By Gerry in Idaho
One of my customers recently found a stunning: near 4 pound quartz boulder with just under 11 ozt of gold with his GPX-5000.
Just goes to show you those multi thousand dollar treasures are still out there being dug up.
Yes this came from the lower 48 states.
Good luck everyone.
By Rob Allison
It's been a bit since I posted anything. The forums are very slow, at least mine here. I have to get all you guys/gals more fired up to post more stuff so we all can learn from each other and share experiences.
That being said, the COVID-19 really changed how we do stuff, let alone set out mass FEAR to the World. There is no doubt it's real, but I will just leave it there and talk about gold nuggets!
I managed to get out recently and had a nice run of luck with the Minelab GPZ 7000. I rounded up over an ounce in one day working any old channel. All the gold was down on bedrock and it was difficult to get some out of the cracks as they were covered and full of hard pack Caliche (notice the color or caliche on the gold).
Just over 31 Dwt's (20 Dwt's = 1 Troy Ounce). Not a bad days work getting 1.5 ounces of the good stuff.
God is Great.
Not that I wanted to see if it could be done, it’s only 130 miles! My Wife Robin, needed to dig a nugget...she hasn’t been out since our move to Reno. Now, you always have a mental note of stuff to pack. We loaded her Grand Cherokee, for this adventure off we go! Arrived to a location, I figured she’d have some luck at with her SDC 2300. Gearing up, I’m looking for both of our new Doc’s Scoops...What the Heck! Left them both at home! Well, I know I’ve used my hand as a scoop a few times! But, onetime I forgot my scoop and as I was recovering a nugget I opened my hand to see the target and a Scorpion crawled out of my hand and the nugget went sky high, I later found its landing spot. Since then, I’ve learned that a cut water bottle will get ya by as a scoop and save you from tossing good target to the wind. Well, needless to say Robin got her fix of digging/finding some gold with her detector in and old patch, that both of us and countless others have swung on before! Nuggets are funny, some days they are like fish biting all day and other days not a bite! But, the Hunt and adventure is the most important to balance your inner self, Gold is just the bonus in our hobby! Until the next hunt!
Yesterday morning about 1 AM I took a break from the exciting 'Dumping SDC 2300 Detectors' thread to go find a nugget. I had big gold in mind so I didn't take my 2300. I was headed to Arizona. It is a 4 hour drive but pretty simple. Leave Los Angeles (I live at the #1 Exit on I-10) in the middle of the night with no traffic and get off on Exit 5 from the I-10 freeway in Arizona. I've never done this as a one day trip but I had to try it.
When going to Arizona this time of year there is a 1 hour time difference so when I arrived it was still dark but 6:30 AM. I had left the $3.00 per gallon gas for a price of $2.12!
I went to the dark gold fields and got under some power lines with the 7000 and the 15x10 Xcoil. I took an extra amount of time to adjust my harness to fit like a glove. It was no longer 'hanging' on my body. It was like a well tailored suit without unnecessary wrinkles. I was thinking of Simon as I made myself ready for battle.
It was supposed to be a cool day (95/63) but I was already wet with sweat in the early morning. I'm a beach guy now. I wear shorts and sandals ALL the time but with my brush pants on (ala Chet) it was hot with only a t-shirt.
My first stop was an undetected area to me. There were no targets for the first 30 minutes on any of the gullies. Then I found a couple of pieces of lead as the sun came up over the mountains. This was an area where I had found a 1949 California license plate 7-8 years ago. It was now time to hit the target zone where I had been given a pointy finger. This was the reason why I made this long/short trip.
I detected it as I have many other Arizona gullies in the past. Often times it is unproductive in the bottom so you hunt the sides. Norm knows this area well and spends many days with his wife camped near. Lots of gold has been found here but not this time for me. After 2 hours of working this 1/4 mile stretch of gully it was time to go where I had found a 5 gram nugget it the past. Once again after an hour there I didn't add to my polk and it was now 1 PM/2 PM. No gold after 7 hours and the temp was near 100. How much longer did I want to do this?
Lunk had shown my wife and I a spot many years ago that had been raked and worked. That day he found one piece and we found none. That place came to mind. I had hit it once with the 15x10 but I was willing to try it again. This is an area that often times has many campers in the middle of winter but there was not a single camper today. I could hunt it at a slower pace and that is what I did. This area also had a bit of a breeze. Some of you may recognize it. That's Dome Rock in the picture.
Finally I got a target and it was a little gold. I was so hot I forgot to take a picture. It was down about 3 inches. (The little tiny wire was found and doesn't register but it screamed so I knew I was hearing things!)
The stink was off. No more skunk but it wasn't getting any cooler. I spent another 30 minutes trying to get a second nugget but it was time for me to go.
The trip back was going nicely until I got past the 62 exit to 29 Palms (another gold field) and then it backed up for miles. It took me one hour longer going back but I was back in Santa Monica at 7:30. The things I do for gold.
We have about 24 million people in Southern California. I don't know how many are prospectors and how many have gold machines but we've hit everything within 4 hours of town pretty hard. I'd say there are very few virgin patches within that area so you have to work already worked ground to find a nugget or two.
By Glenn in CO
This year has been a lot of ups and downs in getting some detecting in for coins, relics and gold nuggets. With the pandemic, restrictions placed by the pandemic, fires, detector coils issues and finally my father passing at the end of July made it hard to get some serious detecting outings in. Luckily the local parks are still giving up a few old coins. We made a trip to the mountains before my father passed and did some relic hunting at an old mining camp and found a few tokens and relics. At least it rain a little bit every day to make the smoke from the fires more bearable. Finally we were able to get a trip in to do some nugget hunting.
I and my wife arrived at our camping spot on a late Monday afternoon. We decided to have an early dinner and then do some scouting around the area that we hunt deciding on which areas we wanted to hunt first the following day. Finishing up dinner, I went out to get the UTV ready and a young woman drives up on a ATV to our camping area requesting help with her father-in-law who just rolled an ATV. It was about a five minute ride from where we were camped where the accident occurred. Her father-in-law had been unconscious for couple of minutes but was now sitting up in the middle of the road asking the same questions over and over every thirty seconds. He had some cuts to his forehead and road rash on his back and legs. I looked over to where the ATV was parked and it looked like it faired pretty well. Then I looked down beside the ATV and there was his helmet in three different pieces. He was in a lot of pain and didn’t want to get up or move around. I suggested that we not to try and move him and contact search and rescue to help. Unfortunately there is no cell service for miles in that area, so the daughter-in-law and I take off to try to find some help. There is a sand and gravel operation near where we were camped and thought there might be someone around that could help. It was early evening and several vehicles and equipment were scattered around, but no one working out in the equipment yard. We drove up to one of the cabins and luckily someone was home and had a landline to make a call. The whole ordeal took search and rescue about two and half hours to get in and get him out, but they felt he was going to be ok. The strangest thing to come out of this accident was he was driving the ATV at a high rate of speed over washouts across the road and catching air for thrills and they video it on their camera for all to see and remember.
Well 2020 mark thirty years of metal detecting for gold specimens in this area, adding a few years more before that using sluices, high-bankers and gold pans. Every year we have come away with some gold. On this trip our first day both I and my wife got skunked. Second day my wife decided to stay back at camp and recoup from hiking and detecting at 11,000 ft. I was lucky and found one within forty-five minutes and glad as I didn’t want to go home skunked. That was the only nugget I found that day. Third day I hunted three hours before the smoke from the fires was expected to roll in and I ended up not find any.
It’s a small one and happy to have found it as the odds were stacking up against me of getting any gold this year. Here are pictures of the gold before cleaning with a little limonite on the front and back side of the specimen and then I used a little acid to remove the limonite.
By Gerry in Idaho
You hunt one side of a draw and only find trash. Your mind keeps telling you to cross the drainage below and go back up the other side (grass is always greener theory) so you start hiking away and eventually turn off the 7000 just to cover ground quickly. Eventually getting to the other side, you fire up the machine and start your search. Not 10 minutes into it and that sweet soft sound comes thru the sweaty headphones and I can tell it is not surface trash. I get a little gigglie as I reach over my shoulder to grab my pick and ....holy shit...I reach over my shoulder again to grab my pick...., Now the holy has left and it's just shit... as I realize there is no pick? This is the hard part for guys 50+ as I try to think of where my pick be?
Well the sound of that target was too good to leave, so for the next 15/20 minutes I used my plastic scoop as it was not designed and or intended...and scooped/picked away removing bits of dirt, pebbles and clods 1/4" at a time. Eventually 6" later it is removed from the divot in the soil I've so feverishly been working. Now most of us at this point would use the big super magnet at the end of our picks and run it through the freshly removed dirt trying to suck up any iron trash targets. Well as you recall, I did the "holy shit" thing and lost my $100 pick.
So going old school (for those of us who's been doing this a while and we had no magnet on our picks), I used the hand/scoop over coil method and eventually found my little treasure. Yes, there it was a nice .2 maybe .3 gram, 100+ yr old beauty of a boot tack.
Now I'm not only upset at the old prospector who lost his tack, I'm still pissed at myself for losing that fancy APEX with the magnet. Where could it be?? as I'm thinking and can only guess to hike back down the ravine, across the wash, up the other side (holy shit - this is going to take a while) and then walk around trying to find my last dig spot.
I'm just about to the point of calling it a loss and not giving a holy shit anymore and realizing $100 is gone, when I then realize something even more shittier, is the fact that I did not bring a spare pick. Well this would not normally be an issue if I was close to home, but the reality of it...I was in the 2nd of a 4 day prospecting hunt (new area and ground to me) and was almost 500 miles from home.
So the reality of things is I better get my holy shit together, hike back up that ridge and walk the side of a mountain trying to find my last dig. Well I have to admit, I didn't think I'd find it, as the sagebrush was 10 to 14" tall and all the terrain looked the same. Luck would be on my side and I eventually did find the pick.
You know, I'm usually pretty good at not losing my own pick and in fact have found 2 picks and many scoops in my many yrs of detecting. But I did learn a lesson for future trips. As I get older and these hills get steeper, I better start packing a spare.
What is the longest hike back or time you have had to go to find your pick.
BTW. The gold in the area is not known to be nuggets (according to the old research records), I guess they missed a few.