My girlfriend got us permission to detect an empty lot owned by her employer. They recently bought the lot and took the early 1900's house down. She's been wanting to learn how to detect, so today was her first lesson. We headed there with the Equinox and my old AT Pro. Set her up with the AT Pro in STD/Coins mode, and went over ground balancing and how the ID scale works. Explained and showed her the difference between solid, repeatable signals and the less repeatable signals with bouncing target ID numbers. All I can say is I wish I would've had someone to show me these few details when I first started. Below is what she dug while we were there...a pretty respectable junk to coin ratio. She's hooked! 😀
I managed a handful of modern coins, couple old Hot Wheels cars, another handful of junk, and the few keepers below. The cooler weather has been nice recently!
Hope y'all got out today...Jeff
By Erik Oostra
Australian pre-decimal coin patch along Geoffrey Bay on Magnetic Island
So far I’ve been very lucky at finding ‘old’ pre-decimal Australian coins along the island’s bays (although I’m yet to find a gold sovereign).. most of them have been very corroded King George or Queen Elizabeth pennies (with a big kangaroo on the other side), half-pence, 6-pence or 3-pence and I’ve found one silver ‘ram’s head’ shilling.. This morning I found an awesome patch at Geoffrey Bay, a bay I rarely detect along because it always seemed an unlikely place to find anything worthwhile.. More fool me..
It’s a longish bay with a row of houses along it, and I drive past it on my way to detect at other bays where tourists and locals hang out.. But looking for somewhere different, this morning I decided to have a go near an old stone/concrete boat ramp.. Here I found a little patch with 2 silver florins (a King George and a Queen Elizabeth), 2 silver ‘ram’s head’ shillings (both King George), 4 half-pence (all King George), 5 pennies (including a 1919 King George penny without the kangaroo), some 3 and 6 pence and best of all a Queen Victoria gold half-sovereign.. It’s still soaking in vinegar but I can just make out the date: 1887.. The patch was remarkably clean (no bottle tops, ring pulls or other crap, including decimal coins) and nearly every time I dug a hole I recovered a coin.. A more modern find was a copper dog tag belonging to a dog called Nelson (it’s also got Nelson’s phone number on it)..
If you’re wondering what I’m going on about with all this King George or Queen Elizabeth stuff, in my head I’m dating them according to when the queen was coronated in 1953, so in the real world probably not that old.. Decimal coins were first introduced in 1966.. From 1852 to 1931 all Australian gold coins were struck from solid 22ct gold.. Gold half-sovereigns were minted from 1871 to 1918, whilst sovereigns were minted until 1931.. Silver coins minted between 1910 and 1945 contain 92.5% sterling silver. From 1945 until 1966 silver coins contain 50% silver (both florins are after 1945 but one of the ram heads is before). I’m so used to seeing the queen on decimal coins that it always blows me away to also see her on all these Australian sovereigns, florins, shillings and pennies..
Both the silver florins, one of the ram’s heads, one of the half-pence and the 1919 penny are in good shape considering they’ve been on the beach for so long, especially the penny which is the shiniest of the lot.. these coins were buried about 40 to 50cm deep a few metres above the high-tide mark, all the other coins were very corroded (as is usually the case at the other bays). Sadly the Queen Victoria gold half-sovereign is a bit worse for wear.. it also didn’t help that I hit it with my steel shovel so the old girl’s got a great big gash to her head.. But in this little patch, Queen Victoria is the top dog in the family hierarchy.. so this coin makes the list of favourite finds.. if only because it’s always good to get that ‘first discovery’ sort of feeling when digging up this sort of coin, especially in a spot I drive past a hundred times a day..
After a long soak in vinegar and a hard scrub I can make out it’s a ‘Jubilee Head’ half-sovereign as opposed to a ‘Young Head’ half-sovereign.. these coins sell for a small fortune in top condition, but I won’t be selling this one any day soon..
Just a quick technical question: I’m using an Equinox 600 on Beach mode 1, and the gold half-sovereign read a solid 26 on the target ID.. Why is it not reading 1,2 or 3 as you’d expect for gold? Is this because of purity? Where 24ct would get very low reading? Thanks to anyone who can help me out on this question, it’s been bugging me..
By Allen in MT
Spent a lot of time in East Idaho back in this shaft right in the middle of good gold country. shaft goes back some 200 feet with a short drift here and there. Huge seams of quarts all thru this place. Don't know if the old timers found anything in here as I sure didn't. Did get one hit in the wall using GB2with 6" coil (no quartz)and tried to chisel it out with a small 2lb hammer and east wing rock chisel but no go. Nothing outside in the tailing pile other than blasting caps. They had to be chasing something. Is a real nice area with good gold 70 ft away in creek bed.
Allen's great story of the commissioned search for that family's cache, reminded me of one I'll add here :
There is a local dealer here, who has a rental model they rent out (an old 5000D series 1) . A person had rented it, but brought it back the next day having failed to find what they were looking for. They just didn't have the expertise, and were running into common junk where they were trying , etc.... They asked the dealer if he knew of any hobbyists, with more experience, that could help. The dealer referred them to me.
I got the call , and asked what he was trying to find. He explained that about 10 yrs. earlier, he was going through a divorce and some hard times. He didn't want his coin collection to be subject to any split terms , so he had boxed it all up, put it into a plastic sealed tupperware tray. He took it to a buddy's house and explained that he needed to hide this "till the heat was off", and asked if he could bury it in his friend's yard. The friend agreed, and the two of them went to this guy's back yard (nearly an acre in size) and buried it. They made mental note of which bush it was near, and paced off the # of steps from a nearby fence, so that they'd have place-markers.
Years and years went by. During that time, the homeowner did a lot of garden work in his back yard. Planting new shrubs, moving others, etc.... He also updated his fence. Finally, about 10 yrs. later, the friend came back to get the buried coins. But lo & behold, every bush seemed to look alike. And the fence post they had made mental note of, was no longer the same fence post arrangements. So the two men just started digging random holes in the area that they best recollected from that time 10 yrs. earlier when they'd buried it. To no avail. So they rented the detector. But were in for a rude awakening : The homeowner had installed gopher wire (like chicken-screen substance) around all the tomato plants and such. They got a few typical garbage signals from the yard (aluminum, etc...), but simply didn't know what they were doing. By this time, there were now holes all over the yard.
I asked the guy how many coins, and what type he had buried. He described it as 50 or 70-ish gold coins, all together in a cigar-box sized tupperware container. And said he recalled that they buried it no-more than 2 ft. deep. My immediate thought was that this should be child's play. But after a few hours hunting with my standard detector, I was coming up empty handed ! Unbeknown to me, was that all the coins, even though in single container, were all individually in plastic sleeves. Ie.: not touching each other. Therefore, in the same fashion as a necklace, the detector will tend to see them as individual objects, not as a composite whole.
The next day I came back, armed with a borrowed TM 808 2-box machine. After another hour or so, I finally got a weak beep. So weak that I almost figured it couldn't be the target (because I was still expecting a lunch-box sized signal). But this was it ! Once we got it out of the ground, and opened it to look at the coins, it was then that I realized why such an amount of coins, at only 2 ft. deep, was difficult : Because since they're not touching, it's not seen as one big signal. It's a more difficult signal, when they're not a continuous singular piece of metal. And the plastic container, of course, wasn't giving any signal. Wish I could say it had hundreds of gold coins like Allen's, but .... oh well 🙂
By Allen in MT
I have been out of the loop for a number of years and just joined back up. Here is my latest adventure. Aug 2020 Kind of a long read, Names and place shall remain anonymous.
Got a call last week from a guy that wanted to know how to run a detector that he got from his dad. He was going to use it to help a friend find something that had been buried. I explained the machine to him and asked about size and depth of object and he didn't know for sure but said he would call back if he had more questions.
About 4 hours later i get a call from same guy and he says his friends wife wants to talk to me. Wanted to know if I would drive over (about 65 miles) as they needed someone that knew what they were doing with a detector. I asked a few more questions about size and depth and was told about 30 inches deep & the size of a Carnation can, cardboard she thought.
Having nothing else to do we decided to make the drive and see if I could help. Come to find out the guy had buried the can of coins about 10+ years ago and he and a couple of friends were trying to find it. He had suffered a couple of strokes and couldn't quite remember exactly where it was buried.. I asked of one thing and that was to take some pictures if we find it and no name's or location would be reveled.
Pretty much about half of the space under the building had been dug to a depth of about 3 ft. We dug and I detected for about 1/2 hr and kept hitting some old rusty nails and from what he told me I asked them to remove a section of dirt and in the meantime I was going to check the big hole they dug earlier so the owner and I slipped thru the wall studs and began searching the other side, In the far back right corner I got a very very weak signal in the far corner and told him to move some gravel/dirt so I could check it again to see if it gets louder.
It did so move some more gravel and it is louder and then it screams at me, I said we have a large target here and he starts moving dirt and gravel with his hands and a little piece of gray tape pokes thru and he yells we found it. More gravel come out revealing the whole lid and then the can. The can was heavy as it was full and I'm thinking he buried a bunch of silver and I said it would be nice to see some gold in that can.
He said so you would like to see some gold would you. He and his wife were over whelmed to say the least that I had found it for them. He asked me how much he owed me and I said what ever you think, a little gas money. He handed me $2000.00. I said no way and he said you want more and I said that's way to much but he wouldn't take any back because you see I just dug up there retirement savings.
Stuffed in that little can were 224 1oz gold coins ( All Buffalo and American Gold Eagle rounds). 10 tubes of 20 rounds each and 24 in clear cellophane wrap. At todays price well I guess you can figure that out.
I had a Jones again for a nugget hunt. Mind you the places I go that are 3 hours away don't have many nuggets left but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I did it.
My Barstow location was the choice. I've been stumped there many times in the past but it is a very beautiful place on a Full Moon night. Last night was simply THE BEST. It didn't matter if I found a nugget. When I got out of the car there was no wind. The temperature is in the mid 80s and there were no bugs chasing the lights. This was what I was after.
I used Chet settings for the most part with my 7000/X 15x10 and just got to it. The first target was so small I just had to save it in the bottle. We've all had them. This one is iron. I was ready to go. My brain was working and my hearing was on. This was my close to parking target. I was hoping I had stopped on a nugget.
My first location and walk around for 2 hours produced no gold. It consisted of new areas to me and an area where I had previously found a nugget. I could see it on my 7000 GPS!
The next location less than a mile away took me to familiar nugget territory but by a different route. I ended up in an area next to a Joshua Tree where I had found my second nugget with the EQ 800/11 about a month after they came out. You have to really work things slowly as Lucky said in order to get a signal but that I did. Then like Simon said it took me a long time to finally get the target in the scoop. It was sounding off and I should have had my glasses but I finally knew I wasn't going to get skunked this trip. This is only my second nugget with the X.
Staying in the same general area after that find it was just time to work the ground. I was in manual ground balance and the hot rocks were everywhere and a few wires. Eventually I came upon one of those signals that you just know sounds different. It was only about 3 inches deep.
I made it back to my car at 3 AM for a snack and time to use the 800. I had been at it for 5 hours but I had two nuggets.
This was my first use of the 800 since the 3.0 update. I like it. I didn't notch anything out in Gold 1 and just read the numbers. I could run sensitivity with the 6" coil at 20 and it would ignore many hot rocks. It was fun swinging the little thing but no gold with it this trip.
Daylight was coming (5:30 AM) and I still had 3 hours to get back. It's expensive gold but worth it to the soul.