Blog Archive

Author Archive: Dave Chiara
How is Gold Made?

I have seen many programs espousing theories on how gold is made – what’s your favorite theory and why?

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Why prospect for gold?

Gold in Early Civilizations

Prospecting for precious metals goes back thousands of years (throughout recorded history). Why?

Most of the gold found at the beginnings of civilization was used for ornamental and or religious purposes. It wasn’t until civilization had advanced to trading goods that “money” became useful. Since gold and silver had recognized value (scarce and hard to find) it was utilized for monetary purposes. Copper was also used, but wasn’t as valuable since it was more abundant.

Even today, gold and silver are recognized for their lasting value that paper currencies don’t hold. 

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Dredging Your Way to Prospecting Success

Understand Dredging Basics

If you’re out to mine some buried treasure, you need to learn about the concept of dredging. It’s considered perhaps the most effective method of small scale prospecting, and it’s gaining in popularity.

Simply put, dredging involves using a suction dredge to vacuum gravel from the bottom of a creek bed. Usually, a dredge is a sluice box affixed to a four-legged stand or positioned on floats. An engine pump is then either mounted on the floats with the sluice box or positioned on shore. High pressure water flows from the pump through a hose to a jet tube or power jet nozzle. Using the simple principle of suction, you are able to bring in gravel, rocks, and gold.

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Gold Trends: Still the Ultimate Asset

Gold is Down-But Not Out!

There’s no other way to say it: it was a tough year for gold prices on international markets in 2013.  Gold futures prices lost 28% in 2013, the first yearly loss since 2000 and the largest annual loss for gold futures since at least 1984, according to FactSet data tracking the most active contracts.

Historically Strong Gold Trends

But here’s the silver-or should I say, gold?-lining to this dark cloud of bad economic news: historically speaking, gold is as solid of an investment as there can be. This is why, despite any gloomy short term forecasts, it retains its allure for miners and investors alike.  Many investors around the world still see gold as “the ultimate asset” – an important and secure part of their investment portfolio. Gold has kept up with inflation during the past 200 years, a track record that is far more significant than any six to twelve month forecast.

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The Dream Nugget: Gold Classification & Recovery

Understanding why gold classification is important

Classification is an essential part of good recovery technique, but understanding why to classify is equally important. Most miners classify to reduce large rocks from building up in their sluice. Classifying also allows you to reduce the water flow and pitch of your sluice bed. Smaller / lighter material requires less “force” to push it down and out.

Reduce water flow and pitch by classifying

Most miners will have riffles in their sluice. Larger rocks can easily stop in front of, behind, or between these riffles. When this happens, the ARMP (active reduction and minimization process) action of the sluice is effectively reduced to zero. Vortexes collapse, matting is covered, and no flow is occurring.

By classifying down to very small material, you can reduce the water flow and pitch, which creates a better “sluice environment” for catching gold, especially fine gold.

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A Short Primer on Black Sand Gold

Black Sand Does Not Guarantee Gold

I’ve seen and heard an awful lot of discussion about black sand, and what its presence really means to a prospector. For as long as there have been miners, there has been a love hate relationship with black sand. A tremendous amount of time and energy is invariably spent on doing everything possible to remove it from the heavy metals. Some black sands separate reasonably easily from the heavier metals, and some do not.
The presence of black sand in an area does not guarantee there is gold in the area. The presence of black sand simply means there is heavy mineralization in the area. But black sand can often be a solid clue as to where to start looking for gold.

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Prepping for a Golden Spring

Capture More Fine Gold!

For all who are in the process of figuring out what gold recovery equipment to purchase this spring, now’s a good time to ask the question “How much fine gold am I throwing away”? If you don’t know, please look at the videos on the Gold Lab and Thumper pages. Each piece of equipment is designed to help you retrieve the fine gold you’re not able to capture with other equipment, or don’t want to try and pan out.

For those of you that have lots of black sands – Thumper can help you separate out and reduce your volumes significantly. Thumper is a very effective tool. And will reduce your efforts considerably.

Demonstrating our Gold Recovery Equipment Effectiveness

The Gold Lab will definitely capture the fine gold you just can’t retrieve practically (unless you want to use mercury, and we all know the problems with doing so).

I believe our videos will demonstrate how well it does work. If you are unsure of how effective the Gold Lab will be for your concentrates, we offer this:  if you send in a sample (5 lbs, or approximately a quarts worth) we will process it through our equipment and give you an honest evaluation of how it worked. We do not believe in selling our products just to sell them to you. We want Thumper and the Gold Lab to profit your efforts!

Planning Checklist

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to start checking out your equipment and getting ready for the prospecting season. Here are a few key steps to help get you ready:

  • Know the Rules:  check Agency websites to find out if any new regulations are in effect this season. The last thing you want to be dealing with is a ticket or citation for an infraction.
  • Weather: has the weather affected your claim? With all the extreme weather occurring in late winter (flooding, severe storms, etc.) you know the gold is on the move. Be ready to get “your share” by being ready and having your equipment in good order. Be ready for the challenge!

Be Prepared

I’m sure most of us have watched some of the prospecting shows on the cable channels, and laugh at some of the antics of those miners and the strange things that seem to befall them.

It may be amusing on a television show, but when it’s your time and effort and you’re not finding the gold – it’s not a laughing matter! Be prepared (a good Boy Scout slogan.) It’s really a fact of life: those prepared to deal with their circumstances, usually come out successful.

If you have tips or facts you’d like to share, please drop me a line at;


More than a California Gold Rush

To start the New Year, here’s a look back at an interesting bit of gold history.

The 1848 California “gold rush” is arguably the most famous of its type, certainly here in the U.S. But the search for mineral wealth wasn’t just limited to “The Golden State.” The influx of fortune seekers was felt throughout the Pacific Northwest. Here, from the “Oregon History Project” created by the Oregon Historical Society, is a fascinating overview of the gold rush’s impact on Oregon from 1848 until the original rush died out just over a decade later.

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Gold Facts: How Much Gold is in the Earth’s Core?

“Big History” Gold Volume Facts

I watched a fascinating episode of the History Channel’s “Big History” program recently called “Gold Fever”. They presented the following amazing gold facts and figures:

  • There is enough gold at the core of the earth to cover the surface of the planet in 12’ to 13’ depth. Unfortunately, it’s 1,800 miles below our feet and at many thousands of degrees.
  • They also indicate that all the gold ever mined would only stand at 80’ on the Washington Monument (Washington, D.C.). The monuments base is 55’ 1-1/2” (square). So, that’s 246,050 cubic feet or 9,113 cubic yards. So, how many ounces is that?
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FAQ #1: The Gold Lab Vortex

1. Does the Gold Lab Vortex really work?

In a word:  YES.  The explanation below may be complex, but the process works great for separating lighter materials from gold.  The Gold Lab has perfected it, so that you can find your fine gold.

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