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My 4 Favorite Books about Gold Detecting

gold detecting books

As I write this post, fall is in full swing and winter is fast approaching. Before long it will be cold weather and short days. My opportunities to get out and look for gold will be limited.

This is the time of year that I like to research and prepare for the upcoming prospecting season. This includes pouring over old mining reports, studying maps, and anything else that might help lead me to gold next season.

In my opinion, you simply can’t learn too much when it comes to gold. Even skilled prospectors can always learn something new. If you are a beginner then its just that much more important that you do your research.

There are some really good books that I recommend for any prospector regardless of where you live. If you read them and absorb the information it will make you a better gold prospector.


1. Fists Full of Gold

Chris Ralph is a graduate of the Reno School of Mines and is very knowledgable on all things gold related. Many of you will be familiar with his writing in the International California Mining Journal that comes out monthly.

This is a good book because it covers everything from basic placer mining, metal detecting, geology, and pretty much anything you would need to know as a beginning gold prospector. That doesn’t mean its only good for beginners though. I have learned a lot this book and I think you will too.


2. Advanced Prospecting and Detecting for Hard Rock Gold

Jim Straight is well-known in the gold detecting community. He has written many books over the years and you need to read them if you are serious about finding gold. They are written from a perspective of a metal detectorist, but the information here is important and can relate however you choose to hunt for gold. Be forewarned, there is a lot of very technical geological information in this book. That is part of what makes it such a good read, but it can be difficult to understand sometimes.


Follow the Drywashers: The Nuggetshooter’s Bible

This is another of Jim Straight’s wonderful books on how to find gold with a detector. Follow the Drywashers talks about how to recover gold in arid desert areas that were previously worked by miners in the past. As you might expect, the information contained in this book is still very relevant to all prospectors although desert dwellers will find it particularly interesting.

Some people might be disappointed that the details, specifically about types of detectors, is a bit “outdated.” I would look past that and instead focus on the quality content contained within.


Detecting for Gold: Adventures, Tips & Tricks

Ray Mills Metal Detecting BookRay is a friend of mine and a truly skilled gold hunter. He lives in Northern California and has a lifetime of gold detecting experience. His book is a compilation of information that he has shared over the years on various online prospecting forums. You can get his book from him directly on his website at trinityau.com.

Among other topics, Ray covers the interesting “pocket gold” deposits that occur in Northern California and Southern Oregon. He also shares some of his adventures and there are a lot of good pictures to get you excited for the upcoming season!


Next: You’ll Probably Fail as a Gold Miner – An Honest Look at a Hard Livin’


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