Disaster and Earth Science

Where can I get gold in nature?


Gold is denser than any other mineral. Therefore, if you swirl a mixture of water, gold dust, and sand in a gold pan, the gold falls to the bottom first. Differential settling also occurs in nature. Many streams carry silt, sand, and gravel with an occasional small grain of gold. The gold settles first when the current slows down. Over years, currents agitate the sediment, and the heavy grains of gold work their way into cracks and crevices in the stream bed. Thus, grains of gold concentrate near bedrock or in coarse gravel, forming a placer deposit. It was primarily placer deposits that brought prospectors to California in the Gold Rush of 1849.

Placer deposit