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On the downstream side of large boulders.
Tree roots in streams.
In cracks above the water-line and along the edge of a stream.
In streaks of gravel that settle above streambeds and follow the bottom of stream channels.

Before you start, put down your beer and concentrate......

Place your pan under water, keeping the pan under water at all times, filling the pan nearly full. Throw away the large stones and break up lumps of mud and clay.
Hold the pan level with both hands and rotate the pan with swirling motions. As you rotate the pan, the heavier gold loosens from the sand and gravel and settles to the bottom. Tilt the pan downward to let the dirty water, sand, and gravel wash over the edge of the pan.

Continue to raise and lower the lip of the pan so the water will flow over it and remove more of the lighter material.

Now, you should have mostly black sand left. Now comes the fun. Take a swig (of your beer) and start the final process that yeilds your gold and minerals. Swirl the water around carefully to dislodge the black sand until you see the arm of GOLD!

Continue this process until nothing but gold and heavier minerals are left in the pan. Carefully inspect the black sand for nuggets or tiny specks of gold or other precious minerals.
Finding Gold
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Barry Clay with his 294 ounce gold nugget from Swift Creek near Ruby Alaska
Now thats what Im talking about!!! WHOOT WHOOT
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GPAA Claims
The man was using a metal detector in an unmined ancient stream bed near the old Mother Lode mining camp of Washington when he stumbled on this nugget in February 2010. A 100-ounce nugget, found on his property near Nevada City, Calif., is expected to fetch between $225,000 and $400,000 when it goes up for auction March 15 in Sacramento, Calif
                                              What is a real nugget?

Miners sometimes find chunks of gold embedded in the middle of a piece of quartz. These aren't called nuggets. They're called gold/quartz specimens. To be a real nugget, 75 percent of the surface of the stone should be gold instead of rock.

Read more: How to Identify Gold Nuggets | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2294580_identify-gold-nuggets.html#ixzz1C12wK2xN