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Old 03-07-2020, 01:38 PM   #1
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Gold Panning Colorado 2020

There WAS Gold in them there Hills... and still a bit left over for your Summer Vacation.

I have panned Fairplay, Colorado just outside the Main Street to the south. The City charges $10 a day at City Hall to pan to your heart's delight and your back's ache at the same time. I had panned there years ago for no cost.

The adult pays and the kids I would have assist by digging. One does the panning.

Clear Creek between Denver and Blackhawk/Central City Casinos has miles to pan if you can find a parking space available. Parking is Free and so it the Panning. You may want to try Fairplay first... you will lose a few pounds at either location!

You will find a very fine gold. You will find magnetite, a black heavy mineral associated with the gold. Some garnets. Tourmaline.

For those with some young kids with ambition, great. Equipment is inexpensive and bring your own and use your imagination.

A pan to wash your sand and gold.
A screen that will remove anything larger than a kernel of pop corn.
A couple of plastic buckets to mount the screen in a frame.
A variety of shovels like you would use to dig potatoes in your yard.
A magnifying lens to see the fine gold.
A eye drop dispenser to suck up the small gold flakes.
A small glass vial with a screw lid to secure your Gold and Magnetite grains.
A pair of gloves to move rounded boulders... you will need to get to the sand.

If this sounds like something you find interesting. Google: Gold Panning in Colorado. http://www.silverrecyclers.com/blog/...-colorado-aspx

You will not get rich or wealthy panning gold, but the excitement your kids will have when they find some gold flakes in their panning is worth it. They will have a big appetite, as well.

I am sure that the locals sell everything you will need in the shops.

Wear a hat. High elevation will cook your scalp. The flowing creek is shallow and fun for the kids to play within... with some supervision.

Guarantee: You will be EXHAUSTED after a pleasant afternoon. Get lunch at the Brown Burro in town. Good food. Gasoline on the East Side of town.

Find the Forest Service camp site to the south of town. Don't camp there with a trailer, use the flat spot just north of it. Don't drag your bumper...

This site lists other places. Clear Creek use to have a For Pay Gold Panning, may still be there and has all the equipment included. The owner will show you a nugget bigger than your eye if you ask. Maybe a mile or two south of the Casinos... where the 'real gold' is to be found and lost.

If you clean out Colorado... Wyoming should be next on your list. Now you will know what you are doing.
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:51 PM   #2
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Hmmmm, I think you just added to the list of equipment that I need to keep in the Airstream. I can store it with the metal detector that you inspired me to get.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:22 PM   #3
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Their website seems umnn broken

To get complete list of active pages copy/paste the following into Google search:

site:silverrecyclers.com blog gold-panning-in
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:52 AM   #4
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Gold is Never Where you Expect to find it

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Their website seems umnn broken

To get complete list of active pages copy/paste the following into Google search:

site:silverrecyclers.com blog gold-panning-in
******
Thanks... Gold Fever is like the Coronavirus. If you 'catch it'... you will be able to use the experience anywhere in the World.

Thalweg KNOWS where the 'OTG Camping location is at'. I would not be surprised that he could be persuaded with chronic asking... he and Connie will get into the 'half a hole' and help you pan out some gold.

Well, Brent might. Connie will do some shopping in town.

You WILL find Gold. That is a fact at Fairplay.

You will also discover WHY those who walk the Rocky Mountains searching... weigh LESS leaving. Not because of not finding Gold, but it is a vigorous pursuit, once you figure it out.

Point #1. If you see ten starry eyed people with fresh gold pans with the price sticker attached... avoid them. Luck is for playing at a Casino. They are like you would have been... if inexperienced. Gold is to be found where NO ONE has dug a hole and panned the sand you are now... digging. If the spot is in the Sun, a bit sketchy for prickly pear... DING, ding and ding.

Point #2. If you are NOT finding any Sand/Grit to Pan... watch the Alaska and Canadian Gold program. (This is not what you will be doing. Alaska IS the place to pan and metal detect for Gold. You will most likely end up at a Commercial Site and have to pay.) Books are everywhere about where to find Gold.

Georgia has Gold. You can pan for Diamonds in Arkansas. Sapphires in Montana. Chiggers in Missouri.

Point #3. If someone takes the time at a Dredged Out Gold prospect how to do it... do not start digging next to him. Just a pointer. Shovels are dangerous.

Point #4. Gold is so heavy, compared to all of the other sand you will find, it is difficult to lose it while panning. You have to be a City Slicker wearing nice shoes in a hole surrounded by ten pound round boulders, expecting these boulders to remain stable, like a stack of basket balls.

Point #5. If there NEVER was Gold in an area. There will still be NO Gold in that area. Go to Idaho. There are plenty of Gold Placers... some owners may let you work what they missed. Same with Montana.

Point #6.3. Jesse James never buried any stolen Gold. The Army in the 1860's never lost a Gold Shipment to pay the soldiers. They did not make that much. Pirates, ditto. They were not that dumb. If they lost any... the ship sank.

The Hole in the Wall gang in Wyoming did not BURY gold, silver or copper. Do not waste your money on LOST TREASURE. When did you go out and bury your Coin Collection... for safe keeping? Suckers buy Treasure Books. I know, I have sold them for years.

OK. Pack up. Read some Gold Threads on the Internet and go for it.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:24 AM   #5
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That sounds fun. I used to live near FairPlay in the little town at the base of Hoosier Pass called Alma. Alma is at 10500 ft elevation. Once you get used to the elevation it was nice. Never will you see so many stars then at night above those towns. There is no light pollution to obscure the beauty.

While I was living in Alma I woke up one day to helicopters hovering about. It turns out a local fella had become fed up with authority and decided enough was enough so he shot and killed the mayor. Then he got in the town pay loader and proceeded to drop the bucket and head over to the water department and other forms of federal authority and rampage with the Payloader. Knocking off the water mains and punching holes in the post office etc.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.spo...-content%3Damp
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:01 AM   #6
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I occasionally work with an old rancher east of Buffalo. His house backs up to the Powder River. When he's bored, he goes down to the river and does a little panning. He showed me a jar of gold he's been collecting for years. It looked like a lot to me, but he told me that if he use it for wages, he'd be making penny's per hour. He enjoys the process, but has no illusions of making real money.

I know almost nothing about gold prospecting other than what Ray has told me. But I do understand fluvial geomorphology and sediment transport (dirt moving in water). So now Ray has me thinking about some good places to go get rich, or at least pass some time in a river when I'm on vacation. I already pass a lot of time in rivers for work. Maybe I'm aspiring to permanently pruney fingers.
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:01 AM   #7
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Gold is Where You Find It

When I was but a lad, 60ish years ago, my next door neighbor took me salmon fishing at Butte Creek just south of Chico, CA.

Well, we were skunked, as were all the other fisher people. And the way things have gone, today salmon are harder to find than gold. To my surprise, I found this video about gold panning right where we fished.




So it was another right place, wrong lure fish story.

Just in case you want to pan this place out, that is the Hwy 99E bridge in the video's background. Just be forewarned that Butte Creek salmon are now federally listed as an endangered species so you are less likely to get cross ways with the law if you gold pan.

My times have changed. Good luck, whatever your pursuit!
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Old 03-09-2020, 01:27 PM   #8
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I have
watched Gold Rush on Discovery for several years. I THINK I am already a pro at this...….. I've never actually done it but that shouldn't matter. Right??
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:34 PM   #9
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Gold and Treasure is where you find it.

Gold is where you find it.

Being a bit flexible in how my spare time was used as a teenager in High School, Missouri had plenty of 'swimming holes' along rivers and on shore. These were popular in the Pre-1970 era. More like swamps with reeds and muck today.

Next time you are at a 'swimming beach' observe the ring finger of swimmers and gold chains around necks, splashing around in the water. This was done in 1920 and into the late 1960's, as well. But now these places are forgotten, except for a few who actually seek these places out. Towns condemned them as unhealthy and closed them down.

Some modern private swimming beaches permit metal detectors and ask if you would also remove metal, fish hooks, cans and metallic trash as a favor. Ask, first. Coast lines are wide open for this and you will see active hunters on the BEACH. Go into the water is better!

Occasional leaches would be found on ourselves. They are so... cute.

When you are wearing a ring and jump or walk into the water, your fingers will shrink, somewhat. Many over years and years would lose their rings in three to five feet of water. Consider it... gone.

Enter metal detectors. We would seal the 'head' that does the detecting so it would be water proof. This was before the detector heads that are made solid, today. We built a styrofoam float out of a large block, cut holes for cable and the rest. A bit too detailed.

The electronic part was floating safe and secure. I would hold the handle and move the head back and forth like you do on land, but under water. I had a face mask. If I detected something, I would take a breath and use my fingers to 'feel around the sand' or sometimes muddy grit.

If one of us found a ring... it was called a Pull Tab. If it was 'really good' it was a Black Label.

We had pull tabs on the float. The good stuff went into our pocket. Coins were displayed on top if people were curious. We find... only junk, of course.

Some swimming holes operated for fifty years, closed down and drained if on shore. We could find them before they were buried to build a shopping center, or whatever. The stones mounted in a ring were often missing, as the sand and minerals in the water would collect and actually POP the stone out. True... Found an old Mercury dime in a sand and concrete mix used to hold a chain link fence at one of these swimming holes.

The lower elevation 'ponds' were best. Cheyenne, Wyoming had a swimming beach that was fed with spring water. The water was about 55 degrees. Nobody went more than three feet into this water. So... location is important.

Found more Gold and some nice trading material. My brother found a gold lion's head with diamond eyes. About three or four feet away, the broken gold chain. The color was tarnished, so had been in the water a long time.

Found a Gold High School Class Ring in Missouri. It had the name engraved inside and I located the High School. They contacted the girl who owned it and I sent it back to her. Her EX Boyfriend moved and took it with him from Minnesota. I found it in Missouri.

Sometimes we found nothing. Other times... silver coins and jewelry. It is the HUNT. If you play detective... ask where the 1940's and later Carnivals set up... ding, ding and ding. Coins galore and lots of trash.

Sorry this is long. If you made it this far... you are now... thinking. Happy hunting.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikebrady62 View Post
I have
watched Gold Rush on Discovery for several years. I THINK I am already a pro at this...….. I've never actually done it but that shouldn't matter. Right??
*****
Mike is ready to get down and dirty. Summer is near and all of this is more convenient than the groups in Alaska and the Yukon. I sold some books to people involved in these areas a few years ago. Yep... the books were about Gold.

The largest Diamonds found at the Crater of Diamonds near Murfreesboro, Arkansas have been found by tourists and amateur rock hounds.

I have watched the 'professionals' there and they have their special spots. They are regulars and obviously, or not, must be finding something.

The Park will identify what you think is a Diamond. If it is... they announce the find and weight of the stone. It is inexpensive and you can rent the bucket and tools for the... hunt.

IF it is raining... they should charge you MORE.

You can also hunt Quartz Crystals north of the Crater of Diamonds. Coleman Quartz mine. If it is raining... they should charge you MORE.

There are blue and green sapphires in the Helena, Montana and Missouri River area gravels. You will find sapphires... many are not gem quality, but you pan them like gold. Gold is also found, but the sapphires are more common.

If you have no enthusiasm, bore quickly, do not find the thrill of the hunt... avoid these activities. You remind me of people I want to avoid. Always.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:22 PM   #11
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Crater of Diamonds...

Been there when it is 115F out in the field, and the heat doesn't rise below 95 in the campground until 2AM... With that weather it was dig deep enough to find shade and not come out until dinner time, don't know if they allow that now. One of my most treasured purchases in my life is an oscillating fan & extension cord I drove into Nashville Arkansas to purchase! (~40mi IIRC).

What the best spots have are layers of somewhat more condensed gravel that running water pre-sorted as the tailings/spoil left the machine areas.

Another secret is the raw ash & kimberlite holds very few gems - search for the rust-colored crushed conglomerates that capped the softer volcanic pipe after geologic eons, the heavies stayed put so that top 8-16-24 feet of cemented gravels were rich, rich, rich for the original miners... Did I say rich?

For perspective - ten buckets of chewing gum clay might equal one bucket of searchable mill tailings from when the fields were a commercial mine. Ten buckets of teeny pebbles maybe will yield maybe one < 10pt diamond maybe. Did I mention maybe?


Collecting twelve 5-gallon buckets of clay (a day!) is easy (not if you do more than scoop off the surface), carrying them 1/4 mile or more to a public water source is less easy, then thrashing the silts and clays through underwater screens to reject gravel and purge silt is laughingly easy compared.


After all that we discard 98% of the pebbles and search through only the heaviest portion - so the 12-buckets clay we've turned into searchable rocks that fit in a quart gatorade jug for the hope one diamond turns up.

What the searchers are looking for are stones missed by the earlier technology where they used animal grease on large rotating platforms, the diamonds would stick to the grease and the refrigeration and application methods would leave gaps in collecting ALL the stones since their slurry could sneak by unsearched, even after everything got reprocessed in WWII for the War Effort there are still stones to be had. Oh - nothing like being imbued with the scent of 90-year-old lard that still lurks in the ground water when digging deep.


The eruption was more violent than the African ones - the path to the surface too hot and fast to make many perfect stones - so the ones found are smooshed flat on one side usually and most are discolored - and many of those found were damaged in the crushers used to liberate gems from the kimberlite.


Anyhow - here is the yield from maybe five weeks on-site and 100+ buckets of clay from over the years. The smallest bright one I found on my back porch when I twisted the top of gatorade jar of 'center' heavies and it was shining right on top under the led... never to be repeated in the history of mankind - but a nice find!
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:54 PM   #12
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Driving through Ruidoso years ago saw a store front with a gold panning sign so I stopped. The old prospector (we were the prospects) took us out to a stream gave us some rubber boots and a pan and a quick lesson for $25. He then climbed up the bank to his lawn chair and watched us work while he drank beer. We had fun and found a few flakes. Gives gold panning a whole new meaning.

While coming back from the 2017 eclipse in Idaho stopped by the Payette river. There was small sand bar with black sand and gold colored fleas. Forgot my pan.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:36 PM   #13
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A few of my friends and I panned for gold in a very cold stream high in the Sierras.

Found a few flakes, and took a photo of the site. Imagine our surprise when we developed the slides and saw a huge nugget we had missed a in the water a few inches below our vial of tiny flakes parked on a rock. Sigh. Never did find the site again. We tried.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:50 PM   #14
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Panned up around Tin Cup and found a little color. Beautiful place.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:02 AM   #15
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I have never panned Colorado, but it sounds like fun. I have prospected and panned around California and Nevada. As a kid we lived in Nevada and I can remember my dad loved prospecting. We used to prospect around some of the old abandoned mine sites. I think I got the fever when I was about 6 years old. We would fill buckets of pay dirt (we hoped) take them home and run them through a sluice box or high banker. We later graduated to a 2" floating dredge and wet suits.

We never got really rich with gold. But the time I shared with my dad and the memories I have are the real gold.

I still have the equipment and I still prospect around and pan a little here and there. Making new memories all the time.

Get out there, kick some rocks and make some memories
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:45 AM   #16
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Sapphire Panning in Montana did have possibilities to FIND good sapphires. But due to all of the SAFTEY and People suing for being stupid... they closed down all of the good gravel pits.

Now you watch the live ones at Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine pay to stand around and pan grit. Real Safe. You will find sapphires. They supply all of the equipment. This is near Philipsburg, Montana.

Have finger nail clippers in your pocket. What is left of them.

There are some great Boondocking campsites around Wisdom, MT along, I believe it is called Iron Creek. Wisdom River... you find it. You can park the trailer in the trees and have a clear creek that you and the dogs can clean up and enjoy a day or two. Worth finding it yourself. I gave you a general area...

This is the campsite I found a new Bear Spring can and harness to attach to a belt. Obviously when they took the tent down... they left in a hurry. Maybe you might want to reconsider this camping area... if you are afraid of Bears and other things that can eat you alive...
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:53 PM   #17
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The Victor Gold Mine outside Colorado Springs is still active and one of the last operating gold mines in the US. Of course it is an open pit mountain top mine but maybe there would be wash outs in the streams down below. Don’t know if there is any public access though.
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:10 PM   #18
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Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine... Ride the Shaft 1,000' down

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The Victor Gold Mine outside Colorado Springs is still active and one of the last operating gold mines in the US. Of course it is an open pit mountain top mine but maybe there would be wash outs in the streams down below. Don’t know if there is any public access though.
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This is a large open pit gold mine going down the center of an ancient volcano. Went with the Colorado School of Mines mining group and had a nice tour and lunch. No gold spotted, even checked my shoe treads for some. (Not really, but you will learn why next.)

Often while mining the pit, they encounter old adits from the late 19th century. The gold is so fine they have to use Cyanide added to the crushed ore to dissolve the micro gold out. Then process the Cyanide (called pregnant) after the gold is leached out.

Nevada has larger and more open pit gold mines. That must be why Nevada is called the... Silver State.

Silver State because of the Comstock Lode near Reno and the price of Silver dropped as low as Gold did when in 1849 the California Gold Rush made gold appear to be like gravel to the Europeans. Another good story to tell the kids.

I know of only Cripple Creek in Colorado.

The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, nearby, is even more fun. It is an old historic gold mine where you are taken down 1,000 feet underground and released. We rode down the shaft with a cable many years ago. Once you understand 'real gold mining' conditions... gold panning is FUN.

If there is no gold to be found... there are probably... Golden Trout! One you need a license. The other you do not. An 18 inch GOLDen will make you... rich?
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:22 PM   #19
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Well. Winters are long and dark in Minnesota. And I like the glitter of gold. So... I brought some electronics paydirt to me via lurking on eBay for folks weary of keeping large boxes of older IT server and computer gear and memory kicking around their warehouse...

First picture is about $90 worth of 22k gold dust dropped and rinsed from trimming on a box of PC memory sticks, etch the copper out from underneath the gold contact fingers until there is a flask of glitter - then liquefy the glitter and selectively drop the gold from solution... yeah, all stages are nasty but just as anyone can throw a chunk of wire out in the trash that dissolved copped can be cemented solid and sent out too.

Other pictures are remains of the black epoxy chips after incineration, I burned them hot enough to reduce pollution that most of the spider-silk thin gold bonding wires attached to the silicon wafer melted into teeny balls that sure look pretty to the camera... the 'sand' is a pure silica 'frit' they use as filler on the plastic chip bodies.

Very old CPU's - especially from the high-end makers - can be rich, see the photo w/ before and after and then the results - and the next photo showing the gold powder melted nicely into a fine nugget.

Before any comments - this was done for educational purposes, I used about $12 worth of acids and bought about $100 of equipment, assorted pyrex labware and a ancient high school hot plate, spent around $350 on select electronic 'waste' and went through my old computer stuff... to recover around 10 grams of 20k gold with palladium, platinum and such mixed in for about $400 recovery.. Oh yeah and this was done outside with extreme caution.

Do I recommend this as a hobby for anyone? NO NO NO NO... the only way to make it pay is have someone PAY you to haul e-waste away then retail the best parts on eBay and skip the dirty bits all together, with the new corona economy the copper / aluminum / steel / circuit board remainders going to salvage might pay for the fuel to haul it to the scrap yard!!


Neat thing about gold is pretty much no matter how badly handled it is still there - things like small spills can be recovered etc. with double or triple containers.. really hard to lose it in a lab setup, not like bobbling the gold pan over swift running water.
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