• Temecula Valley Prospectors

    panninghelpTVP was formed September 2001. Our purpose is to provide an environment for both members and visitors to become more knowledgeable about the ecologically safe recovery of gold and gems from our public lands that are open to mineral entry. Also to teach each other about equipment use and methods as well as keeping up with the ever changing mining and prospecting laws.

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General Announcement

November Announcement

There will be November 2015 meeting will be held at the Assistance League of Temecula Valley [ALTV] that is located at 28720 Via Montezuma in Temecula Ca. on the first Saturday of every month; the next General Meeting will be held on the November the 7th and starts at 9:00am, and goes until 12:00 pm.

 All members are welcome at the Board Meeting, the Thursday before the General Meeting, which will be held on November 5th at 7 o’clock.

The Board Meeting, the Board decided at the last minute to do the Corn Maze and Car Show, after Robert Yhlen, had did all the work to set it up, it’s held at the Big Horse Feed Store in Temecula on the October 3rd, it was brought up a the General Meeting and we had volunteers to man the booth, and it was a pretty good day, the club will be also be doing it on the weekends of the 17th, 18th and the 24th, 25th, the Fallback Festival will be held in San Diego, at the Gas Light District, in November the club will be doing it on the 8th, the day after the General Meeting, sign-up sheets will be going around for volunteers, please help if you can, and come out to the event if you can we have a lot of fun.

There is an outing with TSSD on November 11th at Julian Mine Company, a chance to meet other miners and have fun.

 On the November outing the club has an outing planned to go to Coolgardie, with Route 66 club by Barstow.

Don’t forget the Christmas Party we will have it on the 12th of December at the Assistance League set-up will be at 4 o’clock and the Party will be from 5 until 8 o’clock, so be sure to mark your calendar, come and have fun.

Anyone who was able to attend the Octoberfest at Sleepy Bear Mine, and would like to talk about it, all the members would be interested to hear about their time there.

Be sure to use the Suggestion Box, located at the sign-in table, if anyone has ideas to better the club, or different places they would like to go on outings, ideas for grand prizes, raffle table items, please make your suggestions be heard by writing them down and the board to look at and discuss them at the next board meeting.

So in the Suggestion Box, you can vote for the volunteer and the prospector of the year, to receive a nice prize or plaque that will be given to the winner at the Christmas Party.

The price for the Raffle Tickets is 1 for $1, 6 for $5, and 13 for $10, HELP BY SUPPORTING OUR CLUB. If you spend $20.00 you will get an extra ticket for Christmas Party drawing which is GOLS NUGGETS.        

Have you been out Metal Detecting or Gold Prospecting or Rock and Gem hunting this past month?, Find anything?, Then bring it to the meeting so Ekio and Dan can put them on display, so all the members can see them. All entries will be voted on, and the top in each category will win some “GOLD”.

Doug now has a lot of new items for sale in the merchandise section, so stop by and please check them out, we have new t-shirts now. Help support your club.

We have four Great Raffles each month {not counting the Grand Prize} in which you can participate while attending the meeting; it’s a lot of fun to be included, especially when you win! The best part is you support our club, remember for every $20.00 you send you get an extra ticket win a special prize at the Christmas Party, and there is the [GOLD] you can win.

 Door Prize Raffle {Free}: Just by signing in, you are entered into the Door Prize Raffle; we normally have 1 to 4 prizes to give away at each meeting.

The 50/50 Raffle:  This is the easiest raffle of them all…if you win: you split {50/50} all the money collected for the 50/50 raffle with the club. For Example, if $70.00 is collected, then you as the winner get $35 and the club keeps $35 which helps with expenses.

Gold Raffle:  One bag of gold concentrates to work on your panning skills and some vials with nice gold nuggets to show your friends.                                                                               

Table Raffle: there is an array of items setting on the table that the winners can choose from. There are typically 10-15 items ranging in value from a few dollars to over a hundred dollars on occasions. Now at the raffle table, when you win a prize, your ticket or tickets go back into the tumbler and you get a second chance at the top prize on the table. The nice thing about the raffle table is that you can see what is there before you purchase your tickets also see what you have a second chance at. Member with the winning ticket will then reach inside a tub and grab a numbered chip that will correspond with a chip on the item and you have won.

The Table Raffle and other Raffles, also helps the club with their expenses, buying gold for the raffle, and prizes for the raffle table and gold for the gold bags used at the club events and for the bags that are for sale at the meetings and to purchase books for the Library. So please help out since there are no membership fees or monthly dues to pay, to be a member of the Temecula Valley Prospectors, all which is asked of you, is to help out and VOLUNTEER when you can.

Be sure to come to the next meeting in November, and ask questions if you have anything concerning the grand prizes. Also ask about the new TVP Claims Guide, and I. D. Cards, and at the next General Meeting swap out your old I. D. Card for a new updated one, sign it and have it laminated by Rick or Sue at the PLP items and club name tag table.

Jack Gunderson is now the new equipment manager. TVP has an assortment of gold mining, and gold processing equipment that can be checked out by the members and tried out before you spend out money and find out your not satisfied.

To all members who wear a shirt or hat with the club logo on it to the next General Meeting in November, they will be rewarded with an extra ticket of there choice for the raffles that day [badges do not count].

A Big Thanks to all the Volunteers!


TVP’s Vice President

Newell Frayne

Event Schedule

August 4 Temecula History Museum - Explorers Gold Panning
September 12 Annual TVP Pond Party
October Corn Maze-Big Horse Ranch-Every Weekend
November Fallback Festival San Diego


Help to keep the, "TEMECULA VALLEY PROSPECTORS" a strong chapter, we ask of you since there are no dues to be a member of Temecula Valley Prospectors, we ask for your help by supporting your club with the purchasing of some raffle tickets, this gives you a chance at winning some nice prizes, and now when you spend $20.00 dollars you will get an extra ticket for a special drawing.
We also have a selection of prospecting equipment that can be checked out and used by the members at no charge, rather than spending the money and then finding out it's not what you really wanted.
Jeff and Reb Baraglia as Librarians, replacing the Gundersons will be able to help with checking the books out and help finding that special book you are looking for. There are books on Metal Detecting, Rock and Gem hunting and collecting, maps with old ghost town and old gold mines to explore, there are also VHS and CD's on mining tips, and How to Advice, also some of the books show you how to build your own equipment, all you have to do is fill out the card and return the books at the next meeting. So enjoy your TVP library.
The money from the purchase of raffle tickets help with the purchase and maintaince of the new claims, our storage facility, purchase of new equipment, insurance for the club, buying books for the library, to maintain our website, buying prizes for the monthly raffles, donations for the refreshments help pay for the next meeting refreshments, also for paying the rent for the building we meet in, and the annual fees we have to pay for our claims.
These are some of the ways to support your club, and to keep it as successful as we can.
Buy Raffle Tickets
August Big Bear TVP Claim Gold Mountain
October Date open/TVP Claim Big & Little Ken
December 26-30 Quartzite GPAA Flatfoot Claim


This was put together from reading several articles on dry washing and coming up with this article on dry washing, hope it is helpful, and good luck. Some good spots to try dry washing are, where new roads have been cut: you will able to see the different layers and sample the layers to which might be the best place to dig, dry washes: are also a good spot to check out because the heavy rains could have moved a lot of placer gold during the flooding and to drop out in the bends of the wash and even down to bed rock, old mine dumps: the equipment used was primarily getting the larger pieces and there could be smaller gold left behind that the dry washer would get, tailing piles: the same holds true just like mine dumps, gravel deposits: always check them out they can be a good source of gold, mountain tops: in ancient times these could have been river beds, slopes: the alluvial fan deposits could be good source of gold, dry lake beds and buried stream beds: both of these are a good source of gold, where once the streams carried gold into the lakes before they dried up.

In the early years the prospectors used a method called "winnowing", this was done by putting the material on a blanket and bouncing it up and down, this would let the light material blow off and the fine flower gold would get trapped in the blanket fibers. The dry washers used today there are two types one is the bellows or puffer, or constant air and the other is electrostatic.

When looking for a good spot to set up your dry washer, it helps to do some sampling instead of digging in an area that might not produce gold, you can dry pan, classify material to 1/8 minus use the same technique as wet panning, shake pan back and forth to settle the heavy's, pick out large rocks [inspect them before discarding, might have gold], bounce the material down to one side and lightly blow off the light material. If you do a lot of sampling it is good idea to bag samples and mark location for a return trip. Take the samples back to camp and wet pan them out. Use a metal detector to help locate a possible good area to dig, or even a pair of dowsing rods the more help you have the better the gold could be. But there is one important thing to do before running the material and that is to check the moisture of the material, if you can take a handful of material and squeeze it and it pack into a clump, it is a good idea to be dried out before running thru the dry washer, spread material on a trap and keep moving it around to let the sun dry it. There is a formula you can use to find the moisture content, but the trap method is easier. After you have determined where the mother load is, the material you plan to run works better if classified down to 1/4 minus this will keep large rocks from possibly knocking out gold, when running the material check the riffles to see if there is a lot of black sand building up and clogging up the dead air space behind the riffles. There are also hazards that come with dry washing in the desert areas, abandon mine shafts and drift tunnels, heat in the summer months. Dry washing can be exhausting work so pace yourself stay hydrated, use dust masks to prevent breathing silica dust, try to set up your dry washer so wind blows the dust away from you, have spare parts for your dry washer, your vehicle should be in good running order, plenty of gas, water, oil, tools you may need if there is a problem, if staying overnight all your camping equipment, food, water, first aid kit, if you have GPS that can help from possibly getting lost in the desert, maps, the list could go on and on, just be prepared.
When dry washing in desert areas you may run into a material called "caliche" it is hard packed clay or gravel sometimes called "false bed rock" sometimes the gold can settle on top of it, sometimes the gold can be trapped below in the bed rock, or on other caliche layers based on the amount of erosion of the base material over the years of running water and rain in the area, you can also look for rounded rocks on a hillside, this could have been the water level of ancient rivers. Beaches on the west coast with a lot of heavy black sand deposits could mean there is gold below, like in CA. OR., WA, and AK. Where ever you go I hope you have good luck in finding gold dry washing.


In the Gold Rush of 49, the "long- tom" and sluice combination was used by the miners and was the predecessor to the modern day sluice box, at first the "long- tom" and sluice was used to process the slurry from the use of the hydraulic monitor; the monitor was supplied by water brought to it through a flume, which was built far above the area where the miners were going to work, it was no more than a 3 sided trough made of wooden planks that carried the water down to a canvas hose, which later they used a crinoline covered canvas which reinforced the canvas, and later on it changed to a pipe which decreased in size along it's run to the monitor, this produce more pressure at the monitor nozzle, which could up to 200 lbs per square inch, the water at high pressure was used to erode the hills side bench gravels away, and run the gravel slurry down the "long-tom" to the sluice boxes at the end, at the end of the "long-tom" there was a perforated plate that would catch the large material and it was removed by the miners, and the fine material went to the sluice box's, the early sluice box's used poles that either ran vertical with the run of the sluice or horizontal across the sluice, or zig-zag blocks were used in the sluice and even a bed of stones to catch the gold, like it would in the river bottom, they also used a rocker box this was a two man operation, the hydraulic type of mining was soon banned around 1884, the farmers and ranchers went to the government in Sacramento, for help to stop the flooding and all the sediment from the use of the monitors coming down the stream, which ruined the farm land and pastures, later this was overturned, if the miners were to build structures which would catch the sediment and stop the flooding, but this didn't work so the ban stayed in effect.
The set up the sluice is important, you have to have enough drop from inlet to outlet of the sluice to move the material through it usually 1 inch per 1 foot of length, and level from side to side. Do some sampling of the area before choose a spot you want to set up your sluice, and an area you want to dig in, preferable close to the stream; it's nice not to have to carry material too far, the stream you set up in may not have enough water flow, you can increase this by directing the water to the sluice, by using a wig dam [rocks that are directed towards the sluice in a V pattern from the inlet end] , or pile rocks upstream to dam the water up to help the flow of water directed towards the sluice, also sometimes called an elevator / dam. When you think you have got every thing set up try a few rocks ¾ to 1 inch placed in the inlet of the sluice and see if they wash through, if they do you are probably ok to run your material, you can also try a few small pieces of lead shot to see where most of them get trapped in the riffles. It is also a good idea to anchor your sluice, using a flat rock on top of it to keep it from floating down stream, since most of the new ones today are made of aluminum, or some other light weight material. When running material through the sluice there are two thoughts on it, 1st is to classify the material down to ¼ inch minus, this will eliminate any larger material going through your sluice and knocking the gold out of the riffles, shovel enough fine material in and have it wash through and wash all the light material off, before the next shovel, so as not to clog up the riffles or have the gold wash out past the riffles and not being caught behind them. The second is to use a perforated plate insert above the riffles which will let the fine material drop through it and the larger material will go on through, either way is ok it just depends how much material you want to run or how quick you want to run it, slower is some times better, After running your sluice for awhile check the outlet end and see if there is a build up of material, if there is clear it away this could effect the flow through your sluice, also check the riffles to see if is a lot of material behind them, this is called "packed up", you could be losing gold, if there is you may need to increase the flow, the material should be in a swirling motion behind the riffle, and the heavy gold will drop in behind the riffle, if there is no material behind the riffles, you may need to decrease the flow of water through the sluice, this is called "boiling", if material builds up on one side and not the other, you may need to level your sluice from side to side, at the end of your run time it's time to clean up, pick the sluice straight up level and slow as not to let the water rush out the end you could lose some gold, clean everything up into a 5 gal. bucket, and pan your concentrate, and hope you have a lot of gold in your pan.



Right outside your front door and in your community is a source of wealth and money. Our local Parks are close to you and will give up their treasures with a little bit of work and persistence. All that is required is a Metal Detector, a trowel, and maybe a pin pointer, which does not have to be expensive to do the job. The metal detector price ranges from $100.to $1,500. And all will work to find treasures in the parks. 
On most occasions we use $100. Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors and found many coins to include pennies, dimes, and quarters. When detecting, go around fire pits, benches and especially on sides of slopes between the trees. Most coins are found at 2 to 4 inch depth and will require some digging to locate. Always check again because we find 2 or more coins together in a lot of locations. We used pin pointers to locate the targets faster which gave us more time to search for more items like jewelry, kids toys, along with dangerous items that can hurt lids, like pins and razor blades. Keep parks clean by picking up after those who are lazy and litter our parks. Talk to parents while you are at the parks and inform them of the dangers that you find. This will give you a good name with them and will be appreciated. Once you have found a new Park and find coins at the 3 to 4 inch levels go to a new park and search it. This Park will be there when you run out of places to go in the future. 
Remember, the Park does not have to be large to find treasures and do not forget the slopes where people sit to watch sports games as they are full of targets that have fallen out of pocket 


Metal Detecting Stories-1

My best finds are in the small parks that are Not centrally located in the cities. There is always a lot of pressure at the larger parks because the average treasure hunter thinks there is more lost items in these parks because of the crowds of people. Younger children are our best supplier of pennies, nickels, dimes, & quarters along with small chains and rings. Items fall out of pockets and other items break off while playing hard on the park equipment. Mom is our next best supplier by losing coins out of the pocket, while reaching for a Kleenex for the child.
Look on grass mounds and ledges where people might sit. Remember if you locate a target 2 inches from a concrete ledge (at 6 to 8 inches down) leave it as the target is usually a rebar. 
I set my detector for 2 to 6 inches as anything deeper is not worth spending your time on and deeper is not worth spending your extra time on. The metal detector will let you know not to dig up the pull tab you just got a beep from if it is set for shallow depth. 
When selecting a park, try to find the most children's equipment park and sports parks are great places to search. Spend your time on where people would sit and not on the fields as most people wear uniforms with nothing in their pockets and the grass is cut short so if they lose a ring or chain it can usually be found quickly. Check the areas with thicker grass. 
Try not to go out to parks to detect in a group. The park service personnel will usually leave you and your spouse alone where 4 or 5 people will draw attention and you may be asked to leave. Always report dangerous items you find the authorities. I take a camera with me to take pictures of where I found dangerous items. When I find pennies that are around 3 inches deep, all encrusted with Black corrosion, I have found the "Mother Lode" as this means no one has been there detecting before me, so I make several trips back to that same park, and it has never let me down.
In my future Metal Detecting stories, I will address looking for Cache's and exploring trails in Southern California, then Beaches which are near and dear to our hearts. Good luck and bring home the Gold & Silver.


Metal Detecting Stories-2

I like to combine trips when Metal Detecting In California, because of the versatile amount of things to do in the State. My wife and I will spend the morning panning for Gold and spend the afternoon searching trails and along streams for items the old miners lost and even the current miners also have lost. You will not believe what people lose out in the desert and in the mountains.
 One occasion we spent the morning looking for that elusive gold that we know is in the ground but just can't seem to locate. I will admit, I have found sand size gold nearly every time we go out, but I am always thinking about what I might be missing out on by not passing that magic wand (Metal Detector) over the grounds and in water in the streams. I have found many unique items along the stream banks in 3 inches of water. Old pocket knives, old tin cups, and old spoons. Nearly all Metal Detectors now days have water proof coils. Just remember, you have to adjust the discriminator and my trick is drill a small hole in a penny and tie a wire to it and strap it to the lace on your boot or shoe. With your feet in the water, pass the metal detector 3 inches above it and adjust the detector to beep at the proper level. When you are finished and out of the water, wipe off the coil and pass the metal detector over the coin again and adjust for out of the water. This coin keeps me from having to bend over all the time and pick up the coins. We finished off the afternoon walking up a trail that was once a stage line.
There are many old trails in California that pack trains and stage coaches used to transport supplies and equipment to the miners. I found the public library has old books on these trails in your area. Because they are in old books, you can not check them out but they have a copy machine to make copies of these map locations without taking the book out of the library.
Sue started down the two lane trail and found pieces of Iron springs from early stage coaches and old nuts and bolts. They are neat to find because they were made different from today's type. We also found old coins around the horse trough at rest stop stations. There were a lot of large old trees and rocks around the water well so we made extra passes around these areas and just like in the treasure books, we found a cache. It had money and survival supplies in it. The excitement of finding a box under a special large tree and in front of a boulder always comes back when telling friends and others about your find.
Most stage coach trails have bullet casings on them and once you find spent brass you will find lead around the fallen trees, so expect to hear that distinctive beep. Pick up and carry out any brass so people who come after don't encounter the same disappointment. Look for odd shaped trees and try to picture what they would have looked like 40 or more years ago and spend a little more time around them with your search coil. I am a believer in having 2 size coils. A smaller coil for desert, mountains, and streams, and a larger one for Beaches, lots, and parks. You can buy extra used and new coils from e-bay, or your local dealers or ask members of your local Prospector Association, they are always willing to help you out.
 Remember, it is easier to go Metal Detecting during week days as there are less people in the field and easier parking. Sunday afternoon and Monday Holiday afternoons are good times to get out. Good luck and bring home the Gold & Silver.


President's Message Dec 2015

I hope many of our TVP members were able to get some gold prospecting done since the weather has cooled down and we can get out to our new gold claim TVP 1 located in Coolgardie. This is a 40 acre claim and easy to find just west of Barstow. Sean, our Claims Director, will have pages for all members to put in your claims book at the next General Meeting on Dec. 5th at 9 am. Personally I was able to get down Yuma, Az. for some dry washing for 4 days but the wind blew for 2 days and it was HOT I don’t like HOT. My next outing was with the club at our joint event with Route 66 at their new claim, Yellow Bird, a 160 ac. claim East of Barstow. We all had a good time and most found some fine gold and then we were treated to lunch by members of Route 66 club. Only 10 members of the 22 that signed up to attend showed up, so PLEASE don’t sign up unless you can attend, because the club supplied some food expecting a larger turn- out.

The Fallback Festival was a huge success thanks to the 12 members who help pan out 450 gold bags in 5 hrs. The club set up 10 panning stations and GPAA let us use their special tent. They furnished magazines and older Pick & Shovel newspapers which we passed out to attendees.

TVP will be in the Santa Electric Light Parade on Dec. 4th in OLD TOWN. Thanks to Jeff & Reb Baraglia for volunteering to be chairperson’s of the committee. The parade starts at 7 pm and we will be needing volunteers to help decorate at 2 pm at the Assistance League parking lot. So be sure and mark your calendars and attend this event, it’s the first time TVP has been represented and you will want to see our float or be in the parade.

The Club Christmas Party is scheduled for Dec. 12 th  5 pm 8 pm. Be sure and sign up at the next meeting. Set up starts at 4 pm for those who wish to help.  There will be special drawings for the 13 GOLD Nuggets starting @4.5 grams so be sure and get your special ticket by spending $20 on the raffle tables at the Dec. 5 th General Meeting. The club will provide the Ham and Turkey; members should bring side dishes and desserts. I want to thank all the Christmas Party Volunteers for your hours of labor preparing the party. Bring the family there will be a special gift for the kids. Phil has promised to have the group “Resonate” to entertain us with Christmas music. Don’t forget we will be giving out the Prospector of the year award as well as the Volunteer of the year award.

The Guest Speaker for December is Richard Edley speaking on Gemstones and Minerals of the desert. This is your chance to learn about all those rocks that everyone always asks “what is this?” Bring your samples to the meeting and find out what you have found.

 Just a reminder, that we have an outing starting Dec. 26th until??? at Quartzsite AZ.  Don Starr has arranged for a special tour at no charge of the Volcano House just for TVP.

Temecula Valley Prospectors will be meeting on the 2nd of January as the Assistance League is open for business. We will have plenty of coffee and refreshments for all members.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!

TVP President


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28720 Via Montezuma Temecula, CA 92590

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