How to find gold, using a few common placer gold rocks and minerals

Know how to find gold easily by watching out for just a handful of gold related rocks and minerals:

Gold (fools gold) pyrite

Where you’re hunting for gold; rocks and minerals are one of the most important things you can look at to find gold location clues. Out of the billions of combinations of rock and mineral types, there are only a handful of gold deposit minerals that you really need to keep an eye out for. That way you learn more about how to find gold.

In this video post I’ll start you with an understanding of rock types then you’ll zero in on the specific set of rocks and minerals commonly found with gold.

Fool’s gold – chalco pyrite (Cu-Fe-S) *

View the full gold prospecting video at this link when you’re done reading:

How to find gold using rocks and minerals – Part 2 of 2:

Primarily what you’re looking for are heavy-mafic (magnesium-ferric type) minerals and they’re one of the key things we can use as a pinpoint of how to find gold. They typically are dark-colored and oftentimes have black to red tinges. Exceptions to this include some types of silica (quartzite) and the sulphides (pyrites or fool’s gold) which believe it or not ” fool’s gold”, or chalco pyrite is often associated with gold and so it will still give you a gold tracer clue.

Mark Twain quoted from Shakespeare when he said “All that glitters is not gold”, in reality all that glitters is typically not gold (glittering minerals are usually pyrite or mica – these are easy to test with the edge of a knife, because both these minerals are brittle and gold is not.) But even if it’s not gold it is useful to you as a gold prospector and are seeking methods of how to find gold placer deposits…

Even fool’s gold (copper-iron pyrites) give you one more gold tracer clue to help you find where gold is. That tracer is often concentrated with gold in placer deposits. Oftentimes you see iron, magnetite (black cubes), lead and pyrite in gold-bearing placers. This is because it’s a heavier than average mineral containing iron and sulfides.

Fool’s gold consists of even heavier stuff, copper iron sulfides. These are chalco-pyrites, this pyrite may look yellow gold to an oxidized rainbow metallic in color.  Other minerals often found with this copper-iron-sulphide include a carbonate called malachite, a beautiful semi precious green stone. None of these are gold and yet they are all part of knowing how to find gold deposits quickly.

Pyrites can have trace concentrations of gold in them, so if you find significant amounts of pyrites, it may be worth your time and money to have those samples tested.  Particularly if you find them in a larger lode deposit or one that hasn’t been tested.

Meanwhile, put that ore sample aside for now, since you’re looking for how to find gold placer deposits to start with. Since pyrites and gold are often from related deposits, pyrites form some of the best gold tracers in the creek bed.

Take a look at this short video post, it shows you more about gold and its tracers, other rocks and minerals associated with gold, especially dark red-black-blue stained tertiary quartzite.

The great blue lead was one of these gold deposits.   Question for you:  Do you ever dream of how to find gold, lots of gold,  by spotting one of these massive rich blue gold leads?
Come on, let’s hear your gold stories…

Good Prospecting

Prospector Jess

P.S. Here’s the how to find gold minerals video link again.

* Note: Image CC attribution: Rob Lavinsky,  i Rocks is not really about how to find gold, but it is a great site for it’s pictures of rocks and minerals. Worth referencing.


  1. warne young says

    I found a deposit of sapphire, more significant than yogo dike, in california. with crystals the size of 1,000 carats. ,also sulfide dreposit nearby with blue staing mang. Plus a quartz vein of pyrotite .I am a contruction worker but have been mining , prospecting and now wanting to full time treasure hunt, mine , and prospect. my sapphire deposit i need funding with and starting a full time company locating and developing. do you now someone or companyor way to find an angel devoper to help me get started ?

  2. says

    Im new at prospecting..i found a wide quartz vein running horizontal across a creek..The bank a few feet away has verticle quartz vein maybe 3 or 4 inches wide running the entire heigth of creek bank.I dug a piece out and it had like a zipper made of quartz crystals facing each other. Where the wide vein crosses the creek has greenrock that looks like a mixture of quartz and something mixed with it. what would you do first in my situation? Your input will be deeplly appreciated. Jd

  3. Mike sanders says

    I have a small quarts rock with a little bit of pyrite on the side of it both
    The quarts and pyrite sparkle a lot. Can you please let me know if it’s valuable
    Or what it is.

    • says

      i prospect a seasonal creek/ stream in close quarters to my residence in California
      not far off from that 25lb nugget found in 1850 buy the the Missourians not even a mile off. so on i found a little gold panning around in this creek stream bed and was uncovering a big rock and found within in it a couple quartz veins 3 of them to be exavt about 3ft long no more than 6 incses wide some much smaller could this be the natural place of the gold being deposited ive gone up and down panning trying pinpoint exactly where but it seeems to be coming from every where real fine stuff not enough to tell direction bigger gold is course and sharp not rounded much nothing is bigger than the roundess of a q tip stick
      now ive described history location i know there is gold here but why did i have a dream i uncovered a vein creavace filled with dirt sand reached in for pan materieal and felt it roll down the tip of my finger pulled my hand out and there it was my first noise maker ever but why did i see this in a dream b4 it happened

  4. Mike sanders says

    I have a small quarts rock with a little bit of pyrite on the side of it both
    The quarts and pyrite sparkle a lot.

  5. Alastair says

    After watching your videos, I took my dads old Minelab SD2000 and went hunting gold in the granite river beds near my house. Didn’t find any, but was the best fun I have had in ages.

    Off to the goldfields next week. Now I’m hooked!

    You’re an excellent speaker, your videos are very easy to understand, thanks!

  6. Edg1 says

    The biggest nugget I ever found while sniping was a 1 OZ 3.5 dwt Gold and Quartz piece. It had a smaller nugget stuck to it and both were encased in rust and had adhered to a vertical wall of a swirl pool. Nothing Gold colored was visible, it just looked like a rust nodule. The area had been mined in the past with some large steel cabling involved and pieces of it remained and were in rust pockets here and there along the banks. There are many canyons to the East of Foresthill California in Placer county that are worth a full day or weekend of just looking over the obvious places. What I do is look up for long running cracks in the earth that cross the feeders to the American River. Some of these minor faults have Quartz stringers and those attract Gold.

  7. thomas weaver says

    i love this info and chalco pyrite is a more rich color gold than real gold .real gold is more like a rough gold/orange with a molten look to it

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