Rainbow Grocery & Sporting goods has the gear you need to bring home the GOLD!

We have a variety of prospecting supplies in the store including books, pans, drywashers, tools, magnifiers and more! Or we can order anything that you need!

Since the early Boomtown days of Colorado this area has been known for its rich gold and silver and other mineral deposits in the surrounding mountains.  Even though commercial mining has ceased. Recreational miners still find gold and silver and other semi-precious stones in the Rio Grande National Forest.  All that glitters is not gold though, Pyrite known as “fools gold” is lighter than real gold and floats in the water. Real gold will be found in the bottom in the black sand in your pan or sluice box. GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) information can found here at Rainbow Grocery as well as a couple resident experts on panning the area.

Ask for Howard Fleming or Chuck Dixon. They can help you with the info you are looking for to make this a fun and rewarding hobby. Metal Detecting is also another fun way to explore for gold and other treasures. Ask about your equipment needs. We can order it for you!

How Gold is Measured

Gold, Silver, and other precious metals are universally bought and sold in Troy ounces. A Troy ounce is heavier than a standard ounce as there are only 12 troy ounces in a pound. Troy ounces are usually subdivided into either Pennyweights, abbreviated (dwt), or Grams. Professional gold dealers prefer grams but pennyweights are preferred by gold prospectors. In the pennyweight system each Troy Ounce is divided into 20 units called Pennyweights and each pennyweight is further divided into 24 grains. Therefore one troy ounce is equal to 480 grains. This is the same system used in measuring gunpowder and probably accounts for the popularity of the pennyweight system. Most of the early prospectors had no idea what a gram was but they all had a gun powder scale that was calibrated in grains.

The metric system is easy to use because all you need to remember is that one troy ounce is 31.1 grams. Since this is based on the metric system grams are simply divided into 1/10th or 1/100th units. When you are buying or selling gold you must be careful when talking to someone about a quantity of gold. Make sure that the ounces you are talking about are the same ounces you are thinking about. Here are a few conversions to help you keep this straight.

  • One Troy lb (pound)=12 troy ounces
  • One troy oz=20 pennyweight (dwt)
  • One pennyweight = 24 grains
  • One troy oz=480 grains
  • One troy oz=31.1 grams

Gold Facts:
Melting point= 1948 degrees F.
Specific gravity is 19.3
Hardness=2.5 on Mohs scale

Carat vs. Karat
Carat abbreviated “ct.” and spelled with a “c” is a measure of weight used for gemstones. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram (200 milligrams). Stones are measured to the nearest hundredth of a carat. A hundreth of a carat is also called a point. Thus a .10 carat stone can be called either 10 points, or 1/10 of a carat. Small stones like .05, and .10ct are most often referred to by point designations.

Karat with a “K” is a measure of the purity of a gold alloy. Pure gold is 24 karat and 12 karat gold is 50% gold.

  • 24K 100% gold
  • 18k 75% gold
  • 14K 59% gold
  • 12k 50% gold
  • 10k 42% gold