Gold Fever, One Man’s Adventures on the Trail of the Gold Rush, a new book by Steve Boggan, offers hope for all of us who dream of striking it rich by panning for gold in streams.
It’s a fun book – we opted for the $7.99 Kindle edition – that’s written like an adventure story. The author’s enthusiasm really comes through. You almost feel like you are right there with him while he chats with colorful locals in California mining towns, wades into streams and – yes – finds enough gold to make his hobby profitable.
Here’s an excerpt that expresses the author’s passion for his hobby . . .
“I began to study the California Gold Rush of 1849 and discovered that the frantic efforts of more than three hundred thousand miners – arguably the largest single migration event the world had ever seen – had made barely a dent in the state’s reserves of gold; most geologists believe that eighty per cent of it has yet to be found . . . During the original Gold Rush chunks weighing as much as 160 pounds were uncovered – and remarkable pieces still turn up. As recently as July 2014 a six-pound nugget found in California fetched four hundred thousand dollars at auction.”
Get Going, Get Panning
Here are the California towns in what Boggan calls “Gold Country” – the places where prospectors struck it rich in the years following 1849, and where nuggets of pure 24K gold can still be found.
- Angels Camp
- Grass Valley
- Nevada City
- Sutter Creek
Want to Try Panning for Gold?
You don’t have to invest a ton of money before you go out and look for gold. If you want to, you can actually start by using your hat to scoop up gravel and silt from the bottom of streams.
If you do a little searching online, you will find that plenty of equipment is available for casual and serious hobbyists. There are simple panning kits that sell for $50 or less, and you can move up to gas-powered machines that vacuum gravel from streambeds and separate out the gold.
It’s a fun hobby – one of the few we can think of that promises a chance of striking it rich. And if you do pull something out of a streambed that looks like gold, give us a call at 800-426-2344 and we will be happy to explain how to send it to us for testing. Be sure to mention this blog post and ask about free or discounted shipping.
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