I was very keen to go for a gold detect this weekend, only problem is the weather forecast wasn't really detecting weather, I wanted to go back to the spot I did very well last weekend where I found .865 of a gram I just had a funny feeling there was more in that hole as I was getting faint signals with the GPZ but at the time I wasn't sure if that was just the hot rocks, this particular spot is full of hot rocks of all shapes and sizes, right down to pea size up to giant bolder. I was hoping my assumption there might be more gold there would be correct.
There was quite a bit of snow overnight but the skies had cleared and went nice and blue so I sent JW a text message asking what the weather was doing up his way seeing he lives 10 minutes from where I was going to look for my gold. He responded it wasn't looking too good so he will decide when I arrive if he wants to go detecting. Nothing was stopping me however, I had a mission and I was determined to find gold!
About 10 minutes after I left my house things went downhill with the snow
Started to get pretty thick, fortunately they'd plowed the road but it was still slowing coming down.
Then up ahead the traffic was all at a stop, by traffic I mean the one car in front of me 🙂 It was due to a car that thought it would be wise to tow a caravan in the snow. Not a good idea, the road was icy and slippery.
Things did not go well for them, they lost control, spun around and their caravan basically exploded.
Not much left of it. Further up the road the weather was getting worse, and I'd forgot to put my chains in the car, if it got too bad I'd have to turn back.
After a bit more driving as I got towards the lake nearer to JW's house the skies cleared and there was no snow up that way.
I stopped at the shops to get a few things and picked up a tool from the hardware store expecting to have to smash through rock to recover nuggets like JW has been doing. That seems to be the way nuggets are mostly found at this spot, my nugget in the hole last weekend was a bit unusual. JW always goes straight to detecting the rock where he's doing very well, 10 or so little nuggets most days. I got to JW's and he decided the weather was good enough so off we went. JW went to his rock wall again, that thing just keeps on giving.... and I went to my hole.
It was not long at all and I had my first nugget, then another.... and another, they just kept coming. The damp soil I suspect was making them stand out even more, both JW and I have noticed this in the past, they light up in wet soil.
I had my first 3 within about 30 minutes I would guess... I took my watch off during the virus lock down as I never needed to know the time anymore and I've never put it back on. I got used to not caring what time it is. That little guy is 0.034 of a gram, and the 10" X-coil found it with no troubles at all. I run my GPZ in HY Norrmal, Manual GB with gain on maximum, all else defaults. I don't bother with the little yellow ferrite ring, I feel it doesn't help at all in our soil. I don't understand Minelab's decision not to make a small coil, they probably don't even know the full potential of the GPZ on small gold as with a small coil it's absolutely deadly, the tiniest bits very comparable to a high frequency VLF like the Gold Monster. I think with the 8" coil it will easily match the Gold Monster. I think they didn't want to take the SDC 2300's market away from the GPZ owners, they'd rather sell them a second detector than a coil - more profit!
And here is a video of the detector response on that tiny little nugget, insanely sensitive. I can't wait for my 12x8" and 8" round to arrive, you would think it would not be possible to get more sensitive than the 10".
This was my first time finding one so tiny with the GPZ, JW does it all the time and I was watching him do it last weekend so I was using that as a learning experience of what to listen for.
I just kept scraping more off the hole in layers, I was having a bit of trouble with tiny hot rocks but I didn't want to change off HY normal / max gain to calm the hot rocks down so I just kept fishing them out whenever there was one there and throwing them far away, often using the Nox to assist with narrowing their location down.
During my digging I found a weird little skull, maybe a dinosaur 🙂
There was other bones right next to my hole too, perhaps an animal had been using my hole as it's dining room.
The gold didn't stop coming, I've never had a day like this, I had so many bits by now I had lost count, I didn't even bother taking photos as that would waste valuable digging time. I just kept scraping more away and detecting each layer after removing the hot rocks by using the Equinox with 6" coil and picking out any rock that it detect as a hotrock (-8/-9).... If you've got good gold eyes you may spot the bit of gold in the photo below, I spotted it sitting in my scrape.
And this was it.
I got to the point a big rock was in my way so I had to swing around and attack it from the other side where the sticks are
This side was a bit wild, you can now see how much I've dug out, the original ground layer, it was on a downhill slope. right up where a tree root was I had a really nice signal with the GPZ, it was too loud so I thought perhaps a bullet or something so I grabbed the Equinox to see what it would come up with, it had no signal.
I removed a bit more soil then suddenly I had a solid 16. I used the Equinox to recover the target and to my surprise......... The biggest nugget I've ever found!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yea! a beauty. You'll see up above that my little tiny bottle, it's my emergency bottle that I keep inside the zipped up GPZ cover as I have forgotten to bring a bottle a few times I keep that little guy as my spare. Fortunately I did as I sure needed it on this day.
I took the following photo today as I went back today to hunt the spot again, this photo shows exactly where I found the big nugget.
It was on top of that rock below the tree root.
I found a few more nuggets, another 4 I think after the big one but I didn't take any photos, it was starting to get dark so I met back up with JW to see how he'd done on his rock wall, he'd got 9 nuggets, not bad! He was impressed with my whopper and my haul, it is a very big nugget for NZ.
We walked the 20 or so minute hike back to the car but as we got close to the car for some reason I checked my pocket to see if my gold was there, and it wasn't! $#@$#@$#@ My heart stopped! We went into panic mode checking my pockets 20 times and emptying out my backpack, nope! Nowhere, it was very dark now and my phones light wasn't helping much. We decided rather than walk back with my phone light we'd go back to JW's house and get a torch and come back and look for it, it either had to be on the path we took or any of the last areas we walked at the nugget spot. We arrived back with the Torch, JW was a lot more confident we'd find it than I was. He said we'd be best off going back to the spot as it likely fell out of my pocket when I was crouching down packing all my stuff back into my bag. We retraced our steps back at the nugget spot and within about 10 minutes I spotted it, sitting in the long dead sparse grass!!! Thank goodness! That was a close call, my best gold day ever and I'd lost it all.
Now for the weigh in.
All the little ones, I can't even remember how many, 15 I think it was for 2.113 grams
And the monster! 4.081 grams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The total for my best day ever, 6.195 grams!
JW offered for me to stay at his place but I wanted to go home and show my wife my find, I didn't expect my 9 year old daughter to still be awake as I got home about 9.30pm and her bed time is 8.30 but my wife let her stay up to see my big nugget, she was very excited and shocked to see how big it was.
I had plans to go back first thing in the morning to start again, this hole had to have more, I dug my last one about 5 minutes before stopping last night so I was sure it wasn't finished. This time I was going to come more prepared, better pants with a zip up pocket to hold my gold bottle and a bigger white bottle so I can't lose it after the previous scare, a crow bar as we call them or San Angelo bar in America I believe? and a big magnet on a pole to try help with the little hot rocks. The ground was a bit frozen when I arrived but not too bad.
The magnet on a stick is cool, and worked well, shrinks down to put in my backpack too, it helped clear up the hot rocks quickly.
A pretty big strong magnet on it.
I had to give the area a tidy up and clear all the sticks before starting as I was heading that direction with my digging.
Doesn't help with these giant hot rocks though, but the crow bar dig them out and moved them for me, I'm certain they mask the gold targets when they're nearby
A quick video of the Nox on the hot rocks
It came in handy for giving me an ID on them.
Day two was going well too, I'd lost count again on how many nuggets only taking photos of the bigger ones.
And another one!
This rock even had a little one stuck in it.
I had to be home by 3pm so I called it quits, JW is still there now, hopefully he finds a big one! 🤞
So my total for today
11 Nuggets for 3.310 grams, and my two day total
9.546 grams, what a weekend! I love the 10" X-coil on the GPZ, what a killer combination. I'm really excited about the smaller sizes coming (8" and 12x8")
I have ordered a new size X-coil, it's a 12x8" X-Coil, It's already in the post however it's delayed in shipping due to international shipping delays the world over. Hopefully this coil arrives soon. I am very excited about it as I think it will be the perfect size for NZ.
It's even in NZ's black and white colours.
This should be good in our rocky terrain on small gold.
I haven't had a chance to go prospecting since our lock down ended a few weeks ago, once lock down ended I was busy catching up on everything that couldn't be done in lock down 🙂 NZ has done a stellar job in eradicating the virus so our lives are essentially back to normal now except for no International tourists which in our part of the country are a big part of our economy. We haven't had any new cases in some time and there is now only one person left in the entire country that is in quarantine with the virus.
The one case left is on the North Island, so no problem for me down the bottom of the South Island 🙂 Every morning lately has been a heavy frost so I was intending to do my gold hunt in the afternoon once the ground thaws out.
This was my yard before I left. A bit chilly 🙂
It was good to get out prospecting again, my wife and daughter wanted to tag along as they were going to ride their bikes along the cycle trails in the area so my day was limited, I only had a couple of hours. We parked up and I walked to my usual spot and showed them where I'd be so they could come back and find me. My first target was a shotgun pellet, damn it, I'd forgotten they existed, I had a hard enough time remembering how to use my detector it's been so long 🙂
I was then walking across to the spot I wanted to have a snoop around and on my walk there I got a signal, it wasn't a booming target and it sounded too good to be a shotgun pellet. I dug the surface away and the signal was still there, looking positive, it was at this point I took a quick video in case I was lucky enough that after only about 15 minutes I had my first nugget.
I wasn't too sure on this one as the spot where it was located didn't really feel right, not the usual place we'd been finding gold around this spot so I turned the video off and started the recovery, possibly expecting a deep old bullet shell or something. It was a really scrubby area too, lots of prickle bushes and old sticks everywhere. In all of my excitement of my first find of the day I didn't even get a photo of the area, but the video shows it. I had to dig a fair way down to get to my target, It was stuck in some layers of the rock which I had to smash out to get to it.
A decent size too! woohooo, what a start. I like when they're big enough my Carrot narrows them down.
Just after I'd found the nugget I was rechecking the area and heard a bike pull up, it was JW, we hadn't seen each other in some time due to the lock down but he'd been coming to this spot again the last few weeks once lock down ended. We had a chat then got stuck back into it, he went to his usual spot where he's been doing very well, and I went back exploring the side I've been attacking.
No good targets for about 40 minutes now then in between some bedrock I had another nice sounding target that survived a few scrapes of the pick, always promising.
These small coils are just brilliant for our hunting grounds here, the smaller the coil the better, the small 10" X-coil has brought this old hunted out area back to life as you can get into all these little tight spots and it paid off again, the coil only just fit between these rocks too, there is still a lot of ground the 10" is too big for but it does get a majority of it.
I'm no photographer 🙂 but in the shadow in front of my coil is the dig hole, right between the two rocks. A bigger coil would have missed this gold.
The bedrock is shallow here but I have done this ground with the Equinox a few times and missed this piece. If you look hard you'll see the crack in the bedrock where it was.
And the nugget, typical sort of nugget for this area, all water worn looking smooth bits even though none of the rocks around the area are rounded water worn rocks.
A few more junk targets and my phone dinged, it was my wife saying shes done bike riding and was on her way back to collect me so I walked over to see how JW was doing. I had heard him banging away at the rock for ages while I was detecting around so I assumed he'd done well. When I arrived he was digging out a big hole in the bedrock cliff face, all the soil was out of the crack and he was breaking apart the rock with his screw driver and hammer. So far he had one bit of gold but another signal was in there, so we tried to use my Carrot to narrow it down, no luck so he kept smashing away.
He had created that big hole, the big bit of rock at the bottom of the photo was from the hole, the rest were thrown down the side off the cliff.
After smashing some more up and trying to find it he still had no luck so we tried the Carrot again, this time it picked it up, real good. It sure helped speed up the recovery.
A big one too! Carrot detectable size again. Unusual to get biggish ones and now we've both got one!
He checked the hole again, and another signal
A tiny one!, Rechecked again...... another signal, unbelievable. A lot more smashing out of the rock and out it pops
The hole was getting bigger and bigger
And more kept popping out. My wife and daughter arrived on their bikes now to collect me so I called them over to see the hole that keeps giving, it still had a signal in it now that we were working on recovering, each target as needing more rock smashed out
This 10" Coil can really pick up some incredibly small nuggets.
And they just kept coming, my family were watching on with interest. More nuggets kept coming out then JW checked the soil and crumbled up rocks that came out of the hole and more signals, all over the place
Absolutely nuts, what a hole!
All from that one hole,all were in the rock needing smashed out. I had a ball helping with that recovery, 13 nuggets at 1.8 grams total weight. JW said yesterday he found a similar hole on the same cliff face with 10 pieces in it.
And my total, sorry for the glary photo, was taken at night once I got home, and the houses LED lights mess up photos. 0.865 grams for 2 nuggets, 0.76 of that is the big one.
I really love the small GPZ X-coils, I can not wait for my 12x8" X-coil to arrive as it may get into the spots the 10" coil can't.
There has been a lot of talk lately about gold being found on or off bedrock, I've personally done well finding gold in soil, even my biggest bit to date has been in soil. JW found this little soil ridge well up above bedrock, it's soil all the way to ground level 50 to 100 feet below along the top of the ridge, as you go down the sides of it the gold disappeared, oddly right at the top of this ridge has been a very productive spot for gold for us both. We did a number of posts about it at the time last summer when we were going there on the bike ride of death along a little track with a big drop.
Today I was given a couple of videos of more gold being found and again the gold was in soil so I thought I'd show you the videos. Gold is where you find it 🙂 Rules don't seem to apply.
These two videos are the 10" X-coil and filmed yesterday.
This sort of thing is familiar to me, this is often how I have found gold, just in soil and oddly most of my biggest bits have been found the same way which I've often posted about in the past and they've been in spots hammered by everyone around here, so the likely reason I found them is nobody bothered to detect the soft loamy soil areas instead targeting mostly the bedrock.
Here is the photo for the total of the day