Gold Nugget Scope

Find Gold Nuggets Underwater
There was a newspaper story recently about an old prospector in California
who recovered a small fortune in gold with the simple tools shown here.
The first, is simply a PVC tube with clear plastic glued onto one or both ends.
It allows looking through cloudy, running water to find gold in the cracks
and crevasses of gold bearing streams. A handle is necessary to help
control the buoyancy of the hollow tube and to keep it steady underwater.
The methods of attaching the handle can vary: sheet metal screws, zip ties,
radiator hose clamps, epoxy, silicone glue-seal.
To help counteract the buoyancy problem, the top of the tube could be left
open and the tube filled with clear water from a calm area of the stream.
The water in the tube would also give a magnifying effect.

Gold Scope
PVC Tube

The PVC should be no less than four inches in diameter so both eyes can
be used to look through the tube. The length doesn't matter too much but
a longer tube gives a more pronounced "tunnel vision" effect and is more
awkward to carry. An eighteen to twenty-four inch tube is a good
all-around size.

"Tunnel vision" effect
Top View

The other parts of this nugget finder are the tools for cleaning out the cracks
to find the gold trapped within. A long handled "cook's spoon" or a garden
trowel will work nicely. A piece of wire coat hanger or uncoated brass
welding rod with a few bends added helps in cleaning out tiny areas.
Another handy item is a screwdriver for cleaning out the narrower crevices
and for prying nuggets loose. A pry bar is always useful for opening up
cracks and crevices and loosening rocks to search for nuggets trapped
underneath. A turkey baster can be useful for providing a puff of air or a
stream of water to clean out crevices above the waterline. A metal
detector is a real time saver to locate the nuggets without doing a lot of
extra digging then a person can use these other tools to recover them.
Metal detectors made for locating the smallest nuggets are rather expensive,
but finding a few real nice nuggets could make the cost worthwhile.
See Metal Detectors page.

Cook's Spoon


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