Work With Proper Prospecting Tools

By Celia Hall

There is gold on this planet, and if you're searching for it, the right prospecting tools are just what you need. It could be that you're new at this, but you've stumbled across a hot spot. Or you've been searching all your life, and you want to make sure you're using all the latest equipment. No matter what the reason, it's a great idea to learn more about the tools.

Most people have seen the old-fashioned pans that are used for gold mining. They're a simple, flattened bowl, but they're effective enough that they're still used today. However, lighter versions of the pan are also available. This is preferred by many because spinning water all day can be hard on the wrists and hands.

Mechanized bowls are fairly popular, too. It's possible to find electric or gas powered devices, or perhaps you prefer a set up that uses water for power. The moving water flows over the dirt, lifting it and washing it away. What's left at the bottom is heavier materials, such as your favorite mineral.

Something else that is commonly used is a sluice. A hand sluice is popular in places like the mountains, for instance in the northwest. It's wet in those areas, and the water from streams can be used for processing. All you need to do is watch the lighter dirt flow away from the heavy minerals, and if you're panning in the right spot, you may find a nicely concentrated amount of your favorite mineral.

Another excellent area for prospecting is in the desert, but of course there isn't much water there. A recirculating sluice works great in that situation, and it's just as effective. Air lifts the dirt through riffles, and heavy minerals remain in the ridges of the device. Once again, many people think this is a great investment, and it is does not have to be terribly expensive.

When devices are mechanized that means they have a hand crank, or they're powered by electricity or gas. The more advanced equipment will call for an investment, but hopefully you'll be able to afford it. In other words, there are those who pay a bit more in the hopes of finding a bit more.

There are more types of equipment that can ease your search. For example, some will use a basic broom and dust pan to brush at rocks and hillsides, but you can get a greater amount of samples if you use a gas or electric vacuum. Another time-tested technique is to make use of a shaker table. The table shakes, and you move water across it to separate the materials.

Prospecting tools are available in retail stores, or they can be purchased online. Store employees and websites can also answer all of your questions, and it's easy to find books on the subject. Many people simply ask other prospectors for advice. However it is you get started with this hobby, or keep going with your current project, you're bound to get the best results when you use the right equipment.

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