• 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 for February

The February 2015 meeting will be held at the Assistance League of Temecula Valley (ALTV), that is located at 28720 Via Montezuma on the first Saturday of every month, the meeting will be on February the 7th starting at 9am until 12pm. The directions are if you are going north on Jefferson turn left (west), if you are going south on Jefferson turn right (west) travel about ¼ mile +/- to the parking lot on your right. Everyone is welcome, especially the children that will become miners some day, hope to see you at the meeting. All they ask is for the room to be left as we found it, CLEAN AND NEAT also any old items that you would like to donate to the ALTV would be appreciated; they can be dropped off at the TVP meeting or during any day of the week (except Sunday). We want to thank the ALTV for letting us use their fantastic meeting facility to hold the TVP General Meetings in.

The next Grand Prize will be a Falcon Detector:  whoever wins this detector can buy accessories for it, a handle, holster and a set of head phones, from Falcon. With the Falcon detector, it could save you a lot of backbreaking shovel work.

Four Great Raffles:

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 how your participation helps support the club.

The price for the Raffle Tickets is 1 for $1, 6 for $5, and 13 for $10, HELP BY SUPPORTING OUR CLUB.

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.

50/50 Raffle:  This is the easiest raffle of them all…if you win: you split 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 nice gold nuggets to show your friends.                                                                               

Table Raffle:  You might think---what am I going to do with a table? But the Table Raffle 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.  The nice thing about the table raffle is that you can see what is there before you purchase your tickets. With our new format, the 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 you have won.  Good luck and support our club!

All Raffles help the club with expenses. The proceeds from the purchase from the raffle table and gold bags are used to purchase books for the Library.  So please help out.  Remember, there are no membership fees or monthly dues to be a member of the Temecula Valley Prospectors.  All that is asked of you is to help out and volunteer when you can.

Be sure to attend to the next meeting and ask questions if you have anything concerning the grand prize.  Also ask about the new TVP Claims Guide, and I. D. Cards.  At the next Board meeting they will discuss making the new cards 2 or 3 years instead of 1 year. This will save money in the long run.

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 they pay out the money to buy a piece of equipment.

Be sure to use the suggestion box at the sign-in table, if anyone has ideas for 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 and make some suggestions for the board to look at.

At the January meeting there were a few members who had volunteered to help in the different positions that needed extra help.  Thank you for Volunteering!  Your participation will relieve the stress from the other Volunteers.

We are still looking for a Wagon Master, someone to help Martin Trotter on processing of new claims.     We now have volunteers to take over the TVP library.  They are Jeff, Reb and Bella Baraglia. The club appreciates your family for volunteering to take the time and effort that it takes our library to be great. We have new books and maps that can be checked out, THANK YOU! We have an extensive library, and there is no charge for borrowing the books, maps, and DVD’s.  We have new ones each month and all we ask is that they be brought back at the next meeting for someone else to enjoy.

Be sure and check out the website for the upcoming outings for next several months.  At the October Board Meeting, we put together a list of outings for the next year; they will be posted on the website this month.

Don’t forget on February 7th and 8th the GPAA will be having the Gold & Treasure Show at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona located north of the 10 Fwy off Fairplex Dr. (where it turns into W. McKinley Ave). The GPAA Gold and Treasure Show, will be held at the South Point Hotel and Casino on 25 & 26 April.

Don’t forget the outing on 22 & 23 February at either Coolgardie, Two Quartz (or TBD), at our GPAA Claim. Maybe the club members who want to attend the outing would like to talk about the trip destination. 



President Message

The big news for this month is that we are going to the GPAA Gold Show in Pomona on Feb. the 7 & 8. Many members have already signed up at our January meeting, but we need more now that the club has officially been asked to host the show along with several other chapters. Please check your e-mails and the club web site for updates as we move closer to show time. Call me so that I can get you scheduled for the booth or set up and tear down.  Set up is Fri. early so we need to car pool. I heard no complaints about our new meeting room especially from the set up crews. How easy can it be now with the tables and chairs already in place. I hope everyone felt the same way about our new location. As time goes by the club will get more organized and hopefully everyone will continue to enjoy the meeting location.  Oh, any suggestions would be appreciated so let myself our one of the officers, directors or chairpersons know your thoughts on how we can improve the club meeting.

The next TVP meeting is   February 7th at 9 am at the Assistance League located at 28720 Via Montezuma, Temecula, Ca. Parking is directly in front of the meeting room.

The board meeting will be on Feb .5th at 7:00 pm Tension Envelope. 40750 County Center Rd. Temecula.

On the dredging front, Judge Ochoa awarded Ca. suction dredgers a big win by declaring CA. cannot pass a law for us to dredge and then issue permits only to make the permits unavailable. This was an unlawful interference with the intention of congress. This ruling means that CA. (unless the Supreme Court weighs in on the Rhinehart decision) has little chance of successfully prosecuting a suction dredger.

On another front, I was requested to send letters to Joe Martori (owner of the Sleepy Bear Mine) and Managers of BLM Desert District in Moreno Valley because our Senator Diane Feinstein has submitted a bill that all Public Lands that are not taken over by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan will be taken over by Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The California Desert District Mining Coalition has been keeping an eye on these issues for us but now needs our help since our Senator would like to see all public lands be Conservation Land.

The outing at Coolgardie was well attended by at least 10 members and some want to be members. It was a beautiful day, just right for prospecting, although the ground was wet to at least 8”, we just let it dry out and run it through the dry washers. Everyone one I talked to got some gold, even me.  Just remember Wagon Master Mike is usually a few minutes late especially if by myself.

A big thanks to all volunteers, officers, directors and chairpersons for without them there would be no successful Temecula Valley prospector Club. Thanks also to those who volunteered at the last meeting they were Shaunde  Romaine (membership) Ray Bratton (Claims asst) Sean Dvpnak(SGT at ARMS) Buffy Shaver(web Site /emails)and Dan &Eiko (finds of the months).

A last minute note Walt Wegner is now the new President of PLP . I personally know Walt from a chance meeting at the Pomona Gold Show KOA campground we had dinner together and have stayed in touch since that day. I know Walt will continue in the footsteps of Jerry  Hobbs fighting for our miner’s rights.    

 See you at the Meeting and the Gold Show. Want to volunteer to help at gold show call me at 760 -473-8456

TVP Club President

Mike Mahr

Event Schedule

2nd Saturday of every month Metal Detecting:

TBA at General Meeting



January Club Meeting

The general meeting for the Temecula Valley prospectors will be held on January 3rd at 9 am -12 pm at the new meeting location (Assistance League) located at 28720 Via Montezuma Temecula, Ca. Since this will be our 1st meeting in our new room things are going to be different, such as we will have round tables to sit at and I know there will be some rearranging of the furniture. All members are welcome to come early and share our new experience. We will have refreshments available coffee, water etc. The parking is directly in front of the building with easy access to the room.  Oh, the cross street to Via Montezuma is Jefferson, so at the intersection take Via Montezuma about 150 yards and look to the right for the building.
We do have 2 guest speakers so be prepared for an interesting morning with our fellow club prospectors and their experiences. Just a reminder that there is no January Board of Directors meeting, the next Director meeting is on Feb. 5th at our usual meeting location Tenison Envelope Corp. 40750 County Center Temecula at 7 pm.


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
January 17-18
Coolgardie/Two Quartz GPAA Claim
February 21-22
Coolgardie or TBA
March 21-22
Geode Beds w/David Lees
April 18-19
Coolgardie/Two Quartz GPAA Claim
May 16-17
Date open(Trinity River Private Claim)
July 18-19
Big Bear TVP Claim Gold Mountain
Date open/TVP Claim Big & Little Ken
September 12
Annual TVP Pond Party
Corn Maze-Big Horse Ranch-Every Weekend
Fallback Festival San Diego
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
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.

Latest Pictures

Price of Gold

Map - Assistance League of Temecula

28720 Via Montezuma Temecula, CA 92590

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