Time For Change In BC

Is the B.C. Mining Regulations becoming a bit of a “tyranny” towards the small miner?

I think so. There seems to be a decisive move afoot to start coming down on us in the typical way most government beaurocracy is famous for “Shock and Awe”!!

We are now being targeted like the Sports Fisherman was years ago, so they could open the doors to the money men with big seiners and deep pockets.

I’ve been hearing some horror stories regarding these agencies – and yes, they are directly controlled by GOVERNMENT MINISTERS carrying out the will of the PERSON IN CHARGE – THE PREMIER AND THE GREEN COMMUNIST JERK HE PARNTERS WITH!

It’s high time that the free miners of BC and the rest of CANADA get off their butts and start demanding answers from their government officials why they are stripping us of our rights and freedoms as Canadian Citizens. We the people are slowly, but surely being controlled more and more by tyrannical leftist and communist entities that have slithered their way into politics under other names by calling themselves “Green” instead of “RED”, or Democratic Party, instead of “|Socialist Party” ( that can be said of so called Liberals as well ).

Remember, these enemies of freedom and democracy get elected by promoting just that, but once in power, use ever trick in the book to do just the opposite. It’s time to fight back just like our fathers and forefathers did.

Freedom and Democracy are not something that is guaranteed because someone else paid the price for it. It is something that we have to fight to keep every day we are alive because there are always wolves in the flock that are dressed as sheep, and eventually, they will get you.

I have an old saying – “Apathy = The Death Of Freedom” – it’s time to put your apathetic ass on the line and start to fight for your rights and freedoms, and find others who feel the same way.

Put politicians on the spot, make sure they are answerable “Publicly” when they violate your rights and freedoms. “Don’t Be Apathetic – Don’t Be A Sheep”!


Recreational Gold Panning Sites

In British Columbia.

B.C. has designated several Recreational Gold Panning Sites within the province of B.C. where regular people (meaning those with no free miners license) can go and recreationally gold pan.

These area’s allow only a hand pan and shovel, no other device is allowed, such as sluice, rocker box, dredge or other mechanical device.  I am not sure about the legality of the “Non-Free Miner” ( meaning a license holder) panning in other rivers not designated for recreational panning, but I’ll investigate this and get back to you.

Under the act “click here” –

Recreational hand panning

9  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person who is not a free miner may hand pan for recreation purposes.(2) A person must not hand pan on a valid mineral title unless the person receives permission from the recorded holder of the mineral title.

Although there are claims that appear encroach into these area’s, it is the claim holders responsibility to be aware of this, and they have no authority to stop you from recreationally panning within that zone. In the event you get challenged, it is highly advisable to carry a GPS with you, as well as a Mineral Titles Map of the designated recreational site that proves you have a right to remove minerals from that area as a recreational panner. If they try to intimidate you, it is a simple matter to look up the owner of the encroaching claim and file a complaint with the Mineral Titles Branch, and they will investigate.

When a claim holder stakes a claim they are limited to specific cells.  Sometimes those cells may partially encroach into a park or other area, that is not exactly a part of the claim.  The unfairness of that, however, is from all appearances, the free miner still has to pay a fee, even though he/she can’t legally mine that part of the cell with anything but a shovel and gold pan.

If you want to review a list of these sites you will need to go to the Mineral Titles Website – “Click Here

At this particular time, I am not aware of any regulations surrounding the other Provinces other than B.C., but a visit to their websites (which I’ve listed) should give you what you need.


Testing The RotaPan

I have just ordered my first “RotaPan” from Australia, and I’ve been testing it on some gravel I had kicking around here that I had already put through my sluice-style concentrator, and some from my gold bowl.

To my surprise, all the material I thought was cleaned out, produced yet even more gold.

True, it wasn’t a lot of gold [ tiny specks and flakes really] out of the small amount of concentrates I had, but it was enough to convince me that perhaps there is something to this unit , and perhaps the $316 I spent [ purchase and shipping ] wasn’t a waste after all.

Some of the draw backs I found, just with the yard testing on a level sidewalk, was that when you shovel the material, and agitate, then pull the top screen upwards, the hooks fall off the bucket, and you need to take it off, reach down, and put the hooks back on the edge, but without some kind of retainer, you can’t keep it attached. I drilled a small hole in the end of each hook, then used a small 10″ bungy cord, put one end through the drilled hook, and the other hooked under the bucket edge on the bottom. I did this for all three which seemed to work ok, but a bit flaky in my opinion. In his video he talks about some type of harness, but he gives no explanation as to what this harness is, or where to get one, or how much it costs. One would think that if it were a necessary item, it would be included in the package.

Off I went to the river and gave it a good workout. I have a substantial amount of fine gold on my claims, and I really needed something with good retention and environmentally friendly. After about 20 minutes or so, the bucket was full of tailings, and I decided to do a cleanup. The Rota Pan did it’s job alright, and I found quite a bit of really fine gold in the concentrates from the pan portion.

Out of curiosity, I decided to hand pan the tailings, which took me only 10 minutes, well, I also found quite a bit of fine gold there as well, not as much as in the Rota pan, but enough to make me wonder what I was doing wrong?

So, I re-read the instructions, and decided to be less vigorous, but the idea is to have an efficient machine, that doesn’t kill your back. I tried sitting [ like in the video ] and all I got was a wet crotch and water down my waders, not to mention, I found it awkward to use it that way. I’m 6′ 1″ so it isn’t like I’m vertically challenged. I quickly figured that was just part of the sales gimmick to look extremely easy. Well, I didn’t find it that easy at all.

In my opinion, I would invest my money in the Fossicker Pyramid Pan. You can use it sitting on a rock, and keep your back straight, and although it isn’t a walk in the park [ This is Prospecting – People ], I found that the retention was far superior than anything I have tried up to now, and you can work bucket after bucket without stopping and do your cleanup once.panningwithpyramid

pyramidresults

I classified down 5 20 Litre buckets of material, found my spot on a nice comfy rock, and began to process them. Although the area I was in was very sparse for gold, I didn’t come away disappointed.

So, my rota-pan will be up for sale at http://www.motherlodeprospecting.ca if anyone cares to buy it. I know I won’t be using it anymore.

As a note, if you are shovelling your material out of a hole in the river or creek, remember the act of shovelling will drive gold deeper and into rock cracks, etc. Once you have done shovelling for the day, you should vacuum out that hole by using some sort of hand dredge such as the “MotherSucker” MFG by MotherLode Prospecting Supplies.

Remember, when prospecting, you are on commission. Maximize your return by processing first, and checking last. Do not over spend on useless equipment that you don’t know how to use, or is totally in appropriate for the job, or violates local, state or provincial laws that may land you in hot water, and help the enviroment by packing OUT your garbage, and filling your holes.

By ensuring we keep our wilderness clean and beautiful, we run less interference from the environmentalist factions that are working hard to remove our right to enjoy the pleasures of this planet that we were born into.

Soon, we will be posting articles on the best way’s of retrieving that fine gold.

MotherSucker Hand Dredge

Introducing the MotherSucker Hand Dredge, from Motherlodeprospecting.ca.

This concept is pretty much universal and you can get them pretty much anywhere, but to find one that is has the ability to convert from a basic unit to a continuous feed system, is worth it’s weight in gold.

Basically, the principal is simple. You take a tube of PVC, cut it into a manageable length, make a pull handle, and attach some type of seal [ to create a vacuum ] at the end of the shaft, add some sort of tip at the end, and there you have it. Your own “Aspirator” for sucking up the gravel your shovel can’t get to.

Well, there is a bit more to it than what I’ve written here, but anyone can make thier own with a little ingenuity. Although, the money and time you spend on experimentation and messing up, you probably would be better off just buying one and get out there after the gold, rather than screwing around wasting time in your garage and building supply stores for hours or days trying to make something that will likely cost you more in the long run, and keep you from the river getting gold.

Motherlodeprospecting.ca builds the “MotherSucker Hand Dredge”. It is approx. 30 inches long and made from heavy duty 2″ PVC, and works in 2 different ways.

It’s basic operation is that of a “Sniper” type of tool, and designed for cleaning out submerged bedrock cracks, pot holes, etc. where the current is too strong or material too deep for reaching. In fact, it pretty much keeps you from getting your hands and arms we at all with it’s long length, and has 3 sizes of suction tips.

It’s advanced operation is called the “Prospector”, that allows you to turn your “Sniper” unit into a full fledged continuous feed system in a couple of minutes simply by removing the “Sniper” tip, and inserting the “Prospector” head into the receiver, and attaching the hose to a receiver that slips into a bucket and is attached to your unit by a 6′ lightweight, lined flex hose. As your buckets fill, all you do is slip the receiver out of the full bucket, and slide it into an empty one and you are ready to go, and can fill multiple 20L buckets almost non-stop.

Mining season is short above the 49th parallel, so you might as well fork over a few bucks and get one that is already working than spending probably twice as much re-inventing the wheel. Sometimes being “Cheap” can be a lot more expensive.

Anyway, enough about that.

These products work on a simple principal. Gold, seeks the lowest level, and gets embedded into bedrock cracks and pot holes. Have you ever tried to shovel out a pothole under water with a relatively swift current fighting your every move? Of course you have, and probably failed miserabley.

These gravel aspirators are phenominal at being able to recover values your shovel can’t get at, particularly, in submerged bedrock pot-holes and bedrock cracks, and at the same time staying dry.

Although nothing is 100% perfect, these items do their jobs well when they are set up properly. However, with that being said, there are several types of aspirators out there, and it’s important to find one that works for you.

Single Draw Aspirators – These gold dredges are just that. You pull the handle up, to suck in the gravel, but before it all falls out the tip again, you need to get it into your gold pan. No check valves and no nugget trap = “poor investment”.

Nugget Trap Aspirators – These gold dredges are much better at retaining the values. When you pull the gravel into the barrel, the tip extends into the body of the unit a few inches, making a pocket where your heavies can settle. Lighter stuff and material that didn’t get past the top of the tip will fall back out again, so it is important to get a fast, hard draw, and about 1/2 way into it, pull the tip out of the gravel and take in more water, thereby discharging the tip contents into the barrel also. This saves you losing gold that may have otherwise been lost. There is a technique to this, but a little practice, and you will be on your way. I don’t like to call it a “Single Draw Aspirator”, but in essence, that is what it is, although, you can do several draws on it before you actually have to empty it. A little shake between each draw will drive those heavies further into the nugget trap and save them there until you get around to emptying it into your bucket or pan.

Continuous Feed Aspirators – This is what the Gold N Sand unit is about, but there are more out there, so don’t get focused on only one until you have done some research. Although it is a really nice unit, it does have some limitations, as indicated in a previous post here.

The nice thing about these units, is that you can continuously suck material from the river bottom, under boulders or bedrock area’s and drive it all directly into a bucket for processing later. However, I have my reservations on the “Sump Pump Hose” that is being used on many of these items. The ridges make them like “Poop” tubes, and they can trap gold and that can be hard to clean out. If you aren’t careful, you can lose it. Layflat Hose is definitely the answer here, and motherlodeprospecting.ca is currently in the process of building a new type of unit that can process a lot more material in a shorter time than many of the others. If you are interested, then you should go there and register into thier catalog area and they will tell you when the unit is ready to hit the market.

Remember. Single draw aspirators, or “Hand Dredges” as some like to refer to them as, are not for heavy production. They are for sniping, and recreational users. They simply are best used at getting to those areas your shovel can’t get to, or cleaning off the bottom of a dug hole. Either way, they have thier place in anyone’s prospecting tool box, and definitely more than pay for themselves in gold finds that would otherwise have been lost.

As I said before, sometimes trying to be too “Cheap” can actually cost “More”, much more than if you simply invested a few bucks and take advantage of the time someone else has already invested.

Beware of Boulders

Beware of Boulders

We all know that boulders can be a boom for finding gold, sometimes lots of it. We also know how carried away we can get when we start finding some really good gold in the gravels that come from that area, and how easy it is to get pre-occupied and forget that the more gravel we remove, the more unstable that boulder will get, and without warning, BOOM – it’s on you.

In the past, many prospectors and miners have been killed or seriously injured from digging under large boulders that suddenly fall right into the hole they are standing in, or worse, dredging under, thus either crushing them outright or pinning them underwater beneath hundreds of pounds of weight.

I can’t imagine anything worse than being pinned under water by an enormous weight and all you can do is wait to drown. No gold is worth that risk, so it is imperative that you take safety precautions BEFORE you dig.

There are many ways you can avoid being a victim by following some simple strategies.

#1 – When mining, always go with a friend. If you are alone, and you get trapped, you are dead!
#2 – Make sure any large boulder you want to work under is properly braced and secured from rolling down on top of you by using cables, blocks, chains and winches that are strong enough to hold them. But remember, they can still drop DOWN and kill you.
#3 – Work well enough ahead of the large boulder, and create a hole well in front of it [ for stability ], and using winches and chains, roll it into that hole, so you can get at the gravel under it without risk.
#4 – If you have a blasting certificate, blow it up and get rid of it.
#5 – If it’s too big, forget it, don’t take the risk. It isn’t worth your life.

Another dangerous job is digging into river banks, especially steep ones. Sometimes those river banks used to be river bed, and are very unstable. Move the wrong rock, or boulder, and BAM, you are buried under tons of rock and sand, and likely under water too. Again, the result? DEAD!

Working without a buddy, you really need to be extra careful. One slippery rock, loose boulder, falling tree or river bank can turn a fun day into a tragic nightmare for your loved one’s.

As I mentioned, many prospectors and miners in the past have lost thier lives or been permanently disabled because they weren’t aware of the dangers, or just didn’t figure it could happen to them. Well, it can, and it will continue to happen. Just make sure you aren’t one of them.

Be Safe, and enjoy this great hobby.

Hand Suction Dredge

So, what about a hand suction dredge? We have all likely heard of, checked out, built or purchased a hand suction dredge for getting those gravels from the bottom of your holes, under boulders, off bedrock, etc. where your shovel just can’t go. Not only do you lose the gold that slips off your shovel while digging in the water, remember, the bottom is usually where the coarser gold ends up.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of gold that gets left behind if you don’t have the right equipment to claim those values.

Regulations for motorized power dredges are getting more and more stringent, and permits harder to get. Not to mention in many area’s reclamation deposits can run into the thousands of dollars which is usually out of the reach of most of us.

Enter the “Hand Suction Dredge”, “Gravel Sucker”, “Gold Sucker” or what-ever name you want to give it. What you call it doesn’t matter, what it is, and how it’s made “DOES MATTER”.

Because hand suction dredges are non-motorized and considered a hand operated tool, are legal to use in many states, provinces and countries, including area’s totally off-limits to any kind of power equipment altogether. Howeve, and just as a note here, it is ALWAYS RECOMMEDED to check with your regulating agency FIRST before even using a river sluice to make sure you aren’t violating some obscure law.

There are several types of these units around, some short, some long, large tips, small tips, leather plungers, rubber plungers, plastic plungers. The bottom line is, they are designed to perform one function, and that is to get the gravel [ and the gold ] from the bottom of your holes where the shovel can’t get to by using a very simple method of creating a vacuum and retrieving them.

hand operated suction dredge

Mfr = Motherlode Prospecting-Click Image


The one displayed here was built and tested by us, we call it the “MotherSucker Hand Dredge”, and it worked flawlessly. Mind you, it isn’t a production unit. It’s more of a sniping tool for cleaning up around bedrock, and with it’s normal reach can get to fairly deep holes.

Assembled this hand suction dredge is 46″ from tip to top of handle [ in the down position ], and has a 25 1/2″ draw. It’s seal is adjusted to provide great suction without wearing you out. It does not use a bulky check valve, rather, the tip extends into the tube for several inches to trap what you have recovered, and allow you to make several pulls before emptying it into your gold pan or bucket which takes only a few seconds.

You pull the plunger up and the cap pops off and you take it right out. Flip it upside down into your goldpan or bucket, give it a few taps with your hand, and all the material falls out. Then, you simply lay it in the river, or using your scoop, put a little water down the tube, cover the ends with your hands and shake sided to side to stratisfy what is remaining, to wash the residual into the pan or bucket. Replace the plunger and cap, and you are ready to go again.

[Note – On the off-chance you need to adjust the seal, you simply remove the plunger, undo the bolt just above the rubber seal. Using a 3/8 deep wall socket, you can either tighten or loosen the lock nut making the seal tighter or looser. Then, replace the bold, and get to work.]

Another benefit is that the material is already classified, so you don’t need to screen it down to get the big rocks out.

It is lightweight and easy to pack. Every prospector needs one of these, especially when exploring under boulders, etc. as you can quickly get a bucket full of classified material ready for panning in no time. You will find you will use your shovel less and use this more.

Using A Hand Suction Dredge For Testing Purposes

Ok here is the real value of this product. How many of you prospectors out there, hike into a river or creek [ or tributary ], grab your shovel and start digging under a boulder, etc. throw the material into a gold pan, riffle through and remove umpteen dozen 1/2″+ rocks from your gold pan to see if there are any hidden gold values, which takes significant time.

Well with the hand suction dredge, just think how easy this can be?? Just stick the tip under the boulder, start pumping the gravels into the tube. Empty into a bucket [ or goldpan ], and keep going until you have enough material to pan out and see what is in there?

The benefits are astounding. You can test much more material with less work than conventional means. The material ends up in the bucket “all ready classified” with no big rocks to sort through, no extra classifier to carry, and the ability to reach to the bottom immediately simply by working the tip of the dredge down until you can’t go any further.

Nugget Hunting

Millions of dollars in gold are being found worldwide by people nugget hunting with Metal Detectors.  In fact, I suspect there has now been more gold discovered by this method than what was recovered in the big Gold Rush of the 1800’s, and without the back breaking digging, sluicing and dredging that usually comes to mind when discussing gold mining.

Now, before you run off to your local flea market or hobby shop and buy a metal detector, you need to do a little research on the type of Metal Detector that best suits your needs.

Are you going to use it for Coin or Relic hunting?  Hunting for Gold Nuggets?  Maybe you know of an old gold mine that was abandoned years ago, and want to scour the walls looking for missed veins?  Well, there has been many documented cases of old “worked out” mines being re-opened and producing millions of dollars in gold ore from veins that were missed, sometimes by inches.

Perhaps you want it to do a combination of nugget hunting and coin and relic hunting.

Well, there are detectors out there that do exactly that, however, it is far best to have one for hunting gold, and another for the fun stuff of scouring beaches, surf, parks or old ghost towns.

Nugget hunting with a metal detector can not only be fun, but it can also result in some serious income if the machine is right for the job, and the user well trained and practiced in it’s operation.  And, of course, one hunts in a known gold bearing area.

The tools needed for this fun and exciting “hobby” are pretty basic – a Metal Detector right for the job, Gold Pan [ we all need them ], small screen to remove big rocks, small shovel or trowel and plastic suction bottle. There are more tools you can use, but this is the basic to get started with.

First of all, choose your Metal Detector.  There are many different brands available and they all say they are the best at what they do.  Well, to put it bluntly, you get what you pay for.

Basically, you need one that is easy to set up and ground balance with a coil [ or loop ] that is large enough to detect even small nuggets, but small enough to navigate around rocks and plant life.

Usually the ground around gold bearing area’s is high in mineralization and iron, not to mention those pesky hot rocks.  However, you need to investigate EVERY target to make sure you aren’t passing up a valuable specimen.  So, you will need a machine that will cut through that mineralization to get the gold.  Also remember, if you get a good hit from a so-called “hot rock”, it may not be trash, but may contain gold.

In most instances, a good target will give you a zip, or crisp sound as you approach it.  Highly mineralized rock or “hot rock” usually gives a boing type signal as you move away from it.  These may be subtle and difficult to separate at first, but a little practice you will be a master at it.

Once you find a good target, pin point it, and using your shovel or trowel, dig up the dirt and put it in your gold pan [ plastic of course ], then, before you put the gold pan down, scan the ground to make sure there is not target lurking there and put it down.  Then, scan the gold pan with your detector.  If the target is there, you should get a signal.  If not, recheck the hole as you might have missed it.

Once you have it in your pan, now you need to find it.  If near water, it is simple to just go and pan the material to locate the specimen.  If you don’t have water, however, then you need to take the time to separate the dirt from the target systematically.

Make sure you have no metal rings, watches or buttons that will cause the detector to go off.  Then, put the coil near the gold pan, and take a bit of dirt out with your fingers and pass it over the coil.  If the target is there, then the detector should tell you pretty quick.  If the dirt is dry, you can put it in the palm of your hand over the gold pan, and gently blow the loose stuff away, which should leave you with your target.  Once you locate it, take the top off your suction bottle and drop it in and voila, you have it in your possession.

Now, don’t throw away that dirt yet.  Scan it again.  It isn’t unsual to actually have more than one target, so make sure it’s clean of any signal before tossing it away.  Also, don’t forget to rescan the hole.  There just might be another goodie lurking there waiting for you to find it.

Here are a few brands that I am familiar with.  Remember, I’m not recommending any of them, you need to do that research yourself.

Whites Goldmaster Series, MineLab [Various Models], Fisher Gold Bug, Garret Gold Stinger, Falcon MD20

How To Read A River For Placer Miner

How To Read A River

Placer mining is not exactly difficult, but there are some things one should know before undertaking this fun and sometimes very lucrative venture. 

Probably one of the most important things to learn for the placer miner is how to read a river when looking for hot spot gold deposits.

Ideally, the placer miner should begin their pre-planning during the winter months by identifying the rivers they wish to prospect.  I might warn you at this time, if you have access to the Internet and there is an available website that lists current claims and mining operations, or has an available map system, you should include investigating if and where claims are already active, so you can avoid getting yourself into trouble.  Prospecting on someone elses claim without permission is not only frowned upon, but illegal if you remove any minerals that someone else has a legal claim to.

Anyway, getting back to the subject matter of this post, once you identify the river(s) it is best to wait until the river is running at it’s fullest, or at “High Water”.

This will give you the best view of the flow of the river, and with a notebook and paper, try to figure out where the back eddy’s are, especially on inside turns. 

When the river is running at it’s fullest, pretty much everything is in motion, and material moves downstream.  The heaviest of material, gold, black sands, heavy rocks, gemstones, etc. will drop out of suspension when caught up in a back eddy, backside of trapped logs or dams, boulders, or anywhere else in the river the current slows.  These are the best area’s to look for gold deposits, and depending on the height of the river, may even be several feet above the low water mark of late summer / early fall.  To overlook those area’s, in favor of in the river itself, can cost the placer miner a possible glory hole of rich concentrates.

This is a preliminary article on how to read a river for the placer miner, and I will be adding to this in the near future, because of it’s importance in the success of your venture, hobby or profession.

Treasure in Beijing

In January, 2011, I went to China to visit my Daughter and Son-in-law, and for the first time, meet my 7 month old Grandson.

It was a long day.  getting up at 4:30 AM to get to the airport for a 7:00 flight to Vancouver.  Unfortunately, I then had to wait until 1:45 PM to finally begin the 11 hour flight to Beijing.

Well, it was daylight all the way.  Our flight path took us north along the coast of B.C., up to around Anchorage, and then over the Aleutian Islands to Siberia and eventually into China.

Flying over Alaska, even at 40,000 ft was breathtaking.  The skies were completely devoid of any clouds as far as the eye could see.  You could even see breakers on the ocean below with spray mists propelled by obviously high winds being experienced down there.

The Mountains and Glaciers instilled a sense of awe to anyone who took a moment to look out the window.  You could see them reaching for the inlets, and small [ from our altitude ] which patches which were obviously icebergs that have broken off from the main glacier and were now floating independently down the inlet and out to sea.

And even that giant Mount McKinley reached for the heavens without the usual crown of clouds obscuring it’s apex.  A rare and beautiful sight reserved only for the few of us that took the time to look.

On arrival in Beijing, it was still light out, and around 4 pm [ the next day as they were 15 hrs ahead of us ].  It was clear and a lot colder than it looked.  There was a brilliant sun, not a cloud in the sky, but finally stepping outside of the Terminal, it was a brisk -15.

I met my Daughter, Son-In-Law [ who is Chinese ] and Grandson.  All the fatigue that I felt had left for now, and all I could do was enjoy this reunion.

While in Beijing, I managed to escape the odd time to walk around various area’s of the city, even though it was pretty cold, I was dressed for it, and I also have a couple of extra layers of insulation that nature has provided – ok ok, I need to lose a few pounds, but hey, it helped.

On one of these escapades I happen to come across a street vendor.  My Son In Law [ Nono is his nickname ] told me most of them are from Tibet and come to Beijing in the winter to sell items [ a lot of it counterfeit ] to foreigners, because they will buy pretty much anything.  However, occassionally, some of those items can be valuable.  But being farmers and peasants, they don’t realize the true value of some of the items they occassionally dig up in the fields, and only look at them as something a foreigner would buy.

While looking around at some of the items this fellow had, I noticed a nice bronze cast Tibetan Buddha.  I know these things are plentiful there, but they do sell for over $100 here, and I got it really cheap.  I wish I had bought a couple more, but I was satisfied with this one, and it was really nice and solid bronze.

A couple of days later, I was walking the same street, and I met the same vendor.  Now there were 2 of them, and a lot more item.  Jade combs, counterfeit coins, more Buddha’s, and a plethora of other wares.  However, my eyes were drawn to a small stone sculpture.  It looked like some sort of vessel in the shape of an animal, I guessed, was a bear.

There was a hole through the mouth of the head, and Nono said that is where people drink from.

It had ground in dirt, and had many designes intricately inscribed into the stone body.  Also, I was informed that a small stone bowl belonged with the item.  They fit together like a hand and glove.

After some negotiation [ a lot of negotiation ] I purchased the item from the vendor for about $35.  I didn’t care if it was authentic or counterfeit.  It was a very nice piece, and well worth much more than what I paid for it regardless.

Here are some pictures of it….

In Beijing, there is also an area set aside for Vendors, something like a huge flea market, but a little bit more organized.  One day we visited this place, right in the heart of Beijing, and even though it was bitterly cold, there were quite a few merchants there and thousands of items for sale.  Even carved stone Dildo’s – couldn’t believe my eyes on that one, but there they were 🙂

I bought a couple of items from there, mostly gifts for friends back home. and a few items for my display case.

However, this stone carving really intrigues me.  I have searched a lot trying to find out what it is, and where it comes from, and if it is a true antique.

Time will tell, and when I find out, I’ll keep you posted.