The Pursuit of Happiness
by Johnny Walker
Of all the good reasons for taking up the hobby of Gold Prospecting the first and foremost is the FUN! No matter what season or weather, it is always a good excuse for taking the time to get out and run the dogs. We revel in enjoying the freedom to explore America. Gold Prospecting is the very essence of the pursuit of happiness, in all its American glory!
Recreational Gold prospecting doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get started. A number 2 shovel and a gold pan IS the list of basic equipment to get started. Even if you have to buy the equipment a $20 bill will about cover it. Check out the local DAV for some good deals and a couple more dollars will likely get you buckets, flour sifters, for getting those pesky Gold nuggets out of the flour gold. You will probably need to get a hammer, for breaking up gold ore and such, a refrigerator type magnet to separate the black iron sand from your concentrates. And of course a little pipette or snuffer bottle to retrieve the gold dust from your pan. Little perfume sample bottles work really great for holding and displaying your finds! In fact I’ll sell you a starter kit that includes a gold pan, magnet, pipette, gold vial, and a sample bag of gold ore, with the instructions for $15 plus shipping and handling. Give me a call 303-884-7989.
Next you will want to know; Where can I go around here to find gold? A free trip to the local library will help immensely. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, look into the history books and you will find references to about every place that has been explored, prospected and worked by the “old timers”. Look into the local geology, usually the local University is a great place to get free information. Go make friends with the geology professor, never hurts to have friends in the business! Naturally there is information and advice to be had on the Internet as well. Ain’t no doubt about it, there is a wealth of information you can have for free. You only have to muster up the energy to go get it!
Now for the FUN… local prospecting clubs and organizations welcome the new prospector and provide all the instruction and tips you will need. Go ahead, don’t be afraid, get out there and make some new friends! One great thing we’ve found out about this hobby is that recreational prospectors are a friendly bunch!
For instance last year the wife and I joined the Gold Prospectors Association of America. The benefits of their association are almost too many to mention, talk about a great outfit. GPAA’s goal is, first and foremost to help members become successful prospectors.
To help educate members, the GPAA provides a variety of informational media and activities. The GPAA produces the educational and entertaining Buzzardite Classics, Gold Fever and Prospecting America TV programs, which appear nationally on our own 24-hour network The Outdoor Channel. The GPAA publishes the Gold Prospector magazine, Pick and Shovel Gazette, The Claims Club Membership, Mining Guide and sponsors numerous outings, seminars, expeditions and trade shows – all designed to help you find more Gold!
Places To Go For Gold! – The GPAA Claims Club Mining Guide contains over 250 properties and over 750,000 acres where you and your family can go hunting for gold and treasure.
Tools! – You get all the beginning tools you need. A gold pan, sniffer bottle, and much more!
Training! – You receive the Sure Fire Panning video and our full line of videos on every phase of prospecting are available to you at special prices! Plus, you are invited to outings with real experts and specialized training classes.
Local Support! – We have directors in every state… and many areas have local chapters and clubs where you get experience, learn about prospecting and treasure hunting, and just meet new friends.
The “Gold Prospector” Magazine – A bi-monthly national publication full of “How To” articles, real life adventure stories, equipment studies and entertainment.
FREE GPAA Information Service! – The Customer Service Department can answer questions about where to go, how to get there, how to get training and help, equipment needs and much more!
FREE 2 Ore Evaluations! – Send in your samples and we’ll tell you’ve what you’ve got. If it’s worth having a formal assay, we’ll tell you that too.
Help Keep The Public Lands Open! – Your membership also supports GPAA’s efforts to protect the environment (sensibly) for the enjoyment and use of everyone!
FREE Seller Space! – GPAA Members get free seller space at any GPAA sponsored outing. (Some restrictions apply)
GPAA Gold Lifetime Membership
$950.00 U.S. Dollars (USD)
You may sign up for a GPAA GoldLife Membership for as little as $50.00 down and pay $50.00 per month (with NO interest or carrying charges) for 18 months. Give us a call and we’ll sign you up with the GPAA!
We upgraded our gold prospecting equipment by purchasing a Keene Engineering sluice box. I think it was about $50 or so and is the biggest expense we have had so far. (not counting the yearly $79.00 Buzzard Special family membership in GPAA) We can now process about 10 times the material that would have normally taken hours to go through with the pan.
OK, now we have spent about $200 over the last 3 years but the return has been astounding! Remember Gold is selling for $1,000/oz as I’m writing this, so the return on our efforts has been OUTSTANDING! You tell me where you can start a really fun hobby cheaper, with as much potential return. The pursuit of happiness in the great outdoors, hard-won American Freedom at it’s finest!