Some time you can be lucky hunting ground away from known patches. I have provided a couple of google screen shots of my West Australia patch number 2. The first one is of a circle of 1.250 Km with a 200 metre circle and a square of 1 acre in-side of it, to show the size of the spread of nuggets. The yellow small markers are nuggets that my wife and I found. The cluster of nuggets was found in the large circle with a casual chaining of the area.The nuggets out-side of the main circle were found exploring the extent of the spot and has not been chained yet. During this find we found no detector holes and only couple of pieces of junk for sum of over a kilo of gold. During this time (a couple of months) we only saw one 4wd and he was lost. The reason of this post is because of Gold Catchers "Hunting in undiscovered area" although hard to find it worth a go at hunting off known patches. I also would like to see some of you members showing screen shots of the spread of their spots. I am not giving GPS locations and neither should you as one day I will expand my chaining.
The second shot is a of the 200 metre circle.
By Steve Herschbach
I have been doing a lot of what I call “blue sky prospecting” where I get out and hunt areas not known currently as “nugget hunting areas”. There are a number of well known areas in the western U.S. that people converge on and hunt repeatedly year after year. The attraction is that although these areas are well hunted, detectable gold is known to exist and proficient nugget hunters have a high chance of finding at least a little gold by visiting these locations. Going to areas that have no real history of producing gold nuggets with a metal detector has however a much greater likelihood of producing no finds at all. It is just the nature of exploring off the beaten path and for people with limited time it is very hard to choose to hunt an area where nobody has ever detected gold before and where you will probably find no gold as opposed to hunting known productive areas.
The problem with well known areas is that they are well detected, so the best one can usually expect is to eke a few missed nuggets here and there from these places. I do have more time however to apply to the search, and so have made looking for new “patches” an integral part of my prospecting program. I seek out and hunt outlying unclaimed areas peripheral to known gold bearing areas for at least half my time in the field, falling back to known locations now and then to find at least a little gold to boost morale and help pay for beans and gasoline. Going many days at a time without finding gold takes a lot of patience but the hope is that eventually I will make an exceptional find in the form of a virgin patch that makes up for all the hours of non-productive hunting. I say non-productive, but I never come away feeling like that is the case. I always learn something, even if it is to the negative, about my detectors and the gold itself – where it is and is not found.
On to the hunt. I was exploring an area in northern Nevada where quite a lot of past prospecting is apparent in the form of pits, trenches, and small prospects. Lots of quartz veins exposed and surface quartz. Nearly all the prospects looked to be "busts" where the initial trenching or pit digging was abandoned with no further work done. Some showed a little more work that indicated that there was possibly at least a little positive results - or just an overly optimistic prospector. I have pretty much abandoned day trips and "hit and run" type detecting in favor of parking my posterior in one camp location for days (at least) and methodically exploring the surrounding area. That being the case I decided to spend a minimum of three days hunting this area to see if I could scare up any sign of gold.
I of course relied heavily on my GPZ 7000 for a lot of the detecting but also got in lots of hours with the Gold Monster 1000 and Garrett ATX. A lot of the ground featured shallow exposed bedrock and so depth was not the issue, and the GM1000 was great for these areas and for checking quartz around the old prospects. I did get a couple pieces of quartz that gave non-ferrous beeps. I broke one and it appears to be a copper mineral of some sort that signaled in that one. Might be the same for the other but I have to check it out still. It sounded better so I decided not to just break it but wait until I could scan it with my Falcon Gold Probe and examine it better before taking action.
I was up early to beat the heat and so getting in lots of hours. Great looking ground but other than a bullet now and then nothing much to report.
Sometime into the second day my GPZ started acting up. It seemed like extreme EMI and nothing I could do would make it quit. Even my last resort of a full reboot did not eliminate the noise. So I broke out my Garrett ATX that I have along for backup, which really needed doing anyway as I wanted to get more hours on the new coils. The new 11" x 13" DD coil is enclosed to shed debris, center mounted rod for better balance, and most importantly, resistance to knocks and false signals that is at least as good as my GPZ if not better. A side bonus is salt ground and hot rocks the GPZ sees I can tune out completely with the ATX. I also found the ATX with slightly smaller coil to be a better option in thick grass and weeds than the GPZ due to the 13" x 14" GPZ14 coil wanting to float on top of the grass to a slightly higher degree than the ATX 11" x 13" coil. Not a huge difference but just enough to help.
Still, a day of hunting with the ATX also got no gold. The next morning the mystery interference was gone - either the GPZ healed itself or it was a temporary but strong EMI issue. On the third morning I therefore went back to the GPZ 7000. This was going to be the last day although I was really liking the look of the ground. Finally, in early afternoon I got a lone signal in a clay layer in a shale zone, and down near a foot out popped a 2.39 gram nugget!
I have to admit I was real pleased with this nugget, found I have no idea how far from where anyone has found a nugget before with a detector. I proceeded to grid the area for a couple more hours and my initial excitement slowly dropped into "here we go, yet another lone nugget" all by itself. Heat and lack of water caught up to me so back to the truck for refreshments. Then when time came for another go - the weird EMI issue was back. I have not run into this in the couple years I have used the GPZ in northern Nevada, so it was concerning me that perhaps the GPZ had some sort of intermittant issue. I broke out the ATX again to finish out the day with no more nuggets.
Still, that made another couple days mandatory. The EMI thing went away again, and has not returned since (fingers crossed). A couple more days detecting however did prove that one nugget was a lone ranger. I decided to make the move to an old patch to see if I could add at least a little gold to the vial before returning home.
I got spoiled the first couple seasons here as drought conditions made for lots of bare desert. Now, with all the rain last winter, some areas are now thick with grass and weeds that make detecting very difficult if not impossible. The ATX does do a bit better in this stuff than the GPZ and so I hunted the weeds with it for a couple days. Still lots of targets but they kept turning out to be trash, until I finally found a 1.5 gram nugget in a drywasher tailing pile. I decided to leave the next day, but had time for a morning hunt. I was just ready to quit when a nice 2.19 gram nugget popped out of the ground.
A week of detecting and only three nuggets, but that is to be expected when out trying new ground. What was odd was only three nuggets but all three were at or over a pennyweight in size, with no small stuff, just over 6 grams total. Go figure, but it left me actually satisfied with the trip as far as gold found and lots of new country experienced.
Just found a clip on my old hard drive taken in October 2015. I took my step daughter out for a swing in a paddock I had access to over near Maryborough, Victoria, Australia.
First time that she had ever been out. To say she was excited is an understatement !
Minelab GPZ 7000 in difficult / general.
So I managed to squeeze in another half day outing to my spot up in the mountains. More digging and moving boulders uncovered another 3 pieces of gold for 1.5g. The larger piece is 1g and is quite coarse / rough for this area. The black material is slowly being dissolved by hydrochloric acid. The first photo shows the creek. A little bit of water with a lot of boulders. Historically this creek has produced nuggets up to 12oz, I'm sure under one of the boulders there will be one for me. Will probably be a month before I get time for another look. I'm trying to finish building my house extension in my spare time and my two young daughters keep my busy....
Around this time of year I normally have some time away and go somewhere, lately I've tried to focus that on a bit of prospecting. It's not that often I get a chance to take my Caravan out and get away as my daughter is always in School which ties us down but seeing it's school holidays at Christmas we took advantage of that and took off. I went to a spot I knew I'd at least find some gold and is close enough to home that it's not a giant mission. The weather started off pretty bad, it wasn't long after we arrived we had some snow, in the middle of summer!!!
Before I'd even arrived I was contacted by the NZ Minelab dealer asking if I wanted to go on a mission with him, I jumped at that opportunity. He was going to take me to a couple of his creek claims to do some detecting. Unfortunately Queenstown has been getting slammed with weather, I think the Aussie heatwave has pushed all the wild stuff across to us as our weather has been well.... weird. Seeing the river was flooded too high for his 4x4 to get across he had a plan B and took me to some other claims he has on some creeks and we detected around there. Unfortunately we had no luck with the detectors. Possibly the gold was just too small in the area for them, he normally just dredges. He put a pan down into the gravels and panned it out and it had a fair few flakes in it.
The drive was pretty crazy, I'd never been into this area before.... You have to follow one of the worlds most dangerous roads, rental car companies ban their customers from using the road and I believe car insurance companies won't cover you if you have an incident on the road.
This is us driving it here, you'll see the little flat bit where the plant life is along that cliff side, there is a skinny little road there cut out of the rock, there were even areas with signs saying if it has rained recently don't pass this point as the cliff may come down, so of course we passed the point even though it rained bad the night before 🙂
It had a pretty crazy bridge, this bridge had a massive gully below it, a LONG way down. All very old infrastructure, put there by the old gold miners I would guess seeing that's what the area was all about.
As we got nearer to where we were heading the gold mining history became apparent
Then we arrived and I saw the cliff we had to climb down to get to the creek!!!!
Yup, that's it, we had to climb down there..........
Fortunately we made it, plenty of good bedrock to detect but no detectable gold to be found, the creek was in flood too. Either way, it was a great adventure to a place I'd never been before. By the way, climbing out was five times as hard as getting down, and we had to turn back at one point and take another route as we were stopped by a steep cliff face. 😮
The weather had improved now but my Caravan's annex became as casualty of some strong wind and got a tear in it, my wife claims she can fix it so we ripped it down. First time we'd used it, I don't like the effort it takes to put up so now with the better weather and no annex life was good.
Next up I decided I'd hit a creek I'd had VERY good luck in early on in my detecting, JW took me there and I got a few grams on my first time detecting properly. I had high hopes after all the flooding some new gold had washed down, it's a pretty crazy fast flowing steep creek. It's a public fossicking area so it's been hit pretty hard I'd imagine. I'm not game to take my GPX or QED up this creek, I'd be too worried about falling over and dropping it in 😞
Some bits you just can't deal with and have to climb up the edges to get around them.
I stumbled across an anaconda, looks like someones been up to no good, no dredging allowed in public fossicking areas!
It's a nice creek to hang around in on a hot day.
The last time I came to this creek I got pretty lost, I went up a cliff to get around a waterfall and couldn't find my way back down 🙂 This didn't happen this time, I was heading up the creek well, further than I'd ever been before.
I found this spot on the way, looks like someone had been attacking it digging behind the big rock, I couldn't find anything there.
I then kept walking up the creek and got a iffy signal on the GM, mostly in the ferrous area but occasionally flicking to non-ferrous, it was annoying as it was under a fast flowing little waterfall, I had my hopes up, this one seemed real. I dug down and down through the gravels and the target was still there but screaming out a solid non-ferrous signal, after some messing around I remembered I had my Garrett Carrot in my bag, got it out and pinpointed it in no time, down on a bedrock it was, I scooped it's area out and tipped it up on some ground beside the creek.
You can see in the photos how fast the water is flowing.
Amazingly something I've always wanted to find, an old Chinese Gold miners coin. Even JW has never found one of these suckers. The Chinese heavily worked this creek, they have nice neat stacked rocks regularly in spots along it. They took a lot of time to stack their rocks neat and tidy.
It is broken but most of it's still there, a great find in my opinion. If anyone can identify it I'd love to know more about it. I don't even know which way is up 🙂
I spent another day at the creek and found nothing more. Time to go sluicing! I always take my pooch sluicing, he likes hanging about at the creek and enjoys the drive to the spot.
My wife helped find spots to sluice, shes quite good with a pan and if she had 5 or more flakes to a pan I'd try the spot out.
It wasn't long and she got these flakes.... all in one pan so I was excited, time to make a dam and drop in my A52S Sluice.
Dam built! a real masterpiece, it'd make a beaver proud. 🙂
and in she goes. A good flow but not enough to take advantage of the A52S not needing classifying, bigger rocks kept getting stuck, bugger, extra work.
I dug my big hole where she got the test flakes and watched the gold appear in my indicator matting
Only the tiny bits stay in there but it's handy to know you're getting gold.
I started the process late in the day and the dam building took most of the time so we ripped it out.
there's gold hiding in there.....
Four decent little nuggets too, just picked these out by hand.
Not bad for about 2 hours with the sluice in operation.
We arrived back at the same spot the next morning to hit it again.
My hole got pretty big, I used the indicator matting to work out where to dig and followed the gold, it was in a line. I couldn't get very deep, the rocks just made it too hard with my shovel, about knee depth was it. I already had to move some massive rocks. After about 5 or so hours my wife and daughter were more than ready to leave and I was tired so we called it quits.
This was the total. My best ever sluice result, not bad for a public fossicking area.
The black sand gets annoying doing the cleanup, gold gets sucked up on the magnet with the sand too. I had to be careful.
I spent about an hour or two on the trip coin detecting, mainly just when I had a small chance, I put minimal effort into it as I didn't have the time but checked out little spots as I had a chance. I managed to find a silver ring, a gold ear ring and some coins. A few dollars in modern coins my daughter got too but they're not in the photos, long spent 🙂
This was an unusual coin find, never found a coin from Chile before.
And now I'm home again, for a few days at least. My next mission needs to be to go detecting with my QED/GPX as I'm desperate to use my 10" X-coil, I'm super excited about it after seeing how well it performs on my last mission with it.
By Glenn in CO
Gerry in Idaho suggested that I post some Colorado Picasso's that I and my wife have found. We have been very fortunate to detect any area for many years that has produced crystalline wire and gold specimens. The other added plus it's a scenic area to enjoy while detecting. We started prospecting in the mid-1980's in this area and started using metal detectors in 1990. Each and every year from 1990 we have found gold, but the last few years it is getting tougher to find.
Most of the gold that we find needs to be prepped (cleaned) to reveal it's beauty. This first specimen pictured shows how it looked before I cleaned it and then the final result which and take countless hours using different methods. I will post other specimens later on, so here goes:
Look close and you will see diamond shape crystals embedded on the leaf forms on the specimen:
Do you have a Picasso you would like to share?