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Prospecting is the physical search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens. Recreational prospecting is a small-scale personalized adventurous hunt for gold and other metals - as opposed to large-scale operations by commericial mineral resource companies, i.e., commercial mining. Traditional prospecting involves physical labor, traversing (usually on foot or horseback (mules were a favorite form of transport), panning, sifting and outcrop investigation, looking for signs of mineralisation. A prospector must also make claims, meaning they must erect posts with the appropriate placards on all four corners of a desired land they wish to prospect and register this claim before they may take samples.


Historially, prospecting involved combing through the countryside, often through creek beds and along ridgelines and hilltops, often on hands and knees looking for signs of mineralisation in the outcrop. In the case of gold, all streams in an area would be panned at the appropriate trap sites looking for a show of 'colour' or gold in the tail. Often, these shows were short-lived, exhausted and abandoned quite soon, requiring the prospector to move onwards to the next and hopefully bigger and better show. Occasionally, though, the prospector would strike it rich and be joined by other prospectors and larger-scale mining would take place. Although these are referred thought of as "old" prospecting methods, these techniques are still used today but usually coupled with more advanced techniques such as magnetic surveying and gravimetric analysis.

. . . Wikipedia/Prospecting

Image from Wikipedia

For complete list of prospecting supplies, please page through our complete Mr. Detector Catalogue. (Index is on page 3)

Details with color illustrations for various supplies can be found on the pages below.



Drywashers, Gas Vacuums, & Accessories

Gold Pans & Kits

Highbankers & Concentrator Bowls


Sluices & Accessories

Sniping for Gold

Spiral Gold Wheel Recovery Systems

Misc. Prospecting Supplies


Prices shown in Mr. Detector catalogue may not be current. For most current pricing, please use manufacturer's website link when available.
Prices subject to change without notice. Please check with store when ordering.



Colorado Prospector - Where the small scale miner finds access to public land, open to prospecting in and around Colorado's mineral belt. Free chat and forum.

Gold mining, Colorado - Wikipedia reference: maps, history, locations


Videos - How and Where to find gold.

Gold Prospecting at Cache Creek, Colo. With link to 192 related videos!

How and where to find gold. (What to look for when prospecting.)

How to gold pan to find flakes and nuggets (using classifier) Video. English and Spanish.

Ghosttown Hunger videos. Using equipment like we sell at Mr. Detector.

Colorado Mountain Gold: The Wheel. Shows how to use panning and recovery equipment. Really fun video!



Online catalogues. If we don't have it in stock at our store, we can order it for you.

Mr.Detector, pdf online catalogue

Keene Engineering, Prospecting Tools

Garrett Metal Detectors