Prospector's Store

An illustration of an 1800s miner's camp. There's still gold for the taking. Only 5% of the world's supply has been discovered.
You might think all the gold is gone, but a mere 5% of the world's supply has been found so far.

There's Gold In Them Thar Hills! 

Ever wonder why people still mine for gold? If you thought the California Gold Rush wiped out the entire supply of gold here, you’d be wrong. California is still the Golden State, in fact it is estimated that only 5% of the world’s gold supply has ever been mined. That leaves 95% for the taking, and you may be the one who’s destined to find it. Many modern day prospectors do so recreationally, but also for profit. There are even clubs across the U.S. that have classes and outings to get you started. Best of all, you can test the water with just an inexpensive pan and shovel. If you decide to get more serious, you can move up to more professional equipment. But either way, it's great fun to try your hand at finding the next big strike. 

Sluice boxes have become lightweight and affordable, and often have good results.
Sluice Boxes are the most popular method of recreational placer mining when water is available.

Gold Mining Books

California's original gold rush may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't still make a nice profit in modern day gold prospecting. You can find small amounts of natural gold just about everywhere, but finding more concentrated gold deposits takes a little knowledge of how gold gets around. How and where to find gold are just a few of the topics covered in the books listed below. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.

Gold Panning Supplies

Gold panning is an old but effective way of separating gold dust and small nuggets from the rest of streambed material. Because pans can only hold a limited amount of sediment, this method is not normally used as a production tool for commercial use. But it’s great for the weekend prospector who likes a lightweight option. It’s also much easier to carry into remote locations than a sluice machine. Serious miners sometimes use panning to sample gold-bearing areas and come back later with larger equipment once gold is found. If you want to test the water, the cheapest way to go is panning. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.

Sluice Box Supplies

Sluicing is the most common mining method you’ll find in gold-bearing areas. Gold is 19 times heavier than water and three times heavier than iron. Sluice machines take advantage of this by trapping heavier materials in removable rifles and metal mesh can capture even the smallest flakes. Although sluices are more cumbersome than lightweight pans they are capable of handling much more material and potentially more gold. If you’re serious about placer mining, this is the way to go. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.

Drywashing Supplies

Dry-washers are designed for dry gold-bearing areas, mostly found in deserts. Some of these areas remain untouched by mining activity because of water scarcity. Dry processing recovery systems work on the same principle as sluices, but use air in place of water. Air flows and vibration rid the soil of worthless materials, leaving behind the heavier materials. Usually used in combination with metal detectors, dry-washers can be an effective choice in dry placer regions. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors can be a valuable tool to aid your search for gold. These detectors range from small, handheld wands to full sized, ultra sensitive units. It’s important to do a little research on these units before you buy. Gold is one of the less detectable metals, and results can vary greatly. Nevertheless, some units are built specifically for gold discrimination. If you plan to invest in a metal detector it is highly recommended that you invest in a pair of quality headphones as well. Some units work just fine with the headphones that come from the factory. Many prospectors recommend “sensitivity enhancers” which enhance the soft target sounds of gold while lessening the noisier signals caused by trash and iron targets. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.


Highbankers, also known as power sluices work on the same principle as regular sluice boxes, but use a pump to force water through. These units sometimes include a hopper box with spray bars and a classifier sieve (or grizzly screen). Gold bearing gravel is shoveled into the hopper box and washed over the classifier screen to remove waste gravel. Water pumps can be either electric or gas powered. Recirculating highbankers can recirculate water, making it possible to sluice remote placer gold deposits hundreds of feet away from the water source. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.

Gold Mining For Kids

Want to introduce your child to the excitement of gold mining? They won’t get rich, but they’ll have a lot of fun. Most of these kits include pyrite, “fools gold”. while others introduce the young ones to fossils, gems, and other minerals. Great for parties or beginning adventures that will last a lifetime. Click on the search button at the bottom for more choices.