Where To Look for Gold in Rivers and Streams


Where To Look for Gold in Rivers and Streams

Want to give prospecting for gold a try? Use these tips to identify gold-bearing sections of streams and rivers near you. You never know what you’ll find!

Have you ever wondered how the gold prospectors of yore found such precious metal deposits in creeks and streams? You can look for gold in rivers and streams near you—you’ve just got to know where to focus your attention. Gold deposits are not always visible to the naked eye, but you can find them in many streams and rivers. Learn more about the formation of these gold deposits and where you can spot them.

How Do Gold Deposits Form?
Gold often follows the path of least resistance as it travels through the running water of a creek, stream, or river. Particles travel down the center of the stream; if the water bends or curves in any way, gold travels along the inner side of those curves. Prospectors call this path the “gold line.” 
The water current concentrates the gold in various places along the stream, usually in cracks and crevices between rocks. 

Common “Gold Traps” To Search
Now that you’ve got an idea of how gold particles travel through water keep your eyes peeled for these common spots where they’re likely to settle.

Cracks in Bedrock
Are there any formations or disruptions in the bedrock at the bottom of the stream? Areas where current interruptions occur, such as crevices and cracks, often have gold particle or flake settlements.

Waterfall Pools
Does your local river or stream have a waterfall? Set up your prospecting equipment near the pool at the bottom. Gold moves quickly and efficiently through rapids and waterfalls and often accumulates in the pools and crevices below.

Confluence Placers
A confluence placer is any point at which two streams meet. The turbulent water and obstructions, such as cracks and boulders, encourage gold deposits to form.

Helpful Equipment To Have
If you plan to spend the day prospecting for gold near a small river or stream, you don’t need loads of heavy-duty equipment. Pick up a pan specially designed for gold prospecting and sift through gravel the way they did in the 1840s! Want a little extra help from modern technology? A mini suction dredge, equipped with a sluice box, can help you vacuum up larger volumes of gravel from the creek bed and sift through it quickly.  Gold prospecting is a fun and engaging hobby that gets you out into nature and working with your hands. Your patience will pay off as you look for gold in rivers and streams and start building your treasure hoard!

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