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Gold Prospecting For Fun And Profit by Mike Eggert
One of the most interesting things to do on vacation, if you are the outdoor type, is to prospect for gold. A great many people have thought about gold prospecting at one time or another and many more have taken up the hobby. Some have even made a few dollars along the way. Most will tell you that getting started was the hard part; the other was finding a good place to prospect.
Panning for gold has always been a favorite with many people, and is a great way to spend some time in the outdoors with friends and family. If you live in the Eastern part of the country it might be a little more difficult to find a good area to search than if you live out in the Western part. Although this may be true, there is still plenty of gold to be found in the Eastern part of our great United States. I will offer a few suggestions on gold panning a little later on in the article, but for now let's talk about another popular method of prospecting for gold; by using a metal detector. I personally prefer this method. The reason is because one can cover a much larger area with a metal detector. One of the drawbacks is that it takes a special type of detector if you are going to do the best job you can. Most any detector will work some of the time, especially if the gold is close to the surface. If this is the way you decide to go check with a reliable dealer before you buy. Regardless of how you decide to do your searching for gold, keep in mind it is a great way to spend a family vacation.
Gold today is seldom found in great amounts in any one spot. But that doesn't mean there is not a lot out there to be found. There are many good books at the Library on gold prospecting and areas to search. If you decide to start by gold panning, and by the way this is the best way if you are doing it as a family, every one can get involved in some way to make the day interesting.
First you will need a gold pan or maybe several if it's a family venture. Some will tell you any kind of pan will work if it has sloping sides, this may or may not be true but I for one have felt much better with a pan that was built for gold panning. And if you are searching for gold with the family they will feel like the gold prospectors of old with the right kind of pan.
Number two is to fill your pan with sand or gravel. Go to the bottom of the stream and bring up the sand and gravel paying attention not to spill the contents until you get next to the top of the stream then shake the pan in a side ways motion, as the water leaves the pan any gold will go to the bottom. After a couple minutes, pick out the larger rocks, if you think any look like gold do not throw them away until you have a chance to take a closer look. Add a circular motion as the sand and gravel remaining leaves the pan any gold will now be at the bottom. If you are fortunate enough to find any of that precious metal, place it in a small glass container and kept to show your friends, or keep adding your finds until you have enough to sell for profit.
A couple of small tips to keep in mind, one, do not use a teflon coated pan as the rocks will soon ruin it, and number two is if you begin to see a lot of fine black sand, keep searching closely as you are very likely in a great area to find some gold.
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