In the US alone there are perhaps 57 to 60 gold prospecting clubs. Other countries, such as Australia have around 6, Canada 3 and other countries have theirs also. In fact, there is no shortage of gold prospecting clubs.
As well as for the experienced gold prospector, gold prospecting clubs are a very good introduction to the new gold prospector. Providing valuable information on how and where to prospect, even often organising gold prospecting tours, and areas as well as providing information on maps, laws and techniques for gold prospecting.
Most gold prospecting clubs operate in a specific area, usually a state or province so you are likely to be able to find one in your area. The advantage here is one of locality. They are easier to get to and will have knowledge of the local area as far as gold prospecting is concerned. Also the local gold prospect laws which many states will have can vary from state to state and your local prospecting club will likely have the all the information on those as well.
Probably the biggest gold prospecting club in the US is the Gold Prospectors Association of America. On their website, gold prospectors they list many chapters in most states as well as a schedule of outings in various parts of the US.
Membership varies from around 30 dollars for a basic GPAA membership and then various levels up to 120 for a yearly LDMA membership. Some memberships include a prospecting licence so it is worth while checking to see which membership tier is right for you.
According to the website, "The LDMA is The Lost Dutchman's Mining Association and was founded by George, Wilma, Perry and Tom Massie in 1976 to provide places where men, women and their families could meet, prospect and mine for gold. Beginning with one historic gold property, Italian Bar in California's Mother Lode, the LDMA now has an ever growing number of private properties and claims in several western states and also in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Lost Dutchman's private camps and claims boast some of the finest gold reserves and prospecting in this country."
All LDMA members have access to a number of valuable mining claims in some of the West’s richest gold mining areas and, importantly, all of the gold that members find is theirs to keep!
Some memberships include some of the following:
Membership for the entire family, including husband/ wife or significant others and children under the age of 18. A bi monthly gold prospectors gold prospectors magazine. A Claims Guide Mining Guide. A prospecting Permit, other newsletters and other valuable information and material.
They also run an extensive library for members.
There are also other clubs of course with varying prices for membership as well as different facilities and resources for members.
It is a good idea to shop around and find the club that suits you best. Most will run tours and outings to explore and pan for gold. This is an exciting and easy way to find gold nuggets as all of the paperwork and area location is done for you.
It pays to ensure you understand all the clubs rules and requirements regardless of which club you join in what area. This applies to clubs around the world, not just those in the US. A gold prospecting club is an excellent resource for the new gold prospector hoping to make his or her fortune gold prospecting!