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Mining for gold is the second oldest profession in the world, and even today, this precious sought-after metal dictates the value of many currencies and financial markets. In recent years, individual gold prospecting has revived worldwide, with many doing it for leisure or income. However, it is not easy and requires a lot of effort and a good knowledge base.
Not impossible, but it is rare to find gold in your backyard. The most important tip is knowledge of gold-rich rock and soil types. Then, match it to your area and dig for gold. You have a better chance of striking gold if you are next to a lake or river. But, again, it depends on the soil and area.
You can find gold in your backyard and imagine combining a work-from-home career with gold mining for that ultimate life. However, it needs to be lucrative and sustainable. Maybe you have already discovered some small deposits of gold and want to expand on your precious find or have reasons to investigate the possibility of backyard gold mining. Regardless, it may be possible and worth a try.
If you are interested in checking out the best tools and equipment for gold prospecting you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).
Can You Find Gold In Your Backyard?
Nothing in this world is impossible, and finding gold in your backyard is rare but can never be ruled out. Firstly, your chances will increase depending on where you live and the soil or rock types in that area.
In addition, if you discovered gold flakes in your garden, wait before jumping for joy, as you may have found Fool’s Gold. Iron pyrite looks gold and has value, but far less than the real thing.
Secondly, gold isn’t available everywhere, and it will take effort to search for and identify the possible locations that might contain your dreams and future.
With the extreme density of gold, you will have better prospects on bedrocks or stream beds. So, if you live near a stream or a river that runs through your property, you should have better luck. Also, bedrock and pothole cracks will escalate your chances.
How To Know If There’s Gold In Your Backyard?
The best and only way to find out is to look for it. Looking for gold in your backyard is usually a result of some indication of the possibility of finding gold. So, if you live in Canada, Nevada, or Alaska, you should start looking.
Gold is located within or contained in various minerals — for example, sylvanite and calaverite. So, try identifying the minerals first and, after that, the availability of any metals, such as gold.
What Are The Signs That Gold Is In The Ground?
Raw gold can contain about ten percent silver and has a bright golden-yellow color; however, the shade will be whiter with higher levels of silver content.
Be careful to check that it is not fool’s gold; block the sun from shining directly on the gold – real gold will still shine bright in a shadow, whereas fake gold will fade in brightness without direct sunlight.
Quarts are a good indicator of gold as it usually embeds within the quartz veins. You notice the rocks or quartz are purple-red or yellow – a good indicator of hard rock, iron staining, and the presence of gold.
In addition, the same colors apply to the soil – start your gold prospecting immediately. Black rock or soil may mean unoxidized iron content with a possibility of gold. You’ll never know; go out there and check.
While prospecting, if you found traces of silver, copper, or iron, you should continue your search.
Not everyone wants to start digging holes in their garden; therefore, these visual indicators may help identify the probability of possible gold in your backyard.
BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
Which Soil Is Rich In Gold?
Soil can be a good indicator of possible gold deposits as certain soil types are usually associated with minerals, metals, and, more specifically, gold.
Therefore, it is essential to note the soils in the area and your backyard. Changes in soil color are typically the first visual indicator, and exploring the soil types will increase the gold possibility and shows that you could be onto something.
The Black Sand soil type is not proof of gold in the area but has the best possible because of an abundance of minerals and metals, for example, gold.
As mentioned, the color changes are excellent and black soil is better as it contains iron, and iron-rich soil and rock are perfect for gold in many areas. In essence, black means iron content, and red indicates iron oxides related to the presence of gold.
The Alluvial soil is like alluvium soil but appears when loose soil cement is in a lithological unit. Areas around riverbanks or lakes are equally famous for gold-rich deposits.
This soil is a water-flowing deposit of disintegrated rock, humus, and dirt. They contain many small rock and mineral pieces and are ideal for visually inspecting minerals, metals, or even gold.
What Rocks Are Associated With Gold?
Gold-rich soil, which can contain small pieces of rock, is limited to specific areas, whereas rock formations are more common and a better indicator of the existence of gold.
Because gold commonly mixes with other materials, most prospectors will look for rocks and rock formations that could contain gold deposits. Therefore, good rock knowledge is essential when you are gold prospecting.
Igneous Rocks are metal-bearing rocks, and you can notice the gold within these rock types with the naked eye. Quartz rock is the best example of a rock type that usually contains gold.
Therefore, if you find quartz, you are hot and should continue the search for gold. Similarly, if you notice small white pieces of quartz stone next to water areas or hillsides, mark the spot.
Sedimentary rock results from igneous rock breaking into smaller pieces through erosion and weathering. Therefore, riverbeds or similar water planes conducive to floods and erosion will have sediments and sediment rocks. In addition, while igneous rocks break up, they may part with the gold content and allow easy access to the gold without mining.
TIP: You need to know something about how gold deposits occur to understand which rocks to look for when prospecting. Find out more in the article below:
5 Rocks You Need To Look For When Gold Prospecting (+ Why)
Chances Of Finding Gold In Your Backyard
Honestly, it isn’t very likely to find gold in any backyard. However, it is not impossible and depends on the area. When there are gold mines in your area, there is a better chance that your erf or backyard may contain gold.
In addition, if you stay near a river or lake, you cannot rule out the possibility. If none of the above is true, your digging for gold chances remains slim.
In addition, you typically would have to process one ton of dirt or rock for one oz of gold, which will earn you only a few dollars.
The gold originates from the earth’s crust, comes to the surface via magma outbursts, settles within certain rock formations, or ends up in riverbeds via erosion and sedimentation. So, don’t dream and expect to become a millionaire with this concept, it could still be worth your while.
Okay, enough of the negativity. To be more optimistic about finding gold in your backyard, you should be in Alaska, California, Washington State, or Oregon, for example.
There is no guarantee, but it is more likely than in any other area. You will find it best to prospect for gold in streams or riverbeds. Even then, we are talking of small amounts.
TIP: If you are interested in checking out the best sluice box for gold panning you can find it by clicking here (Amazon link).
Is There Gold In Backyard Dirt?
Never say never, as finding gold in your backyard dirt is always possible. Regardless of the area, try identifying soil types in your backyard. Then, finding any metal or mineral in that dirt will be the first step.
Gold is closely related to the presence of certain minerals and metals. Also, all soil may contain a small percentage of gold, but it’s too negligible to justify cost and effort.
However, you will have to dig deep through the top layer of dirt to get to the uncontaminated soil. Then, continue when you visually inspect the soil and expect the blackish or reddish color to contain lots of iron or other minerals.
Else, your chances are almost none, and you should probably accept the inevitable. If you live next to a riverbed or lake, your chances of finding gold in the surface dirt are much better.
TIP: A sluice box is one of the most common and dependable pieces of equipment used to recover gold. Find out a detailed guide on how to use the sluice box properly in the article below:
Find More Gold: Tips On How To Use Sluice Box Properly
What Would Happen If You Find Gold In Your Backyard?
It is your property, and you were prospecting for gold in your backyard. Then one day, you hit the jackpot and find gold. Of course, the first thing that probably will go through your mind is that you are rich and don’t have to work anymore.
So keep delving for more gold, sell the property at a massive profit, or sell the mining rights only. Sadly, none of the above scenarios will likely happen in a residential area.
I Found Gold In My Backyard, But I Am Not The Owner
The first scenario is when you don’t own the property. The first thing to do is to contact the property owner, and together, you can decide what to do next.
Of course, the same rules will apply to the actual owner that would apply to you as an owner. They have the right to decide on what’s next.
I Found Gold In My Backyard, And I Am The Owner
It is still a good find assuming you are the owner but do not own the mineral rights. The entity with the rights would then start a conversation with you as you own the property from the surface up.
Depending on the expected gold quantity, you should still benefit, and the mineral rights owner can’t evict you as owner. But get legal advice asap, as they may disrupt your life without benefit.
TIP: Taking rocks from a protected area would be similar to going to an archaeological site and taking things like fossils or old weapons. Find out more about taking rocks from nature in the article below:
Is Taking Rocks from Nature Illegal? You Should Know This
I Found Gold In My Backyard And Also Own The Mineral Rights
The best scenario for finding gold in your backyard is when you are the property owner and own the mineral rights. However, it is improbable that you would have mineral rights in any urban or suburban area.
Therefore, assuming the property is in a rural area and you have mineral rights, you are in the pound seats. You can continue and remove all the gold you want. Sounds easy? No, it’s not. Read on.
Depending on the laws in your area, get legal assistance, as the government may seize the mineral rights on your property.
It could also be that you have a gold-rich rock vein crossing your property, and surrounding properties may also be affected. If you end up with two choices – exploit the gold yourself or accept a lucrative compensation for the land and mineral rights, think hard before deciding.
Again, depending on the size of the property, you could continue and benefit on a small scale. Alternatively, go big, but you need big bucks.
Very few people, if any, have that kind of money to go into full-scale gold mining. So, you should probably forget attempting large-scale gold mining, even if it is in your backyard and you have the mining rights.
However, if it is an excellent find, some rich mining house would probably make you an offer you can’t resist. This choice would be the most advisable one.
In most American states, it is more about who owns the mineral rights. Without it, you should probably keep on mining quietly. There are still mountains of regulations to comply with, even if you are the mineral rights owner.
It is not impossible but improbable that you will find gold in your backyard. However, if you do, it probably will be a small quantity that may not be worth the effort and money to pursue.
The best way to find gold in your backyard is to inspect the rock and soil types. It is most common to find gold with particular minerals and metals.
In addition, if you are the property owner and do not own the mining rights, you cannot claim the gold or continue mining.
The owner of the mining rights has the luxury of deciding on the next steps. When you have mining rights, you need a bank full of money to exploit. Instead, wait for a buy-out offer and enjoy life.
TIP: The pyrite mineral is famously known as the fool’s gold, due to its resemblance to gold. Check out the best environments and locations where you can find pyrite in the US in the article below:
Where to Find Pyrite: Best Environments & Locations in USA