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Gold! If you live in an area where gold is showing, then you might want to find a way of finding it. It’s not difficult if you know how to do it. In this guide, I will show you the basics so that you can start your own prospecting business or just enjoy the thrill of discovering what’s hidden underground. 

Gold is an element that usually lays on bedrock and in stream beds. If you don’t have any exposed bedrock, then you’ll probably need to dig down until the gold gets closer to your ground level. Another way of finding gold is by looking for quartz crystals because they can often be found with it!

This is a blog post about how to find gold in your backyard for those who are interested in prospecting.

Tools You’ll Need For Backyard Prospecting

Gold Panning Tools

If you are lucky to live in a gold-rich area then you are going to want to invest in a few tools to start prospecting.

Utility Shovel (Garden Spade)

A utility shovel or garden spade is the best tool to use for a beginner. It will allow you to scoop dirt out of an area and make it easy to sift through what you find. Get one that has a long handle so your hands won’t be touching the ground as much. 

Garden Hand Trowel

Just like the shovel, a garden hand trowel is an invaluable tool for prospecting. This will allow you to dig in hard-to-reach areas and chop through roots or clumps of dirt that might be stuck together. A long handle on this too will keep your hands from getting dirty as much.

Gold pan

A gold pan is one of the most common tools for prospectors. It will allow you to mix your dirt with water and move it around in a circular motion until all that’s left are tiny specks of heavier metals like gold, silver, or copper. This is also how people get those shimmering flakes off rocks in movies they just use a gold pan.

This tool is also really fun for younger kids because they can easily see and feel the difference between dirt and treasure in their hands.

Plastic Classifying Screen

The screen is the final stage in separating gold from the dirt. The circular, plastic grid has a number of holes that will allow small particles to pass through and larger ones won’t. Anything too large for the screen gets thrown back into your pan or onto your ground until it’s finally clean enough to keep what you want.

5 Gallon Bucket

The basic installment of your gold panning rig is the bucket. Fill it with a few inches of water, and dump some dirt in. Pour this back and forth over the screen until you’re convinced that all the heavy metals are gone. This process will help remove anything else not worth keeping like rocks or other minerals but there’s no real way to be sure you’re not throwing away gold.

Sucker bottle and small plastic container bottle

When you’re done with your panning session, the sucker bottle is great for getting all that water out of the small plastic container. The gold dust will stick to it and if you cap it off tight enough, there’s no way any air can get in. You’ll have a nice little collection to show people later on. 

Gold Prospecting Is Physical Demands

If you’re in good shape, prospecting is a great hobby. It’s not too difficult to get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery while doing something productive at the same time! The gold will thank for it, I promise.

However, you need to know that the process of finding gold is not easy. You have the physical element of digging through the ground which can be taxing. Then you have the process of cleaning the dirt and sifting it through the pan which can take hours if you’re not careful.

The process of prospecting is long and laborious but well worth it in the end!

Where Gold Sits

Gold is a rare metal so it will not be everywhere. However, if you’re in an area that has gold showing and the soil is not too rocky then you’ll have a better chance of finding it.

If your backyard has a river or stream flowing through it there is a good chance that there are bits of gold in the sediment. If you’re lucky enough to live next door to an old mine, then your chances go up even more!

Look out for sand and gravelly areas as well. Gold can be found in these areas as well and is usually much easier to find if it’s sitting on top of a rock or sand!

If you don’t have a river or water in your backyard, then you may be out of luck in finding gold. However, if you can find old plans you may have a tried river bed that you never knew about.

The Riches In Backyard Gold

While gold is rare and is worth a lot of money you are going to have more than a couple of flakes to make any money. To make a fortune, you’ll need to find gold in large quantities.

This is the reason why people spend years of their lives searching for gold and building mines near rivers or streams which have a lot of sand deposits. 

You may not get rich with your backyard gold many people use gold mining as a hobby. It is a fantastic pass time with an excellent frill when you find that flake of gold. It’s not all about the money when it comes to backyard gold mining. 

Finding Fool’s Gold

The most common mistake that people make when they are prospecting for gold is to assume the dark-colored rock on top of the lighter-colored material is gold. This type of “fool’s” gold will fool you into thinking it’s a treasure trove, but instead, it just leaves you with another daydream about what could have been.

“Fool’s gold,” or pyrite, is a mineral that has the same color as gold-colored metal. It’s not uncommon to see these rocks mixed in with other materials when prospecting for gold. 

Real gold is much brighter but to the untrained eye, the difference can be difficult to spot. 

When you have found the gold and If you are unsure if the gold is real, bring it to a jeweler or send it in for analysis. If you find something that looks like fool’s gold and want to know how much of your spoils will turn out to actually be treasure, have an expert analyze the rock before giving up.

You Don’t Find Gold Other Options 

If you have spent many hours even days and don’t come up with any gold, it may be time to explore other prospects.

Public land is free to use and you can take your equipment with you and try your luck at other locations.

If the area is a public space, there’s nothing wrong with asking permission to prospect on private property either. 

The law varies from state to state but it is usually illegal to enter someone else’s land without their consent. Except in an emergency situation such as fire or flood which can be reported to the authorities.

Some people are hesitant to speak with a stranger but, in reality, you might be giving up your gold without ever knowing it!

If they say no or don’t respond at all then keep on looking and try another prospector’s suggestion.

How to Find Gold in Your Backyard: Conclusion 

If you enjoy exploring the wilderness and working up a sweat, then panning for gold is perfect! 

The first step to getting started in this endeavor is physical fitness. Not only will it make your day more enjoyable. But also improve your success rate when searching because of how much easier it’ll be on you both physically and mentally. 

And if that doesn’t convince you, think about all those folks who got their start mining by using nothing but shovels or picks from a nearby stream bed with very little training so don’t feel bad at being green behind the gills just yet.

Next comes gathering together everything necessary including water (or any other liquid). Pans made specifically for riverbed sifting as well as some basic tools like buckets. Which are great for transporting small amounts of material.

Finally, there is choosing your location which will depend on many things including weather conditions, accessibility, and terrain. But also what you want to find like gold or other minerals.

How to Find Gold in Your Backyard FAQ’s

It’s a common misconception that gold is only found in the deepest parts of Earth. The fact is, if you’re willing to do some digging and get your hands dirty, you might just find gold in your backyard! Let’s look at some of the commonly asked questions we see regarding this passtime. 

Can you find gold in any dirt?

Gold is not only a thing of the past, but it’s also hidden all around you. You might think to find gold in your backyard would be like winning lotto-gold on top of that jackpot! But surprisingly, this kind of discovery isn’t as impossible as one may believe. Because there are many easy and simple ways for people today. To actually dig up their own fortune without nearly any luck at all.

Where is the easiest place to find gold?

  1. American River, California
  2. Fairbanks, Alaska
  3. Black Hills, South Dakota
  4. Northern Nevada
  5. The Klondike Region, Yukon, Canada
  6. Pike’s Peak, Colorado
  7. Rogue River, Oregon
  8. Dahlonega, Georgia
  9. Atlin, British Columbia
  10. Feather River, California

Can you find gold in any stream?

Gold is often found in small amounts of flakes or grains, which are called alluvial gold. Alluvial Gold requires a lot of work to find because it’s so heavy and attracts mud as well. This means that it can be really hard to spot gold even when you’re standing on the streambed!

What type of rock is gold most commonly found in?

Gold is most often found in quartz rock, and it has a deep orange hue when reflecting sunlight.

Where is gold usually found?

Gold is one of the most valuable minerals in existence. It’s primarily found as pure, native gold and can be embedded within quartz veins or placer stream gravel. Gold mines are located all over the world. Including South Africa, Alaska (US), Russia, Australia, and Canada to name a few locations where you may find it!

Is Quartz a sign of gold?

Believe it or not, gold can be found in quartz. It nestles in the veins and cracks of this mineral that provide a perfect hiding place for these small particles to sit undetected. In some cases, you may even be able to see larger masses like those at Clifton’s Gold Mine. But most are microscopic-sized scales on their surface which means they’re nearly impossible to detect. Without the use of equipment such as X-ray diffraction!