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!

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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!

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