Gold Prospecting Picks
The gold prospecting pick is by far one of the most important tools a miner or prospector can have. It can often be that you have the wrong tool for the job. Right now my favorite pick is the Hermit Pick. Its tough, light weight and made in the good old USA. It can really scrape the ground and dig a deep hole fast, you just don't want to fall on it. For heavy dry washing the old standard Home Depot pick is the way to go, no doubt about it. For metal detecting the right tool for the job is a more specialized pick and there are quite a few to choose from. If you are a hard rock or lode gold hunter a rock pick might be more to your liking. A new pick the Axe Pick is also just now on the market.
When nugget shooting for gold nuggets it is important to make your target recovery rate as easy and quick as possible so the use of magnets comes in. More specifically the use of neodymium rare earth magnets come into play. Why? When attached to your pick while digging a target they have the extraordinary strength to pick up just about any loose iron trash like old boot tacks, iron scrap, wire etc. this is a huge time saver.
The pictures below show the use of a neodymium rare earth magnet on a gold prospecting pick full of black sands and then how to position the magnet on the pick in the picture. Click the pictures to enlarge. As you can see when I was digging for a target near bedrock I used the pick and magnet to scrape the ground and hopefully get any loose trash out of my way. If I scrape and then swing my coil back over the area and the target is gone then my magnet picked it up for me and I know its trash and can move on. In very, very rare situations gold combined with magnetic host occurs and a nugget or specimen could be taken up on your pick and thought as trash. I've found thousands of pieces of gold but only a half dozen or so nuggets with magnetic host stone. Its a very rare thing, very rare, but always be sure to check.