The Gold Rush of the 1840s ended the era of the solitary miner sitting by a stream with pan in hand. Throngs traveled to California hoping to find their fortunes. Tools were soon developed to easily extract gold from rocks and riverbeds. Many of these tools have been found in the original mines above and below ground.
Stamps were used in California gold mines around 1850. First developed in England and used by Cornish miners, stamps were heavy iron machines used to pound rocks containing gold quartz into a fine dust so the gold ore could be extracted. Small stamps were commonly powered by water wheels while larger ones ran by steam engines.
A rocker, also known as a cradle, separated gold from dirt. This tool consisted of a box for shaking dirt and water back and forth so miners could find gold fragments. A miner would load the rocker with water and soil. Another would rock the box, bucket load after bucket load, to search for signs of precious metal. About 200 buckets of dirt could be "rocked" per day.
Panning for gold was also known as "placer mining." Early miners sat by riverbeds, scooping wet soil into shallow metal pans. They swirled the pans, washing away the dirt to hopefully discover particles of gold. Though more complex equipment was eventually invented, pans were still a useful tool to distinguish gold from dirt.
Riverbeds in remote mountains contained gold-bearing gravel. Hydraulic mining was used to extract this gold from water and gravel. Gigantic floating dredges scooped up the river gravel while hydraulic cannons blasted hillsides and washed them into the streams and rivers. The first hydraulic cannon was invented by Edward Mattison in 1853. Dredges and hydraulic cannons were controversial for their impact on the ecosystems. Legal battles between miners and farmers resulted in environmental controls.
Dan Boone has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared on CaribbeanChannel.com and he wrote for the "Virgin Voice" magazine and its website, Virgin Voices. Boone has a Bachelor of Arts in composition and arranging from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also holds a certificate in digital-sound engineering from the Trebas Institute in Montreal.
Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Whether youre studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers.
Prospecting for gold can be done in various ways, thanks to a wide variety of gold mining equipment on the market today. The most basic method is to use a gold pan. Although the old time prospectors used heavy metal pans, plastic gold pans are lighter and nearly indestructible. Today, pans come in a variety of sizes, colors, and even shapes. Not all gold pans are round anymore. The best example of that is the Gold Claw. You can still buy steel or copper pans if you prefer, but plastic pans are inexpensive and light-weight so your arms dont tire too quickly. Gold panning kits are a great way to buy pans and accessories all at the same time. Another piece of gold mining equipment that the old-timers used is a sluice box. Back in the days of the California 49ers, gold sluices were homemade, heavy, and built of wood. Not any more! A gold sluice is essentially a long, narrow "box" that water passes through when put in a creek or stream. The idea is to position a sluice box in a running stream so that the water does the work separating the dirt and rocks away from the gold. Since gold is heavy, it will stay in the bottom of the sluice, trapped in the miner's moss or ribbed matting. Todays gold sluices are available in a variety of lengths, usually constructed of aluminum, and are found in a variety of sizes from folding sluices, which can be carried in a backpack, to solid body models up to 48 inches long. A highbanker (also called a Power Sluice) is basically a sluice box with mobility and added height. It is mounted on a 4-legged stand that gives the sluice box the correct slope. Instead of being put right in the creek like a sluice, an engine with a water pump and some hoses transports the water up from the stream into the highbanker. Gravel is then shoveled into the hopper, which is mounted at the top end of the sluice box. Inside the hopper is a "grizzly" which is a series of sloping rods that filter out larger rocks. Also in the hopper are spray bars that shoot water onto the gravel that is shoveled into the hopper. In addition to the ability to go just about anywhere, the highbanker also is able to run more material in less time than a regular sluice. With power sluices, you have several choices of riffles, spray bars, carpets, miner's moss, engine-pump combinations, hoses, and frames so you can find the highbanker that meets your needs. The smaller models often come with a pack frame so it can be backpacked if your gold claim or favorite stream is in a remote location making it a versatile piece of gold mining equipment that you dont want to be without. If youre not concerned with size and really want a workhorse, check out the CC690 Power Sluice. This power sluice comes on wheels so you can easily transport it down to your river or stream. Drywashers are like highbankers but they do not use water. Drywashers are excellent gold mining tools for use in areas where water is not available, such as arid and desert areas.
To free gold from rocks, or to do sampling in the field, consider a rock crusher. And with all sizes of kilns available, you can do your own smelting at home, too. A Vac Pac is more like a backpack and is ideal for literally vacuuming gold out of dry cracks and crevices, and where it collects in moss and weeds along a riverbank.
An automatic spiral gold panning machine helps you separate the gold from your concentrates and black sand much more quickly and easily than just panning. It's the ideal machine if you don't have the muscle power or time to separate your fine gold concentrates by hand. Deep cut spirals with sharp edges are key for gold recovery. The Gold Cube is also an excellent fine gold recovery tool. It is a super concentrator that will take your buckets of dirt down to a cup worth in no time! A Blue Bowl is usually the final step after using your Gold Cube. A hand dredge is a handy device when working in an area where motorized equipment is not permitted, and when there are hard-to-reach crevices and boulders that are usually natural gold traps. This list by no means all of the great pieces of gold mining equipment available today, but its a good representation if you're new to prospecting. To find out what might best suit your needs, attend a gold show to see a live demo, watch product videos, and ask questions. And the best part is that you dont have to find much gold to cover the cost of your equipment and supplies and still make a profit for years to come. In the meantime, until you find your own gold, you can always buy gold nuggets by the gram or Alaskan paydirt as inspiration, for a gift, and because the shiny yellow metal is just plain pretty!
Visit the Valley's only attraction honoring Big Bear's rich gold mining history! Once the most prosperous mining area during the Gold Rush; you can strike it rich when you mine for treasures of your very own at Gold Rush Mining Adventures!
Gold Rush Mining Adventures is a unique and immersive attraction and gift store dedicated to mining and elements of the Earth. Visitors get the opportunity to mine for treasures in a themed exploration. You'll be digging from a pit, excavating from hardened materials, seizing items from hidden spaces, cracking open your own geode, or pan for gold in a running water sluice. Best of all, you'll take home all the treasure you find!
Knowledgeable staff will also help you discover personalized gem stones specific to your astrological sign, birth month and planetary stone. We'll help you identify your numerology gemstone, gain insight into chakra and healing gemstones, and help you understand your aura and how colors affect your body!
Beginning in 1849, gold seekers from Mexico, Chile, Europe, Australia and even China emigrated to the U.S., flocking to the San Francisco area. They were joined by throngs of Americans eager to strike it rich. The foreigners brought new methods and tools and excitement for possibilities and opportunities. Before mining slowed down into dormancy in 1855, nearly $2 billion in gold was taken from the earth.
For the early gold-focused miners of 1849, gold panning was the way to acquire ore in a hurry, without all the fancy tools. According to Sierra Foothill Magazine, gold pans were probably the most ineffective of all the miners tools. The shallow pans worked well with water added to potentially gold-bearing materials. Prospectors filled potential gold-bearing dirt mixed with water into the pan and gently swished the compounds, resulting in small particles of gold rising to the surface.
Popular from the beginning of the gold rush and requiring at least two men to work, rockers were faster and more productive than panning. Dirt, sediment and water were placed on top of a rectangular wooden box mounted on rockers that made it resemble a cradle. Dirt and rocks were placed in the rocker along with water before the rocker was then rocked and sifted by hand. A sieve or grate stopped larger stones from going through with gold moving through to be caught by riffles at the bottom of the box.
Water was essential to be successful in finding gold and separating it from the residue of dirt and gravel. Because water wasnt always nearby or available, miners created flumes, or long wooden chutes, that brought water down to the digging site. A sluice box did most of the work for the miners. It contained an open trough where dirt and rock debris would be placed, and a shaft where it could be washed out with water coming from an attached flume. Gold would be caught by ridges in the bottom, while rocks would be washed out.
Large rocks or chunks of gravel sometimes contained gold or quartz, and miners from Sonoran Mexico invented the horse-drawn arrastre to pulverize the ore. Horses or mules were hooked to large spokes with masses of rock attached to the inside. As they turned the spokes around an axle, the rocks were crushed over a rocky surface. A stamp mill consisted of heavy metal weights dropped on the ore, breaking it apart.
Andrew Cross began writing professionally in 2007 and now works full-time at a Chicago-based public relations agency. He has also served as a reporter, editor, columnist and freelance public relations consultant for several agencies and publications. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Illinois State University.
Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Whether youre studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers.
Striking gold. Is there anything moreideal than this? The fantasy of getting rich quick is a hallmark ofmany cultures and woven into the fabric of our history and national psyche. The original gold rush, good or bad, shaped the exploration of theUnited States and was responsible for the boom of multiple industries. But as many historians would tell you, the people making the most money weren't the guys mining for gold, it was the people selling the shovels.
A modern warning to be learned is that selling the tools to go after the fantasy is often more lucrative than the fantasy itself. Yes, there were those who struck it rich, but the vast majority were left in decline, stranded in secluded towns struggling to make enough money to start over somewhere else. It's no different in modern times. Prospecting for gold can be enormously profitable, but carries with it an epic risk. Conditions are dangerous, returns are not guaranteed, andmisfortune lurks around every corner. When the economic downturn hit hard for several working men from Sandy, Oregon, they decided to risk it allby turning to gold mining. None of them were experienced and the next nine seasons tracked their epic learning curve as they went from mining just a few ounces to mining millions of dollars worth of gold. It certainly wasn't easy, but here are 20 Rules The Cast Of Gold Rush Is Forced To Obey.
When Todd Hoffman and his crew first started in season one, they knew very little about gold mining. It was an adventure born out of desperation to carve out a new life after the men had all lost their jobs or businesses during the economic downturn.
However, they didn't let their inexperience or ignorance stop them. When setting up their first pieces of equipment out in Porcupine Creek, Alaska, they made almost every mistake in the book, much to the amusement of their temporary mentor, Parker Schnabel. Much to his credit, Hoffman pushed through his mistakes and committed to learning the trade fast. In fact, much of season one chronicled his steep learning curve and it wasn't long before he started mining his first little haul of gold.
Hoffman and his crew cut their teeth on the now-famous Porcupine Creek site in the first season, but they ran into trouble at the beginning of the second season when Hoffman misses a rent payment. Because of the missed payment, he loses the lease on Porcupine Creek and Fred Hurt and his crew were ready to immediately take their place.
This forced Hoffman to find another site to look for gold, eventually leading them to Dawson City, in Yukon, Canada. From there, they set up a new mine in Quartz Creek, building on mistakes and lessons they learned from in the first season.If lease payments are not made on time, owners generally show no mercy.
In season three, the Hoffman team managed to hold on to the Quartz mine and continued theirentrepreneurialmining activities there. Building on the previous season's success, Todd Hoffmanhired a second teamto work on a second mine nearby.
But Hoffman ran intodelays and difficulties at the Quartz mine and realized they needed extra manpower. In a smart allocation of resources, he decided to merge his teams to work on the Quartz minerather than keep the additional team separate. The combined production paid off and Hoffman andhis crewmined the biggest haul of the three competing teams. Though happy with the earnings, they would later dwarf these earnings in subsequent seasons.
Hoffman concludes that he can't continue to pay people to mine the Sacramento site. He has enough money to give people a cushion and then they can look for other work. This is a double blow because his previous site nearby, which was performing well, was shut down by the county, but Hoffman knows he can't pay his crew with IOUs. Some quick strategizing with Freddy gives him an idea for a potentially lucrative wager: break new ground in between the two sites. There's nothing like necessity to come up with an inventive idea.
In season nine, Hoffman's safety officer, Trey, spends 2 1/2 of the worst hours of his life with the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). While visiting their operation, officials from MSHA witness Todd Hoffman's son, Hunter, horsing around with other workers in a specialized mining vehicle without their safety belts. This is a major safety violation and it happened right before MSHA's eyes.
Trey reads the crew the riot actand explainsthat the crew now has an imminent danger citation, which destroys the crews' great reputation. Todd Hoffman takes his son Hunter aside separately anddemotes him from a leadership position on the plant to driving a truck.In other words, you play, you gotta pay.
Anything can happen out on a site, and it is wise to expect the unexpected. Obstacles can take many forms, like equipment failure or worker error, but often, it's just the landscape itself thatacts as the biggest challenge.
When Andy Spinks and Logan Pierce are trying to prepare a site, they run into the mother of all boulders, an estimated 100,000poundeyesore. Using two backhoes, one holds the boulder in place while the other digs the dirt out from underneath it. They are warned by elder crew members not to have the bucket trapped under the boulder because if it starts rolling, it will take the backhoe with it. Luckily, they handle the boulder perfectly, and with a little work, pry it loose and watch it roll down the hill.
Combining separate resources in season three worked out well for the Hoffman crew, achance that earned them approximately $150,000 for the season. Split among the team, it's a healthy win, but nowhere near the record hauls that they would pull inlater.
Still, it serves to illustrate that a wagerer's instincts of when to hold 'em comes into play when mining for gold. It takes shrewd reasoning and trustingyour gut to double down efforts on a site as betting on the wrong claim can easily lead to insolvency. And just how, exactly, does one earn a wagerer'sinstinct? Some people are born with it, but most must earn it through hard-earned experience.
The start of season four looked promising for the Hoffman team, as they headed off to a rumored hotspot for gold, namely, Guyana, South America. South America was an expensive chance to take. Obstacles included mosquitos, venomous insects, ticks, spiders, and all other kinds of critters that the miners were not familiar with. Plus, the climate was the opposite of what they were used to: humid and hot. After dealing withenduring conditions and back-breaking work, their initial haul was only about two ounces. Should he bet on finding more, or call it a day? Hoffman decided to cut his losses andpack upthe mining efforts in South America.
What's the difference between season one gold hauls and gold hauls over subsequent seasons? At least for the Hoffman team, about $3 million in season six, as compared to $150,000 in season two. That's quite an upgrade!
A couple of seasons later, Parker's more experienced team faired amazingly well, too,earning $5 million in season seven. At the end of the day, there's simply no substitute for hard earned and well-worn experience. Embarrassing failures lead to success, but only if you follow through to learn from those failures. The difference in the Hoffman crews between season one and season eight is striking. It goes to show what you can accomplish if you stick it out.
Brand new gold mining equipment is sometimes prohibitively expensive for a team. In season seven, Tony Beets and his family take a large used gold dredge, invested asizable amount of money into repairs and refurbished it themselves. This piece of equipment ultimately proved reliable as the Beets family mined 2100 ounces of gold with it; that's about $2.5 million worth.
In this case, the Beets family more than recouped their investment in one season, but had they tried to buy a brand new gold dredge, they would have still been in debt. If you have the know-how, it definitely pays to get resourceful about your equipment.
It's alreadydifficult to have a private life when you're spending so much time out on the claim site, but it's practically impossible to do so when you've signed on the dotted line to allow a reality production crew to follow you wherever you go.
When Parker brings his girlfriend to the site to try and eat a quiet lunch with her, he finds out quickly that there's just going to be no privacy. He's instantly surveilled by adrone camera and a camera op, who is no doubt trying to capture any glimpse ofcloseness between him and his girl. Parker and his girlfriend respond by making faces, but they know they've already lost the game. If he's going to get any private time with her, he'll have to sneak away like a ninja.
Even the most well-maintained and immaculate claim sites can have unexpected obstacles. After rocks are cleared away in piles, there is always the possibility that a bigger rock might roll down and become an expensive problem.
Truck driver Juan experienced this fact the hard way when he crashed into a big rock in the roadway, causing approximately $20,000 worth of damage to his truck. The accident was completely needless and had he been going slow enough, he would have easily seen the rock and avoided the crash altogether. It's easy to get flippant about vehicle safety, but accidents can be expensive, or worse, fatal. At the very least, it's important to carefully watch the road.
Upon noticing the owner of the equipment, he is told that because the equipment wasn't being used for weeks, it was moved to a mining site that was performing. The exchange was heated and the owner basically called Hoffman a bad miner. Afterwards, Hoffman tried to cut a deal, but the owner stood firm. Hoffman learned that if you're using borrowed equipment, you had better be producing,or in other words, use it or lose it.
Hoffman and his crew aren't the only guys to give up everything to go looking for gold. The economic downturnturned quite a few people into desperate adventurers, flooding the field with new prospectors. But as many of them found out, there were already plenty of gold entrepreneurs out their mining, and they had the advantage of experience and expertise.
The long and short of it is that all the easy gold is gone. All the areas that have had a high return are already swarming with miners. To get any meaningful returns on a new claim requires a huge investment with no guarantees, plus, you have to go through all the work to find the claim in the first place. There is definitely money to be made, but like almost everything in life, it won't be easy.
Starting in season two, different teams began to compete with each otheron who could find the most gold ineach season. In the beginning, Parker's team was generally favored as he had the most experience and the benefit of generations of wisdom from his grandfather. But as the years went by, the seemingly impossible challenge of beating Parker actually became achievable. Hoffman beat Parker a few times, with most other times comingreally close.
The competition was an amazing motivator, and embracing the challenge caused all teams to work harder and mine more than they thought was possible. There's something about a rival that creates that extra fire to make you want to win.
In season four, Parker didn't like the look of the returns he was getting on one of his sites. His instinct was that it just wasn't going to perform and he needed to act quickly. Parker's idea was to relocate the entire operation to an area across the river. Though this could be done, the move would be expensive.
Some of his crew, on the other hand, thought this was wishful thinking and that Parker was living on a fantasy land. But Parker retorted: Fantasy land might just be our next cut,moving alongwith the operation. Parker was right. Hischance paid off and the site across the river helped earned his team record profits and he would later shatter that record easily.
Out there in the wilderness, the conditions can be absolutely punishing for mine workers. The labor itself is already difficult, but if you factor in freezing temperatures and along workday, you have the perfect recipe for low morale.
In season five, several of Parker's workers were thinking about quitting because of the bitter cold with one stating simply, Everybody's worn out. But Parker pushed them on, and they decided to stay, and it was a good thing, too. At the end of season four, Parker and his team brought in way more than they expected. When he gathered his workers at the end, he told them that's $3 million right there on the table. The hard work paid off, and the workers were definitely glad they didn't quit!
Parker's grandfather, John Schnabel, was featured oftenon the show as both a cheerleader and mentor to Parker. He would give Parker valuable advice and often visited to see how the operation was shaping up. At the end of season five, Parker had once again brought in a record $3 million and broke the news in front ofSchnabel. His grandfather was overcome with emotion, saying: Parker, you don't know how pleased and proud I am of you. I'm lucky. I'm a very fortunate man... I love you Parker.
In season seven, Todd had totake a huge chanceto mine 1000 oz of gold at a Colorado site in order to pay his crew what he owed them and avoid insolvency andthere was no guarantee he would be able toachieve this lofty goal. But in the end, it did pay off, and Todd Hoffman's team brought in more than 1,100 oz of gold, which was enough to do just a little bit better than breaking even. In a season where he was worried about losing everything, breaking even was a huge win!
The challenges of the environment on a mining site sometimes comes in the form of harsh climate or difficult terrain, but sometimes, it is thehairybeasts of the wild that can be the real danger to a mining operation.
Bears are notorious for finding andtaking human foodstuffs, though, some that are experienced with the animals have some success inleading them away. One wrong move can lead to a fatal altercation, and unless you have a powerful weapon, you are not going to win a fight with a bear! It takes true grit to be a miner and those afraid of bears need not apply.
Gary Gunter is a writer, actor, and producer living in Los Angeles. He has the loudest laugh in the room and believes in living a life just weird enough to work. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @LaughingGary
This page was created to spotlight claims for sale that I have reviewed the paperwork and the paperwork and it appears in order. These claims are most often held by others and I am just helping them out with online exposure. If there is a claim that I am involved with one way or another, I will state so in the description.
Also, occasionally I run into pocket listings where the owner wants to sell, but not have it out there for public review. In most cases these are very high demand/ high value claims where the owner prefers to be discreete in the process. If you are interested in pocket listings, contact me and I can fill you in on the details and get you access to any photos or videos of the claim and get you in touch with the owner so you can hammer out a price that would be mutually beneficial.
I located Tippy Tw0 Placer CAMC 322840 (W1/2 of NW of SW Section 34 19N9E MDM in Sierra County on Oregon Creek) a couple of years ago when I was mapping Oregon Creek and discovered an open section. It is a nice private claim where if you want to be where no one can find you, this is the location. Closest place you can drive to is to the Tippecanoe Mine creek crossing and then you have to walk upstream about a half mile along Oregon Creek. When I walked up the creek I had to cross several times in shallow sections to access the claim easily. About half way up the creek is a debris dam that is about 25 feet high and is filled with hydraulic mining gravel. As you venture up the creek to the Tippy 2 claim, you realize that the dam actually stopped the flow of Oregon creek right at the upstream reach of the Tippy Two claim (thus, this claim was probably the drop zone for most of the gold coming down the creek). From that point down the claim is full of gravel banks all the way down to the dam. When we went in there and quickly sampled, we found some flakes of gold and a friend of mine was metal detecting on the bank and found a nice little picker on the bedrock bank. I dont currently own the claim as I sold it to Nick S, who eventually became my mining partner and by association has more mining than he can do in 10 lifetimes. He just doesnt have time to go down to Tippy 2, so he wanted me to post it to see if anyone was interested in buying it off him. I believe he wants $3500 for it. You can call or text the owner, Nick @ 925-788-7495
If you are looking for a claim where you can find some SERIOUS GOLD with a relatively short but very steep hike, S&W #1 & 2 CAMC317827 is the claim you are looking for. Located on Scotchmans creek 17N11E Sec 18 in Nevada County- it is on the main drain creeks of BOTH the Alpha & Omega hydraulic pits- this 40 acre claim is the gift that keeps on giving.
As we all know, the old hydraulic sluice boxes were terribly inefficient- especially when they only cleaned them out once a month. And can you imaging the quantity of gravels washed down a canyon between two fabulously rich hydraulic pits? Both claims located at the bottom of Scotchmans Canyon have exposed and worn bedrock the whole length, along with millions of yards of tailings along the banks with thousands of cracks to catch gold. Observation of the current claim owners is that the gravels have produced a lot of gold fines and some nuggets, but where you hit the real jackpot is with the nuggets found in the bedrock cracks along the length of the claim.
Both claim owners are avid metal detectorists and all the nuggets noted in the pictures below were found by CASUALLY walking the bedrock in the creek, and extracting the nuggets from the cracks from the center of the creek. It is relatively apparent that is a claim that has had very little mining activity on it in the last 150 years.
During big winter rains the channel of the creek often changes- exposing new bedrock and nuggets. There is a lifetime of nugget hunting on this claim. And recognize that the claim owners have not done any serious mining other than metal detecting- can you imaging what running the same gravels from the cracks that these nuggets came from would be like? If the size of nuggets found in the main channel of the creek, can you imaging what they are like on the edges? Its a tough and short hike in, but if nuggets and serious gold finding is your thing
Lets talk about claim access it is difficult and requires a 44 quad to travel a half mile just to get to base camp. Then you have about an eighth of a mile of a moderately steep hike into the canyon, and then another 1/8 of a mile walking on exposed bedrock to get to the claim. Being in shape is required to access these claims- there is no easy way in. This claim is VERY remote, and I can assure you that NO ONE will just stumble on to you on a walk in the woods. If you are serious about the claims and in great physical shape (and dont mind finding lots of gold nuggets), then after purchasing the owner will tell you all the secrets of the canyon he has learned from accessing the canyon to maximizing your chances of finding really nice nuggets.
The owners of the claim are both friends of mine and I told them about the claim downstream from my claim was available and so they went out and claimed it. I went on a nugget finding adventure with them down there a few years ago. My one friend was literally walking down the middle of the creek swinging his coil and hitting targets every couple of feet. Ive never seen anything like it having such a target rich environment. It was amazing to see and was readily apparent that this stretch of creek had NEVER SEEN A METAL DETECTOR nor been mined extensively. There is a LOT of bedrock on this claim. literally a lifetime of mining and if I were in better shape and not an old guy with a heart condition, ID buy it from him..in a heartbeat.
While doing research for the Western Mining Alliance, I started tracking active and closed mining claims in Nevada and Sierra Counties in Northern California. I was having so much fun, I decided to do every county from Mariposa County in the South to Plumas County in the North. Ive had a lot of fun doing the mapping and I have uncovered many very interesting possible locations.