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I don't see many of them but here is an article about detecting in New Zealand.

https://thespinoff.co.nz/money/10-09-2020/theres-still-gold-in-them-hills/

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Nice article and thanks for posting it.

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Simon,

What do you think?

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Great article mn90403 but lets hope people think before they jump with the hype.

"For those looking to invest in a cheaper treasure chest, silver is much less pricey at around $40 per ounce. It also has more industrial uses and is reflective, so come the apocalypse may actually be worth something in a trade."

I still remember prospectors selling their gold to buy silver instead of keeping it when silver went to $50 an ounce. 

 He’s been fossicking for almost 60 years. “I have other gold and hid it, but now don’t know where I put it,” he said. I hope I have not gone down that path.

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There seems to be a bit of an amateur gold rush going on in NZ at the moment, I suspect my favourite creeks and rivers will be busy this summer with new sluice users on them.

 

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9 hours ago, Erik Oostra said:

there's a gold rush happening up in Queensland as well..

10 hours ago, phrunt said:

There seems to be a bit of an amateur gold rush going on in NZ at the moment,...

Does this mean the detector manufacturers & retailers will be posting ads, encouraging detector sales to take advantage of the high precious metals prices?  Of course you 'Southerners' are just approaching the summer months.  But I wouldn't be surprised to see that kind of advertising here in the N-hemisphere, too.  Christmas is always a good time to tickle the imagination (don't forget the gifts on the 5th Day of Christmas -- some of those are sprinkled along the beaches, as the Impulse owners, among others, have been proving repeatedly).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Didn't know how/where New Zealand got it's name as New York named after York, Brittan, named after Zealand. Denmark. 

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That's just the stuff the people that don't know about Black Knight eat.

licorice-assortment.jpg.07de2a6a6d96f8180194a7fb5565e958.jpg

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    • By phrunt
      JW and I went for a gold hunt yesterday.  We've both done this area quite a bit, especially JW.  I always disliked the spot, it was my nemesis for so long and I rarely found a nugget there, then all the sudden my luck turned, now I do alright there.    We both had our 15x10" X-coils on, JW's been using his all the time lately so I thought I'd give mine a run.
      Yesterday seemed like I was doomed however to my first skunk in a long time, I don't even remember my last skunk now.  It was about 9.30am I would guess and both went our separate ways.   I headed off to the river to try detect the river banks.  The river was a bit flooded, lots of snow lately which in spring turns to melt on the lower mountain areas quite quickly.  Makes the water quite dirty looking.  JW went off to another area away from the river.

      I spent a bit of time down at the river trying my luck, unfortunately someone had been before me, there was dig holes around everywhere

      I asked JW if he'd been to the river and he said no, so someone else is on the prowl!   I left the river after some time of walking around detecting and seeing someones digs and went back to the original place away from the river where JW was detecting.  I didn't find a target at all at the river so it was a waste of an hour or two, I don't know if there is even gold near the river, I've never found any nuggets near the river, you can find some gold with your gold pan so I assume there is 🙂
      Part of my dislike for this other spot where JW was detecting is it has power lines right through it and it made me really struggle with my GPX so I found it pointless to use there, it has old workings that have iron stones that are buried too, and they sound so good until you dig down and find them, it's also riddled with pellets!  between the iron stones, pellets and the power lines it was a nightmare for me so I tended to use a VLF there more than anything else.  I often talk about power lines and the agony they cause me, a lot of our gold areas are covered in power lines.  I find the GPZ is pretty good under them, I don't run my sensitivity at 20 with the power lines around as it can get a bit messy but I find running at 14 is quite good.
      I just left the sensitivity on 14 all day, my other settings were all defaults and my usual high yield, normal.
      There is bedrock all over this area, for many miles exposed bedrock everywhere.

      The soil and grassed areas are usually quite shallow down to the rock.  Loaded with pellets however as there is a rabbit plague in the area.
      6 hours of digging pellets I was starting to give up, then i had another pellet signal, away from the obvious bedrock and near a rabbit hole in soft loamy soils.  I'd repeated this process countless times, a few scrapes hoping the target doesn't move, and this time, it didn't, more scrapes, still there and getting better, more.... more and it just kept getting deeper and louder...  I'm bad at pinpointing with bigger coils so I have to make my hole coil size.   I got to the point the GPZ was screaming and was hoping it wasn't some deep junk but I was down to more gravelly soils.

      I now used my Mini Gold Monster to pinpoint it in the hole and recover it.

      It was found on the left hand side of the hole, and it was almost scoop deep.

      My first 15x10" nugget, and what a nugget it is (for NZ anyway)



      and it was right near the power lines, I'd never get that with my VLF, the depth just not there.  I'd obviously tried the GM when I was thinking it was a pellet before digging and it had no signal at all on it.
      Now I had a renewed bunch of energy so I hit the nearby bedrock

      Not even 20 minutes later I had another signal that was very promising, survived all scrapes.


      And it was gold, I got it out of the crack I'm pointing too.


      A nice little bit.
      About 20 minutes later the sun was going down and I got a call from JW and we decided we'd head home.  I told him I got a couple of little bits, he was surprised when he opened my bottle for a peep! 🙂 He managed to win the day for the tally though with 4 nuggets, 3 of which were absolutely tiny.
      And my junk for the day.

      Well the junk I didn't lose out of my pocket.  A fun day! And not a skunk after all, lucky I didn't give up.
      Now the weigh in.

      1.692 grams!


      and the little guy

      0.141 of a gram.
    • By phrunt
      JW and I went on a bit of an adventure yesterday, it was to an old mining area where a lot of sluicing was done in the 1800's.  The old timers did one hell of a job and little gold is left to be found but you go to this place for the adventure.  It's along one of the worlds most dangerous roads that was built during the gold rush, the road was made by the miners in the late 1800's.  It's one way and very narrow, even the bridges just fit the width of a car! JUST!   If you strike a car coming the other way it's a battle over who will reverse until they can find a spot to pass.  In the info about the road if you strike a car at the wrong spot it can mean one of the two cars reversing up to 3km (1.8miles) to be able get past each other.  We were fortunate as there was very little traffic, although we did almost have a head on crash with a crazy guy going way too fast that met us on a blind corner.  He ran off the road, fortunately off the road on the safer side into a ditch.  Lucky for him it wasn't a rock wall on one side and a cliff on the other.    The road is 4x4 only and has a big warning sign upon entry, also rental vehicles insurance is invalid if you enter the road with one.  I have never driven this road and I'm unlikely to so it's a real treat to go on it.  My 4x4 isn't the type built for heavy off road use, I think it would die, if it didn't die it'd sure get stuck as some parts of the road are very wild.
      So we left Queenstown and hit the road... here are a few photos of the crazy road



      I didn't take too many, I was busy holding on, it has drops of up to 2500 feet. 🙂

      You cross an old suspension bridge they built in 1871.  The cars rear view mirrors almost hit the side of this bridge.

      Here is a photo of the bridge, it's crazy high off the water....

      You can see why I was holding on tight 🙂 Not only that, it's just wide enough for a car.
      We arrived at some of the many old gold workings in the area about midday and had a go with our detectors, JW had been here a few times some years ago and never had any luck, but we figured with the GPZ and X-coils it was worth a shot.  Some years ago Mrs JW found a few in the area.  I think JW said the last 3 times he'd tried he had a skunk.  This adventure's not so much about finding gold, more the journey.
      Here's JW scoping out where to detect


      The old workings are huge!

      They had holding dams for their water pipes that run around the area

      They really changed the landscape.  I think for the better, something interesting to look at.




      We settled on an area we could see a bit of bedrock and got our gear ready.

      Bits of old sluices were laying around everywhere


      So off we went for a couple of hours detecting, JW went to the old bedrock Mrs JW found a few some years ago and I went down to detect some of the piles.
      There are hot rocks everywhere and they drive you mad, I had my mini Monster with me which helped as when I was digging them I used that as a discriminator to work out if I should continue the dig.  They were often deep in the piles and sounded like a good target.  The iron stones stuck to my pick magnet well. 🙂

      I had a nice sounding target with the GPZ right on top of a gravel pile.

      It survived a few scrapes, a check with the Mini monster and it was mostly ferrous on the meter with the occasional bounce to non-ferrous so I decided to keep going and recover it.

      I am glad I did.  The 12" X-coil surprises me how sensitive it is to small stuff, those spiral windings are crazy sensitive, but this time it really showed me how sensitive it is, the target was a bit of gold.

      A tiny little bit!!!

      0.016 of a gram, 0.24 of a grain, my smallest GPZ bit so far, and it was such a decent signal.  Unmissable.
      I yelled out and let JW know, he was up high above the workings at the bedrock using his 15x10" X-Coil on his GPZ.  He'd only found a couple of pellets at this point.
      I checked out the rest of the pile and nothing more so I moved on for an explore.

      My next good target really had me excited, I was in another pile and had a great signal on the GPZ, before digging I checked with my Mini Monster, no target at all so I started digging, rechecked with the GPZ and it was louder and sweet sounding.  Checked with the GM and now it slammed across non-ferrous so I was excited.  I pictured my Gerry moment where I had a nugget to put in my mouth, he gets big ones from the piles!


      No such luck.... not sure what it is.


      A little sharp point.

      We decided to call it quits, you've got to get out of here before dark, I could not imagine taking that road on in the dark.

      On the way back JW took me to a spot on the river to show me an old dredge.







      It has trees growing in it 🙂



      The buckets were further down steam.

      bits were scattered everywhere.



      I recall JW saying it was an Australian venture that went wrong.
      We decided we'd have a go detecting the bedrock in the area


      There was plenty to detect.  The river has a lot of black sand though, difficult to deal with.

      The quartz line was pretty cool, went right up high on the bedrock


      It just kept going, right up to the top.

      The schist had some fancy patterns of layers



      You hit it with your pick and it just crumbles away.

      I had a good target signal here, I never got it out, the rock got to hard, the iron sort of staining had me worried too.
      The road back up from the river was crazy wild!

      And that was it for the day, 1 little bit of gold between us but a mighty fine adventure, so we headed back to Queenstown.

      The valley we were in.

      Heading back to JW's

      JW lives under the mountains in the background.
      We landed back at JW's and Mrs JW had made up a nice roast chicken dinner! Perfect way to end the day!
    • By phrunt
      I was meant to be going skiing yesterday but the forecast was for strong winds, we only managed half a day the prior day as the winds started and they had to shut down the lifts so I contacted JW and asked if he was wanting to go for a gold hunt instead, of course it was a yes.  Fortunately the wind wasn't at the spot we decided to detect and it turned out a perfect day, quite warm for winter. 
      While we don't have the bigger gold some places do that doesn't make the hunt any less fun and the challenge is certainly there.  With all the talk of the new 12 13" coil coming out from Nugget Finder and after reading JasonG saying his favourite coil on his GPZ is the X-Coils 12" I figured I'd use my 12" and see how I go, I mostly stick to the really small sizes like 8" or 10" for most of my hunts.  I have found some small gold with my 12" before so I knew I could do the job with it.
      We went near the same spot we went last time but higher up from the gully, it was quite a hike and got the 'ol heart ticking away like mad but managed to make it there alive.    You walk past a cool Chinese sleeping spot, it can't be called a hut, too small, just enough room to hunker down for the night.

      I've only been to this spot once and it was with my GPX 4500 and 14x9" Evo quite a long time ago, I found no gold on that occasion.  JW found a few bits with his Gold Bug 2 on that trip but nothing with his GPZ, that was back prior to us having X-coils.  It's right near some huge high voltage power lines that run from a hydro dam so trying to use my GPX there was a nightmare.

      See all the wires on those suckers.  Remarkably the GPZ isn't overly bothered by them and running maximum gain is possible although sometimes out of nowhere the GPZ does a police siren EMI noise for about 15 seconds then it stops and you can detect again for an hour or so before it does it again.
      We were ready to start detecting and JW said the good bit about this spot is you won't find many pellets, or something along those lines....  so I turned my GPZ on and on my first few swings... pellet, then pellet..... 🙂  we had a chuckle.  I don't know what shooters were doing this far from the road, they normally don't venture far from where they can drive.
      Lunch came about and I'd still found no gold.  JW had one piece he found in a chuck out pile from the old timers, he was using his GPZ and 15x10" X-Coil.
      I decided I'd detect the path we walked up to the workings rather than the workings area itself after lunch and it wasn't long and I had my first bit of gold.

      It only took a few scrapes, it's lucky I didn't dismiss it as a pellet but the signal was stronger than the average pellet.

      A little guy.

      0.063 of a gram, surprising how loud the signal is on these little bits.  Gold this size is quite an easy target with this 12" coil.

      Just to the right of the coil uphill is where I got it.  The 12" didn't end up the ideal size due to the sage bushes, I had the 8" in the car too but decided on the 12"

      Here is looking down the path.  A few more steps and I had another one!   I forgot to take a photo of it on the coil like I normally do, not sure why...

      The weird bit, exact same weight as the first one.  Oddly shaped bit, flat with a hump.
      I got to the bottom of the path and had a look around where to go next



      The area is pretty rugged.  So I walked back up but didn't take the path and detected my way back up, I found nothing but junk, then got to the top and had to scale a rocky outcrop.

      On the off chance I detected the top of the rocks and struck gold!

      Stuck in the lichen was my biggest bit of the day.

      A bit different, a lumpy sort of bit.

      I can make it look like big Aussie gold by putting it under my phones Magnifying glass 🙂

      I broke out of the 0.0's 🙂   Gold can be in the weirdest places.

      That's where it was.

      On top of these rocks.

      Very strange, it's the top of the rocky outcrop I climbed, on the other side of it you step down back to ground level.
      So that was it for the day, JW scored two, both significantly bigger than mine, I'd say between them he probably had a gram.

      And my junk, not too bad, I avoided many pellets by ignoring most surface targets.  Some bits of metal junk were tiny.  The GPZ amazes me the sizes it can find, really close to high frequency VLF performance.
      I'm happy I was able to get out for a detect yesterday as tonight is forecast to snow and it's super windy today.
    • By phrunt
      This was on TV in New Zealand tonight about a guy finding a gold sovereign with his Nox worth about $50,000 NZD, about 33,000 USD.  It was an Aussie minted coin.
      The video even has what I see as a typical Garrett user in it 😛  Just kiddin'
    • By phrunt
      I had been waiting for this coil to arrive for some time, It was ordered right as the Covid impacts were first known and international flights were all being cancelled, The day after the coil was shipped NZ closed it's borders completely, all inbound flights cancelled.  The postal operators had no way to send it, it stayed in the origin airport for a few weeks while the postal agency worked out what to do and they eventually decided they'd put it on a ship.  It was interesting watching it's tracking number but then, it went silent, once it departed nothing for a few months then all of the sudden it arrived in Australia, yay!  I guess there would be no direct ships from there to Australia either so it would be bouncing between ships to make it's journey.  From there it was a quick easy hop to NZ.   Fortunately now flights around the world are starting to resume and my 8" GPZ X-coil that was ordered long after the 12x8" coil arrived in about 10 days.  Our borders still remain closed to passengers, it is however open to freight flights and we're a bit of a hub for international long haul transit flights.  Auckland airport is currently one of the busiest airports in the world which is incredible really taking on the worlds major airports for flight traffic.  I think this is mostly because we have eliminated the virus 100 days ago so domestic flights are back to normal.  Yesterday was our 100th day with no virus in the community, a bit of a celebration 🙂

      It arrived in good order, after it's worldwide ship cruise journey.   JW's had also ordered a 12x8" X-Coil and his was in with my package to save on shipping costs so he now has one too.  I delivered his to him yesterday as we were heading out for a detect.  He really liked the 12x8" size/shape and thinks it will be his favourite, that's a challenge as he loves his 10" and rarely takes it off, although the last few times he's been using his 15x10" and now suddenly that's been glued to his detector and he's finding it really good, it has spiral windings and he's used to his bundle wound 10", so he seems to be taking advantage of the sensitivity of the spiral windings as the bits he's finding with it are absolutely tiny. 
      JW broke his E-bike, buckled a wheel so we decided we'd go to a place we've done a million times, probably the place I've detected the most, we both had very little hope at this spot and seeing we were on foot we couldn't go too far from where we have to leave the car but we thought we'd try walk and see what we can find.
      When we arrived we walked about 150 meters I guess to where the gold area starts from where you park the car, we've done this particular spot so many times it's not funny, we both didn't expect anything here.  When we left JW's house in the morning Robyn JW's wife said good luck, and JW said I don't have much hope for today! I of course said Nor me! We both know how much we've done this area.  We decided we'd try the first little bit for an hour or so to warm up 🙂 then walk and see if we can find somewhere else.

      This is the area I settled on detecting, its a hillside leading down to a creek, the Chinese had heavily worked this area in the good old days when there was lots of gold to find.  I found a Chinese miners silver and irovy ring here at one point. 

      This area is also the only place I've ever bumped into anyone else detecting for gold, one guy with a GPX 4500, one guy with a Nokta Gold Kruzer and another two guys together, one with a GPZ and his buddy with a Gold Bug 2.  It's quite well detected, JW has been doing it for years so gold is getting harder and harder to get.  There had been some sheep in here which was great news for us, the grass growth over the past couple of years had made for hard detecting and finally the farmer had put some sheep in.  They had fixed it up a little but they're not really interested in the brown dry grass this area has.  It's one of the colder and dryer areas in the country so grass isn't lush and green like elsewhere.
      After putting on a new coil I like to do a factory reset so I did that, then ran the 12x8" over the little ferrite ring as part of the factory reset process, it tuned out the little ring even when the coil was touching it.  I then adjusted my settings to my preferred settings, HY, Normal and gain of 20.  I then balanced out the ground then set to manual Ground balance , I'm not sure If I'm meant to do what the picture says when doing a ground balance by holding the quick track button as it indicates doing a figure 8 type thing on the ground but I've found my old GPX style pumping works quicker.

      The area is quite shallow bedrock, in spots it exposes itself and they're the spots I was finding gold in the past with the GM1000 but that all dried up and now the spots most likely to find gold for me are the more grassy areas where the gold is down a bit of depth on the bedrock with a soil layer over top and grass cover so the GPZ is far more effective than the VLF in this situation.   There are also millions of shot gun pellets here, I would say the most out of any place I've detected so it's rare you can do a swing without hitting some pellets.  The GPZ method I've been using is a scape or two and if the signal is there keep going, if not reject it or else you'll spend all day digging pellets.  Thats not to say you won't be digging pellets, you will, many of them but it cuts the numbers down 🙂
      First bit of gold was quite an easy one, maybe the sheep helped me here.

      I didn't have to dig far for that one, a real screamer.  I also knew it wasn't a pellet as the signal was so booming, more so than with a pellet.

      12x8" now broken in. 

      Then right near it, not even a meter away I had another target that survived a few scrapes.

      Pretty shallow again, it had to be the grass level being low helping me find these

      Another decent lump!

      I detected quite heavily around this area now hoping for more, I found no more so I moved on.

      It's where the grass is like above you know hasn't been detected as well as the bedrock areas so I was trying to go over the grass as much as possible.
      Next I flipped a few rocks over this has worked in the past and when you get a signal under a rock that's been there who knows how many hundreds of years and you get a signal you get a bit excited.  I had a signal under a rock, it was feeling like it might be a pellet, but why would a pellet be under a rock?

      There rocks are heavy! The pick levers them down off the edge.  Unfortunately the target turned out to be a really tiny bit of metal.  Who knows what it is or why it was there.

      I was almost sure it was going to be gold, at least my magnet helped recover it.
      I thought I'd experiment with the GPS on the GPZ, I'd never really given it a chance.  I quite liked it.  The novalty of using it, made it a bit like playing a game.  I found it pretty accurate.  I tested it when I was weaving in and out of bushes as I was detecting along making my way to the next area I wanted to detect.

      I don't know what the little greyed out bit is.

      This is the sort of terrain I was weaving through while testing it out.  It's a shame I didn't test it back where I found the two bits of gold as It'd help make sure I didn't miss any ground, I'm terrible at missing ground.  I might start using it more often.
      I continued flipping rocks and after flipping a huge one that almost landed on my foot I had another signal under where the rock was.

      The big rock at the top of the hole was where the hole now is, the hole ended up quite deep and it was my biggest bit of gold for the day.


      Different to the other bits too, far more smooth and flat.

      Come up nice after a clean.
      We detected until it was too dark to see well recovering targets.  JW did very well, he went back to spots he'd done with his GPZ and 14" coil some time ago,  he was talking about a crack in bedrock where he got a few with his 14x13" coil some time ago and he went over it and got another 3 out of it.  He ended up doing far better than me, he got 10 out of this thrashed spot, unbelievable.  His appeared to be much smaller bits too so it'll be interesting to see the weight tally.

      So that was my total, my 3 bits and it's now dark and time to go to KFC to refuel.   We never did end up walking further afield, we were doing OK in the first spot right near the car, that sure surprised us both.

      And my junk, not too bad on the pellets as these were just ones I had to dig for, the rest that I was able to identify with the GPZ double blip and scrape or two were ignored.
    • By phrunt
      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.

      Quite meaty!

      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")
       
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