alluvial fan--cone-shaped gravel deposit formed where a stream emerges from mountains onto a lowland.
bedrock--solid rock underlying gold-bearing gravel.
claim--mining ground held under federal or state laws by virtue of location and record.
color--a particle of gold found in the prospector's pan after the gravel has been washed.
concentrate--minerals which have been separated from less valuable materials.
false bedrock--a hard formation, usually a clay layer, within a placer deposit some distance above bedrock.
fines--sand or other fine-sized material associated with placer deposits. Usually the last material left during the panning process.
flour gold--finest gold dust, much of which will float.
float--rock separated from the parent vein by weathering.
heavies--minerals of high specific gravity in a placer concentrate, also called black sands.
lode deposit--a vein of mineral ore deposited between nonmetallic rock layers.
nugget--a piece of gold that can usually be picked up with the fingers.
patent--a government deed that conveys legal title of public land to the party to whom the patent is issued.
pay streak--a limited horizon within a placer deposit containing a concentration of gold rich enough to mine.
placer deposit--a glacial or alluvial deposit of sand or gravel containing eroded particles of valuable minerals.
point bar--the area on the upstream end of a gravel bar which can contain superficial concentrations of flour gold in a thin surface layer.
poke--a bag or sack of gold.
prospector--a person who searches for valuable minerals.
riffles--small ridges in the bottom of a sluice box that catch gold in sand and gravel.
sluice box--an elongate wooden or metal trough with riffles, over which alluvial gravel is washed to recover gold.
stake--laying out and marking the corners of a mining claim. Originally wooden stakes were used.
suction dredge--uses a water jet and venturi effect to suck gravel off the stream bed and run it over a set of riffles.
troy ounce--1/12-pound, used in reference to amounts of precious metals.