Drywashing vs. Metal Detecting


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Hello Everyone,

Again, I want to apologize for the poor quality pictures of the gold I found drywashing last week.....great gold....bad pictures.

Anyway, I want to get your thoughts/experinces on something that a "well respected" member of the mining community recently told me. He indicated that all things being equal, the average person with a drywasher will more often that not find more gold than the average gold detectorist. However, the "master" dectorist will probably find more gold than the master drywasher.

An interesting topic....what are your experiences/thoughts?

PS. I pick up my GP 3000 on Saturday.....is it Saturday yet ;)

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Desertdigger

Here is my thinking on this and what I've seen around Rich Hill.This year when I was in AZ. three different friends were drywashing and working hard at it each day.I'd say they were working 4 to 6 hrs per day and after 3 to 4 weeks they may had a 1/4 oz. if they were lucky but most found less and alot less.When gold is small it takes loads to add up to anything.

Nugget hunting is not hard work and I don't get dirty as much.If I just find one two gram nugget in a week that's more than you may find drywashing in two weeks.

I know some will disagree with me on what you can get with a drywasher but like real estate it's location,location.Just like dredging you can hit a hot spot and the pay off will be better are you can work your butt off for nothing.

Chuck Anders

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Howdy Chuck... Jim here... I believe desertdigger is referring to areas where most of the

gold is small... Actually, its drywasher county... A little drywash gold is found each trip... (and

as frosting on the cake, if the washer is alert enough he will not let the occasional larger nugget

drop into the grizzly reject!) But it could be many trips until a nugget is detected...

Desertdigger... Thursday is the VP meeting... Walt will be there... you might consider attending

lifestyles seminar... likely someone there can help you with finepoints... My Best...

Hope you find a plus one ounce nugget... As Ridge Runner mentioned it is "Location, Location."

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This debate has been around a long time, when I first started prospecting I was drywashing and probably one of the best things I learned about drywashing is check your hole and your piles with a metal detector. you can almost always get some small gold drywashing if your in a gold area but you wont leave as much behind if you check the area with a detector before leaving. ;) Take care AzNuggetBob

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Desertdigger

One of my friends lives here in Texas below San Antonio that was drywashing in AZ.When we were heading back home we stop off in NM to do some drywashing where he had luck before.We came across about a yard of material that somebody had run through their drywasher and so we ran it again.I don't know the type of drywasher they had been using but we found more gold in it than what we dug up ourself.Drywashers are like metal detectors some are fair at what they do when others do it better.Like it was said don't ever leave without checking around with a detector for the one and only nugget that will make your day.

Chuck Anders

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I agree with ya Chuck, drywashers are not the most efficient tool out there but then again nether are detectors on fine gold. but they do compliment each other well, on many accations after hunting a patch I just knew there had to be a lot of fine gold in the nearby gullies so by drywashing the gully I not only get the fine gold but find nuggets in the bottom that I could not hit with the detector before digging it out. win win. which one finds more gold? I think the savy prospector finds the most gold.... :)

Take care AzNuggetBob

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Drywashing is definitely more strenuous than detecting (when you're not digging 3 foot holes for cans), but when you get into a good pay streak and your riffle tray is loaded with gold you will quickly forget about how hard the work is. The thing that’s nice about it though is that you can usually come home with some color to show for your efforts.

Drywashing and detecting are like anything else, if you put either in the hands of a skilled operator who knows how to effectively use it they will come home with gold. One thing thats certain, they definitely compliment each other. However the downside to both if you want to get gold you definately have to work for it.

I tend to agree with what Bob says; the savvy prospector comes home with the most gold whether it's metal detecting or drywashing.

Sheesh... reading this post makes me want to fire up my drywasher and go digging for a few weekends!

Del

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There are several ways to look at it. Most detectorists carry a pill bottle or 35MM film container for a poke. Most dry washers carry a little 1/2 pennyweight clear glass or plastic vial for a poke. It kinda shows what the expectations or hopes are. I know many detectorists who have had 5 ounce plus days. I have never heard of anyone who had a 5 ounce MONTH with a drywasher although it may have happened. The average drywasher will get some gold every day, the average detectorist will come home empty handed on most days. The detectorist will have to walk miles to find the scattered nuggets. The drywasher can work all day without walking 20 yards. Would you rather walk or swing a pick and shovel? Detecting is a walking game, drywashing is manual labor. Do you want to gamble on finding an ounce in one lucky shot or working steady for weeks and getting it for sure?----Bob

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Which one is better? depends on where you go.

There are places where only a drywasher will work, and other places that a metal detector is the tool of recovery.

The drywasher will recover gold too small in size to be detected with a metal detector. If there is enough of it, it can pay really good.

With a metal detector, the gold is large enough that weight volume adds up fast. Some nugget grounds don't have small gold that can be recovered with a drywasher, or at least, gullies, where the paystreak is anywhere feasible to work.

In essence, apples and oranges.

As far as getting paid, exercise from drywashing will likely keep one more vertical (after the break-in) (breaking) than the simpler more casual way of swinging a rod. Though both means do require quite a bit a personal and mental stamina.

So, with a drywasher, work hours and days to get your load.

with a detector, maybe your first chunk will be a 'set for life' or otherwise lucrative haul. Besides, it can locate meteroids as well, also potentially lucrative.

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