By KS Stick
Freezing Rain here in Kansas thought I would share my story if it's ok with Steve.
Two Gold Coins
It was July in 1985 I had been Metal Detecting since the early 60’s. I started with a Heath kit from Radio Shack than 2 Compass detectors Judge and Judge-2 , in 1983 I bought a Teknetics 8500 and converted it to a hip mount .
In July 1985 after a summer rain my brother was hunting arrow heads in a plowed field and a Deer had ran across the field his hoof had flipped over a 1880 Silver Dollar. I got a call that night from him and he told me the story said he would tell me where it was for half of what I found. That was agreed to so the next day we met and he took me to a field by a small creek and I commenced to hunt it. He started to hunt for Arrow heads again and I went to swinging my coil hoping for another silver dollar the first hit was a 1882 Gold 5 Dollar coin I stared in disbelief my first gold coin and I would have to give him half. That was not going to happen
As it is in Kansas in July after a rain it gets very hot and I was swinging as fast as I could to cover more ground I was beat and left worrying how to share a 5 Dollar coin, after all I had agreed to half and keeping ones word is what I have learned to abide by.
The next day I was early at the site it was getting hot already There were a few coins found Indian heads, a seated half, and liberty head nickels, early Wheat's and I was getting overheated when a front came through with a cool breeze that could only come from heaven.
Then it happened a hit and 1880 $5 gold coin appeared in the dirt, my worries were over I gave my brother his half of the Gold coins and I kept the rest of the coins that I had found.
Later we determined that it was a picnic grove from a small town a half mile away that was 4 houses and a church away from being a Ghost Town . My brother still has the Silver Dollar he found and the $5 gold coin I gave him and I still have my first $5 Dollar gold coin
I was looking to see if anyone had suggestions about a detector I could go with for prospecting here in Maine. I have seen one topic on this site about this subject, someone who had a Makro Racer. In my experience VLF of any sort don't work around here, there are so many large hot rocks and hot soil they don't stand much of a chance. I'm nearly certain you will need a PI detector to find anything in the good areas(less touched). I have seen many nuggets in this area, even in the heavily hunted Swift River. I have not personally seen anything over 1/2 ounce, but I'm certain there are some. There are plenty of "picker" sized nuggets but most of the gold is in very small pieces.
I'm not certain even if I bought a nice PI detector it would be worthwhile, hence why I am here! I've heard many times the largest amount of the gold is eluvial or even the alluvial from old river beds. I've seen people pulling 1/8-1/4oz nuggets out of the clay near, but not in, the river, well outside the high water mark.
So there are nuggets up here, not loaded, but here. The terrain to the areas untouched are harsh, so I was looking for a lighter detector. Very steep jagged landscape.
In the end, my question is, with so many hot rocks is it worthwhile to buy a decent PI to detect pickers and maybe some nuggets, or spend the same amount and just buy a dredge? If it's worth the while, any suggestions on a detector under 3k?(not sure if I should bother with waterproof or not)
By Mike Hillis
I like H.Glenn Carson's books. I like the way he tries to get you into the right mindset for what you are hunting for. I wrote this little article several years ago kind of along his view of trying to get you to think rather than just telling you where to go. I find it helps you to own the information. Maybe some will find it helpful.
So you want to find gold with a metal detector?
There are three forms of gold you can find with a metal detector; gold coins, gold nuggets and gold jewelry. I’m going to focus on gold jewelry, and further refine that focus to just gold jewelry found at inland sites, like parks, schools, athletic fields and play grounds.
Tip number one: You hunt gold jewelry with your mind.
Next time you are out and about, take a look at what type of jewelry people are wearing. What do you see? Who is wearing the gold? What type and size of gold is being worn? What part of the body is it being worn on?
Almost everybody is wearing some type of gold jewelry. It may be in the form of a chain around a neck or wrist, to a ring on a finger, to an earring in the ear, but nearly everyone is wearing something. Married couples have wedding bands. Most post adolescent girls, young ladies and women are wearing multiple rings and often bracelets of some sort. The high school and college graduates are wearing class rings. Both female and males are often wearing gold chains. The males often just wear a chain, while the females often wear a chain with a pendant attached to it. You’ll even see ankle bracelets and toe rings.
You will notice some cultures wear more than others. Some cultures will wear more and larger gold jewelry. But there are more things to look for than just culture. Pay attention to life style as well. For example the hip hop and rap lifestyles tend to wear bigger and larger jewelry. Can you say Bling Bling?
What type and size of gold? The smallest gold is often worn in the ears. Little round studs and small designs, sometimes with stones. Various size loops. Often it is hard to tell but maybe you can notice what type of backing is used to hold them on. Probably easier to look at the women in your own life or visit a jewelry store or the jewelry counter at a big box store and learn about the different types and styles of making earrings stay in your ears. While you are there, study the clasps of chains and bracelets and the various sizes of rings.
The girls/women wear the small diameter rings, ring sets, and often they will contain stones. The women will also wear the small gold bracelets, sometime with pendants, sometimes with stones, and small diameter chains, often with pendants.
The men will wear the larger rings and the larger chains, and as mentioned above, certain cultures and lifestyles will wear even larger than normal gold. I was in a gold buyers shop a few months back and I saw a gentleman in there that had to have had at least $5,000 dollars worth of gold chain around his neck. Big links in the chains with big pendants in the shape of initials. He wasn’t selling, he was buying.
So you have spent some time studying people and the jewelry they wear. And you have made the trip the jewelry counter or store and looked at how they are designed to stay on the body part they are intended to be wore on. You have seen the various earring retention systems; you have looked at the clasps of chains and bracelets. You have noticed the styles and sizes of rings. The next question is, “How is the jewelry separated from its respective body part?”
That is a very good question. How do the earrings get out of the ears? How do the chains get off the neck? How do the rings come off the fingers? There are only two answers to that question. 1) They are taken off by the owner on purpose, or 2) They are accidently dislodged somehow. Let’s look at these individually.
The first reason identified for jewelry separating from its respective body part was that it is taken off by the wearer on purpose. What is going to cause someone to remove a piece of jewelry? When I was young I remember my mom and grandmother taking off their wedding bands and placing them on the window sill before they did the dishes. Why? The main reason, of course, is for safe keeping. The item is removed so that it wouldn’t get lost or damaged. Let’s take that same thought pattern outside.
So now we are outside. Folks are taking their jewelry off for safe keeping but where do they put it? Where is the first place you would put your ring if you took it off for safe keeping? In your pocket of course! What if you didn’t have a pocket? You’d give it to someone else who did have a pocket, or you’d put it somewhere you were pretty sure it would be safe. Somewhere you were confident you wouldn’t lose it, most likely with other stuff that you had to do the same thing with, or you would put it into something else, like a bag you brought with you.
The second reason identified for jewelry separating from its owner is by it being accidently dislodged. Let’s think about that. What type of activity does it take to dislodge something that is designed to stay on your body unless you purposely remove it? Let’s use a men’s ring for an example. What type of activity does a man need to be involved in to lose his ring? He either has to have his hand in something that could potentially remove his ring when he removed his hand, or he had to engage in some sort of activity that would cause the ring to leave his finger. What would cause a chain to be dislodged from around a neck? The clasp has to either come open unexpectedly or the chain has to be caught in something that causes it to break. What would cause an earring to leave an ear? It has to lose its fastener, or be caught in something that would pull it from the ear, or both. How is something that is placed in a pocket or bag for safe keeping accidently leave its place of safe keeping? It has to fall out or be spilled out, or be accidently pulled out.
Tip number two: Gold has to be hidden from eyesight for us to find it.
How come when a piece of jewelry is lost the owner of the jewelry didn’t recover the lost piece? There are only two answers to this question. 1) They either didn’t know they had lost it, and/or, 2) It was lost in some type of media that could hide it from their eyes. There was something that prevented it from being found by only looking for it with their eyes. It could be sand, woodchips, gravel, grass, trash, leaves, anything that once something is dropped onto it or into it that makes it difficult to find with just your eyesight.
Tip number three: Learn the loss characteristics of the items you find. Seek the answer to the question, “Why did I find what I found where I found it?” Once you think you have the answer, validate it by hunting other areas where that loss characteristic could be repeated and see if you find jewelry there. A validated loss characteristic is more valuable than the jewelry find itself.
A few examples where I have found something and identified the items loss characteristic(s):
I found a nice herringbone style 14kt gold chain on an athletic field. It was intact and the clasp was attached to its respective counterpart. The guy would have had to lose his head in order to lose the chain. But here it was down in the grass and there was no severed head with it. So how did it get there? This is an example of an item that was taken off for safekeeping and then lost. It wasn’t torn off, or flew off over his head, this had to come out of a pocket or bag, and I believe it was from a pocket as it wasn’t in a location where bags and such are normally staged. So what activity would normally take place where I found the chain that would cause it to come out of a pocket? Since it was a soccer field, I deduce it was something to do with running or perhaps falling down. I have found many items on athletic fields that were originally placed into a pocket or bag for safe keeping that was then subsequently lost.
I found a little 10kt gold chain and pendant with a broken chain in the sand at a school playground. It was quite obvious from the broken chain that it had been torn from a child’s neck in some type of play activity. From the equipment around the find, along with subsequent chain finds in the same area around that equipment I deduce it is a great area for games of tag or some such activity as all the chains I found in that area have been broken. (a validated loss characteristic)
I found a nice 14kt gold wedding band with three .20 carat diamonds mounted on it about five inches deep in some woodchips. Studying the situation, it was easy to see that a parent had been sitting on the curbing around the play ground, leaning back with their fingers buried in the loose wood chips watching their children play in the adjoining playground. When they removed their hands from the woodchips the ring was left behind and the parent either didn’t notice the ring was gone or noticed it but couldn’t find it. (validated loss characteristic)
I found a nice wide wedding band near a goal post on a soccer field. It had obviously been left for safe keeping in that location, either with other possessions, or by itself and was either not recovered or fell out of a bag when the other possessions were recovered and hidden by the grass. (validated loss characteristic).
Ok. So you have figured out the most likely reason a piece of jewelry was lost. Now what? Once it is understood why or how a particular item was lost, the next step is to seek out places where that particular loss characteristic can be repeated.
Tip number four: Don’t dig trash, dig gold trash.
Gold jewelry is a low conductive target on a metal detector and is found in the same range as aluminum trash. It is often a small target. Remember all those earrings and chains and rings and bracelets you saw at the jewelry counter? Small, low conductive objects that hide in the aluminum trash range can be tedious and hard to find. Even more so if you have to factor in ground minerals that can skew or even hide the signal of the jewelry item. So let’s think about that; small valuable targets mixed in with small aluminum trash that produces the same type readings on your metal detector. That means that to find the gold jewelry you will also have to sort through the trash. Doesn’t sound very promising, does it? Am I saying that to find the gold you have to dig it all? Nope. That is not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is that to find gold jewelry you have to dig all targets that have the highest probability of being gold.
Now there are sites like woodchip and sand playground areas where you will want to recover every signal. But to do the same thing in a high use grassy park, athletic field or playground, trying to recover every signal is counterproductive.
From your visit to the jewelry counter, you may have noticed that some of the chains have quite a bit of weight to them. A nice gold chain is a good find! Good money! So off I go to hunt chains. I’ve already used my mind, located a promising turf spot to hunt for chains and start digging all the pull tab signals. Hours later I have a hundred plus pull tabs, but no gold chains. Why? I was digging the wrong signals. Pull tabs would be the right targets to recover if I were hunting large rings, but worthless targets to recover if I am hunting gold chains. Especially so if you were in a site that you were confident would produce chains but not large rings. Get the picture? Let’s look at it a little differently. Let’s say that I get to my chain site and start digging all the signals. Now I have a chance to find a chain if it is there, but because I am digging everything I make very little progress on my site coverage, using up energy and time on non-chain targets. I have essentially cut done on my odds of actually finding the target I went out to find. To have the best odds of finding that gold chain I went looking for, I need to focus on signals that could actually be a gold chain and only recover those signals that could actually be a gold chain. Which leads to:
Tip number five: the more ground you cover, the better your odds of recovering what you are looking for. By focusing only on the signal I’m after I can cover more ground and increase my odds of actually finding my desired object, which in this example is a gold chain.
Tip number six: Gold is where you find it.
Gold prospectors have a saying, “gold is where you find it.” That means that you hunt gold where it has been found in the past. Believe it or not, that same saying is true for jewelry. The characteristics that cause a piece of jewelry to be lost and hidden for you to find it with a metal detector are apt to be repeated again and again in the same location. When a gold prospector finds one nugget, he hunts the area carefully again, hoping to find another. When he does find another nugget in the same vicinity, it is called a “nugget patch”. As inland jewelry hunters we, too, are looking for a “patch”. In our case, a patch is a site or location where a particular loss characteristic can repeated again and again. We are not looking so much for that random find but rather that site location where that loss can be repeated again and again. That is a “patch” for a jewelry hunter. A successful jewelry hunter locates patches and then hunts his patches. Many of my jewelry items have come from the same locations that I have hunted again and again, another words, I have found them in my “patches”.
Tip number seven: Hunt clad (modern coins) to improve your site reading skills.
You say, “Well Mike that is all well and good for you. You have been doing this for a while now and know where to look. What about those of us which are new to the hobby, or maybe coming over to inland jewelry hunting from hunting relics or old coins?” My answer to you is to ‘hunt clad’. Sounds counter intuitive to hunt clad to find gold, but it’s not. Just like the relic hunter hunts for the iron to find the hot spots, so the inland jewelry hunter hunts clad to find the hot spots in parks, athletic fields and school playgrounds. Remember, unlike relics or old coins, jewelry is lost on a daily basis, just like modern clad coins, and often for the same reason. Clad will validate your site reading skills.
Recovering the gold: The equipment.
If you are going to focus on inland jewelry hunting with a metal detector there are certain features that make it easier to find. Just like any tool, the more appropriate the tool to the task, the easier the task becomes. Working on your car is much easier and efficient with a socket wrench set as compared to having only a pair of vise grips. You could still get the job done with the vise grips in many cases but it would be a tedious and tiring affair. The same thing can apply when it comes to your jewelry hunting tools. You can find jewelry with any metal detector, but it is easier if the metal detector has certain features.
The first feature your detector needs is the ability to focus your attention onto your desired target signals. The easiest way to do this is with tone ID. Tone id allows you to discriminate the audio signals with your ears. If you are hunting ladies rings, you have to be able to tell the foil signals apart from all the other responses. Tone Id allows you to do this fast and easily. The better you can focus the tone id onto a certain conductivity range, the better the detector will function for jewelry hunting.
A second, and a complimentary feature to tone id is Notch Discrimination. Notch Discrimination is the ability to discriminate out (or in) a range of target signals independent of the base discrimination setting. Again, focus is the key. The more you are focused on the desired signals, the more of the proper signals you will recover for the amount of area searched and the greater will be your success.
The third feature is sensitivity to small low conductors. Traditionally this has been accomplished by using higher frequencies units, and is still preferred; however there are some machines on the market today that can give the needed sensitivity with lower frequencies than has been used in the past. Still, the bottom line is that your detector needs to be able to put out some heat on the lower conductive targets.
The forth feature is recovery speed. How fast the machine resets after reporting so that you can hear the next target. This is important as the objects you are looking for are lying next to, below, or above other objects that you are not looking for. And they are small. My first gold jewelry find was two gold rings on a large paper clip. The paper clip response nearly completely masked the ring responses but the Fisher CoinStrike I was using at that time had a fast enough response speed that I was able to hear them as distinct, separate signals.
I consider those the four most important features a metal detector needs to be a useful gold jewelry hunter. If you live in an area where the ground minerals are influential on signal responses like I do then you have to include ground cancelling features. There are other factors that can make one machine better than another like visual signal presentations, coil selections and such like. But as long as you have a unit that is fairly quick responding and will let you focus on a desired signal and put some heat on it, you are good to go.
Hi, im after some advice on metal detectors. I live in the UK and im currently using the Nokta fors core with a 15'' coil for coin and relic hunting but im looking to buy a new detector primarily to search for Roman silver coins and hammered silver coins only. The sites im currently on are rich in history finding coins form Julius Caesar Roman through to Elizabeth II. But im only getting finds up to 12' to 14'' max' with the detector im using at the moment and feel as though im missing quite few finds. Does any one know which is a good detector to purchase, hopefully something good on mineralised ground discriminants iron well and goes verry deep on small silver coins hopefully well over 12'' to 14'' . I know its a tough one but any help or advice is verry much appreciated. thanks paul
How many New targets are we really finding?
To answer this question it is a bit more 'complicated' than just a new coil vs an old coil or a new detector vs an old detector although those are part of the variables. This question now comes to mind when I am using the GPZ 19 on previously worked patches.
When I go to the beach and grid a box that is 100x100 with my 3030 I will find targets. If I assume there are 50 targets within that area and I get 20 I might be doing pretty good without knowing for sure the total potential targets and how long I take to hunt it out. I will not find them all ... I will miss some ... and then I'll move on to another pocket ... sometimes. The number I miss depends on my grid pattern, the type of target, if I overlap my swing, soil/salt conditions, discrimination level, shape of target and of course, depth. If I am finding really good targets and I go back over this area I might find 5 more that I missed the first time ... and I still haven't gotten them all.
If a friend of mine comes over that same square with his White's Surfmaster Dual Field PI he might find 15 targets. Some of these targets would be new (12) and some missed (3). (Those are just guesses but you get my point.) The point is that the PI will find New targets because it can go deeper and see invisible targets but it is also possible to find missed targets that my 3030 could still see if I went over it.
When I use the GPZ 19 looking for meteorites I am primarily looking for missed targets because the targets are so shallow. This includes going to a new area previously undetected because part of the 'miss' is not going to an area because of luck or inadequate research.
Now when I am out on a gold patch with the GPZ 19 I am looking for missed targets and New targets. An advantage of the GPZ 19 on the missed targets is that it is a much larger coil. It is also a more advanced, quieter technology. (Missed targets need to be a bit larger because the GPZ 14 will see smaller targets than the GPZ 19.) New targets (those not detectable with the GPZ 14) would be those that are deeper and those 'invisible' to the GPZ 14.
My mentors have been going over old patches with new technology for years. Some of what they find is New and some of what they find is missed even to this day. So this is an 'old game' with just a new player (me) hoping to be productive while swinging. I want to find something every trip.
Am I going to find more missed targets than New targets? It depends on where I search so I need a mix of new ground and hunted out patches. There is still deep gold!
Slow, deliberate and methodical gridding will have to win the New targets (if the patch has depth) and the missed targets will follow. This will mean many skunk days. The old patches aren't being replenished unless it is a wash.
Mitchel (added after Chuck's response))
I am curious as to which machine you prefer for inland gold jewelry hunting and why. Always like learning about other peoples machines and methods.