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  1. San Diego County Gem Hunting

    I started looking for gold and silver in the back country of San Diego which I documented in my prospecting journal here ( Now I am on the hunt for gems in San...
  2. Turquoise in my backyard?

    I have now found two small turquoise nuggets (~2 carats each) in my backyard, there is no history of mines in this specific area. We are near a natural lake, but in general I tend to have to travel distances in order to hunt for gems but perhaps the travel is no longer necessary... here's the...
  3. Rockhounding - Found Pegmatite with tourmalines

    Found this specimen at one of my rockhounding spots. Host matrix rock with mostly black tourmaline (schorl) inclusions, but some of the tourmalines have a little color. Think I'm going to go back tomorrow and find some more.
  4. Is This Ore?

    I had similar questions when getting started. In short you can't tell from a photo or just by looking unless you have really rich visible gold. You need to crush it really fine and pan it or get it assayed to know if your ore has gold in it.
  5. Shiny Silver Rock Found At The Beach

    I've seen the ice melting suggestion before to test to see if a spoon is real silver or not.
  6. Almost shot & locked up...

    Nice finds! Glad you were able to talk him down. Had a run-in with a crazy in Idaho earlier this year at the upper Pack river, pretty sure he was a meth-head and I was getting close to his camp. Stay safe!
  7. Arsenopyrite or oxidized silver specimen

    Hey there, I hammered this piece of quartz of a 2ft wide vein cutting through schist host rock. I was prospecting in a gold producing area near shear zones. Some of the mineral showing is bright white, but most as you can see is an ashy color. When tilting against light ill get a little redish...
  8. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Went back to my spot where I'm finding nice samples over the weekend and located my first silver ore in the wild! I hammered this guy off of a quartz vein. Also appears to have some fine gold speckles and copper. My favorite sample of the bunch: Same sample but under a 15x loupe
  9. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Got my belomo 15x and been looking through my samples up close. Amazing what you can see under a loupe versus what you see with just the naked eye. Here's a small sample with visible gold in the quartz under a 15x loupe.
  10. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Went out over the weekend found a huge quartz vein about 2ft wide cutting NW thru Julian Schist. I could tell there had been prior diggers but still a lot of the vein remains. Initially I saw very little in terms of mineralization but that changed once I started with my rock hammer on a...
  11. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Thanks, great info I appreciate the guidance and tips! I have some heavy foliated muscovite mica schist with quartz inclusions and after crushing and panning it today I found my first fine gold in hard rock in this small sample! I brought back many samples and have crushed and panned 4...
  12. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Visited an old inactive claim today and came across a shaft right off an old truck trail. Stayed clear of that so I'm not sure how deep it was, but found some nice samples in the surrounding area. Found some large rough quartz with heavy red iron staining (hematite?), and some smaller rounded...
  13. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Cantaloupe size honk of a quartz vein and inclusion of some metamorphic(?) with some rod like minerals/crystals, not sure what the black mineral/rock is at all, any ideas? According to geologic maps I was on Julian Schist but also a contact zone where it changes to (Kc)Cuyamaca Gabbro...
  14. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Using geologic maps my exploration target today brought me to an area described in USGS reports as: JTRm Metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks (Jurassic and Triassic)–Screens in the Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains are composed of upper amphibolite-facies metasedimentary rocks interlayered with...
  15. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Last weekend was a bust. Brought a bike with me so I could go further faster, but I realized a bike is too fast. For example, I went right by a big vein that I visited last time, I had to go slow to find it again. Also uphill on a bike is much more difficult than hiking uphill. Anyways, I...
  16. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    I'm excited to get back out this weekend. Temperatures will be a bit cooler, should be able to cover more ground. I'm also going to bring my metal detector to possibly narrow down which areas to sample. Appears to be a basalt dike intrusion
  17. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    Wow that would be amazing to find a nugget. I've heard some say that nuggets don't exist down here, only the fine stuff. I'd love for them to be wrong. Well I went out last weekend as planned, grabbed 6 different ziploc bag samples home. No gold in any of my pans. No crushing yet so there...
  18. Anyone else waiting for their new detecting stuff to arrive??

    Yea I just picked up the minelab 35 pointer, should be here in a day or two :hello2:
  19. Economic depression and mining?

    #4 - Central banks around the world (not just the fed) printing obscene amounts of fiat money in 2020. $1800 will look cheap in a few years, in my opinion at least.
  20. A Beginner's Prospecting Adventure in San Diego County

    I am going to start a journal because I'm likely going to be posting a lot about my journey until I find my first Au, and the journal section seems the best place to share frequent updates without spamming the forum. Introduction - I've had no prior mining or gold panning experience - I have...