What to Do If You Find Gold While Hiking?

Yup, affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the awesome article. We'll receive a commission when you purchase items from those links (they won't cost you anything extra). All the details are here in affiliate disclosure.

Imagine you are hiking in a national park and stumble across a piece of gold. You know this is a valuable discovery, but what do you do with it?

What to do if you find gold while hiking?

Well, firstly, congratulations on your find! It may not be as expensive as the A$100,000 nugget an Australian prospector found while wandering, but it is still a valuable discovery.

Gold is usually found in small pieces, so it may not be worth too much money, but the prospect of finding gold can still be very exciting.

Before you head home with your newfound treasure, you should check that there are laws governing such discoveries on public land.

You must report your find to the US Bureau of Land Management or US Forest Service, who will send an archaeologist to examine your discovery.

If the nugget is found to be part of an archaeological site, you are free to keep it. However, suppose it turns out that this piece of gold was simply knocked off a ledge by another hiker or ore prospector years ago. In that case, it becomes public property and must be handed over to the proper authorities.

If you are on federal land, found gold, or any other natural resource, it belongs to the Federal government. If you are in a national park, mineral rights are retained by the government.

Whatever happens with your discovery of gold, remember that US law states that all finds must be reported to avoid unfair competition among prospectors or exploitation of archaeological sites.

How do you identify real gold from fake gold?

First, start by knowing that gold is the only metal that doesn't rust or corrode. It has its own unique color and luster.

Gold is highly malleable, so that it can be beaten into very thin sheets known as gold leaf. If you have a gold nugget, put it in vinegar for about 20 minutes. Real gold will not be affected by the vinegar at all, whereas fake gold leaf will dissolve.

Gold also has a very high specific gravity. It is almost twice as heavy as an equal volume of water. You can use this method to test whether your gold nugget is real or an imitation. Put the object into water and then take it out again. If it falls to the bottom, it is real gold.

Frequently asked questions

Can I keep gold if I find it?

No, you cannot keep gold if you find it. All finds must be reported to avoid unfair competition among prospectors and exploitation of archaeological sites.

Can I take gold out of a national park?

If you find gold on federal land (national parks and wildlife refuges), the Federal government retains all rights to mineral resources within these areas. The state government owns these rights if you find them on state land.

Can gold be found on top of a mountain?

Yes, gold can be found on top of a mountain. Gold is always formed in nature by chemical precipitation, and it usually comes out of solution along with fractures and bedding planes where the host rock is weathered.

How rare is it to find a gold nugget?

The chance of finding a gold nugget in the USA is small. Around 1 in 16,000 people make a discovery every year. Gold is much more common in Australia, where around 1 in 250 prospectors make a valuable find each year - about half of these are worth over $1,000 AUD.

Do abandoned mines still have gold?

It is possible for abandoned mines to still have gold if they are within a placer deposit, but this would be unusual - new deposits tend to form on the surface.

Can you find gold without a metal detector?

Finding gold without a metal detector is possible, but it requires experience and good eyesight. Gold will stand out from the brown rocks of a riverbed or against the green vegetation on a mountainside.

What type of soil is gold found in?

Gold is generally found in quartz veins within rocks, although it can occur in alluvial placer deposits. Placer deposits formed by gravity separation may contain gold eroded from hard rock veins.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post