Gold Prospecting

Gold prospecting is the process of discovering new gold deposits. There are a variety of methods used when searching for new gold deposits. Although many Americans see this as a commercial activity, in other countries, placer gold discovery has actually become quite popular. They use gold discovery as an outdoor recreation.

Gold ProspectingPlacer Gold

In order to prospect for placer gold you will need a gold pan or something similar to wash off the gold pieces from the surface residue. People have been using gold pans for centuries. It is still relatively common for both prospectors and miners to use gold pans because it doesn’t cost a whole lot.

However, if you are looking for deeper placer deposits, you can do this one of two ways; drilling or trenching. However, you need to be relatively smart when doing this. You do not want to be drilling where gold likely won’t be, so having a knowledge of geophysics in a few areas,for example, gravity, magnetics, and seismic, is a great assetto find placer gold.

Once you find placer gold, the gold pan is then replaced by water and mechanical devices to wash off the material. Many people find placer gold by hardrock gold deposits when they are traced back to their sources.

Hardrock Gold Deposits

If you are trying to detect where hardrock deposits or lode gold deposits, you can use a variety of tools. The simplest way is to examine the rock outcrops. You will be looking for displays of hydrothermal alteration, mineral veins, and other types of rocks that are known to be a host for gold deposits. With this you will only really need a hammer and a hand lens to get the job done.

However on the other hand, hardrock gold deposits are more diverse when it comes to mineralogy and geology than the other placer deposits. With that being said, there are a number of methods that can be used for the diverse types of deposits. Similar to the placer gold, the method used will be entirely up to your financial resources.

However, mostly all gold today is discovered in a wide open-pit with deep underground mines. There are still small-scaled gold mines too, but they are commonly found in third-world countries.


Recreational gold prospecting can be seen in almost all parts of the world. Some countries have a bigger take to recreational gold prospecting others. However, it cancommonly be found in Otago, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Dolaucothi and Gwynedd, Wales, the western United States such as Nevada, and Canada.