Gold prospecting experienced a famous boom in the 1800s, with starry-eyed prospectors rushing to places like California and Nova Scotia. But do people still go gold prospecting in the twenty-first century? The image of the prospector may still be mired in the past but make no mistake—gold prospecting is alive and well. Learn more about what the practice looks like with modern technology.
The Gold Prospectors Association of America
Many modern-day prospecting enthusiasts join the GPAA, or the Gold Prospectors Association of America. Members have access to kits and information about places in the country that still hold lucrative gold deposits. While there may not be as many shiny nuggets to find these days, hobbyists can still find plenty of gold in nature.
Benefits of Prospecting
Do today’s gold prospectors get rich off their finds?
There’s little evidence to support claims that individuals can strike it big when prospecting for gold. Even back in the nineteenth century, many prospectors uprooted their lives to search for gold in California and ended up with little to show for it.
However, prospecting is highly enriching and engaging for the mind. Much like metal detecting, gold prospecting is more about the hunt than the reward. Today’s prospectors are largely in it for the love of the hobby; finding gold particles hidden in the sand is thrilling and fun!
Modern Prospecting Tools
While the classic gold pan is still in use by prospectors today, there’s also no shortage of high-tech gadgets that add ease to the searching and sifting processes.
Some prospectors don wetsuits and go diving with dredges, which are like underwater vacuum cleaners that draw up large volumes of material to be sifted through a sluice. Dedicated gold hunters also love the technology of the gold cube, which allows them to sift even the tiniest particles of gold out of sand or gravel.
If you’ve ever wondered whether people still go prospecting for gold, the answer is a resounding yes! While it is more of a hobby than a career these days, prospecting is still a stimulating and enriching way to feel like a twenty-first-century treasure hunter.