Texas is one of the poorer states in the U.S. to pan for gold. Despite having so much land, there are relatively few areas where prospectors have had any success finding gold.
The geology found in the state is the main reason why gold is not found in great quantities.
In most of the Midwestern states to the north of Texas, gold occurrences exist because of glacial deposits. These exist because glaciers pushed gold bearing material south from Canada, and scattered placer gold all over the place. But those glaciers never made it as far south as Texas, so glacial gold is not found here.
The best known area to prospect for gold in Texas is at the Llano River.
Llano River is a tributary to the Colorado River. It is northwest of Austin, and flows through the towns of Kingsland, Mason and Llano.
Although this is a very popular area to search for gold, generally the overall amount of gold is very little. The concentrations are limited, with most success coming from carefully cleaning out cracks in rocks where accumulations of fine gold occur.
There is a lot of sand in the Llano River, which covers up the better gold bearing material. Look for black sand deposits. These are the places where gold is most likely to accumulate.
Another think that will vastly improve success of miners who prospect for Llano River gold is the use of special techniques and equipment that is designed specifically to capture fine gold.
Of course, gold panning is still the simplest and easiest way to locate gold deposits. While the old-timers used metal pans, most prospectors today benefit from using modern plastic gold pans.
There are a few benefits with the newer pans. First, they have built in riffles that help to prevent fine gold from being lost. This is especially important on the Llano River because it is easy to lose the small stuff.
Second, most plastic gold pans are green, which really helps to make the gold visible in the pan. Even the tiniest specks can be seen against the green background.
Plastic pans are also trouble-free. They won’t rust on you.
There are other types of equipment that are really good for fine gold recovery also. The Gold Cube has gained a lot of interest over the past few years, and it is a great way to go if you want to be able to process a larger amount of material than you could just by gold panning alone.
If you have never prospected in central Texas before, it would be a good idea to get in touch with the Round Rock Chapter of the GPAA. They do outings on the Llano River generally twice a year, and you will have access to some private ground on the river for a very reasonable fee.
The Llano River valley is a gorgeous area. While you may not strike it rich searching for gold here, you are sure to have a wonderful time and see some beautiful country.
Learn more about prospecting in the Midwest! Check out this eBook from Gold Rush Nuggets: