“Pikes Peak or bust!” This was the rallying call of the gold miners who were on their way to California during the gold rush. It officially started on January 24, 1848. A few struck it rich, but most people ended up with nothing.
The first miners used washpans made of iron. In this process, called panning, miners would get some dirt in the pan and then let stream water run in it. They would gently shake the pan, and since the gold was heavier then the sand and mud, it would fall to the bottom. They then poured the mud out and picked up the gold.
This was very time-consuming, and eventually panning gave way to cradles, Long Toms, sluices and finally hydraulic mining.
At Squire Boone Caverns, there is a 50-foot sluice in which you will be able to mine for Fool’s Gold (iron pyrite) as well as many other gems and rocks. You might discover amethyst, citrine, quartz crystal, rose quartz and more! Take home what you find as is or have your stones put into one of our many different settings.