are all along the bottom of the box. The riffles trap the gold as the water washes the sand and mud down the box.

A metal detector can be used to search for gold nuggets along the surface of the water; this process is often referred to as “Nuggethunting” or “Nuggetshooting.” With new advances and updates in metal detectors and an increase in gold prices hunting for gold by the use of metal detectors has become very popular. A long time ago when miners would search for gold in the Southwest desert regions they used dry washing and screening methods, which was not very fast or efficient because of their low quality equipment. A lot of those areas were left untouched and would be great places for gold prospectors to find gold using metal detectors.  Many people have found Liberty Head gold coins and the like when metal detecting, as such it can be pretty lucrative.

Another way to go about finding gold is by what is known as “hard rock” or “lode” gold mining. This is where gold is found encased in a rock. Tools used for finding gold in a rock would include a rock hammer and hand lens.

A letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that no permit is necessary for recreational gold panning and gold prospecting in the national forest areas as long as no machinery is used.