The Gold Cube, created by the Legendary Red Wilcox and Mike Pung, has been a revolutionary device in recreational gold prospecting over the last decade. It has become the leader in fine gold recovery, making most other fine gold high bankers and recovery systems obsolete. Not only does it catch 90% of the gold, it significantly reduces the amount of black sand concentrates you have to deal with after a long days work. There are also several modifications and upgrades for the Gold Cube that allow miners to take it’s simple yet highly effective design to the next level. Let’s break down how the Gold Cube works, all of it’s upgrades/modifications, and why it should be in every miner’s arsenal of prospecting gear.
The standard Gold Cube set up comes in a four or three stack deluxe. The only difference between the two is an extra tray of vortex matting. Each set up comes with a slick tray at the top to help stratify material through out the water and either 2 or 3 trays of vortex matting. Both run on an 1100 gph pump which is also included in the deluxe version with a connector hose. The deluxe kit also comes with a stand for the Gold Cube. The 3 stack deluxe is typically all that is needed because the majority of your gold will be caught in the first tray of Vortex matting depending on its shape and size. Anything extra is just insurance. The three stack deluxe is going for a little over $430.00 on Amazon and can be bought for a little cheaper directly from the Gold Cube website.
Gold Cube 3 Stack Deluxe
How it Works
The Vortex matting is the Gold Cube’s bread and butter. Strategically placed at a 15 degree angle with precision, the Vortex matting holds onto the gold and never lets go of it. The Vortex matting is an active mat which means it is self cleaning. The Vortex mat lets go of the lighter material like most other mats but it also lets go of some of the heavier black sands that most other sluices and mat configuration hold on to. This is due to a vortex’s ability to hold on to the heaviest material possibly. If something heavier like gold enters a vortex, it’s going to replace something in the vortex of equal size but lighter. This is why you’re left with so little concentrates at the end. You’re left with the heaviest material possible.
It is said that you can run about 10 five gallon buckets of 1/8 inch classified material through the Gold Cube’s vortex matting before having to do a clean up. From experience, this seems to stand true with the exception of running material with a large amount of organics. The Vortex matting can really start to hold on to grass and roots which, in turn, starts to clog up the mats. Running material high in organics through the Gold Cube will lead to clean ups every 40-60 minutes unless you increase water flow which will potentially lead to loss in gold.
Above the vortex matting, the top of each tray has what’s called a G-force Separator. The G-force Separator is a trough like area that allows water and material to accumulate then spill over the vortex matting. At full speed, the G-force Separator allows the lighter material to run through the mats separately from the heavy black sands and gold. The G-force separator pushes the gold down against the separator wall which puts the gold in a perfect position to be caught by a vortex. This separation allows for even exchange through out the mat and less opportunity for Gold to escape out of a vortex.
There are several upgrades when it comes to the Gold Cube. The Gold Banker and Trommel add-ons turn the Gold Cube into a full production highbanker. Personally, I use the Trommel with my Gold Cube and love it. The Trommel add-on is made by Gold Fox USA. It is indestructible and two people can shovel into it for a full 8 hour day. A cleanup is usually required at lunch and when it’s time to pack up and go home. The Trommel classifies material to 3/16” and will take up to 3” rocks through it. It is recommended that a 2000 GPH pump be used with the Trommel but some prefer to stick with the 1100 GPH pump with the intention of minimizing gold loss. The Trommel is easily mounted on to the slick tray of the Gold Cube and is also very easily removed.
The Gold Banker is a slick plate that has a punch plate to classifies material to 3/16th of an inch like the Trommel. The slick plate has 3 nugget traps that will catch larger gold and also serves to indicate wether or not you’re on the gold. The Gold Banker has fully adjustable spray bars that fit at the top of the slick plate. This add-on requires a little assembly at the river. There are two bars that are added to the Gold Cube stand to hold one end of the Banker up while the lower end connects to the Gold Cube. Material is shoveled onto the punch plate to be washed. Once the material is thoroughly washed, tailing can be pushed down off the plate by hand or by shovel.
I’m a huge fan of the Gold Fox/Gold Cube Trommel and Gold Cube combo but I see the Gold Banker as the more practical choice of the two. For one, it is much cheaper and gets the same job done as the Trommel. The Gold Banker’s main difference from the Trommel is having to push the tailings down off the top of the slick plate while the Trommel automatically washes and classifies your material. The Gold Banker also has a nugget tray that can catch larger gold that the vortex matting and trommel cannot. I went with the Trommel because I wanted to run more material and also not have to spend extra time setting up at the river. That being said, it should be mentioned that the Gold Banker has the tendency to wash material more thoroughly than the Trommel under certain circumstances given that material is washed down manually off the top.
Manufacturers and miners have come up with several modifications for the Gold Cube. One modification that has seen great success is the bucket flare. The bucket flare is a stainless steel flare that fits at the bottom of the Gold Cube which allows the tailings and water to flow into a bucket rather than spill out the bottom. This is very helpful because allowing your tailings to fill up in a bucket gives you a better idea of when it’s time for a clean up. Once you’ve filled up 10 buckets worth of tailing you know it’s probably about time for a clean up. The bucket flare is also helpful when recirculating in a tub flange system. Allowing your tailing to collect in a bucket keeps your water clean for much longer and it helps avoid a mess when it’s time to pack everything up.
To add to the bucket flare modification, there is also a Gold Hog Motherlode mat being sold on eBay that fits in to the bucket flare. Adding this mat into the flare acts as insurance for any gold that might have made it through the Vortex matting. In order for the Motherlode Mat to work properly, you will need to bend the flare down from the Gold Cube stand at a 3-4 degree angle. This angle allows the Motherlode mat to work properly and catch any gold from your tailing.
Overall, the Gold Cube is a revolutionary mining device and is one of the most effective and efficient devices in the industry. This especially rings true for fine gold states like Colorado. The Gold cube is very versatile and goes from a fine gold recovery system to reduce cons and maximize gold, all the way up to a full scale, high production high banker that will give a classic high banker a run for its money. Simply, there is no other high banker or fine gold recovery system like it and it should be placed in its own category. I have used the Gold Cube for over a year now and have logged several dozen hours of use with and without the Gold Fox Trommel. Over this time I didn’t have anything break or malfunction and everything always ran smoothly as advertised. Not only is it a great product but it’s made by some pretty awesome miner’s/inventors that will go above and beyond to make sure their customers are satisfied. They’re also more than willing to give advice and help people out when they can.
Next time you’re out in the field with a ton of concentrates to reduce, make sure to “Cube it or lose it” with the Gold Cube. I know I will.