You probably are wondering why I’m writing about gold in a book about passive income. The answer is “Gold is where you find it” and the price could reach $7000 an ounce in a very short time. So you need to find out where it is, get it and then sit on it until that time arises.
Find Gold at Beaches
If you own a metal detector and want to profit big, spend your time prospecting at the beach where the sand meets the grass. Do this for half a day and then ascertain if it’s worth continuing. If you come up with just a bunch of bottle tops and “Stinkin’ Lincolns”, move to the wet sand at low tide. In either of these places there is gold jewelry to be found. Plus, this time at the beach with your family can be quality time that you would not have had otherwise. Try to bring some family members on each gold hunting excursion and they too will soon get hooked.
Find Gold in Streams
If you have a frontier spirit you can try getting gold from streams near your house. Of course you can dig for it on dry ground and then dry pan, but it’s just not as efficient as the stream option. At any rate, do an internet search to see if gold has been discovered in your state and you may be in luck. As you prospect don’t try reinventing the wheel because you’ll end up losing time and a lot of gold. Here’s one good piece of advice that I’ve never heard anyone say about gold prospecting in streams.
The most gold is found where the trout are.
Most of us have fished for trout and we know that they wait behind rocks that cause eddies. Small gold nuggets and flakes tend to congregate there too. Anyway, by doing your homework on Youtube you will gain invaluable information about all of this.
Any experienced prospector will tell you that the first step towards a successful day is sampling. You can’t just blindly choose a spot and prospect there for hours. Try panning in various places throughout the stream and stay at the spot that yields the most gold flakes. As you pan, the gold will always fall to the bottom so don’t be scared about moving pebbles and other particulates off the top and out of the pan. Just keep on swishing from side to side and rinsing the black sand out. You will eventually have a thin layer of sand where you will be able to see your gold easier.
Metal detecting for nuggets
When you’ve found a good spot I recommend that you begin sluicing. A sluice is a thin, flat, metal corridor through which water runs. As you dump pebbles and sand into the sluice the gold is self extracted. Gold is heavy so it gets caught in the sluice’s textured bottom as the other lighter material washes out. After a day of sluicing, you will have half a bucket’s worth of miniscule particulates sticking to the bottom of the sluice. Some choose to take this bucket home and extract the gold through fine panning again. Others keep amassing the residual material in their garage throughout the season. At the end of the season they do the extraction in one day which allows them to be more focused and efficient.
Unorthodox gold prospecting
As you go into your local electronics store you probably notice the canisters near the doorway where you can drop your old, damaged cell phone. A lot of people end up doing this because they like “going green”. But let me tell you, electronics stores really profit from the gold that they extract from your phone’s circuit board.
Some people have caught on to this village industry and make periodic visits to the local dump to harvest their own gold. If you are interested in this unlikely way into the precious metals market, gather up all of the memory cards you can find. You will notice that the connecting tabs are gold colored; this is actual gold which serves as a really good conductor of electricity. By immersing these memory cards in a series of chemicals, you can extract the gold.
I shy away from this method because I don’t want to inhale the fumes or get chemical burns. But there are others who do this and manage to get along in life. This group tends to be the over 40 crew that lives on their mother’s couch. They also like to go to big cities with a toothbrush and extract the gold and diamonds between sidewalk slabs. Believe it or not, a modest income can be made in New York this way. We might dismiss this kind of treasure hunting as lunacy, but a couple big finds could help a person retire while the rest of us are sitting in cubicles.
How the big boys do it
If you want to know how the big boys do it outside of commercial prospecting, they go up to Nome, Alaska and claim remote places next to streams and rivers. I used the word “claim” but in reality, to get a good plot of land you have to pay about $50,000 to the owner for your right to pan and sluice. Nepotism also plays a heavy role in getting the right place because there are gatekeepers which only allow access to those who they know. This price of 50K sounds steep and it is, but if you’ve caught gold fever and have the right gear you can do pretty well for yourself. My friend paid a similar amount not long ago and did his time in Nome. Before finishing his stint, he met a guy who owns a dive shop who invited my friend into his home. On the kitchen table the shop owner non-chalantly showed a Foldiers coffee can full of gold nuggets. It’s just something he amassed over the years of taking part in a hobby that he loves. On weekends he would dive and suck the bottom of rivers with an extraction hose. His buddies on shore would separate the particulates and divvy up the booty at the end of each day. Not all of us can afford trips to Alaska, but we can do a lot in the areas we live. The most successful prospectors are the ones who are well acquainted with the land and have found the best method for extraction that works for them. They are pros in their own sphere of influence.
So, here’s the skinny about what you are about to undertake. Most people will tell you that gold prospecting is a lot of work and that it’s not a good idea to do it full time. Well, at current market prices I agree with them. But let’s not forget that you will be sitting on what you find until the next inevitable gold bubble. So maybe becoming semi-full time is an option for you depending on your location.