Gold prospectors have won many fortunes and there are many smaller finds that have gone undocumented. Here is a general introduction plus a few tips for gold prospectors and fossickers.
Gold is a native metallic element that is found in its natural form within the Earth's crust. The ancient Egyptians valued gold for its beauty and rarity, as have the many civilisations that followed. Gold is coveted for its natural beauty and resilient properties that stand the ravages of time.
Throughout Human history, gold has always been amongst the most valued commodity in monetary terms. And this is why humans have travelled continents, even oceans, in search of the precious metal.
Before the 1850's, coarse gold in the form of veins, nuggets and grains, was relatively common in surface deposits.
With the settling of North America, Australia and Africa by Europeans, these easily found surface deposits of gold were gradually discovered and mined until only the more subtly hidden and remote deposits are all that remain.
Fortunately, new technologies and methods enable us to successfully prospect and mine these types of deposits.