Skip to main content
#
 
cart
our twitterour facebook page pintrest youtube
Latest Posts
Archive
Categories

 Nuggets of News Blog 

Tuesday, June 23 2020

Ocean beaches can be compared to the Mother Lode. Why? Because you can find GOLD on many by mining with a highbanker, and by searching with a metal detector. How lucky is that?!  TWO ways to find gold at the same location! Think about it, who hasn’t lost a ring or coins at the beach? Whether you prefer recovering gold by swinging a detector or shoveling into a high banker, your chances of both are higher by visiting a beach this summer that is located in a gold-bearing area. And a side benefit is that you’re outdoors and can social distance!  So if you’re itching to get out of the house now that COVID-19 lockdowns are lifting, here are some tips for mining the beaches in different ways.beach mining with a highbanker

Beach Mining with a Highbanker

When you consider the advantages of beach mining with a highbanker— easy access in all seasons, no classifying material down to size, no digging in heavy cobbles and moving boulders, no worries about rattlesnakes or poison oak— the idea is very appealing. Of course any new environment means there will be a learning curve. Recovering 100 mesh gold from the beach requires a little extra attention to detail to prevent loss, so you’ll need to readjust your equipment and process. Don’t expect chunky nuggets; you’re going for the flour gold here. High tide, not your watch, will dictate your schedule. The general principles you already know are the same, but also keep these tips in mind.

• Slow down. Expect to process about 10 gallons of material an hour. If you try to feed a highbanker faster or use bigger scoops you will likely lose gold. The most efficient way to locate the paying black sand layers is to use a post hole digger or earth auger. The pay layer is usually right on top of a golden brown sand layer that pushes up into the black or blue sand. Frequent storms can remove the light sands and reconcentrate the black sands.

• Use about 25% of the water you would normally use. You may need to modify your spray bar to compensate for less water volume so you aren’t fighting foam and bubbles.

• The beach is a level playing field—literally, so tip your box to a 9-degree angle and go from there. Most beach miners use battery-powered bilge pumps to run their beach sluices. A small gas-powered pump also will work. A Gold Cube is also an excellent piece of recovery equipment to concentrate beach material, then run it through a Blue Bowl.

• Do frequent clean-ups.

Beach Mining with a Metal Detector

Water and sunscreen have a sneaky way of slipping rings from fingers of swimmers and sunbathers, making beaches a lucrative location for metal detecting. There are actually several similarities between beach hunting for jewelry and hunting for gold in the rivers. At the beach, stuff that is lost in the upper sand areas make their way down into the surf during large storm events just like gold is washed downstream in the same storms. You can find an occasional nugget above a river in gold country, but you’re going to make your best finds when you locate the pay streak where nature has concentrated the gold. The same is true of the beaches.metal detecting on beach

You will find that the surf sorts out materials, and when you are really lucky, you can identify a pay streak. In a river, the gold pay streaks follow the downstream flow of the river, but on the beach the pay streak will typically run horizontal across the beach. After items have been in the sand/surf for some time, the wave and current action tend to sort thing by weight and density. The pull tabs will be in a certain line, the lighter coins further down towards the deeper water, and when you start detecting fishing weights, you are  likely nearing a pay streak. That is where you are most likely to strike gold— as in gold rings, bracelets, pendants, etc.

Wet sandy areas are particularly lucrative for detectorists. The reason for this is that beach-goers first congregate at the "towel line" and then migrate to wet sand. The "towel line" is an invisible area where the majority of people plop down their towels and coolers and umbrellas. At the towel line, sunbathers slather on slippery sunblock and tanning oil that acts like a lubricant and lessens friction. After baking in the sun for a while, they will need to go into the water to cool off a bit, which is where the body's natural reaction to cold is to shrivel up. Less friction + shrinkage = rings in the wet sand you can find with your metal detector!

In all types of beach hunting, the discrimination must be kept very low, eliminating only small iron (bobby pins and nails). Aluminum pull tabs and tin foil should not be discriminated or you will lose some gold and/or platinum rings as well. Some beach hunters operate with zero discrimination and dig everything. Use of a sand scoop makes target recovery fast and easy. It’s important to realize that most gold rings will read in the “middle” tones (above iron but below coins). If you’ve ever hunted the beach you have no doubt found your share of unwanted nails and other litter. To solve this, lace a rare earth magnet in the scoop to quickly capture those small, annoying iron targets. If you’re going to hunt the salt beach areas, you’ll want to get a heavy duty plastic scoop. A steel scoop will rust fairly quickly in those harsh conditions.

If you intend to hunt IN the water, of course you will need a waterproof metal detector and waterproof headphones — one that can handle salt water mineralization. There are some good pulse induction machines that work extremely well in salt conditions. Very shallow water is no problem but when you hunt waist deep water and deeper you should consider a mask and snorkel. If possible, hunt at low tide. That way you can get further out and hunt where other detectorists might not have gone. Plus, the surf tends to pull things down the beach and out into deeper water.


It goes without saying you should check your local laws first to see if you need a beach mining permit. Some state park beaches don’t allow metal detectors either, so double check the rules. Although it’s always good to share your treasure hunting hobbies with others who ask what you are doing (especially young people), with everyone social distancing these days, you are likely won’t be approached by curious onlookers that can slow you down.  Good luck and have fun mining the surf and sand… and remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated!

Posted by: Denise AT 04:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, August 30 2015

When you consider the advantages of beach mining with a highbanker— easy access in all seasons, no beach miningclassifying material down to size, no digging in heavy cobbles and moving boulders, no worries about rattlesnakes or poison oak— you might want to give it a try.

Of course any new environment means there will be a learning curve. Recovering 100 mesh gold from the beach requires a little extra attention to detail to prevent loss, so you’ll need to readjust your equipment and process. Don’t expect chunky nuggets; you’re going for the flour gold here. High tide, not your watch, will dictate your schedule. The general principles you already know are the same, but also keep these tips in mind. And before you go, be sure to check your local laws to see if you need a beach mining permit.

• Slow down. Expect to process about 10 gallons of material an hour. If you try to feed a highbanker faster or use bigger scoops you will likely lose gold. The most efficient way to locate the paying black sand layers is to use a post hole digger or earth auger. The pay layer is usually right on top of a golden brown sand layer that pushes up into the black or blue sand. Frequent storms can remove the light sands and reconcentrate the black sands.

• Use about 25% of the water you would normally use. The ocean is the best water source and doesn’t require much Jet Dry, if any. You may need to modify your spray bar to compensate for less water volume so you aren’t fighting foam and bubbles.

• The beach is a level playing field—literally, so tip your box to a 9-degree angle and go from there. Most beach miners use battery-powered bilge pumps to run their beach sluices. A small gas-powered pump also will work. A Gold Cube is also an excellent piece of recovery equipment to concentrate beach material, then run it through a Blue Bowl.

• Do frequent clean-ups.

• Good luck and have fun!

Posted by: Denise AT 04:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
Add to favorites

Nugget of News Blog