Don’t put your gold pans into storage yet. Now that water levels are low, this is a great time of year to do some bedrock crevicing. Bedrock gold traps are great gold concentrators. Placer gold fines, flakes, and nuggets can be captured and held in a good crevice in quantity, while their distribution elsewhere can be spotty.
The bedrock in any creek system is not smooth, it is full of deeper cracks, some big and some small. Either way these cracks offer a natural gold trap that will capture and hold onto gold until it’s either pried out or the crack gets eroded away. Size-for-size and relatively speaking, that little crack or crevice can pack more gold and even bigger gold than most extended stretches of regular stream or wash gravels.
Often you will find that miners get so focused on moving lots of material that they don’t do a good job of working the bedrock. The problem is that they do all the work of shoveling gravel, say into a high-banker, yet they digging mostly lighter material that has considerably less gold.
The good stuff is down deep in those cracks! You will find more gold contained in just a small amount of materials from down in the bedrock than you will from the lighter material that is well above the bedrock.
There are many types of crevice, from ultra thin hairline fractures to deep craggy holes with no bottom in sight. To understand how to properly identify and work the best cracks we need two things; the right tools and the right rock.
Some Basic Tools
Crevicing requires a completely different set of tools to normal prospecting. These tools will highly depend on your area of work and therefore as time goes on you will likely develop your own special kit.
Pry Bar And Rock Hammer: To get into the hairline cracks in some rock a geologists pick, rock hammer and beefy pry bar will come in handy. I prefer to use the Eastwing rock hammer. Smashing, leveraging and breaking into these crevices is well worth it, if you had to break it open you are certainly the first prospector into it.
Thin Hand Shovel: Normally, in most crevices you won’t have much room to dig. A normal shovel will be useless. A narrow garden spade is a must. I prefer the plastic ones as they will flex a little bit allowing you to get into tighter and deeper crevices.
Long And Short Scraper: The material in a crevice will likely be packed tight. In order to get this material out, you will need a scraper. These can easily be made by bending a flat head screwdriver, oxy torch around 1″ from the tip until the metal is pliable and bend it 90 degrees.
Brush: A stiff bristled brush, preferably with fiberglass bristles, to sweep it all into a pile to pick up with a spade or spoon.
Gold Pan: It can take hours to clean out just one crevice and you likely won’t even cover the bottom of a small pan with dirt from a small crack. For those reasons a good pan is all you need to process crevices.
These tools are not necessary to own or use to be successful at Crevicing. However, they will greatly increase your chances of finding the gold.
Metal Detector: The right detector can greatly increase the chances of you digging out just the best crevices. Your detector will ping off anything metallic, if you find a nail jammed in a crevice there’s a good chance gold followed it in there.
Pin Pointer: Basically a small hand held detector, they lack the power and discrimination of a full detector (excluding a few new models that have come out with iron discrimination). They can however, help you find larger metal objects in crevices quickly such as gold nuggets, nails and aluminium.