Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets

Metal detecting for gold nuggets

Gold Nugget Detecting

Metal detecting for gold nuggets requires a bit of preparation before successfully finding gold nuggets can be done. First consider the following metal detecting background. Metal detectors and gold nugget detectors all rely upon some interesting properties concerning electromagnetic radiation.

That’s a fancy way of saying radio waves and how they interact with metallic objects. Oftentimes these wave interactions reveal some curious properties of induction or radio wave decay that can only be measured with precise electronics.

—-  Event  —-

Join  Prospector Jess’s gold prospecting hangout on Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets 9/10/2014 at 6pm Pacific time – Gold nugget detecting expert Chuck Smalley will join us to share his recent experience with us hunting chunky gold nuggets with his metal detectors.   Register here to attend the metal detecting hangout with PJ & gold detecting expert Chuck Smalley.

It wasn’t until Gerhard Fisher in the 1920s began to perfect a specialized radio direction finding instrument for use in navigation when he discovered that these radio waves can be distorted by the presence of various metals.


Chunky Alaska Gold Nuggets – Found by Nugget Detecting expert Chuck Smalley

After this, in the 1950’s Charles Garrett invented an instrument that made use of Beat Frequency Oscillation or BFO to stimulate metallic objects and locate them. One difficulty with this physical principle is that it’s highly susceptible to distortion from minerals and salts and low value trash metals that are in the soil around any metallic objects in fact even without objects false readings occur often.

The beauty of a BFO detector is its inexpensive cost to produce, the drawback being its susceptibility to distortion and false trash readings (BFO is a PITA, even if Walmart has them ;-)

The advent of discrimination through the use of pulse induction technology or PI in the 1970’s as it’s called in the detector field. These PI instruments work through the use of a large voltage spike and measurement of waveform phase for the decay of the spike over time. This measurement requires extremely precise electronics because of the small differences in the decay the metallic objects cause.

The power of PI technology is in its ability to discriminate even in the presence of large amounts of mineralization, trash metals or salts. Thus it can tune out a noisy background without losing track of small gold particles.

This trash vs. value discrimination is critical when it comes to being able to detect small particles or gold pickers on the surface or larger gold nuggets at depth and tell them from iron, pop tabs or tin foil easily.

The current age of metal detectors has advanced tremendously since the days of Alexander Graham Bell the compactness and accuracy and price have all put incredible power in the hands of the user.

At the same time the different uses for these detectors has grown immensely, from detecting gold, landmines, civil-works projects, in fact even some of the principles are at work in the medical field in the form of an MRI but that’s a whole different story.

Good Prospecting!

Prospector Jess

P.S. – Check out the Gold Prospector’s Bonanza Club:  Click here for GPBC details.

Finding gold is fun!

When life says  you need a break, see why finding gold is fun for a change!

Finding gold is fun!

Finding gold is fun!

When my family was in need of a break from our hectic life experiences, I recalled a vacation I once took with my parents long ago in the ’49er gold rush country of California.

It was a fun time and relaxing. I also remember finding my first gold. How exciting it was to see that tiny vial with a handful of little gold flakes. Finding gold is fun!

Prospecting is something so simple yet so radically different. The gold flakes would actually clink in the bottom of the glass tube when I would shake it back and forth, clink-clink. An unusually loud sound for such a small object.

I still recall hearing it and how puzzling it seemed, having never held anything quite as dense as pure yellow gold before. I also remember discovering a bit about my family heritage too.

We went to visit my great grandfather’s gold claim in Grizzly flats California. I had no idea the gold prospecting was in my blood up until that point.

Pretty neat to find something like gold discovery in the roots of your family tree.

Something about that memory from my childhood triggered me to recall just of how peaceful and yet exciting that summers adventure was. Just what we needed for solving our family situation…

So off we went to look up places in the Mother Lode Gold country near Columbia California. Places that we could take the family as stressed out as it was. I needed to break from the day-to-day high-tech work I was in and go take time with the family for rest and adventure.

HINT:  The secret of why I seek gold is, to let the adventure of the hunt take me along for the fun of it.

Ponder that for a moment…  “Let the adventure of the gold hunt take you along for the FUN of finding it!”

The diversion from stress while hunting for gold is fantastic. That’s just one more way it’s not like the typical daily grind at all…

The valuable gold found is just a desirable outcome of all that fun diversion activity. Pretty cool stuff.

I had to learn this concept though, it didn’t just occur to me… I needed to be mentored in this concept of just how to experience hunting for gold as fun.

Fun dredging for gold

Underwater gold finding fun!

In one of the gold prospecting locations by Columbia we discovered a seasoned gold prospector named Joshua. Not to be confused with my son Josh.

Joshua the veteran prospector really believed that gold prospecting is fun! His actions showed it.

You see Joshua was a one-of-a-kind, the real deal. He grew up near his granddad’s gold claim he and the family lived right there. An opportunity to be mentored on gold not just for myself but my family too.

He once explained to me that “valuable gold claim properties in that particular area are not bought and sold, they are only inherited.” More about that gold claim inheritance stuff later…

Joshua introduced us to many secrets of successful gold prospecting. Surprisingly some of those secrets are pretty obvious and yet people don’t see them because they’re hiding in plain sight.

For example it’s not uncommon for tall cottonwood trees to the found in the middle of a stream bed with no apparent place to anchor themselves against the floods of winter. The cottonwood tree will make its own anchor by drilling down roots and cracking the bedrock itself. Those extended cracks can make fantastic gold concentrating traps like a natural sluice box.

Right there in the open standing tall in front of you is a giant biological pointer to potential gold.

Who would’ve thought, here lies gold concentrated in cracks for you to investigate?

Joshua also had an interesting way of making the business of hunting for gold a lot more fun too!

It was under his skillful gold finding talent that we apprenticed. To learn the detailed process behind how to successfully hunt down and find gold over and over again.

Little observations of the Creek bed and color of the rocks, along with textures and the little probability thrown in for good measure. The guy really knew what he was doing.

By showing me the little details that went along with my college geology background Joshua was able to give me tremendous insight that only experience in the field of gold prospecting with someone who’s been there and done that would be able to.

Over the years his family and ours became close friends and would often share exciting stories and pictures of our most recent gold finds. A legacy of gold prospecting and history.

Sadly, on Christmas Eve 2007 I found out that Joshua had a tragic and mysterious incident in which he had died. Out of respect to Joshua and his family I won’t go into the details. He meant that much to us and his family still does.

So much of what I give you in the way of prospecting knowledge comes not only from my own life experience but by extension through my apprenticeship with him it comes from Joshua as well. I have never met another gold prospector quite like him, and I suspect I never will.

He was the real deal, complete with a homemade gold tooth in his prospector’s smile. A tooth he made from gold that he found on his own gold claim…

His passing hit me like a brick…

He was one of those individuals you look back on later and say I’m glad we crossed paths.

Sometimes the real adventure in life is happening right where you are right now. You won’t even know it until you look back.

Make sure you let those people know how much you care before it’s too late. Life is much too short just to live on the treadmill…

I see life is a gift of God for which I am grateful to live along with others whose path crosses mine. Each of us has a greater purpose, though sometimes we don’t know what it is.

Whatever gold finding legacy Joshua left me and whatever prospecting knowledge he had, I will do my best to share with you along with my own experience as you join me in the fun adventure of hunting for and finding gold.

Remember to live your life with passion and purpose,

Prospector Jess

What is gold?

This video deals with the core subject of our hunt – Just  what is gold?

It is important to understand the nature of our golden prey. To understand gold better I will look at 3 major areas that define the nature of gold.

 These 3 areas about gold and its nature are:

  1. Gold’s properties (physical, chemical, etc.)
  2. The value of gold (as in spot price $/oz over time)
  3. Then there’s the true value of gold (see the video to find out what this is…)

Take a look at the answer to – “What is Gold?”

I mention the “Gold Prospectors Handbook” – by, Jack Black – I’ll be referring to it more as we continue the gold prospecting video series. If you want an indicator of real prospecting value; my copy’s all dog eared, scribbled in and coffee stained after years and years of service…

This book is the reference for many gold prospectors. It not only answers what is gold, but it dives into detail about what you need to find it too.

As seen in and recommended in this video by Prospector Jess.

By popular request: Get your copy of the gold prospector’s handbook – click here

Gold Prospectors Hand Book

Gold Prospectors Hand Book

Gold Prospector’s Handbook

What’s a Gold Sample?

What’s a gold sample?

Take a look these three important fundamentals of gold samples…

A gold sample is taken from a special site location chosen so that it has the right stuff (gold prediction features) to be useful in telling you about the gold your site has.  Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

These features mean the sample can represent the quantity of gold present for your site even though it comes from a much smaller area than the rest of your gold site. Knowing this fact, you will exploit these sample holes to take advantage of the gold clues found there.

Gold SamplingIn fact, this missing sample strategy is the single biggest reason for the failure of so many prospectors to find significant gold, as seen on “Gold Rush TV”. There I said it, you don’t have to repeat their mistake. After understanding this valuable fact, next season,  you’ll be able to predict who is going to have gold and who’s not, right from your arm chair.

But why stop there when it will help you find your own gold too.

  • The first and perhaps most common type of gold sample is the pick and shovel spot sample.
  • The second type of sample we’ll call the layer cake.
  • The third type of sample is the core sample or drill hole. We will discover why gold samples will work for you

Given these three types of samples there are a few simple principles involved about proper gold measurements, these will allow you to narrow down your site work and find gold faster than ever.

Now, just because you are working a public or community claim doesn’t mean these tips won’t help you. On the contrary, the more heavily a gold site is worked over, the more important efficient gold sampling is for you.

You are invited to this weeks “What is a gold sample?” Hangout

In this live hangout we’re going to discuss gold sampling methods what & why to sample for gold.

You’ll also have a chance to get on and ask me your gold sampling or prospecting questions and I’ll get to answer them.  Last session was a lot of fun for all.

Make sure you don’t get left out without access, reserve your spot by heading over and sign up now.

Claim your seat in the gold sampling tips hangout:   Go here to register

I’ll make sure to send you a message to remind you before it starts.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Prospector Jess

I’ll make sure to send you a message to remind you when it starts.

The 3 Big Questions About Finding Gold

Here’s the three big questions and answers about finding gold

Finding gold is a prospecting skill to learn

Finding gold is a prospecting skill to learn

Now lets get on to those big questions and my answers…

Here’s a list of the three biggest questions I’ve been asked about finding gold. Take a good look at the questions and my answers. See if you agree these are your biggest questions as well, let me know what you think…

Q 1: Where do you start finding gold?

The easy way to start finding gold is to begin by looking where gold has been discovered before. This means get your hands on a gold map showing the locations and quality of gold that was discovered. From here it is a straightforward interpolation between the origin of the gold and its current likely location.

To use these gold maps, you’ll need to understand the relationshipsbetween gold, gravity, topology and water flow. By connecting these four physical properties together using some pretty simple science you can quickly determine where to start looking for and finding gold.

Q 2: What important clues do you look for to find gold?

This next process is a fun one, by understanding what you’re looking for in the way of hydrology, topology, geology clues you’ll begin to put together a picture from a given gold site. This picture is literally a map of where gold concentrates and where it is likely to concentrate. You’ll have a list of the best specific locations that you should start your sampling efforts for more effective gold recovery.

In general, in a stream or river situation gold will follow an S-curve with the gold line crossing over the banks on the inside of any bends. This happens because of a water flow property called helical flow. It’s important to understand this flow, and also important to understand exceptions to this kind of flow so you know where the gold will be and more importantly where it will not be.

Q 3: What tools should you use to discover gold?

You should always carry a gold pan, start small and scale up the size of the equipment to use based on the gold that you’re finding. Seems like a pretty simple concept, but if you watch Discovery channels “Gold rush” it’s pretty easy to see how often it’s overlooked. Especially when you begin to find colors in your pan.

Gold fever can blind you to all sorts of rational thinking regarding the purchase and use of equipment. Before you know it you’re out a bunch of cash and not enough gold to show for it.

A few other tools of choice that you should consider are: a rock pick, a shovel, a bucket: 5 gallon orange “Homer” buckets are okay but not necessarily as durable as I like. I prefer a thick plastic white paint bucket, they last longer in the sun.

And of course don’t forget that your most important tool is your brain. The knowledge and skill (experienced intuition about gold finding) is vital for success in locating and recovering significant quantities of gold regardless of if you’re doing it for fun or for profit.

Want to boost your skills and knowledge of how to find gold fast?

I’ve created a set of five DVDs called the “Gold Prospectors Collection” that is intended to address just this type of gold finding issue:

This set of 5 DVDs includes the most popular gold prospecting videos I have, and so far the comments have honestly been both exciting and humbling because I have had so much positive feedback. I believe you will be just as excited as the people who took this offer and bought “The Gold Prospector’s DVD Collection.”

Anyway, you get all 5 gold prospecting DVD’s shipped right to the door, and you can watch them on your TV, computer, or any device that can play DVDs, at home or in the field. Watch this video for more…

Check it out now, just click here to watch the video & learn more –

Or, if you prefer just to read about it rather than watch the video here’s a text only link –
Simply click here to read and learn more about it –

Thanks for giving me a minute of your time to read this article, and as always, good prospecting!

Best Regards,
Prospector Jess

A gold finding tip that can make you quake in your boots

A gold finding tip that can make you quake in your boots –
It’s Gold’s Fault!

BAM! Rumble..

The ground started rocking and rolling. I was jolted awake, and my wife said “is this it?” I said I’m not sure, and started my usual quake countdown while listening to the rumble, rumble fade off into the distance. It’s 5:30 AM, what a way to start the new day in earthquake country!

Gold Mines California

Earthquakes in Gold Country!

The USGS pegged it at a 4.7 magnitude quake close to me. Even more interesting was the next quake, a 5.1 magnitude farther away that led to a swarm of quakes over the next several days. I always watch for those because they tend to point out weaknesses in the Earth’s crust that we don’t even know about. These often show weaknesses along undiscovered fault lines and hydrothermal fissures.

You’re probably wondering what in the world am I talking about. What do earthquakes have to do with gold prospecting? Well you see in gold country, one of the most interesting things you can look for are fissures loaded with quartz and metallic oxides and other substances such as iron, pyrites, silver and gold.

In fact what you’re looking for may be a little jog in these fissures where the quartz makes a 90° turn and widens out. There are many theories about what causes the jog to precipitate gold; some people believe that when the piezoelectric effect takes place in the turn it will cause electric precipitation of the metals from solution. Others have different opinions about how faults and gold relate.

Recent research results show that during a small quake the actual fault behavior at these 90° joints can cause the instant vaporization of water, leading to the precipitation of quartz and metals including gold right on the spot. That precipitation of gold may take place over time such as during a swarm or a long-term creep with little jolts, the metal will continue to precipitate from solution into a nice little pay lead.

Anyhow, I’ve had several people ask me if earthquake faults can relate to gold, and the answer is yes! What to look for… Keep your eyes open for those abrupt rock and soil anomalies called faults; it might just lead you to your next gold bonanza.

To find more about how to look for gold:

Good prospecting!

Prospector Jess

How to find gold when it’s raining cats and dogs

I was just asked this great gold finding question -

    “Hey Prospector Jess,

    What should I do in the winter to prepare for this upcoming year [of prospecting]?”

Great question — While snow falls or rivers are in flood stage what do you do next?   Of course you’ll want to steer clear of any rivers in flood. But what do you do in the meantime?

Depending on your skill and desire to learn more you can and should consider these activities:

Here are five useful indoor prospecting activities you can do:

Gold-Storm-500x-CRW_41611.  Research locations & maps, local geology, water flow records, claims, etc.

2.  Get a pan and tub to practice speed panning, clean last year’s concentrates, etc.

3.  Learn more about gold characteristics and how to locate it with a pan or sluice box.

4.  Plan out your spring, summer and fall prospecting ventures into the wild. Picking out likely places for gold to concentrate based on history, geology, water and other clues… You should do this way before you think about what tools to use.

5.  You’ll want to brush up on your skills and watch some DVD’s or online videos that teach you how & why gold concentrates etc.  Take notes, and think about what you are going to do next. 

What changes to your prospecting methods will help you find more gold?  List your answers in a bucket list and start skill improvements there.

Look at what’s in this set of DVD’s which cover items 1-5:

Anyway I’d like to know, what are you doing now to get ready to find gold this year?

Good Prospecting,

Prospector Jess

P.S.  This set of 5 DVDs includes many of the most popular gold prospecting videos I have. So far the comments have honestly been both exciting and humbling because I have had so much positive feedback.

I believe you will be just as excited as the people who took this offer and bought “The Gold Prospector’s DVD Collection.”

Anyway, you get all 5 gold prospecting DVD’s shipped right to the door, and you can watch them on your TV, computer, or any device that can play DVDs, at home or in the field.   Watch this video for more…

Check it out now, just click here to watch the video & learn more –

How quickly the price of gold will shift

Take a look at the world around you, it’s interesting to observe how quickly the price of gold will shift given a few political words followed by the simple movement of troops in places like the Crimea or Ukraine. Gold has climbed over 10% recently when these world events combined with the effects of growing concern over debt

33372873Gold has long represented a store of value as a safe haven for investors, in addition to its value for jewelry and ornaments.  It’s this political defiance insurance property that gives rise to explosive changes in gold prices when the world wakes up to new uncertainty.

The problem is that it takes time for you to locate gold and it takes time and money to recover it neither of which really care for the timing of current events.

It’s important to realize that while the price of gold may fluctuate wildly, and price shifts definitely will influence the viability of larger scale mining operations, it should not affect your desire to get good at finding gold.

In fact the better you are at finding gold efficiently and recovering it effectively the lower the price gold can go before you have a problem with your prospecting and mining budget.  Of course this is especially true if you’re just there to get gold for the fun of it.

When asked about only looking when gold is up in price, a prospecting friend responded, “I was looking at $300 an ounce and I’ll be looking after it’s at $3,000 an ounce, it really doesn’t matter.”

Sounds pretty diehard, but it’s a good attitude for you to take when hunting for gold.  That way you don’t quit hunting, just because of a change in current events.

That attitude makes a lot of sense for you as a gold prospector and miner, especially if you get a kick out of finding it.

To really understand this whole process and how finding gold fits together with the mining and recovery of it you should take a look at the stuff I talk about in the gold prospector’s collection DVD series:

Feel free to drop me a line and reply to this email let me know what direction you think gold prices are going in the next year?  And more importantly why you think it’ll go there…

Good prospecting,

Prospector Jess

Why do flooding and fires affect placer gold?

Wild fires & placer gold

Wild fires & placer gold

Why do flooding and fires affect gold concentration?

You may have heard me mention that floods are the primary agent of movement for concentrating placer gold.  In fact water moves all that gold, even in the desert.

What is possibly the most fascinating part about this is the fact that erosion of land and riverbed is strongly affected by the speed of water moving over it.

Plants act as a natural sponge and a source of braking friction to slow water motion and retain the top layers of soils on hills and canyons.  
Nature has its own way of removing grasses and organic matter from the hillsides, it’s called fire.  Fire is one of the main causes of mudslides and flooding in the world today. 

Once the grassy erosion buffers are removed from the hillsides, there’s little to stop the motion of water.  Once the soil moves, the rocks and gravel buried deep inside give way and quickly slide down toward the deepest spot in the canyon.  
From there, they slowly migrate toward the ocean along with the gold trapped in it.

What does this mean for you? 

This means that one of the best times for you to go look for gold can be the year or two after a big brush fire.  Assuming you can gain access to that gold site.

It also means that the gold will be recharging the classic locations for gold to concentrate.  I discuss a lot of this concentration process and how to recover gold in the “Gold prospector’s bonanza club”:

Of course it goes without saying that you need to fill in your holes and use best prospecting practices because the fire cleared brush also means it’s a lot easier to see what gold prospectors are doing in the distance. 

Until next time,

Prospector Jess

Big Gold Nugget Found, Ballarat Australia – Weighs 177 ounces!

Breaking News: Big gold nugget found, Ballarat Australia – Weighs 177 ounces…

big gold nugget found weighs 177 ounces

big gold nugget found weighs 177 ounces

This is the 177 troy ounce monster gold nugget.  The big gold nugget found, Ballarat Australia – Weighs 177 ounces or 5,505 grams – (That’s a hefty 5.505 kgs or 14.8 pounds.)   This monster nugget was found by a gold prospector that was using a  metal detector close to Ballarat, Victoria, Australia on January 16, 2013.  Yup that’s  a really big gold nugget found, Ballarat Australia – Weighs 177 ounces that’s huge! The price for it should be at least 2x spot or about $1680 US/oz U x 2 or about 500,000. Not bad for a day’s work! I’ll bet the real story is a bit longer than a days search went into finding this nugget. We’ll have to see…

Gold News upload date 10:30am Jan 16 2013!

You have got to see the big nugget beast to believe it.  I’m writing this page as fast as possible so you get the news before the big Ballarat gold rush is on! Anyway you may want to pack your bags and get ready to go and compete for the next monster nugget. How about your name next to the title “big gold nugget found, Ballarat Australia – Weighs 177 ounces…” ?

Here’s the video that was just posted on YouTube about the Gold nugget found – Weighs 177 ounces Ballarat Australia…  This one’s going down in the history of record breaking gold nuggets. It is the second such monster nugget in the last year from the Ballarat region. That makes the region one of the best for gold finding and nugget recovery. Way to go for Australian gold prospector’s!

See gold nugget here

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