New to gold prospecting? Some tips for newbies…

January 31, 2011 in: General, Gold Locations, The Wild AM

So, all the news about soaring gold prices and prospecting realty shows giving you the gold bug? You’re not alone. The recreational gold prospecting industry is taking a big leap forward lately and is not likely to slow down very soon. That’s a good thing…and a bad. Good for those selling equipment and prospecting club memberships…bad for the gold that is waiting to be found. But really, there is so much dirt to be prospected through I don’t see it being a problem. Even in the busiest times up at the Wild AM there is room for everyone. It’s a unique experience to spend some quality time up on the river with people that not only are interested in finding their first piece of the pretty yellow metal, but just love to be outside in the beautiful surroundings of the White Mountains.

So, you’re a beginner and don’t know where to begin? Well, lets talk about the basics first.

The best way to start is to look for gold where gold has been found. And here is what you’ll need for equipment:
1. A shovel
2. A pan
3. A small clear vial (glass or plastic…plastic won’t break if you drop it on the rocks)
4. Tweezers
5. A Classifier (a screen to sort out the larger rocks to get to the finer material)
6. A 5 gallon bucket for the classifier
7. A 5 gallon bucket for water


PART II: Where to dig.

So, the saying goes, “Gold is where you find it.” That can mess with your head if you don’t know what the heck it means. The bottom line is look for gold where it has been found before instead of wasting your time looking in random places (leave that to the hard core prospectors). So if you live in New England and want to find your first gold, go where the most gold is found.

So, where is most of the gold found in New England? Good question. I can only tell you where I personally have had the best luck. And that would be the Wild Ammonoosuc River in Bath NH. There are many places to prospect on private land as well as in the White Mountain National Forest. Remember, you need to get permission to prospect on private land. If you love camping, I suggest staying at Twin River Campground. They own a lot of the land along the Wild AM in Bath. And they are a great family campground. You can purchase prospecting equipment there as well as rent sluices.

Good panning technique is what it's all about!

Good panning technique is what it’s all about!

Once you have your basic equipment and a location, you are ready to prospect. You should look online to learn about some basic panning techniques. This is the part of prospecting that a lot of beginners don’t spend enough time on. You will lose your gold if you don’t know how to pan correctly. Here is a place to start:

Where to dig? Start somewhere and if you don’t see any gold in your first few pans, move to a different spot. Typically the deeper you go the better, but I have had very good luck right on the surface. Again, gold will be where it’s at. There are all kinds of techniques on how to determine the best spots, but my experience is that you dig where others have found gold and you’ll find some too!

NEXT: The Next Level of GOLD FEVER!

4 Responses to New to gold prospecting? Some tips for newbies…

  1. absolutenewengland says:

    Jim, I loved this article and reprinted part of it (leading back to your blog) on my site Keep up the great work! -Becca
    PS I also added you to my New England Links & Blogs I like

  2. bobc says:

    jim i found what i think is gold in am. very yellow like it glows.could this be anything else.bob c