Pocket Gold - Prospecting For The Source
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Liberty & Salmon River Mining Districts. Siskiyou County, CA
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It is possible to pick up a trace, no larger than a pinhead,
that could lead to a pocket containing millions of dollars
worth of gold.
The least known, but perhaps the largest potential of all the different kinds of prospecting and hunting for gold, is the search for pocket gold.
Only a few of the old-time prospectors knew about pocket gold, and it is safe to say that eight out of ten never heard of it. Their main interest was in placer gold. Their concerns were in the creeks, the high-bars, the meandering streams, the obstructions to their flow, and the many conditions affecting the eventual resting place of the yellow metal.
Pocket gold is found in the place of its origin, untouched by the relentless grinding, smoothing action of sand, rock and turbulent water. There is no question that literally hundreds of these pockets still exist wherever placer gold is found in the entire gold belt, ranging in size from approximately one to six and seven foot square in mass.
Basically, the way pockets are found, is by going up a ravine that shows color, taking samples every hundred feet. As long as you keep finding color, keep going up the hillside. Eventually you will come to a place where there are no more colors in your samples. At this point you can predict that you are above the source of gold. By returning back to where you last found color, you know the gold was coming from some higher point on the hill. All that's left now is to locate the exact source.
Pocket Gold - Not to be confused with "pockets of gold". For those who are thinkers ~ analytical detectives ~ Who enjoy seeking clues, traces, and signs.
When the term "pocket gold" is mentioned, the casual placer miner or prospector quite often assumes the term refers to an accumulation of course gold and nuggets in a stream or creek. Pocket gold is a distinctly different type of deposit, neither placer gold or hardrock, and is entirely different in terms of prospecting for.
There is a tradition or theory held by the old-time pocket hunters that the pockets occurred in a series of three.
That under the first, or original pocket, is a second one down, at a depth approximately equal to the depth between the surface and the first pocket.
Below the second pocket would be a third one, generally a little deeper than the distance between the first and second pocket - the third being the largest of the three.
Many shallow pockets have been found, and many have not, but even when the shallower pockets have been found, few prospectors knew to dig deeper for the second and third.
1st pocket could be on the surface to 20 ft. down.
2nd pocket will be found down directly underneath the 1st - within a foot or two to the right or left - at a depth approximately equal to the depth between the surface and first pocket.
3rd / final pocket Generally found a little deeper than the distance between the first and second pocket - the third being the largest pocket of gold of the three.
There could be no trace on ground level
Decomposed quartz vein.
The formation could pinch out immediately below the 1st pocket - this is where most would assume that's the end of it. But it isn't! Keep digging straight down until the quartz starts to show up again - maybe another 10 ft. when you will run into a little thin vein that will get wider and wider. To ensure that you're on track, keep sampling along the sides as you go, until you reach the next pocket.
End of quartz vein
Bag, tag & flag up to the source
One thing about pocket gold, when you get it out of one of those pockets, it's different. It's jagged. It has little rough places all over it. It isn't smooth like you find in the creeks. It's found in all different shapes. It may be shaped like a tree, an animal, a bird - all are different and original, no two are alike. The specimen value of some of these pockets may be five or ten times the market price of the gold content in them.
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