The video wasn't long enough!
I got the video yesterday and sat
down to watch it right away. I must say for a
learner it would be very good as years ago I had to teach
myself by reading your first book, and seeing it on video would have made it so much easier. I felt it wasn't long enough as
there just are not many videos out there about
gold and I was really getting into you guys out working
the claim and the video finished. I would love to see a video just on people digging and finding gold like the last
segment of your video. We
do things a wee bit different down
here and have made many new tools and gadgets to
make finding gold easier for the Dunedin area. If you would like some photos of some of our inventions I would be more
than happy to send you some photos via email.
(Thanks, Peter. We would love to see
your photos, and the best might end up on this page!—Sandy)
An appreciative reader got motivated . . .
I am just writing to say thank you for your book - Gold for the
Taking! It was an interesting read and certainly got my partner and I motivated to
have a go at finding some gold for ourselves.
We had our first go in Winding Creek near Waikaia in Southland.
After a few digs and pan fills we found our first flakes of gold—it was very
exciting to actually find some. We also put some paydirt through our riffle box
that we made and got some gold from that too. We went home with big smiles on
our faces three hours later with our little bottle of gold with maybe 30
or so quite small flakes.
We are definitely going back for more in our spare time and will make a
day of it—fun and a great recreational outdoor activity which can provide
a bonus also.
Thanks & Cheers
Waikaka, Southland, 21/1/03
The Golden Gumboots
Jim Gibbons of Motueka tells of a 'find' he and Andrew Leslie made
some years ago. They were up in the back country, watching some young
guys working their family gold claim. As Jim and Andy wandered about,
they walked through some dirty water on a small patch of ground where
the digger had been working. They walked about six paces back to their
car, jumped in and drove off with their gumboots dripping on the floor.
After a minute or two, Jim, who was driving, happened to glance over at
Andy's gumboots on the car mat. "Why don't you pick up that gold on
the floor, Andy?" he said. "Aw, you don't get me with that
one. I don't believe you." Andy didn't look down. "Well, look
at my boots, then," said Jim. Both of them had bits of gold stuck
to the clay on the bottom of their gumboots. Nice pieces, too! They
picked them up, turned around, and hurried back to the patch of dirty
water, retracing their steps as they went. No more gold was found, but
the golden gumboots story lightens many a gold-digging yarn.
Jim Kriegh, a retired University of Arizona civil engineering professor,
wasn't even looking for meteorites when he made his big find. While
hunting for gold in remote northwestern Arizona in 1995, Kriegh stumbled
across a strewn field, the scattered fragments of a huge rock that
dropped out of its orbit between Jupiter and Mars and exploded over the
desert.—Reported by CNN.
An Edendale, Southland, New Zealand dairy farmer received a pleasant
surprise one day as he completed milking his herd. When he hosed down
the concrete yard at his milking shed, as he does twice a day, he found
flakes of gold on the concrete. The herd had brought gravel from the
path to the milking shed on their hooves this rainy day. The farmer had
just resurfaced the path with gravel excavated on the farm.
his book Footprints J.N.W. Newport tells of finds in the Baton
River near Motueka in the Nelson province
the big one
Baton gold was in small nuggets, some of which were hollow or contained
sand . . . one nugget which weighed 18 pennyweights [18 grams] is still
in use as a brooch. The largest nugget found weighed 36 ounces
[1.119 kg] and came to light when McClean and Scaife were opening
up a drive into the bank at the side of the Baton River. Tom Scaife was
wheeling out a laden barrow and saw something shining in the load of
earth. It was said that it (the 36 ounce nugget) was the only gold they
got out of that particular venture. Scaife called at a house after he
had been pig hunting and casually pulled the nugget out of his
pocket—just as if it was an everyday occurrence! No doubt returns were
patchy but some good strikes were made. John Taylor and Tom Driscoll
once dug eight ounces in a morning.’
Needham, the ‘new chum’ on the Baton field.
is one success story connected with the Baton gold field. Arthur F.
Needham, well known in the Motueka Valley and Tadmor districts, first
went to the Baton, but when he arrived he found that most of the known
gold-bearing ground was already occupied so he enquired from one of the
diggers if he knew where he could find a suitable place to dig. The
digger pointed to a large rock in the river and said, ‘You dig under
that and you will get gold.’ Being a new chum he did what he was told.
He set to work and made a breastwork of stones to divert the current and
proceeded to work the gravel from below the rock where he found good
gold. When he had worked as far as possible he cut saplings and laid
them in the stream with their ends thrust as far as possible under the
rock. He then asked other diggers to help him lever the rock on to the
sapling and skidded it out of the way. A large quantity of gold was
awaiting him. He had the laugh after all as he had £600 and went off to
buy a farm.
Justin McCarthy tells the story “of his parents wanting to buy a cow,
they had no money so went to a spot near the mouth of the Ellis stream
and dug for gold. In half a day they had won gold worth more than £7,
enough to buy a cow.’
on other goldfields the hotelkeepers and storekeepers bought gold. At
the Baton Hotel it was weighed on the bar and it was said that a certain
amount of fine gold was lost down the cracks in the counter and on the
floor. It was also asserted, though it seems rather a tall story, that
years later dirt from under the old bar was washed and several hundred
pounds worth of gold recovered.’
leave home—it’s all here
Taylor, of Nelson, went to the Klondike in Alaska where he spent 40
years digging and trapping, then returned to New Zealand. He went to the
old diggings at the Howard (Valley) and there unearthed a nugget
weighing 8 ounces.
H.P. Washbourn in his book Reminiscences of Early Days has
recorded that traces of gold were found near Ngatimoti (near Motueka) as
far back as 1855, and in the Aorere Valley (near Collingwood) by Ned
James and John Ellis in October 1856. In December 1856 George Lightband
worked this discovery and the Fell brothers auctioned
‘The giddy amount of 7 ounces and they got £4 per ounce for
some of it.’ In 1857 the rush set in and such fascinating names as
Appo’s Gully and Bedstead Gully heralded the first real gold mining
anywhere in New Zealand. 40,000 ounces of gold had been won in Nelson
before Gabriel Read came upon gold in Otago.
the years 1857 and 1907 the annual export of gold from New Zealand in
totalled 18,218,678 ounces, worth £71,528,978. The average yearly
export was around 300,000 ounces. The peak production year was in 1866
when 735,376 ounces were exported.
These figures are excerpted from a report by McLaren & J. Malcolm
published in the Mining Journal, Government Printer, 1908.