Welcome to the group.
Only thing I'll add is to be extremely thorogh in checking out a claim before handing over the money. Make sure it's valid, (the county has the last word), plot out other claims in that section (looking for overfiles). Sample the daylights and if the seller won't let you, RUN. Only after sampling you can decide if the price is worth it.
If you decide to pass after sampling, check for open areas uphill or closed claims and file your own. Also make sure you are able to use your equipment on it.....some regs in some states don't allow dredging, or sluicing for instance.