Pandemic gold

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I live in southern California. The nearest desert area that is open for detecting is a 285 mile round trip and I have gone there for almost 15 years on and off. It’s not a place where big gold is found, in fact it’s known for very small gold. What it also has is tons of hot rocks and weird mineralization so it's a great area for sharpening your skills if you are interested in that sort of thing, and I am.

During this insane time we are all sharing I am occasionally able to get out and spend a day detecting while honing my social distancing skills. I never see anyone except the quad riders who never notice me standing on the hillside in plain sight. It’s kind of funny.

The specific area I go to has been literally hunted to death and now it has become a shooting range for guys who like to just open up with AR’s into the hillsides. I’ve picked up a fortune in lead.

Originally the old timers built a small town there and over the last few decades various clubs have staked claims and hundreds of people with all manner of detectors have combed the hillsides. These days if you find a flake or two and don’t go mad being fooled by tiny shards of lead you are on your game.

One evening I was goofing around on Google Maps and I started looking at the ground around this place. I had been reading how extending the area where gold has been found sometimes leads to more finds. When I spotted a near-by similar looking area I thought ‘what the heck’ and the next time I went out I tried it.

Imagine my surprise when I almost immediately starting finding the same kind of small gold. I have gone out 7 or 8 times now and each time I have found enough to keep me going back. Now, because I have flogged the first new area, a couple of days ago I spotted another near-by area and again I thought ‘what the heck.’ My third signal was gold.

Who knows how long these little areas will last but it’s been a fun experiment and it pays for gas.

The largest flake is 1.08 dwt (sorry can’t think in grams). The total amount is 11.25 dwt.

This is obviously not trying to impress anyone, but sharing experiences especially when so many of us are not able to get out, is fun, and besides, you have a captive audience. Be well and stay positive.







Edited by FlakMagnet
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Thats a great story! Congrats on finding a new area. :)

Tom H.


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Nice, Martin...About 10 years ago I hit nice wash with nuggets 1 dwt. or less...I followed the lead and over the years I've found about a pound of gold, strung out over about a mile in several connected washes...Largest was 1.1 ozt....Last one was 1/2 ozt...Fun exploration because 90% of the time I found nuggets, nice ones and only a little trash...Cheers, Unc

Happy Ridge Half Oz.jpg

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