Today's picture was taken ni 1889 and it shows some Old Timers mining for gold. The picture was taken near Rockerville in the Dakota Territory. The men are Placer Mining using a Sluice. Placer mining is a technique where you are looking for gold in loose dirt or other sediment.
Prospecting is still a major hobby in the US although you do not hear it talked about much. When I was in New Mexico I had a number of friends who were avid prospectors in their spare time. I will have to tell you that it is a little bit of a sickness. Yes, they would find nuggets, but the value of the nuggets would never come close to the cost of the equipment, gasoline, supplies and so forth used in their expeditions. They would love to come to work though, and show their exciting finds from the weekends. They always had that dream, though, of finding the big one, and the dream kept them going.