Strategic gold finding process diagram

Gold finding process – 5 Stages of finding gold

To learn more details about how to find gold using this gold finding process diagram – take my Gold Prospector’s Bonanza course…

Natural Gold Specimen

Now you can learn more about the 5 stage gold finding process and a few other gold finding tactics borrowed from the prospector’s bonanza course by signing up for the free Gold Finder’s Report Newsletter on the side bar or… Read this about the free gold prospecting newsletter.

Gold finding process
Five stage gold finding process

More details on this process can be found in the video & pdf report “5 stage gold finding process.”

This step by step process is a small part of the gold prospector’s bonanza course. The process does form the course framework that you will be able use to reliably find gold and a lot more of it…



  1. zirek says

    Im from northern iraq have so much of river >>>>tell me how can i find gold? if you have info about north iraq

  2. Marla Sather says

    I am a retired woman who lives in Hayward, CA (the Bay Area) and I am 4 years “new” to gold prospecting, and I am a GPAA member. Have been learning as much as I can about the whole process, but only got out to gold country 3 times, twice with family that just wasn’t into it, and once by myself. I was absolutely not comfortable being out there by myself. There is a prospecting club in Concord, but that is over an hour’s drive away with bad traffic. Looking for a few prospecting buddies here in the Bay Area who also want to connect with others so inclined. I want to thank Jess for his invaluable instruction and insight. The more I know, the better I will be at finding the gold! If you are interested, email me!

    • angela valentine says

      hello my name is angela as i see we are very close im in san lorenzo! I myself for the past 10 years have been very interested inthe whole gold process i collect rocks gems and crystals too. but i realy want to get outtheyr in the gold country and go for it just dont have anyone with enough interest to do so . ive been out theyre 1 time to look gfor gold in aubern dint spend too much time but brought home a couple buckets of dirt and mud and got a couple little pebbles and some flakes wich is ok for first time but id love to go again with some of these new stratagies if you might be interested in going mabey we could go together please email me and we can make arangements thanks

  3. Bill Sullivan says

    We have owned 52 acres in northern Vermont for about 24 years. It is a glacial moraine, all rocks and boulders. Lots of them have quartz seams. My son got curious, and sent quartz samples to an assayer ($25 per sample). A couple of the samples came in rather high- one at .35 ounces per ton, and another came in at .687 ounces per ton. The assayer used the word “spectacular”. The nearest know gold deposits are about 10 miles to the west. I am in the process of sample mapping the property. This will take a while, as winter has put an end to prospecting there. I have several more samples to send in over the winter. All of the seams of quartz are in some very hard granite. Anybody have experience breaking rocks, and extracting the gold from the quartz? Gold is not visible- it has to be chemically separated

    • Richard Moses says

      Why do you have to remove the gold with chemicals? I crush rocks which may, or may not, have gold in them. Then I run the crushed rock through a cooker, which will melt out any form of mineral, which can be heated and turned into a liquid. I don’t use any chemicals.

      • says

        Works fine as long as no chemical or physical bonds trap the gold. Make sure to heat & cool (crack) the fines before final heating to release most trapped gold. It’s that extra fine stuff that leads to the use of gold releasing chemicals.

  4. Pat Briz says

    We own property in CA where there are 11 gold mines from the 49er era within a mile of our
    Property. Our land is cover with quartz boulders with an orange overtone. We have many dry run off stream beds that apparently had a lot of water years ago but no longer ever have water in them. Where would you suggest I start looking? Do I start taking sampled in these run off streams first or do I first concentrate in some of the quartz vein out croppings?

    • Anne Cenn says

      I own property in that area too! How fun! But I live in AZ…. I saw that there are places here to find/mine gold… Just sayin!

  5. Scott Thompson says

    Do you have any way to identify the layers are in a bench placers 300 feet on a mountain side ?….. while underground…..No metal detectors work right ( we took samples to gold show …no one could detune them ) ….to much iron ore ( 1 to 10 Lb. polished chunks )

    • Prospector Jess says

      You might want to consider a Falcon MD-20 pin-pointer detector. I have found it very useful in regions of high Iron content.

      Move 1″ detecting head toward gives a +squak for gold and away for -squak for iron oxides, black sands & hematite rich ore.
      A mix will squak in both directions. Pretty simple when working concentrated regions of minerals & ore samples.

      Use it with a mine lab or other nugget hunting detector to cover a wide range of stuff… (see if you can try one first)

  6. dalimark says

    Hi!!! is there any gold in a bay that has full of black sand… Can you help me… cause I dont have any idea…

    • Prospector Jess says

      The only way to know is to pan the black sands out at various layers all the way to bedrock. Also, gold can attach to black sands, so a further test and extraction may need to be done even if no apparent gold is present. Save black sands for later mass processing. Q: is the area known for gold (flour gold?)

    • dalimark says

      Ah…. What if there is no bedrock??? What should I do??? is there any possibility that it contain gold???

      • TERRY R HEBERT says

        Why is BONZ stock not going up ? We are digging up gold but stocks are showing ZERO , WHY ?????

  7. yan khairudin says

    hai jess..

    how can…the gold usually different like nugget of gold,ore of gold n mat of gold some we cant see the ore.
    thank sir…

  8. mike tilcox says

    Hi Jess
    I’m very new to the prospecting thing and am very excited to get started this spring. I’m located in Ontario Canada and plan to search for placer gold in the Sudbury Area. I’ ve done some google earthe searching areas, but more importantly i’ve moose hunted the region extensivly over !5 years and have seen for myself some of the key signs to locate gold.(old river beds with giant smooth boulder, rusty veins in the bedrock,quartz streaks and boulders) The area i plan to investigate has many claims in the area but everyone says the gold is trapped in the rock and has to be quarried and crushed. are these rivers and streams still going to hold placer gold or when every other outfilt is quarrying from veins trapped deep.

    Mike, and his boys

    • Prospector Jess says

      Glad to hear you’re taking up finding gold. Let us know how you do and post pictures on the “Hunting for Gold” fan page on Facebook.

  9. Terry Hebert says

    Went to White water and found nothing.Black sand everywhere ,looked in a lot of places it should but no luck for me.Behind B canyon I found good color of very fine gold dust . Yesterday in the San Jacinto River I did find specks . Want to try Lydle creek anyone do any good there ? Some of said just past the ranger station ? Dont know but please let me know, I want to try .Live in Hemet low on $$ but want to try, it would be great to get enought to pay to play 😉 e-mail

    • Prospector Jess says

      Did you go to bedrock for each sample hole? Black sand is good sign, or other metal heavy material-iron, red/black rocks, lead shot, etc. Just make sure you get the cracks in bedrock or the sample isn’t complete (except for flour gold which may be on surface material.)

      • Terry Hebert says

        Some but not all.A lot of island hopping and going into the banks like shown on CDs to check things out . I will be at show tomarrow in Pomona Ca early. Would like any help —-I will be wearing a Berret , if your there 😉 O ya I have a beard and one eeye hahahaha yap . 😉

    • Prospector Jess says


      Honestly, making a living on gold takes practice, skill, time and money…
      (even if you worked for Newmont gold mining, co.) :)

      Better to get all 4 of these strategic plans lined up before staking everything you have on the results.

      Meanwhile practice will make skills better…

      Don’t give up dreaming, but be ready to temper that dream with a strategy and patience to back it. Dreams drive us, plans and adjustments to them can make them happen.

      • says

        LOL, I spent 7 years up there near Newmont and just when I got close to learning the geology of gold, we moved to Arizona. Good news is that I found several types of gems in the surrounding areas.
        Now I’m ready to start here, and appreciate your blogs (found you on FB), and am ready to get back in the hunt for gold!

      • Anne Cenn says

        Where in AZ? I will look it up but for the sake of laziness you can tell me! 😉

  10. Terry Hebert says

    Hello, New to this gold panning and looking for a place.Joined GPAA but not sure how to use iteither. I live in Hemet Ca and retired.Looking for play money for the wife and I . Will trade Full 4×4 1 ton dullie for high banker, sluth , dredges, whites decetor, seperator or add some guns— —-Anyone know of a place to pan near hemet ca ?

    • Paul says

      Terry,just joined the GPAA myself. If you live in Cali there are a ton of claims you can go to. You should have the mining guide which shows all the claims and locations.Unfortunately I live in St Louis (no gold round these parts). Ill be making a trek this spring to some location to dig for the yella stuff, good luck!

  11. says

    Thanks for all the good info on your site, I have been researching locations down here in Guatemala, my home for the last two years. I came to your site via your Youtube page. I have selected several locations here in the central highlands based in part on Spanish records from the 1600’s. There is not much modern info available down this way on good sites, but we will soon see.
    Thanks again, and I will let ya know what I find.

  12. Paul says

    Is it possible for a novice to pull out 2ozs a week? Just joined the GPAA so have access to many claims, along w/the pay to dig sites in the East..Something I want to do full time. Any thoughts or advice would be much apprecited.

    • Prospector Jess says

      2oz per week? 5 days a week that would be 2/5 oz per day (0.4 oz/day) is do able depending on the location and type of equipment you use. You must be trained & skilled and keep at it to make that work. It will take a fair amount of work to locate a pay-streak and access to the right mining equipment to recover the gold. There will be many days with much less than 1/2 ounce. Persistence and practice, that’s the key.

  13. Rod S. says

    I know this seems far fetched BUT, I live in Kansas and want to know if anybody has found gold in the jayhawk state. I heard up by Salina in a river there. What do you think should I just give up and go to Col. or Missouri
    Any info would be greatly app. Thanks……Rod

  14. Frank Yensan says

    Prospector Jess, How does one go from stage 3 to stage 4 when one is finding deposits not only widely across a stream but also in all the layers of the gravel? We have been working a small stream about 20 feet wide. The bed rock is exposed on one side, but is three to four feet below the surface on the other side. We had been focused on the gravel bars, but have found that the gold is bigger and more concentrated forward of the bars. The results have been better in spots most would pass up because it just looks like bottom without bars or obstructions. We find good colors in every single test pan no matter what spot of depth. How can we focus in on that streak you talk about in stage 4?
    You might get a kick out of the fact that this stream is within 10 miles of the White House…

    • Prospector Jess says

      Great question.
      The key to stage 3 to 4 transition is good color records when sampling in stage 3 (Gold find location/depth & gold quantity & quality)
      I’m putting finishing touches on some material to help explain this & why it works.

      How funny – Gold 10 miles from the White House. Not surprising since the southern gold belt runs right through there on up to beyond Baltimore Md.
      Shhh… don’t tell the feds they’ll want it all for the “fiscal cliff” solution…

  15. Andrew says

    Hi! I live in Chicago. I don’t see anything around to prospect for gold. Anyone have any suggestions that’s close by? Thanks.

  16. Stephen Giroux says

    My name is Stephen Giroux, I live along the Delaware River and I have been finding small amounts of flour flke gold for about 3 years now.

    • VERNON J. SINGER says

      Hi Stephen,
      My name is Vernon Singer, I live on the Pa. side of the Delawaer River not from D.W.GAP. I find Quartz all over even on top of the Mt. where I live. What side do you live

  17. Reynon Ortiz says


  18. mark heitzman says

    I live in Grand Rapids ,MIchigan……….I hear Ada creek is know to have gold, and the mouth of the coldbrook creek has Indain gold buried there. please help…..

    • Ben Simonis says

      I live in the same area, have you found anything about this yet?

      ~highschooler new to prospecting

  19. Terrie Gordon says

    Where do I look for Gold in colorado? I am making a trip to pan for gold and I will be close to Blackhawk and to Denver? Where is the best place to pan for gold near these places?

    • Bob Gill says

      VIC’s Gold panning is a good place to start. Hes been there sense the 70’s. he’s on HWY 9 jusst out of Black Hawk, can’t miss it has sign.

    • Mike-(moman1959) says

      Clear Creek Canyon is not only a beautiful place to drive thru, it also holds gold flakes and dust. Also Clear Creek were it goes under HWY70 on the west side is open to everything including highbankers, and were the same creek goes under HWY36 north of denverhas good flakes to. Goodluck & keep panning.

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