Some of the best experience you can gather on prospecting is to go out with the old timers you can't help but learn and gain their experience quickly. All you have to do is pay attention and watch closely. You can gain their knowledge, on how to pan, sluice, dredge and use all types of prospecting equipment. What areas to look for, which areas that will prove out to be the best areas of the rivers and creeks to look for gold in, as well as the areas to avoid.
Most are more than willing to impart their experience to you. The will not however take you to their best places, but they will take you to areas that do produce some gold in order to show you how to get it. The rest is up to YOU.
Should you win the confidence of an old timer and he does take you out to his better locations, he does it with the understanding that you know how to keep a secret.
The "Alabama Gold Rush" preceded the California Gold Rush by almost twenty years! When gold was found in California, most miners and prospectors dropped everything they had to go west where the gold fields were supposed to produce more.
It is still common to find nuggets from a few grams on up to a couple of ounces, in some of the creeks and rivers in Alabama.
Some of the areas that I do some prospecting in are Arbachoochee, Chulafinee, Delta, Talladega, Waldo, Delta, Heflin, along the streams of Interstate 20 (I-20) near the Alabama/Georgia State Lines.
There are several old mines in those areas, they still produce some gold. But not enough to keep anyone's interest, though there are roomers that some produce quite well. Even today. Most of the veins run from a few feet to thirty plus feet, depending on how the bed rock is running in the area. Most I have found run between 4-8 feet. My favorite spot lies about two feet above bed rock, with a stream that is just right to run a sluice box across. It yields some good gold, I am not getting rich. But it makes for a good hobby.
The equipment I use to prospect with is quite simple.
A round pointed shovel
2 5 gallon buckets Site created by:
Classifier Scott Hilburn
A piece of fine screen Prospector/Web Master
1/4, 1/2 and a 1 oz vial Site Created using MS Publisher 98
Coffee can for the black sand.
With everything together I have about $125.00 in prospecting equipment, the enjoyment it brings is worth much, much more! I am outdoors, in the sunshine unless the bottom falls out of a cloud spending time with my two young children. Teaching them how to do it as well as how to do things out doors.
Follow the links to learn how to use the items listed above
How to use a gold pan
How to use a sluice box
Map of Alabama's gold field
Links to other golden sites on the web/current spot prices for gold