Gold Prospecting. Where to Find Gold?
When one mentions gold prospecting, many people have an image in their minds of a man in the hills of California during the gold rush, panning in rivers for valuable nuggets of gold. However, gold prospecting is the blanket term for the action of condcting a searc for gold deposits. In the past, this was strictly a commercial activity, since the wealth available from successful gold mining could change the life of a person or even the economic situation of a nation. Today many people have adopted gold prospecting as an outdoor leisure activity.
Where can you find gold? When a person who is interested in gold prospecting begins to look for where to find gold, there are several different options available. In the United States, a popular area for gold prospecting is the Piedmont Region, stretching from Maryland to Alabama. The states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virgina, and Alabama all have former gold mines and are good places to start with recreational gold prospecting. In fact, these states supplied most of the nation's gold before the California Gold Rush. Internationally, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom are also popular destinations for recreational gold prospecting.
There are two main types of gold prospecting. Perhaps the most popular and familiar variety is prospecting for placer gold. This is generally done by panning. A gold pan is used to wash small, loose pieces of gold free from sediment. Gold panning is often done in a river, and is the popular and romanticized image of gold prospecting held by many. It is also possible to prospect for hard rock gold. This is when people search for evidence of gold deposits, such as veins, among other rocks and mineral deposits. If gold is found, mining can begin in such an area. This kind of deposit is perhaps more economically significant, but less practical for recreational gold prospectors.