The recovery of gold placers is by far the most popular method of gold prospecting in existence today and in the days past of the early gold rushes. Placer gold is gold that is free in the soil of the earth. Placer gold can be recovered by many methods including but not limited to gold panning, drywashing, dredging, metal detecting, gold vacuums, rocker boxes, sluices, heavy equipment and more. The various soil conditions which exist on earth and more specifically in your chosen area of gold prospecting plus the availability of water will determine which method is best for you and which method of gold recovery will produce the best results. If you live in a desert area a drywasher would be the top choice for gold recovery. You could also have great success with a portable water setup for panning or a quality metal detector. If you live in a area where there is abundant water a dredge, sluice or pan might be your best option of placer gold recovery.
Regardless of what method you choose the amount of gold bearing material you process will determine your level of success for the recovery of placer gold. As an example if are in a gold placer area and you can drywash 1 ton of material in a day and get a gram of gold if you can somehow increase this to 2 tons of material by the use of a larger drywasher the amount of gold you will recovery will increase. The same holds true for gold detectors, these are metal detectors which are specifically designed to find gold. The more area you are able to detect correctly in a day will increase your probability of placer gold recovery.Just about anyone can find placer gold. It is the easiest method of gold recovery in nature know to man. The one thing that separates the successful placer gold prospector from the unsuccessful ones is research. Many people who are new to gold placer recovery often set out to find gold without having any idea where to look or what to look for. A veteran gold prospector can find more gold in one day with a coffee cup and a screw driver than almost any person who attempts to prospect for gold for the first time, this is especially true of more complicated equipment like gold detectors, drywashers and dredges.
A good idea if you are new to gold prospecting is to join a gold prospecting club and read many of the available gold prospecting forums that are online, just like the one on this website. Many books are also available like Arizona Gold Placers and Placering by Eldred D. Wilson or Arizona Gold & Gems, Then & Now. This article is just a brief introduction to placer gold and will be expanded over time. The main thing you need to keep in mind is don’t stop reading, asking questions and doing gold placer research. All of these will help you become a better gold prospector. One thing to keep in mind is the time you spend in the field, nothing you can read will replace time spent actually prospecting for gold. As the price of gold increases the number of gold prospectors does too.