Your browser is not running scripts. To view our book selection, please go to for books on Treasure Hunting, Gold Prospecting, Ghost Town Hunting, Rock Hounding, and more. Glossary | The Rocker Box



Adit - Mine entrance

Aggregate - Collection of two or more minerals that can be separated by mechanical means.

Alluvial - Deposits that have been moved by water.

Amalgam - A mixture of gold and mercury

Azimuth - A direction (in degrees).



Black Sand - A heavy mixture of Hematite and Magnetite. There's an old saying that says, "Where you find black sand, you don't always find gold; But, when you find gold, you almost always find black sand."



Chinese Traps - Grooves in a gold pan.

Classification - The separation of material into different sizes, such as separation of larger rocks from gravel.

Clunker - Gold Nugget larger than a klinker. 

Cobbles - Rocks larger than gravel, but smaller than boulders. 

Concentrates - Gravels that remain in the sluice box after sluicing, power sluicing, or dredging. 

Crack Cleaner - A small metal hook shaped rod used to scoop out material in cracks in bedrock.



Dredge - A gold prospecting machine used to vacuum gravels and gold underwater.

Dredging - The action of using a dredge.





Float gold - Gold specimens that are found in sand beds, washed down from another location.

Flour gold - Very fine gold particles.



Glacier gold - Gold moved and deposited by glacier.

Gold Pan - A hand-held plastic or metal pan used to separate gold from gravels.

Grizzly - A metal grate, usually of steel rods, used to separate larger rocks from gravels in a dredge or Power Sluice (High banker).

Grub Stake - Money and supplies sufficient for a prospecting trip.

Gut of the river - The center flow of the river at flood stage.



Header Box - The entrance point of water and gravels into a dredge, which slows the water down and allows the gold to "drop."

Hematite - Non-magnetic black sand.

High Banker - See Power Sluice

Hooka - A type of underwater breathing apparatus that has an air pump run by a gas or electric motor (above the water), that pumps fresh air to the diver by means of an air hose.

Hopper - The box on a power sluice that gravels are shoveled into. The hopper contains a grizzly and spray bar.

Hot Rock - A rock with high mineralization to the point that it "sounds" a lot like a metal target when "hit" by a metal detector.

Hungarian Riffle - A  type of sluice box riffle that produces a "bubble" that causes gold to "drop."





Jet Nozzle - A type of suction nozzle that has the venturi built into the nozzle.



Klinker - A nugget of gold just big enough to make a "klink" when dropped in the bottom of the pan.



Leaverite - It ain't worth nothin' so "Leaverite" there.

Lode Gold - Gold still locked in bedrock.



Magnetite - Magnetic black sand.

Mineralization - The amount of ferrous minerals in the ground. High mineralization interferes with some metal detectors. 

Miner's Moss - A type of commercial matting used to improve gold recovery in sluice boxes.

Mossing - Collecting and washing moss into buckets and pans to pan out the gold.



Nozzle - The metal tube at the working end of the suction hose.

Nomad - Miner's Moss.



Ottamite - I don't know if it's gold or not, so I "Ottamite" keep it.



Pan - Gold Pan; To separate gold from gravels using a gold pan.

Power Sluice - A gold prospecting machine used for gold mining that allows processing at the site of the gold. Powered by a gasoline-engine   water pump, and consists of the pump, hose, hopper, and sluice box.

Paystreak - A ribbon of gold deposited in a river by water.

Picker - A small nugget just big enough to pick up with fingers.

Placer Gold - Gold no longer locked in bedrock.

Played Out - All valuables have been removed.

Power Jet - A venturi tube located near the dredge.



Quick Silver - Mercury



Riffle - A lateral angle-iron (or aluminum, wood, etc) bar that water and gravels must flow over in a sluice box.

Retort - A device used to vaporize mercury off of gold (in amalgum) and condense it back into liquid mercury.

Rocker Box - (1) The Best Website on the Internet; (2) A gold processing equipment that resembles a cradle. A hopper and sluice box are combined on curved runners (cradles). Earth and water are poured into the hopper and the Rocker is "rocked" to force the earth and water into the sluice box.



Sluice - The process of using a sluice box to separate gravels (light stuff) from gold (heavy stuff), producing "concentrates."

Sluice Box - A rectangular box that contains a variety of classifiers, riffles, and carpets to process gravels and trap gold.

Sniping - Looking for gold nuggets in exposed bedrock using a pry bar to pry open cracks.

Specimen - Gold in it's matrix quartz.

Stringer - Pay streak.

Suction Hose - The hose used to vacuum gravels while dredging.



Tailings - Processed gravels running out of the sluice box.





Vein - A separate and distinct line of a particular mineral or metal.



Wire Gold - Gold naturally formed into thin wire.