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Old 24.05.2020, 09:58
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Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

Let’s say I decided to cool my feet in a somewhat isolated mountain stream while hiking. While sloshing around, I kick up what appears to be a small gold nugget/chip. Am I able to keep it? What obligations exist for natural occurring items?

Awhile back my son brought an interesting but otherwise random rock from the Valis. Would anyone care? What if it had actual monetary value? Meteorites, fossils, etc.
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Old 24.05.2020, 11:47
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

Even if it is allowed (I know it wasn't in my trips to US national parks), have the radiation checked. Especially if you are storing many boxes of your cool geological samples under somebody's (or your) bed.
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Old 24.05.2020, 12:21
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

Best to look up the rules for the area he was in if you are curious.

Disentis/Mustér for example:

"Finds of rare beauty and of considerable importance must be reported immediately to the municipality. The municipality is the first to acquire such finds for a reasonable compensation. The compensation is determined by a neutral commission."
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Old 24.05.2020, 12:28
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

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Let’s say I decided to cool my feet in a somewhat isolated mountain stream while hiking. While sloshing around, I kick up what appears to be a small gold nugget/chip. Am I able to keep it? What obligations exist for natural occurring items?

Awhile back my son brought an interesting but otherwise random rock from the Valis. Would anyone care? What if it had actual monetary value? Meteorites, fossils, etc.
You can keep most things you find, unless they are of great monetary or scientific value. If they are of great monetary value (i.e a large nugget of gold) the local Gemeinde has the right to buy it off you at a price determined by an independent valuer. Finds of a scientific value should be presented to a museum, geological institution or university.

If your son is interested in the geology of Switzerland, here's a useful website, available in English (may or may not be suitable, depending on his age)
https://www.geologieportal.ch/en/homepage.html

There's also a website listing hiking trails that are of particular geological interest (not available in English, I'm afraid, but there's always google translate)
https://www.erlebnis-geologie.ch

Finally, here are a couple of things about gold panning
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/...ong-the-rhine/
https://gold-waschen.ch
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Old 24.05.2020, 12:36
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

As most things- regional C/Kantonal laws apply. In Neuchâtel, it is forbidden on the Areuse.
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Old 24.05.2020, 12:39
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

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As most things- regional C/Kantonal laws apply. In Neuchâtel, it is forbidden on the Areuse.
Targeted searching like metal detectors or gold washing is limited to times, permits and regulations, but no rule forbids a coincidental finding.
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Old 24.05.2020, 12:41
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

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As most things- regional C/Kantonal laws apply. In Neuchâtel, it is forbidden on the Areuse.
It is always best to inform yourself regarding the local laws. Restrictions may apply in areas with fragile ecosystems, for example, but this is usually signposted.

I'm sorry, I should have made this clear in my previous post.
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Old 24.05.2020, 13:36
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Re: Can I keep gold or other rocks/minerals found while hiking?

Agree that an occasional find is different to prospecting 'professionally- like the guy in this article. It is in French and quite long, so won't translate it- but posting it for the map it contains, about main rivers with a chance to find gold

https://www.letemps.ch/societe/lorpa...-devenir-riche

so, in Neuchâtel, forbidden since 2008. In Geneva you have to get a licence and it is limited at specific times of the year (to avoid disturbing local habitat) and in Ticino, since a large lump was found, it is also restricted and you have to apply for a licence that cost 250.- a year.
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