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Searching for Gold


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When out in the field searching for gold are there key elements to look for? I spend two+ days in Rattlesnake Canyon, CA this week and returned home empty handled (and pissed). Several weeks back I attempted to follow the black sand trail and all I got was lots and lots of black sand. Most everyone believes gold is where you fine it but just what is the best way to fine it. I’m thinking there must be or should be key elements to watch for when looking for gold.

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I spend two+ days in Rattlesnake Canyon, CA this week and returned home empty handled (and pissed).

Well, if you got literally "pissed" then this isnt the hobby for you. Emotional stability plays a big role is the success of a prospector.

You can always buy a drywasher, and you should be able to find some gold with that in a gold bearing area.

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Gold's association with other minerals can be regional to some extent, but it's best to find out through historic data and prospectors you trust (did I really just say that???) with what other features and in what form the gold in a given area is located.

I agree that you have to just treat this as a hobby and not let it get to you. I went nearly a year until recently finding a whopping .49 grams total in 2 little nuggets recently. Was I getting frustrated? At times... but only with myself for not being physically able (bad back) to do more or having the money (bad past decisions) to go more. Never was I ticked off that I didn't find gold. Disheartened, maybe a little. But confidence comes from knowledge... and each time I go out, I KNOW I'm going to find something of interest. It just might not be gold that I found at the end of the day.

Do your research on an area to figure out what method has worked best (panning/sluicing; drywasher; metal detecting; running naked and sacrificing a virgin) in that area, then use what you have to run as much material as possible. This isn't the 1850's where sunbakers were common. We're left with the table scraps near the surface in most locations.

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