Gold Metal Detecting in the Desert

This nugget took over an hour to dig and chisel out. It was 10″ deep in caliche. Caliche is a cemented conglomerate sort of rock very common in the desert southwest.

The metal detector used in the video is a Minelab GPZ7000. At this time this detector is the flagship gold detector in the entire Minelab line of detectors & cost about $8,000!

Gold Metal Detecting

gold nugget - Gold Metal Detecting

Practically every inch of the desert Southwest has been gone over by the old-timers. Sure persistent erosion, flash floods and even earthquakes are always revealing or making it easier to detect gold that was missed or undetected by the old-timers.

The real problem for weekend prospectors is the fact that practically all the Bureau of Land Management land that has the potential to yield good-sized nuggets has been claimed up. Sure, there are many gold clubs in almost all the major cities, and these clubs have many claims, but from my own personal experience, you have to be extremely lucky to find any gold nuggets on these club claims.

Now, as this video shows, there is still gold out there. As I’m writing this post, gold is going for a little over $1,800 an ounce! If you think about that, you should soon realize that if gold was easy to find, it would not command such a high price. Also, what the vast majority of weekend miners do not realize, is the spot price of gold is for 24 karat gold! As far as I know, the only way to get 24 karat gold is by refining the gold to get out the impurities which are always present. Almost all gold has a certain amount of iron, silver and other metals and impurities that have to be refined out to achieve the 24 karat designation. Keeping this in mind, most of the world’s gold is found as very, very, fine flour gold and usually when you have collected enough of this very fine gold and try to sell it, you’ll find out that it usually goes for 70 to 75% of the spot price of gold, because it has to be refined up to 24 carats!

Just in case you are being depressed by reading the reality that most weekend miners don’t realize until they try to sell their findings, I will say, that should you find gold nuggets, they usually sell for a premium over the spot price of gold because of their rarity. Just like diamonds, the larger the nuggets, usually command the higher premium over the spot price of gold. But, keep in mind, that this varies quite a bit, because some nuggets especially the ones found in Australia are much purer than nuggets found in other parts of the world. Also, the makeup of the nugget itself is important in determining the price. What I mean here, is that a lot of nuggets should more accurately be referred to as gold specimens, because they are a combination of gold running through host rock or quartz. There are a couple of methods to determine the actual gold content in such specimens, which is important, but also the visual appearance of these specimens plays a huge part in the value mineral collectors are willing to pay.

So, next time you’re watching one of these gold expiration TV series, and they show you how much of the fine gold they found for the season, they almost always say what the total gold is worth. From the shows that I’ve seen, this figure is usually incorrect because they’re using the current value of spot gold, which is based on 24 karat refined goal.


Be sure to view our Gold nuggets for sale.

View our Natural Silver specimens

Also see the most expensive type of gold nuggets, the Crystalline Gold Nuggets

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1 Comment

Living with Prostate Cancer · April 27, 2022 at 6:55 am

Enjoyed the read

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