Gold Prospecting Encyclopedia


I am an individual prospector and I have been searching the hills of California and Nevada for many years, and I do find some nice gold and gems. I have a degree in Mining Engineering from Nevada's Mackey School of Mines, and I write a monthly series of articles as the Associate Editor for the ICMJ Mining Journal, covering various aspects of prospecting for gold, collecting gems and minerals as well as other similar activities. I enjoy getting out into the hills, camping in the wilds and experiencing the beauty of the great outdoors. Finding your own little bit of treasure out on the rock ribbed mountains is a special experience, and if you try it for yourself, I am sure you will feel the same thrill.

Large 7.5 ounce California gold nugget
  What kind of prospecting information are you seeking?    
Each topic below contains a large number of web pages with a wealth of knowledge, so relax and take a closer look......
8 ounces of large Alaska gold nuggets
Basic Placer Mining
Have you ever dreamed of finding your own gold nuggets? Check here to learn the basics of placer mining - and how you can go out and prospect for your own placer gold. Whether its panning, sluicing, metal detecting, dredging or dry washing - here is a whole series of pages that form up a basic guide on how gold mining works, and how you can get involved.

Placer Mining

Locations to Prospect for Gold
Gold is hard to find, and you have to find the right location to prospect if you are going to be successful in your search for gold. Here is a wealth of information on locations you can search for placer gold, including great places to camp with your family in California, Alaska, Nevada and Arizona and elsewhere.

Gold Nuggets
All About Placer Mining
Placer nuggets are the goal of many prospectors. This section contains loads of information, including information about historic placer mining methods, large nuggets, how nuggets form, famous placer districts, and more.

Gold Panning

Miners Reference Pages
Gold Mining can get a little technical, and it just seems to foster a lot of questions. Want to learn  about getting gold out of black sand? Curious about sulfides, tellurides and other gold or silver bearing minerals?  All that  information and so much more is located here.

Jaw Crusher
Build Your Own Mining Equipment
an't really afford expensive equipment to find gold nuggets? Are you a die hard DIY enthusiast interested in making your own home made mining equipment? Check here for free plans and other design information on making your own prospecting equipment, and improving what you already own. I've done it, and I'll give you straight and honest information. 

Drywasher Plans

Chris's Prospecting Adventures
Here are my experiences out on the trail prospecting for gold, silver and gemstones. I visit locations all across the western US, and use a variety of equipment, including metal detectors, a dredge and other prospecting tools.   

Gold Dredging
Mineral Collectors Page
Want to learn more about minerals? These pages have a bunch of great photos and other information about all the different minerals that are so important in our lives. Hardness, colors, where they are found and other important data are given on these web pages.

Colorado Rhodochrosite

The Rockhound's Corner
Many gold prospectors also have an interest in hunting and collecting gems and minerals - we have a little rockbound in us. Check here for information of interest to rock hounds and mineral collectors.  These pages include a combination of gemstone references, my experiences and locations for hunting gems.

Nevada Opal


Gold Rush History and Excitement
The history of the gold rush is the history of the growth and settlement of the planet. The quest for wealth drove young and sturdy men through dangerous and difficult conditions. Only a few got wealthy, but all learned of the pioneer spirit. Read about the excitement of that history and their experiences, mostly in their own words.

Gold Rush History

Chris's Gem, Silver and Gold Mines
Owning your own mining claim is one of the last great opportunities left to Americans. Check in here to take a virtual tour of Chris's mines and claims for gold, silver and gems. See what its all about in the remote parts of the great American west.

Turquoise Mining   Recommended
Metal Detectors
For Gold Prospecting:

Library and bookstore
There is always lots more to learn. Here is a large list of books I recommend on Prospecting for gold, rock and mineral collecting, geology, jewelry making, etc. Each  selection has a link where you can purchase these books directly from Amazon if you wish.  Hey if you are looking for a great book on prospecting for gold, Check out: Fists Full of Gold by Chris Ralph

Fists Full Of Gold

Quartz and Hard Rock Mining
Miners have worked hard to dig gold from the solid hard rock quartz veins and other deposits of gold and silver. These web pages tell how they did it in the old days and how the technology was developed.

Hard Rock Mining
Detecting for Gold with the MXT
The MXT is an interesting multipurpose metal detector suitable for a variety of environments, including both  prospecting as well as general coin shooting and treasure hunting.   

Detecting with the MXT

Investing in Gold and Metal Mining
Finding and mining your own gold is fun, but have you ever thought of investing in gold and silver?  Here is a discussion of gold  investment vehicles, and the discussion of investing in gold and silver mines stocks. Mining stocks are a high risk, but high rewards type of opportunity. Before you start here some things you ought to know.

Gold Investing
Gold And Silver Prospecting Basics
The prospector is on a quest to find gold and silver (or other valuable materials) and knowledge is what you need to assist you in your quest. These pages give you the basic information you need for finding your own gold and silver.

Basic Gold Prospecting

World Famous Gold Deposits
Here is the basic info and history of some of the world's largest and most productive gold regions. Learn about the geology, gold rush history and other essentials of the greatest gold bearing regions on the planet.

Ore and Nuggets Specimen Pages
Interested in seeing some good photos of what different types of ore look like? On the pages I have images of native gold and platinum plus a variety of different ores for gold, silver and copper, plus info about these ores and where they are found.

Gold, Silver and Copper ores

Mark Twain's Prospecting Adventures
Young Sam Clemens (later to be known as Mark Twain) came to Nevada and contracted a very bad case of "Gold and Silver Fever". He became a prospector and tromped all over Nevada and California searching for the precious metals. Luckily, he was better at writing than finding gold.

Prospector Sam Clemens
Gemstone Encyclopedia
These pages answer frequently asked questions about gemstones. There are pages and photos for all types of individual gemstones featuring both the most popular stones as well as some lesser known special stones.

Gemstone Encyclopedia

Make Your Own Jewelry
Some prospectors and rock hounds are interested in converting the gold and stones they find into jewelry. This is a specialized art form but many folks have done all they can to make things easy for individuals to try.  Take a look and see what is involved.

Making Jewelry


Check out my latest prospecting articles by subscribing to:
ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal magazine

Great prospecting adventure videos and product demonstrations at: The Prospecting Channel - Adventures in Prospecting

Want to know a little bit more about the crazy prospector guy behind this website? Well, here's a little bit more about me, and how I got into prospecting: Chris' Prospecting Story  


Nevada Turquoise, Tanzanite and Tourmaline Jewelry

Nevada Outback Gems

Find out more by checking out All of our links below:

View our Premium Contemporary Turquoise Jewelry - Wearable Artwork! View our Unique Gem Quality Turquoise Cabochons
Premium Jewelry, with Gemstones of all types Top Quality Loose Gemstones - Gemstones of all types
Rare Crystals and Gemstone Rough, all types including Turquoise Check out my new Prospecting Book: "Fists Full Of Gold"
How to make a purchase, information and terms More information about us - Nevada Outback Gems
About Nevada Turquoise Contact us - we want to help
More Info about Turquoise, the Beautiful Gem Nevada Outback Gems Homepage
Take a virtual tour of our Nevada Turquoise mines Our Free Colored Gemstone Information Encyclopedia
Chris' Adventures Prospecting for Gold, Silver, Turquoise and other Gems Nevada Outback Library and Bookstore - Learn more!
Nevada Outback Gems Website News More Info about Gem Cutting Make Your Own Jewelry  
Metal Detecting with the MXT Metal Detector Tanzanite Jewelry
Nevada Outback Gems Site Map Buy Safely on EBay: avoid fraud and scam artists

Chris' Prospecting Encyclopedia, Your best source of information on:  Gold nuggets, gold panning,  how to design and build your own mining equipment, metal detecting for nuggets, dredging for gold, prospecting books, California prospecting, 49ers, rock hounds, investing, mining stocks, mother lode, sulfides, turquoise, jewelry, silver, gold, gems, gold flakes, prospecting adventures, digging your own gold, our prospecting encyclopedia, homemade sluice boxes, homemade dredges, prospecting for gold in Nevada, homemade dry washers and more.   I recently published "Fists Full Of Gold", a book on prospecting that covers all you need to know on the topic of prospecting for gold.