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Thread: A 49er Experience

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  1. #1
    us
    Hunting Guide - Gold Miner

    Mar 2014
    Idaho
    121
    507 times
    Prospecting

    A 49er Experience

    Did you ever wish that you could find nuggets just lying there in a stream like they did back in the mid 1800’s? On July 22, 2009 I did experience such a discovery. Now let me back track and say that it did not happen overnight. You see prior to this, I had worked a stream in the backcountry of Idaho for several years and though I was content with the 12 hour days and the small gold, I strongly believed that there had to be something better and chose to seek richer ground. With nothing more than a pick, pan, shovel, and the past research of the Elk City mining district, I sampled relentlessly until that Summer day of 2009. It was on this date that I was drawn to a large outcropping of bedrock. The geographical location was perfect. It was here that I began digging. The sample pans in the overburden revealed an abundance of black sands, quartz pieces, but significantly enough was that the heavies (magnetite & hematite) were huge - I mean like nothing I had experienced before. It was at that moment I knew that that there was something to this place and with daylight fading fast, I decided to shovel gravels closest to the bank to determine the bedrock depth. To my surprise, it was no more than six inches below the water’s surface. More shocking was the gold. That fist pan produced NUGGETS!! And I do mean nuggets... several half penny weight pieces lay amongst the course fines.
    That day has come and gone and though I remember it as if it happened yesterday, I have never regretted that decision I made nearly a decade ago to seek better ground. Since that time, I have found many more equal or better sized nuggets (largest thus far being a 13.7 gram nugget shown below) and a tremendous amount of quartz/gold specimens. My advice to those who are no longer content with the smalls (as I once was) or just entering the gold mining field, find out all that you can about what mining history may have taken place on your particular spot. Even the smallest of information may assist you in solving this puzzle and though it’s been said many times over, sample, sample, sample. A word of caution, finding gold like this will keep you up at night with anticipation of what tomorrow will bring. Personally speaking, that awesome thrill never gets old. May you also find your own private mother load and enjoy the experiences what so many dream about.

    Cheers- Randy


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    Last edited by IdahoGoldGettR; Dec 09, 2018 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,811
    6586 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    In gold we trust,looks like a righteous time was had-John

  3. #3
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
    Whites GMT Garret fully underwater
    899
    2109 times
    Prospecting
    About 6 years ago I met a fellow who was just starting out mining. He had a new Keene 2 inch dredge with all the bells and whistles. At the time I was doing a lot of dry washing in the AZ desert. He kept on and on about wanting to go dredge. The word had been that the creek had been worked out and that there was nothing left in the area we could go work. He pestered me to no end. Being a dredger I finally gave in to his wants and wishes.


    Long story short: After setting up in a spot that had been worked for a lot of years I got on his nozzle and we began to work some easy pockets on bedrock. In just a matter of minutes we were seeing nuggets in front of the nozzle and a number of pickers in the sluice. We ended up working that 200 yd section of creek the next four years and often would see the gold simply laying exposed on the bedrock. It was a lot of fun and he ended up being a good mining AZ partner. We discovered the source had been a rich bench gravel deposit that got washed off in a bad flood. Once we got upstream/above the bench the gold had been on the gold disappeared.

    One never knows until you try it. Like I have been saying for many years "YOU NEVER KNOW" .



    Bejay

  4. #4
    ca
    Hawks88

    Aug 2012
    Niagara falls
    Equinox 600, fisher gold bug pro.
    5,486
    5885 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice finds along with a great story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    us
    Hunting Guide - Gold Miner

    Mar 2014
    Idaho
    121
    507 times
    Prospecting
    I completely agree with that statement, “YOU NEVER KNOW.” One never knows what may lay beyond the next six inches. Great story as well! Congrats on your discovery.
    Here’s some photos of the numerous rough/quartz gold pieces recovered that first 2009 Summer.

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  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2018
    Central Valley California
    36
    63 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Are these kind of gold deposits really old pockets of gold that are thousands, if not millions of years old? All the gold flakes I've been finding just seem to be flood gold deposited in the last 100 years since I'm also finding old rusted nails and other bits of metal with it.
    Hawks88 likes this.

  7. #7
    MAGA

    Dec 2015
    Oregon Coast
    469
    700 times
    Prospecting
    Nice to see Hoser posting. You must have had an awful summer with all the fires and smoke in your area. (Not meaning to hijack the thread)
    russau, 63bkpkr and Hawks88 like this.

  8. #8
    us
    Hunting Guide - Gold Miner

    Mar 2014
    Idaho
    121
    507 times
    Prospecting
    Yes, these were/are old gold deposits. Much of the gravels within the bank look to have a rust color (possibly iron seepage). Some of this area I believe to be of virgin ground. As mentioned earlier, this area contains lots of garnets and quartz. My “small” gold is actually quite large when compared to flood gold. The second photo illustrates this.

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  9. #9
    us
    Hunting Guide - Gold Miner

    Mar 2014
    Idaho
    121
    507 times
    Prospecting
    While searching through my gold photos, I found an earlier 2009 photo of that rust colored, compacted gravel layer that I spoke of in the above post. Just below this rusty layer was an inch or so of a clay/sand mixture then bedrock. Obviously there was a good amount of gold in the bedrock but there was also gold in the rust area. These gold pieces did have that “iron/rust” substance on it but did not detract from its value as it was easily removed with a little mixture of a diluted nitric acid solution. When I say this gravel was compacted, I mean it took a 5 foot pry bar and a lot of work to loosen it up. An effort that truly paid off as shown by the second photo. A little pocket of gold resting on bedrock.

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    Oddjob, wildminer, 63bkpkr and 2 others like this.

  10. #10
    RTR
    RTR is offline
    us
    Roger

    Nov 2017
    Smith Mt. Lake Va.
    Teknetics Liberator Falcon MD-20
    2,425
    7843 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    WOW . Double WOW
    wildminer and Hawks88 like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Oct 2018
    Central Valley California
    36
    63 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoGoldGettR View Post
    While searching through my gold photos, I found an earlier 2009 photo of that rust colored, compacted gravel layer that I spoke of in the above post. Just below this rusty layer was an inch or so of a clay/sand mixture then bedrock. Obviously there was a good amount of gold in the bedrock but there was also gold in the rust area. These gold pieces did have that “iron/rust” substance on it but did not detract from its value as it was easily removed with a little mixture of a diluted nitric acid solution. When I say this gravel was compacted, I mean it took a 5 foot pry bar and a lot of work to loosen it up. An effort that truly paid off as shown by the second photo. A little pocket of gold resting on bedrock.

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    I see that kind of layering in the area I'm prospecting too but all I find in it are just heavy loads of black sand only. Did you ever go back and clean it out completely or are they still out there?

  12. #12
    us
    Hunting Guide - Gold Miner

    Mar 2014
    Idaho
    121
    507 times
    Prospecting
    The area has not been completely cleaned out. Some areas now do not contain the rusty packed sediment. It’s a hit and miss thing. Could be because the bedrock dips and rises with no rhyme or reason. I have come across similar layers further upstream that would show an abundance of black sands but held no gold. These black sands were however much smaller and finer than the mire virgin area downstream. Perhaps your black sands are fine as well. Are you finding lots of garnets and quartz in your rocks? If you look at the above photo, you can see numerous quartz pieces in the rusty colored gravels. This stream that I work is nearly 10 miles long. It takes quite amount of time to narrow down a spot like I did but if you don’t keep at it, you’ll never know what could have been. Lots of luck to you.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,089
    10982 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    rusty layers tend to be oxidized black sands

    fine gold in sorted gravel with nails and junk is most likely tailings from a larger operation.

    small flood gold is in the top layers when it is actual flood gold.

 

 

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