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7 Gold Size Terminologies in the Gold Prospecting World

Participating in gold prospecting can mean that you will run into many terms that you might not know the meaning of. For instance, people will use different terms, like pickers, fines, flake, and so on, when describing different gold sizes. Do you know what each of these words means? If not, then you are in luck. We will list down all the gold size terminologies and other terms you will hear to help you understand what they mean.

  1. Colour

Most gold will generally have the same colour. When someone asks the colour of the gold, they are referring to the size of the gold found in the gold pan.

  1. Fines

When someone says fines, they are talking about gold that is almost as fine as powder. It can be a combination of the next two gold sizes we will talk about. But in short, any gold that is too small to be picked up with your bare fingers can be classified as fines.

  1. Flour

Much like flour used in baking, flour gold consists of gold particles that are almost invisible to the naked eye. It is similar to powder and sometimes floats rather than sink like more significant gold pieces.

  1. Flake

Flake gold are pieces of gold that can be spotted but still difficult to pick up with your fingers alone. Do not mistake this type of gold for the gold flakes used in upscale restaurants. While it will not do any harm when eaten, this type of gold is not made for eating.

  1. Picker

As the name implies, pickers are gold pieces that are big enough to be picked up with your fingers. However, pickers are still small enough to be fit into containers such as a small vial.

  1. Nugget

Gold nuggets are larger than pickers. Once again, they are large enough to be picked up but too big to fit inside a small vial. In some cases, they can, but their shape can make it difficult or impractical. Regardless, the nugget size spectrum is quite broad and is generally used for large pieces of gold.

  1. Fool’s Gold

If you have ever picked up fool’s gold, it is a disappointing find, to say the least. If you do not know what this means, fool’s gold refers to iron and copper nuggets that are generally mistaken for gold.

Real gold stays yellow, even under the shade, and it is soft and quite malleable. Iron and copper do not have those characteristics. You can test for fool’s gold by using muriatic acid. Just add a drop to the metal and wait for foam to appear. If nothing happens, that means that the metal you have is real gold.


Whether you have found a flake or a nugget, finding gold is always an exciting moment. It means you have found one of the most expensive and precious metals on earth, and knowing that you now own some is truly a heart-racing moment. That being, with all these terminologies now in your head, you now know what people are talking about when talking gold sizes. The next time you head out to prospect for gold, you know exactly how to describe it to a fellow prospector!

Prospectors Patch has been providing high-quality prospecting services and equipment in Midvale for over twenty years, assisting avid and expert prospectors in their journeys to discover gold. If you are looking to buy gold metal detectors and more, check out what we have to offer!