Finding Gold in Oregon
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Finding Gold in Oregon

Finding gold in Oregon it can be found all over the state along with other minerals of interest. Agates and thundereggs can be found in the many basalt flows found in Oregon you'll recognize them by their nubbly surface.

The author spent some time as a young prospector looking for gold in southeastern Oregon close to the Nevada border. This was complete with a horse that we dubbed the “vanishing horse” because he kept vanishing. We also had a couple of burros, or if you prefer desert canaries. We never found much gold but got to look over a fine part of the Oregon desert. We also had a gal in Klamath Falls that at the time was more interesting then gold.

There is plenty of gold in Oregon it depends on where you look. Gold and other minerals of interest are found throughout the state. The northeastern part of Oregon has usually produced the most gold in placers. Gold mining started in Oregon in 1859 when the first gold find was made.

The best thing is to take your gold pan to a likely looking stream and start panning. Gold is usually found on the inside of bends in the stream on the point bar. Another place that gold can be found is behind a stone when the velocity of the water suddenly changes from fast to slow. If it’s a good place for trout it is a good place for prospecting.

Eastern Oregon is desert where water is apt to be scarce for gold panning. There is a way to overcome this problem but is a more difficult then panning with water. This method is called dry panning. It can be done using a regular gold pan with some practice. Just go through the same motions you would use for regular panning except you don’t have any water to help you.

This is what you have to do to dry pan. Fill your gold pan about half full of gravel and go through the same motions that you would if there was water in the pan. That is shaking the pan horizontally so that the larger stones and pebbles come to the top. You'll have to pick them out by hand almost the same way that you do with water. Keep working the pan until all you have left is sand.

Now you are ready to work the sand down into a concentrate. Holding the pan so the internal riffles are facing you and slowly by rocking the pan back and forth while the excess sand pours over the edge of the pan. In this manner you can work the sand down until there isn't really anything left but the black sand concentrate.

Instead of trying to work the sand concentrate down in the desert, just pour it into a wide mouth bottle, and bring it home. Here you can work the gold out of the concentrate with plenty of water at your leisure.

There are other minerals of interest in Oregon among them are agates and thundereggs. These stones are usually associated with flows of basaltic lava. It is in the cavities and gas bubbles in the lava that the agates and thundereggs are formed.

Most of these thundereggs are found in gravel where they have been washed out of the basalt cliffs. The thunder egg have a crust that is kind of nubbly looking. Once you see one you will always be able to recognize another. Agates and thundereggs are very hard to see in nature, but there is a way to lure them out of their hiding place. Using a spray bottle filled with water spray the gravel in front of you and if there are any agates were thundereggs there. By being soaked with water will make them stand out against the other stones like a neon sign.

For more information about gold mining go here!

If you like to read about gems go here

References:

Gold panning in Oregon, http://www.all-oregon.com/gold_panning.htm

Oregon Geology, http://geology.about.com/od/geology_or/Oregon_Geology.htm

Oregon thundereggs, http://www.all-oregon.com/oregon_thundereggs.htm

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