Want Gold? Visit a GOLD Mining Camp and Keep what You Find!

The gold nuggets pictured here were found with the use of a metal detector.

The gold nuggets pictured here were found with the use of a metal detector.

Finding gold is the dream of EVERY metal detectorist. While there are rivers and streams you can detect on your own, increase your odds of finding gold by visiting a place where gold has been found for centuries! There are several gold mining camps that offer tours and rivers/grounds to prospect on site. Obviously, these sites are in the heart of California’s Gold Country—though some are in Nevada. If you live on the West coast and want to get lucky prospecting, these sites are exactly what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a day trip or a 3-day vacation, readily find gold at a gold mining ranch or camp. It’s amazing that they let you keep the gold you find!

Chunk of Gold Found Worth $70,000!

In Early September, 2016, Oscar Espinoza found a large 18-ounce gold nugget at the Gold Prospecting Adventures Mining Camp. He pulled a chunk of gold out of a creek near Jamestown, California after locating it with a metal detector. Its estimated worth is $70,000, though it’s a piece of history—so that could drive the price up.

A few gold mining camps you can DETECT and keep your gold include:

  • Jimstown 1849 Mining Camp – Jamestown, CA
  • Roaring Camp – Pine Grove, CA
  • Mt. Wilson Gold Ranch – Pioche, NV

Which Metal Detector for Gold Should I Bring?

If you regularly hunt for gold, you probably already have a gold metal detector, like the Fisher Gold Bug Pro or Garrett AT Gold. These units feature a higher frequency for locating gold. Gold-specific metal detectors have better ground balancing ability and special coils that are optimized for the highly-mineralized soil where gold nuggets lie. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro boasts a 19.2 kHz frequency to find the smallest gold nuggets in highly mineralized soil. If you have a good-quality all-purpose metal detector, it likely has target identification with a display bar for the gold range and target ID numbers that indicate the same range for gold. But if you REALLY want to cash in on prospecting, a gold detector is best!

Plan a trip to a gold mining camp for success and great stories. Be sure to share your metal detecting finds with us: My Detecting Finds!

Gold Metal Detecting Articles:

Gold Prospecting with a Metal Detector- Signs Pointing to Gold

An example of gold that can be found with a metal detector. Located recently by a MetalDetector.com customer in New England.

An example of gold that can be found with a metal detector. Located recently by a MetalDetector.com customer in New England.

Spring is here! And gold season is quickly approaching… So, here are a few prospecting tips to get you excited and ready to strike gold! Luckily, there are geological clues that point to gold. Just like you can read the soil for indicators of metal treasure, you can look for visual evidence when gold prospecting. Where is gold found? Often, it  is found in low places; definitely on top of bedrock and in front of obstructions that prevent it from moving further. Gold that has accumulated as a result of moving downriver is called placer gold. However, placer gold is not just found in rivers, it also accumulates on dry ground in valleys and rock crevices. Placer gold is a popular target because it has concentrated over a long period of time and is fairly easy to find if you are in gold bearing country.

Five Indicators that Gold May be Present:

  1. Rock Types for Gold are Nearby: If a certain rock type is known to be productive for gold in one zone, and the same rock type exists nearby, this is a good place to search.
  2. Lighter Colored Rocks: If you notice out-of-place colors in a group of rock formations, it can be a gold indicator. Acidic mineral solutions in gold areas can bleach the rocks to a lighter color.
  3. Presence of Quartz: Quartz is a common indicator that gold MAY be nearby. This is not always true. The hydrothermal conditions needed for gold deposits are also right for quartz. Quartz is more plentiful—so most gold deposits contain quartz, but most quartz deposits do not contain gold.
  4. Coexisting Rock Types: Most gold ores (and placer gold) contain small amounts of silver, copper, iron, garnet other minerals. These favorable host rocks can be important when determining gold prospecting zones.
  5. Abrupt Geological Shifts: Hard rock gold deposits are known to occur at the contact of two different types of rock. Example: one zone in New Mexico has rich dry placers; then just down the road is coal-bearing country. Not far from there is a turquoise mine. Detecting on the borderline of these zones can prove to be lucrative.

These are just a few tips. Reading gold prospecting books and articles can REALLY point you in the right direction! Check out our Learning Library for gold prospecting advice and our favorite gold-prospecting metal detectors!

Articles on our Best Gold Metal Detectors:

Gold Prospecting: Gear Up for That Time of Year

Gold found with the new Makro Gold Racer metal detector

Gold recently found with the new Makro Gold Racer metal detector.

Is there a gold prospecting season? This is a common question across metal detecting forums. There is no hard and fast rule about when you can prospect in most states. However, in Alaska, gold prospecting season runs from June through September—only into October if the weather permits. In other known prospecting states: California, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico, there are no posted prospecting dates. It is important to note, though—many sites DO require permission to prospect if you plan to stake any claims.

Why the Rise in Gold Prospecting Recently?

Gold prospecting seems to be spiking again in recent years, and geologists theorize as to why. In California, droughts in recent years are cited as one of the reasons. California State University (Sacramento) geology department executive, Tim Horner, explained that amateur prospectors “have been able to get to places they couldn’t before” because the drought has shrunk many of the state’s rivers, “some down to a trickle.” Horner said that one of his students recently found about $900 worth of gold in a stream that had previously been too treacherous to explore. He added, “Looking for gold [the old-fashioned way] is a popular hobby, and some people are making a living doing it.”

The simplest way to get into prospecting is to comb through sediments along a riverbank. Gold is 19 times heavier than water and denser than other particles in a stream, so it quickly settles to the bottom or into cracks between rocks or grains. A park ranger who oversees the California Bear River Campground and Recreation Area has his own theory about why gold prospecting is gaining momentum. He suggests, “The relatively high price of gold and the relatively weak economy have brought out more prospectors in recent years. The fact that low water means they can wade further upstream and get to new areas is advantageous.”

Top-Rated Prospecting Metal Detectors

Since gold occurs in nature at different levels of purity and different levels of concentration, the phase shift for gold objects appears along a wide spectrum on the phase shift dial. “Phase shift” is the difference in timing between the transmitter coil’s frequency and the frequency of the target object. Basically, this means that an object with high inductance is going to have a larger phase shift, so it is highly beneficial to use a prospecting metal detector when hunting for gold. Some machines dedicated to gold prospecting eliminate coin identification features altogether, since you’re not looking for coins. Instead they rely on sounds alone, using  a low tone for base metals, and a high-pitched signal for gold. Among some of the best detectors designed for finding gold: Garrett AT Gold, Fisher Gold Bug, the Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ and XP DEUS. For more units that are made to find gold, read our buyers guide article called Best Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting.

Related Article:

Gold Nugget Hunting with a Metal Detector

Get Ready for Gold Prospecting with the Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector!

Gold prospecting season is here, so if you’ve ever dreamt of finding gold—it’s time to make your dream reality! The latest gold hunting metal detectors (which are relatively inexpensive, by the way) offer gold-finding capabilities never before available to amateurs and newbies. Men and women, boys and girls are heading out to areas where gold can be found. The metal detector most proficient at finding gold is a sensitive, deep-seeking instrument with ground balance that is specifically designed for prospecting.

Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector

Among the most affordable gold prospecting detectors on the market, the Fisher Gold Bug offers sophisticated features—and has a proven track record for detecting gold nuggets, ore veins, gold float and other forms of the precious metal. The Fisher Gold Bug is easy to operate, which is perfect for new prospectors. Even if you are new to the scientific principles of metal detection, you can still find gold! Gold Bug’s deep-seeking capabilities will detect even the smallest nuggets in highly mineralized soil. It features computer-assisted ground balance, pinpointing mode and a large user-friendly LCD display which reports ground conditions and target alert. The Fisher Gold Bug is highly regarded by reviewers as one of the easiest to use gold detector at a most affordable price.

See: Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector Reviews


Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector Review

Full Length Picture of the Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro is one of the more advanced gold prospecting metal detectors that can help you find buried gold nuggets.

When looking for a gold prospecting metal detector that has more hands on controls and advanced settings, the Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a machine you won’t want to miss.  If you know anything about the traditional Gold Bug then you know it’s a high quality machine designed and manufactured by an industry leader, that can help you find the smallest gold nuggets even in highly mineralized soil.  Not only that, the Gold Bug is also extremely versatile and can locate other types of targets like relics, and coins as well.  The Gold Bug Pro model takes this high level of functionality and incorporates additional features that more advanced users, as well as those that want to improve their metal detecting skills will really appreciate. The 5 inch search coil is standard on the Gold Bug Pro and for just a bit more, the Gold Bug Pro DP comes with an 11 inch coil instead of the 5 inch.

One of the main things that separates the Gold Bug Pro and the traditional model is the controls.  The Gold Bug Pro offers users the opportunity to utilize a variety of  manual controls including Threshold and Gain, Ground Balance, Discrimination, and Ground to Ground Pinpointing.  All of these manual controls are then integrated into an easy to use interface which allows the Gold Bug Pro to be a nice choice for advanced or intermediate metal detector users along with those newer to the hobby that are looking to advance their skills.

Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector Controls

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro metal detector offers a variety of manual controls that can help you more easily find buried gold, relics and more.

The information provided to you by this metal detector is also of note.  With the Gold Bug Pro, Fisher has designed a machine that can give users valuable information including continuous readouts of the type and amount of soil mineralization you’re dealing with as well as the depth of the target identified all on it’s large, easy to read screen.  This way, you can adjust your settings with greater accuracy and save time with target identification and recovery.

While it seems pretty obvious that this metal detector offers users a lot of nice features most would find enjoyable to say the least, let’s actually hear from some of our customers who have already bought and used the Fisher Gold Bug Pro and see what they say.

Carol and Max share – “We have been metal detecting for quite a few years now but just got our Gold Bug Pro, one for each of us – it’s a nice machine with just the level of control and versatility we were looking for. We are thinking of getting the Gold Bug Pro DP with the 11 inch coil as a back up detector.”

Gabe F. writes – “The Gold Bug Pro actually is great at finding small gold nuggets even in areas with high mineralization.”

We’ve received a lot more positive feedback about this machine as well just like the traditional Gold Bug model; another thing these metal detectors both have in common!  For more information on either model, simply visit our product page.  This is where you’ll find the machine’s instruction manual, a quick overview video and more information like this to help you learn as much as you can about this metal detector and see if it’s the best gold prospecting detector for you.

Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector Review

Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector

The Fisher Gold Bug metal detector is one of the best gold prospecting detectors that can help you find hidden treasures like gold nuggets.

The Gold Bug metal detector from Fisher Research Labs is a unique gold prospecting metal detector adept at finding even the smallest gold nuggets.  Many users report finds in places where others have searched and even found gold before.  It’s not just a single use machine though.  With it’s two different search modes, all metal and discriminate, the Gold Bug is also a fine detector for locating most coins, jewelry, relics, and other types of treasure.  A multi-use metal detector with this type of versatility alone is an excellent value.  But, there are many other aspects of this metal detector that make it a fantastic choice as well.

Designed to locate the tiniest nuggets in the toughest conditions, the Gold Bug includes a small super sensitive 5 inch DD waterproof search coil. This makes pinpointing targets in even the most heavily mineralized soils, like those where gold is located, a breeze.  In addition, the Gold Bug is highly sensitive and offers Threshold control, fast manual Ground Balancing using Fisher Ground Grab and a Sensitivity Gain adjustment as well.

Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector Controls and LCD Display Screen

The Fisher Gold Bug metal detector has a large LCD display that is easy to read and target buried gold nuggets.

Plus, whether you’re looking for gold nuggets, coins, or other types of relics, the Fisher Gold Bug has features that will make any type of treasure hunt easier.  The machine boasts a large, easy to read LCD screen so you can check the ground conditions and target response with ease.  Plus, it’s one of the lightest weight metal detectors in the industry. Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds this is one serious performer that is designed with ergonomics in mind.  These features make the Gold Bug an excellent choice for younger users, senior citizens, those with lower physical fitness levels, and anyone else who just wants an easy to use and versatile gold prospecting metal detector!

To get an even more balanced picture of this machine, lets take a look at a few of the Gold Bug metal detector reviews we’ve received from users who’ve purchased from MetalDetector.com.

Red G. says –  “The Gold Bug from Fisher is a great gold prospecting detector.  I found some of the tiniest nuggets with this hot machine.”

Glen and Suz share –  “Thanks for helping us find The Gold Bug metal detector. It’s so light and easy to use and has helped us really enjoy this fun hobby.”

Shamus writes –  ”The Gold Bug metal detector was just what I’ve been looking for. Its very versatile and I’ve found gold nuggets, a few coins, and some jewelry so far.”

To see even more information about this Fisher metal detector, visit our Fisher Gold Bug product page.  Here you’ll find the instruction manual, a video, product specifications and more to give you a well rounded view of this unique and versatile metal detector. With a bit of reading, you can decide if it’s the best metal detector for gold to fulfill your gold prospecting and treasure hunting dreams.