By Marcia Shetler
A few years ago during a family vacation to northern California, we visited Sutter’s Mill, where John Sutter’s discovery of gold in the American River set off the California gold rush. Our three young grandchildren enjoyed doing their own prospecting along the riverbank. They were excited about their shiny discoveries, even though they were tiny flakes that may have been gold or simply gold’s much less valuable look-alike, pyrite.
An afternoon of fun was enough, without additional investigation of their findings. Serious gold mining still takes place along the creeks and rivers and in those mountains, but finding a reward with value and authenticity takes much work and patience. (more…)