The Miners’ Ten Commandments

While we were in Stanton, AZ we went into the main office and saw a paper on the wall that stated “The Miners’ 10 Commandments”. Kinda funny. Now I have official guidance for my life as a gold miner. It appears I already broke the first commandment. Well, now that I read on, it seems I broke a few more commandments. Oops!


Thou shalt have no other claim than one.


Thou shalt not make unto thyself any false claim, nor any likeness to a mean man, by jumping one: for I, a miner, am a just one, and will visit the miners around about, and they will judge thee; and when they shall decide, thou shalt take thy pick, thy pan, thy shovel and thy blankets with all thou hast and shall depart seeking other good diggings, but thou shalt find none. Then when thou hast paid out all thy dust, worn out thy boots and garments so that there is nothing good about them but the pockets, and thy patience is like unto thy garments, then in sorrow shall thou return to find thy claim worked out, and yet thou hath no pile to hide in the ground, or in the old boot beneath thy bunk, or in buckskin or in bottle beneath thy cabin, and at last thou shalt hire thy body out to make thy board and save thy bacon.


Thou shalt not go prospecting before thy claim gives out. Neither shalt thou take thy money, nor thy gold dust, nor thy good name, to the gaming table in vain; for monte, twenty-one, roulette, faro, lansquenet and poker, will prove to thee that the more thou puttest down the less thou shalt take up; and when thou thinkest of thy wife and children, thou shalt not hold thyself guiltless—but insane.


Thou shalt not remember what thy friends do at home on the Sabbath day, lest the remembrance may not compare favorably with what thou doest here. Six days thou mayst dig or pick; but the other day is Sunday; yet thou washest all thy dirty shirts, darnest all thy stockings, tap thy boots, mend thy clothing, chop the whole week’s firewood, make up and bake thy bread, and boil thy pork and beans, that thou wait not when thou returnest from thy long-tom weary. For in six days’ labor only though canst do it in six months; and though, and thy morals and thy conscience, be none the better for it; but reproach thee, shouldst thou ever return with thy worn-out body to thy mother’s fireside.


Though shalt not think more of all thy gold, and how thou canst make it fastest, than how thou will enjoy it after thou hast ridden rough-shod over thy good old parents’ precepts and examples, that thou mayest have nothing to reproach thee, when left ALONE in the land where thy father’s blessing and thy mother’s love hath sent thee.


Thou shalt not kill; neither thy body by working in the rain, even though thou shalt make enough to buy physic and attendance with; nor thy neighbor’s body in a duel, or in anger, for by “keeping cool,” thou canst save his life and thy conscience. Neither shalt thou destroy thyself by getting “tight,” nor “stewed,” nor “high,” nor “corned,” nor “half- seas over,” nor “three sheets in the wind,” by drinking smoothing down—”brandy slings,” “gin cocktails,” “whiskey punches,” “rum toddies,” nor “egg-noggs.” Neither shalt thou suck “mint juleps,” nor “sherry- cobblers,” through a straw, nor gurgle from a bottle the “raw material,” nor take “it straight” from a decanter; for, while thou art swallowing down thy purse, and the coat from off thy back thou art burning the coat from off thy stomach; and if thou couldst see the houses and lands, and gold dust, and home comforts already lying there—”a huge pile”—thou shouldst feel a choking in thy throat; and when to that thou addest thy crooked walkings thou wilt feel disgusted with thyself, and inquire “Is thy servant a dog that he doeth these things!” Verily, thou shalt say, “Farewell, old bottle, I will kiss thy gurgling lips no more; slings, cocktails, punches, smashes, cobblers, nogs, toddies, sangarees and juleps, forever farewell. Thy remembrance shames one; henceforth, I cut thy acquaintance, and headaches, tremblings, heart-burnings, blue devils, and all the unholy catalogue of evils that follow in thy train. My wife’s smiles and my children’s merry-hearted laugh, shall charm and reward me for having the manly firmness and courage to say NO. I wish thee an eternal farewell.”


Thou shalt not grow discouraged, nor think of going home before thou hast made thy “pile,” because thou hast not “struck a lead,” nor found a “rich crevice,” nor sunk a hole upon a “pocket,” lest in going home thou shalt leave four dollars a day, and going to work, ashamed, at fifty cents, and serve thee right; for thou knowest by staying here, thou mightst strike a lead and fifty dollars a day, and keep thy manly self respect, and then go home with enough to make thyself and others happy.


Thou shalt not steal a pick, or a shovel, or a pan from thy fellow-miner; nor take away his tools without his leave; nor borrow those he cannot spare; nor return them broken, nor trouble him to fetch them back again, nor talk with him while his water rent is running on, nor remove his stake to enlarge thy claim, nor undermine his bank in following a lead, nor pan out gold from his “riffle box,” nor wash the “tailings” from his sluice’s mouth. Neither shalt thou pick out specimens from the company’s pan to put them in thy mouth or pocket; nor cheat thy partner of his share; nor steal from thy cabin-mate his gold dust, to add to thine, for he will be sure to discover what thou hast done, and will straightaway call his fellow miners together, and if the law hinder them not, will hang thee, or give thy fifty lashes, or shave thy head and brand thee, like a horse thief, with “R” upon thy cheek, to be known and read of all men, Californians in particular.


Thou shalt not tell any false tales about “good diggings in the mountains,” to thy neighbor that thou mayest benefit a friend who had mules, and provisions, and tools and blankets he cannot sell,—lest in deceiving thy neighbor, when he returneth through the snow, with naught save his rifle, he present thee with the contents thereof, and like a dog, thou shalt fall down and die.


Thou shalt not commit unsuitable matrimony, nor covet “single blessedness;” nor forget absent maidens; nor neglect thy “first love;”—but thou shalt consider how faithfully and patiently she awaiteth thy return; yea and covereth each epistle that thou sendest with kisses of kindly welcome—until she hath thyself. Neither shalt thou cove thy neighbor’s wife, nor trifle with the affections of his daughter; yet, if thy heart be free, and thou dost love and covet each other, thou shalt “pop the question” like a man.

A new Commandment give I unto thee—if thou has a wife and little ones, that thou lovest dearer than life,—that thou keep them continually before thee, to cheer and urge thee onward, until thou canst say, “I have enough—God bless them—I will return.” Then from thy much-loved home, with open arms shall thy come forth to welcome thee, with weeping tears of unutterable joy that thou art come; then in the fullness of thy heart’s gratitude, thou shalt kneel together before thy Heavenly Father, to thank him for thy safe return. AMEN—So mote it be.


James M. Hutchings (1818-1902)

Gold Fever

Click here for Gold Fever episodes

Click here for Gold Fever Collector Box Sets

The GPAA club has a lot of DVD videos available for purchase on their web site. We ordered a bunch of DVDs. The video is cut into episodes and you get to see first hand what gold prospecting is like in many places around the USA. The quality is professional and the host Tom Massie is a colorful character full of information and not afraid to go places other might not. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to supplement their knowledge about where to find gold. Its one thing to read about it in a book with pictures, but completely different when you see video coverage. It will confirm everything you learned from books and research and you’ll learn so much more.

Whites TDI (Product Review)

Whites is starting to compete in the marketplace of Pulse Induction instruments and they made a Superb detector.

We bought this new from our local reseller and took it out on a trip to a secret location in the mountains of Arizona where we put it to the test.

From what I read about pulse induction is that is works best in heavily minerized ground because it uses the iron/black sands in the ground as a catalyst to go further down. It does this by sending electromagnetic pulses into the ground in which the ground creates a magnetic field around gold. The detector somehow makes sense of this technique to find targets. It is completely different technology than a VLF detector. Drawback is that by design, it does not detect small bits of gold.

There is a special way to tune the knobs according to how minerized your soil is and since the ground had a lot of iron in it, we had to turn up the ground balance to 8 1/2. You should always hear a constant stable sound emitting from the speaker. If the sound starts to fluctuate then you need to use the Frequency knob to stabilize it.

We scanned the ground while listening very carefully. There was a very faint beep when going over a quartz rock protruding from the ground. So we scanned it several more times to make sure. Yep, something was there so we started picking at the ground and breaking it up. It was a quartz vein which was just the tip of the iceburg.

After we got a few hand-sized chunks of quartz rock, I saw it had some black sands mixed together in it which means that a VLF would have thought it was just another metallic target. I brought it over near the truck and used the Lobo SuperTRAQ on it.  I was starting to get excited, but I was cautious to not let my hopes get the better of me. We threw it all in a 5-gallon bucket so we can take it to our nearest gold prospecting dealer for further analysis.

Couple days later we went to the dealer and got it tested with their gold spot detector which is designed for finding small veins or fine grains of gold.

Their spot detector was finding small traces of gold in some random samples from the bucket. Wow! Everyone was starting smile as they gathered around while testing more rock samples. Even though it was small bits of gold, they were actually amazed that the Whites TDI detected it. Its probably because there was enough gold concentrated in certain spots inside the quartz rock just big enough to be detected.

Later on we took the ore to get it fire assayed and it surely had gold in it!

What a happy day. Our first time out using the Whites TDI and we found gold!

This pulse induction detection instrument is designed to go deeper and go past all the ground minerals in which would otherwise stop a VLF.  I am very please with this device and would recommend it to others. I feel like I’m no longer wasting my time searching for gold.

LOBO SuperTRAQ (Product Review)

The Tesoro LOBO SuperTRAQ metal detector works very well.

Make sure your batteries are fully charged before you use it or else it is absolutely useless. They say the batteries can last 18 hours, but out in the field it was more like 10 hours.

It cannot find smaller nuggets (under half gram) in highly mineralized ground because its a VLF. However, all VLF’s have this limitation in ground with a lot of iron content. Its synonymous with your cell phone signal being cut off in a concrete building or tunnel. The iron in the ground is like a barrier to the search coil. So its best to use this detector where there is considerably less minerals in the ground.

I use this detector for finding gold when I’m out in the Arizona mountains.

Ground balancing is simple. Just jiggle it up and down above the ground until the beeping sound is lowered.

When finding targets I hear two different sounds.

1) Single soft beep

If you place the coil directly on a hot rock and pull upwards, you will hear a soft beep, but more like a whine. When going towards the hot rock it will not make any beep.

2) Single loud beep

This indicates metals like trash or gold.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell the difference between gold and another metal which means you just need to dig all your targets.

Sometimes it randomly beeps twice over gold, iron or steel and then it goes back to a single beep. Not sure what that means, but I suppose its caused by the double coil.

In conclusion,

If there was a way of distinguishing different metals by auditory means, then I would be happier.

I compared this to a Whites GMT. The GMT has an electronic meter that shows the probability of iron. However, it did not appear to emit any distinctive audio sounds for metals.

The Lobo is good instrument for detecting gold as long as the gold is closer to the surface. The bigger the nugget the better. A half gram can be detected downwards of about 2 inches in heavily mineralized soil. With less mineralization, it will go much deeper.

I said earlier that this is the secondary tool in our arsenal of detectors. Our favorite is the Whites TDI. We use the TDI to search for targets, then use the Lobo to help pinpoint it. You can read our review of the Whites TDI on our site. We have much luck with this approach.