Saturday 18 May 2019


Spot price Au when written €37 / gram.
Sometimes, the youtube recommendation algorithm comes up with gold instead of something similar to what you clicked upon by accident while drunk at Christmas. What I would prefer is short videos, with good production values and a bit of back story, which show an expert going about their craft. A bit of jargon doesn't go amiss. Could be rock-climberspotters - axe-makers - mathematicians - philologists - biologists - book-binders. But I'm done with people who make long videos about picking detritus from the bottom of rivers: it's just too easy to game that sort of stuff. Oh look I've found that slightly weedy GoPro again on a different stretch of river. Even if it's a civil war Springfield.

But forget about discarded man-made, where's the gold? It is . . .
  • Near Tyndrum in Scotland: up an upland valley not far from the village. Jaysus, if only I'd known during thje cumulative hours I spent in my youth trying to hitch-hike out of Tyndrum on my way North from Glasgow or South from Glencoe on the A85. The trouble being that half the traffic was cutting across country from Perth to Oban on the A85; the two roads shared the valley between Crianlarich [another place desperate to hitch out of] and Tyndrum. But back to the Tyndrum Gold. I really like this little film - lovely drone footage of the moors with mighty sound-track until MrDazP1 gets down and wetty in the stream. He looked nigglingly familiar until I slept on it and realised he was eerily like the eary one of the rowers of Skib
    • You'd want to be dedicated, though, and know what you're at, because the returns are almost too small to see. Then again gold weighs heavy: about 20x the density of water & 1 cu. mm weighs 20mg and is worth 75c - you don't want to sneeze.
  • Somewhere in Arizona. USMiner is along way from water so relies on his metal detector to find chunks "absolute screamer sitting right on bed-rock" big enough to see [R above estimated to be a 1 grammer - who said USA couldn't manage metric?]. He's bought a tract of 80ac [30+ ha] in AZ and another 40ac  [16 ha.] in N. Nevada, which was not a million miles from existing gold-prospecting operations, in case he got bored. Again I like this chap's style - he's got a goal and clearly has some money behind him and doesn't want to go bust but he's not in it just for the money. For example he's happy to give some youtube laggards in the business a bit of a leg up, now that he's passed 6 million views.
  • West of St. Louis. Kyle Thiemann is doing alright [300K views] but goes do go on a bit and there's no back-story. All very well if you're in the present moment of gold-panning but 30 minutes is about 20 minutes too long - here's a leg-up from me: be ruthless with the edits!
  • Northern California. TwoToes [2m views] goes sniping for gold. A bit didactic but clear: snipe the inside of the bend - that's where the gold gets dropped. Point is that gold is the heaviest thing in the gravel and so it sinks; it also moves slowest when you're fanning the gravel away.
  • Pilbara W.A. with a GPZ-7000 metal detector. Glenn Baker: "nice little sun-baker there, complete with cow-shit; won't be putting that one in my mouth" 500g = €18,500 for a few days work. These guys are also a helluva a long way from water except for the occasional flash-flood and are fetching stuff up along a little run-off dell. An Anglo-Irish pal of my parents, Charles Chenevix-Trench, was a D.O. in Kenya during Mau-Mau and before independence. He used to tease visitors by pinching off a bit of elephant dung popping it in his mouth to pronounce, after a bit of meditative chewing "Three days old!" Probably coliform safe enough after 3 days in the sun, and it would not take The Amazing Randi to pretend to pop elephant dung in your mouth either.
Obviously the itemised bill principle applies. Hitting payola is not about digging so much as knowing where to dig / pan / snipe.

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