Finding gold used to be mostly luck!  But modern technology has changed all of that. 
Here are some fun ways you can easily use for finding placer gold -  
The gold pan is one the oldest tools used to find gold. Dirt and gravel is dumped into the pan. The pan is then lowered into the water and gently moved in circles. Large stones in the pan can be thrown out and any dirt clumps can be broken up with your fingers. Muddy water and sand will float out, leaving the much heavier gold at the bottom of the pan.
Gold Panning
Pocket Gold - Not to be confused with "pockets of gold". For those who are thinkers ~ analytical detectives ~ Who enjoy seeking clues, traces, and signs. Today's technology makes it easier than ever to find large chunks of gold.
It is possible to pick up a trace, no larger than a pinhead, that could lead to a pocket containing millions of dollars in gold.

The least known, but perhaps the largest potential of all the different kinds of prospecting and hunting for gold, is the search for pocket gold.  Only a few of the old-time prospectors knew about pocket gold, and it is safe to say that eight out of ten never heard of it.  Their main interest was in placer gold.  Their concerns were in the creeks, the high-bars, the meandering streams, the obstructions to their flow, and the many conditions affecting the eventual resting place of the yellow metal.

Pocket gold is found in the place of its origin, untouched by the relentless grinding, smoothing action of sand, rock and turbulent water. There is no question that literally hundreds of these pockets still exist wherever placer gold is found in the entire gold belt, ranging in size from approximately one to six and seven foot square in mass.

Basically, the way pockets are found, is by going up a ravine that shows color, taking samples every hundred feet.  As long as you keep finding color, keep going up the hillside.  Eventually you will come to a place where there are no more colors in your samples.  At this point you can predict that you are above the source of gold.  By returning back to where you last found color, you know the gold was coming from some higher point on the hill.  All that's left now is to locate the exact source.

When the term "pocket gold" is mentioned, the casual placer miner or prospector quite often assumes the term refers to an accumulation of course gold and nuggets in a stream or creek. Pocket gold is a distinctly different type of deposit, neither placer gold or hardrock, and is entirely different in terms of prospecting for.

There is a tradition or theory held by the old-time pocket hunters that the pockets occurred in a series of three. 
That under the first, or original pocket, is a second one down, at a depth approximately equal to the depth between the surface and the first pocket.

Below the second pocket would be a third one, generally a little deeper than the distance between the first and second pocket - the third being the largest of the three.  

Many shallow pockets have been found, and many have not, but even when the shallower pockets have been found, few prospectors knew to dig deeper for the second and third.
1st pocket could be on the surface to 20 ft. down.

2nd pocket will be found down directly underneath the 1st - within a foot or two to the right or left - at a depth approximately equal to the depth between the surface and first pocket.

3rd / final pocket Generally found a little deeper than the distance between the first and second pocket - the third being the largest pocket of gold of the three. 

There could be no trace on ground level
Decomposed quartz vein.The formation could pinch out immediately below the 1st pocket - this is where most would assume that's the end of it. But it isn't!  Keep digging straight down until the quartz starts to show up again - maybe another 10 ft. when you will run into a little thin vein that will get wider and wider. To ensure that you're on track, keep sampling along the sides as you go, until you reach the next pocket.

End of quartz vein
Pinch out
Bag, tag & flag up to the source
Dig in point
One thing about pocket gold, when you get it out of one of those pockets, it's different.  It's jagged.  It has little rough places all over it.  It isn't smooth like you find in the creeks.  It's found in all different shapes.  It may be shaped like a tree, an animal, a bird - all are different and original, no two are alike.  The specimen value of some of these pockets may be five or ten times the market price of the gold content in them.
By knowing the many ways available for finding gold, 
you can better choose the gold mining adventure that's just right for you! 
How much gold could you find by using today's modern methods?
None, if you're not actively searching for these reserves.   
They're discovering they really can own a gold mine!
All Across America people are discovering this exciting simple escape from their hectic lives!
High Banking
"High Bankers", or "Power Sluice" are considered one the most versatile gold recovery machines available for the prospector. Simply feed material into the hopper and let the washing action do its job.
Gather material in a bucket from an area you believe gold might be found. Pour it in at the top of the sluice to be washed down its length by a constant stream of water. Gold is caught either by "riffles" in the sluice box or by a false bottom with holes in it. Mud and the larger chunks of rock wash out the end leaving the much heavier gold behind. 
The Sluice
Digging around obstacles is a great way to find lots of gold nuggets. Dig where gold might have been trapped along its way. Gather the material in a bucket or in your gold pan, and pan, sluice or highbank that material down. Crevicing and panning is a fun and simple way for folks of all ages to find an amazing amount of gold. 
Miners 100 years ago didn't have the tools available for finding gold as we do. Gold prospectors can work old places where gold was first discovered with sometimes very rewarding results. The metal detector is quickly becoming the new millenniums treasure hunting tool of choice.
Metal Detecting
Crevicing
Dredging
Dredges are essentially underwater vacuum cleaners.They are commonly used to pull material up from a stream bottom, run it through a separation system to recover valuable minerals, and then redeposit the stream material back onto the bottom of the stream. 
"Vacking" is an efficient way to recover lots gold. It's amazing how deep gold can settle inside cracks in bedrock. Vacking sometimes involves breaking the crack open wide enough to vac out all the material within. 
Vacking / Crevicing
Dry land dredging
Sniping
Involves seeing through the surface of the water to the bottom using a diving mask. Pick up pieces of gold with your hands or by using tools like hemostats or tweezers when you find the glistening nuggets waiting there in plain sight.
Placer Mining Methods / Finding Pocket Gold 
A few fun ways for finding gold
Pocket Gold 
Looking for the source  
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