How to find gold in your backyard?

As a child, your Grandpa may have told you that there might be some treasure hidden in your backyard and that one day, you would find it. Of course, you were fascinated by the idea, but didn’t realize the potential of that thought until you got older.

Now you realize that different elements are present in the earth all over the place. This includes gold and your backyard.

A lot of people have strong interest in finding treasure in their properties, and some actually have. Gold has always been a symbol of wealth, opulence and grandeur, which is why it’s easy to understand our fascination with it .

But more than that, gold is also a good investment since its value is guaranteed to stay even when currencies declines.

What are the changes of finding gold in your yard?

There are some areas of the world that have more gold than others. If your yard lies in one of these areas, then you have a good chance of finding gold. But don't be deterred if you don't live in an area that has lots of gold in it because people have found gold in many areas of the world.

If you live in the United States, you should checkout this article at about gold found in different states.

Even if gold nuggets aren't prevalent in your surroundings, there may be other gold in your yard. Most of the land we live on has been passed over by many other people in the past. Those dwellers and travelers have often left behind lost pieces of gold jewelry and coins. Searching your backyard my lead to a “historical” discovery that could leave you a little richer.

The four signs that there is gold in the ground

Spring is the best time to do some gold prospecting on your property and you need to do it with a clear strategy to avoid wasting time. You don’t need to search every square inch of a property to find gold.

Just take note of these four signs that gold might be in the ground to narrow down your search area:

Out of place lighter colored rocks

One of the most obvious signs of gold on the ground is the discoloration of some rocks in the area due to the acidic mineral solutions in gold that can bleach the rocks.

So if you see some discolored rocks in a rock formation, it could be a sign that there’s gold in that area.

The presence of rock types for gold

Quartz rock is one of the strongest indicators that gold may be in the ground because both these minerals need the same hydrothermal conditions to thrive.

You should also be on the lookout for other rock types for gold like silver, iron, garnet and copper. Focus your search on areas where you find them.

Piles or stacked rocks

If mining has been done on the area before, piled or stacked rocks are an indicator of where miners have dug before. You’ll usually find these rocks alongside streams where gold, especially placer gold, is most abundant.

Iron-stained grounds

Although quartz can strongly indicate the presence of gold nearby, areas with a good concentration of iron oxides such as magnetite, hematite, and ironstone can also be a sign of gold.

So if you notice some iron staining on the ground, have the soil checked for these minerals to see if it is indicative of the presence of gold.

How much gold has been mined

For centuries, there has been a growing fascination towards gold mining. In fact, wars have been waged and kingdoms have fallen for it. But as miners continue to find gold, the question becomes: how much gold is still there left to find?

In recent times, gold reached an all-time high price of $2,000 per ounce, and it brought a newfound interest for gold mining.

But there is also the question of whether there is gold left for you to find.

There’s about 50,000 tons of gold reserves in the earth. Close to 200,000 tons have already been mined. There’s only around 25% of gold that’s yet to be found, which translates to lesser chances of finding it, especially without the right tools.

These figures are not etched in stone, though. Some scientists dispute how much gold has actually been mined and how much is still left. At best, most of these numbers are just estimates.

The things you need for finding gold

If you’re going to have the best shot at finding gold in your backyard, you need to learn about four things: tools, metal detectors, panning and digging.


Good knowledge is still your most important gold prospecting tool, but you can also get help from these essentials:

  • Shovel - No need for fancy shovels because your standard garden shovel will do as long as it’s of good quality.
  • Gold pan - Another basic, a gold pan is very useful in separating gold from soil. It helps to separates unwanted materials and soil so you can easily identify gold.
  • Sluice box - This has been effective in capturing gold using water. Just put some dirt into the sluice box and it separates other materials from the gold itself.

Metal detectors

A metal detector, an instrument that detects the presence of metal so you know where exactly to dig and not waste time on unnecessary excavations.

A metal detector is not necessary to find gold in your backyard, but it can help in some situations. This is especially true if you are looking for gold that is at or near the surface. A metal detector would help you in finding things like gold jewelry and coins .

Just make sure to buy a metal detector specifically for gold. Get a waterproof one if you’re searching on rivers and streams.


Since you can’t just dig everywhere, you need to plan properly by studying a map of the area and marking spots where you found the most signs of gold. You can also get soil samples tested for gold concentration.

Once you have the right spots, start by removing rocks and boulders before you dig in 6-inch increments. You will have to decide how deep you want to dig before moving on to the next section. One to two feet should be sufficient.

Be sure to consult any utility companies and local zoning departments before digging.


Once you’ve done enough digging, you can start panning, which is a technique used to separate dirt from gold. Panning is especially useful when you’re gold prospecting in streams and rivers.

If there’s gold in the area where you’re digging, it won’t take too long before you can start to see those small nuggets caught in your pan.

Are you ready to start digging for gold? Although the chances are now slimmer as more gold is found, who knows what you might find?

As long as you follow the right steps and don't break any rules, you can use gold prospecting as a fun activity that could possibly earn you huge rewards in the future.