Grab a bag of popcorn and a beer, this is gonna be a long read. (Skip to the third paragraph if you are only interesting in my review of the GPX 6000)
Before getting into why I decided to purchase a GPX 6000, I would like to give some background into what got me to the point of making that purchase. My friend "Brian" (Yes the one from Gerry's visit to SD) had been nagging on me that detecting is WAAAY better than sluicing or highbanking for gold. Me being stubborn, I would not listen to him as I was told by many of old prospectors "Theres no nuggets here". Were they hiding something or just oblivious to the truth, I do not know. After a year of recirculated highbanking on my dry claim and "Brian" detecting, it became clear to me that there is some truth to the message he had been preaching to me. That fall I purchased a Gold Bug 2. I loved that it is all analog inputs that require you to actually understand what the different knobs do. It allowed me to gain a better understanding of what the detector was doing. Not just letting the computer on it think for me. That fall gained me no nuggets as I was learning not only the detector but how to be successful at detecting. Many frustration finally led to my first small nugget that next summer. I was getting pretty good I thought as I would come home with a pocket full of tiny lead beebees and if I was lucky, a small nugget. I felt comfortable with the GB2, until I noticed that even though I felt I was doing well with the GB2, "Brian" was doing even better with his SDC2300 and GPZ7000. He would go back over areas I had just detected and pick up what I left behind. It was a perfect game for him as i would clear the garbage and shallow smaller nuggets and he would get the deeper larger ones. 😤 😄 I would even come back over to where he would have a target and check it with my GB2. It became obvious to me that ML technology had a clear advantage over my GB2. About the time I decided to go all in on purchasing a GPX 6000, I joined the detector prospector forum. I did more research into my GB2 and read Steve Herschbach write up on the GB2. Running the settings "hot" still didnt match the performance of the Minelabs detectors. After talking it over with the wife, I gave a call to Gerry at Gerrys Detectors, and after a pleasant 20min call with him I was sold. I gave him my deposit and waited patiently for my GPX to show up at my doorstep.
Gerry, being the outstanding man he is, hand delivered it to me as soon as it had shown up at his store. (perfect timing pays off 🙂 ) Our first day out was a total success. I bagged the largest nugget of the day weighing in just under 2g, my largest at the time. Gerry and "Brian" also did well, both scoring more nuggets and pickers than me. This was also my first gold from this patch. The ground at this patch was very mineralized and had many hot rocks. Listening to my GB2 was a nightmare and I had not been successful at getting any gold from there until this day. There is probably more I can learn on the GB2 but I feared with the larger nuggets being around 10" deep my only chance was to run hot. The GPX ran like a dream comparatively. I was not used to the wobbling threshold that this detector has and it took me some getting used to. We were also less than 500' from a larger powerline and I was still able to get two nuggets that day.(and yes we were just running the 11" Mono) I was able to learn from Gerry while he was there on his trip, but he made the comment to me that I was already doing very well. Everything I learned up this point was from "Brian" who took Gerry's class from one of his past purchases. Gerry and his team must do extraordinary training as I only have had second hand training thru "Brian". I hope to make one of Gerry's training trips to get a chance to do some more detecting with him and his team!
On to the GPX6000. This detector has been a dream!! And I really mean that! Ergonomics are very important and ML has indeed hit this one out of the park. I never ran a 4500 or 5000 so I cannot compare to them, but "Brian" has let me run his GPZ, and I was tired after an hour with that detector. Even though the GPX is slightly heavier than a GB2, I do not notice the weight. I can go for 8 hours and not be completely dead, unless of course I am digging a lot of targets! 😄 The controls are very straight forward. One thing I always liked about the GB2 is it is quite literally turn it on and go. With at least the SDC and GPZ (as these are my only other references) there seamed to be a long start up. Not with the GPX, turn it on and in 10 seconds you can be swinging. The onboard speaker is decent. I think I would have preferred it to be by the display as the sound is coming from behind you instead of in front of you. Its not a huge deal, I can still hear it fine, I just find that when your coil is making noise going over grass and banging on rocks, I find it harder to concentrate on the threshold. With that being said, I do prefer to run with the headphones as this allows me to concentrate better on what I am listening to. I know there have been alot of complaints about EMI. I would say that the first 15min seem to be extra chatty but after that it seems to settle into it. Maybe it is just my mind canceling it out, but I do not find much issues with EMI. I even leave my IPhone on in my backpack which is usually anywhere from 20'-100' away from me. When I do notice more EMI, I just click the noise cancel and in roughly 12 seconds I am going again. The one thing I noticed is there is about a 5 second delay after running the noise cancel(7 seconds) before it is running properly. (probably has something to do with an averaging function that it is running) The threshold is a bit different to listen to for me at least. Its more of a wobbly hum. Once you get in tune with it you just listen thru it and the targets are obvious. Even when you think you've heard a target, just a simple swing back over the same spot and you will have your answer.
The collapsible shaft is spot on. It packs down small so it does not take up much space. Its also nice for getting thru thick areas in the woods. I do not like to overtighten the nuts as this then allows me to twist the coil about the shaft instead of twisting my wrist or arm to keep the coil parallel with the surface. It is also more comfortable for me to not hold the display straight up but more turned in towards me. I do not like to run on the automatic sensitivity settings as I do not like the idea of the computer making changes that I am no controlling. (even though I know it is doing some automatic changes with ground tracking) I have been mostly running on 8-10 for sensitivity and normal soil. The spots I have mostly been to are fairly mild soils. When I get a target, I will give it a little scrap and check again in difficult. If the target is still there then I go after it. I have found that the normal soil setting can give you maybe an inch or so of extra depth. If there is a target there, It will go off on both after scraping a little off the surface. I have noticed that the difficult ground settings will give a better response to small nuggets.
On to the gold! When I say that this has blown me away, I mean it! I know I am not very versed with other detectors, so for some of you this may not be as impressive as it has been for me. My first trip out after Gerrys visit, I go to a patch we call the E patch. We have worked this patch on and off for several years now and had felt fairly certain we were done here. There is a lot of garbage here, and I mean A LOT of garbage and most of it is tiny shrapnel and the thinnest pieces of wire I have ever seen. My first day here with the GPX banked me 42 pieces of trash and 5 nice nuggets with the two larger ones weighing in both just over 1g.
As you can see, that pinpointer is about 10" long and there is another 2" of soil above that. This piece was right at 1g.
This was my gold from that day. The top left is the one shown in the hole above. Needless to say, I was a happy camper that day.
My next day out with the detector would net me 10 more little nuggets. I have to say, it is a blast when you are getting that many pieces no matter how big they are!
It is hard to read, but that total was 1.14g. The smallest of these was 0.03g and this was about 2" deep. In fact this scale would not register it. I had to use a more precise scale to get a measurement.
The last day I was out once again surprised me. Both the detector and this location! In about 2 hours I was able to pull out another 10 pieces! this time though the weight would be 8.25g of gold! With the largest piece coming in at 4.25g! My largest pieces yet! This also puts me in the lead for largest nugget of the year in one of my running bets with "Brian". These bets are for a beer for each bet 😉
The depth of the largest nugget was about 14". The image is deceiving. I dug a narrow hole but if i put my hand straight across from the scoop, there was at least another 2" of soil above my hand and the scoop is roughly 12" long.
The depth of this piece was about 8". Again this image is deceiving as the hole was fairly wide at the top so the scoop is laying down more. This piece weighed in at 0.35g
To sum things up, YES I am well pleased with this detector. It has delivered me gold that I missed with my GB2. It has given me the confidence right from the get go. I know that if there is gold under my coil, this is giving me the best chance of seeing it. I no longer have to wonder if I am missing targets that other detectors would see. Overall I find this detector fairly easy to use and the light weight makes it easy to use all day. Will I ever pay this detector off, that depends on what you mean. It has already paid for itself in fun! It may very well pay for itself financially someday, but I will rely on my full time job to feed me. 😆 I can not wait for further usage of this detector and will always remember the awesome time I had detecting with the legendary Gerry McMullen! Like I said above, the GPX6000 is not just a detector... It is a thrill ride!
I was fortunate to be able to attend the 13th Welcome to Hunt Outing (WTHO) in Northeast Nevada (Wells locale) this past month. A bit of background (from what I know, which may not be totally accurate): Monte Berry began these in 2015, taking people to ghost towns that he had been detecting for decades. As you can see from the numbers there have been about two per year, most at a handful of sites in Elko County, NV (the extreme Northeast county of the state), but a couple were other states such as Oregon and Utah. Unfortunately due to his recent move from Oregon to Texas, Monte was unable to attend but he turned the reigns over to a quite qualified (and I say that now from experience) Oregon Gregg (member here). This year four ghost towns were on the rotation. I'm not going to list their names since I don't know if this is public knowledge, nor do I know for sure who owns them, etc. (I know that one is on private property but not sure about the others.) The four have several things in common. GT1 is the oldest and was a railroad town back when the USA and its territories were first tied together by the TransContinental RR in the late 1860's. GT2 was also built on the RR around the turn of the century. GT3 was a real estate development (speculation) started around 1910. GT4 was another RR town which was also established around the same time -- late in the first decade of the 20th Century. I'll give a bit more info as a go through my itinerary. One other thing these four towns have in common, and likely in common with thousands of Western ghost towns -- they grew voraciously in their first few years (meaning 5 years or less) and then started declining. The decline took longer (20-30 years, ballpark) as there always seem to be a few individuals who get comfortable enough they don't want to move on and rebuild. But "boom and bust" really does a good job of describing these and many others in the Western USA.
Day 1 (Tuesday 8 June). I arrived a day early compared to the initial start date and Oregon Gregg and Utah Rich (another member here) had been around doing preliminary investigating and detecting since the weekend. They invited me to meet them just of I-80 at an exit near GT1 and GT2. I followed Gregg to those while Rich took a different route. After showing me GT2 Gregg said that he and Rich would be detecting GT1 that day so I followed him there. I spent 6 consecutive hours in the near Soltice baking sun getting a feel for that site, the oldest and from what I've heard, most productive as far as old coins of the four in this year's rotation. I was swinging the Fisher F75 w/4"x6" concentric coil and getting lots of non-ferrous (as well as some ferrous) hits. Most of what I was recovering was in the first 3 inches of the surface which Gregg told me is typical. I spent most of my time between the foundation of a hotel and the railroad (still in operation), hoping that was a path used frequently by tired, careless travelers. Here's a photo of my 'finds':
Don't get too excited. I'm new at this Ghost Town detecting and still learning (at the elementary level). I've arranged things in five columns. Leftmost are mostly utilitarian copper & alloy items -- plumbing pieces, electrical fixtures, copper wire. The top of column 2 are melted "sand cast" lead pieces, most of which were found close to the RR tracks. Fires were very common back then (just ask San Francisco) and possibly these occurred during one of those. But I learned that lots of metal (especially raw forms) fell from RR cars so maybe that is their origin. Lower part of 2nd column are various other misc. metal (unknown composition) pieces. The third column is the most interesting (note, 'most interesting' is relative ). Bottom left is what others in the group thought might have come off a cast iron stove. It has the word 'July' imprinted in block letters. Above it is a broken rose headed spike. Directly above that is a leather piece with a circular brass disk embedded in it. A piece of horse tack or possibly something worn by a human? Above that is some kind of suspender buckle, I think. (This gets an asterisk since Gregg noticed it sitting on top of the ground and tossed it to me.) Top disk appears to be the back of a watch/timepiece. Fourth column is the usual bullets, casings, and one cartridge. At the very top is a copper scrap which I think was likely a jacket (of a large bullet!). Last column is misc. bits that I haven't ID'ed.
Most of the attendees spent nearly their full time at this GT1, hoping for old coins, I guess. The above was my only day there. Several of us met at the Iron Skillet restaurant at the Petro Truck Stop in Wells for dinner that evening. This is the standard meeting spot each dinnertime for anyone who wants to jaw between mouthfulls of chicken fried steak, etc.
Days 2&3 (Wed-Thu). Utah Rich was kind enough to take a few of us to GT3 on Wednesday morning. This is the most unique of the four towns since it was a Real Estate development (boondoggle) that didn't make it. The carrot for attracting residents was the building of a large reservoir which could then be used for irrigation. Problem is that those living downstream didn't take kindly to their water source being cut off and won in the courts. Although a town was laid out which was planned to house 25,000 residents (how's that for optimism?), in reality fewer than 1000 ever took up residence, and that number likely included many who lived on farms nearby, not in the town itself. Still, there was a fancy hotel, historic schoolhouse, "entertainment center", church, and several homes built as well as a railroad spur. When the downstream residents put a stop to the utopian dam the gig was up and in less than 2 years the population topped out and quickly started declining. Here's a photo of my finds for those two days (first day with above F75 setup and second day with ML Equinox and 6" DD):
Highlights include the only old coin (Wheatie) I found over the five days in NE Nevada (more on that later), a Model-T hubcap (likely from the 1920's, but I haven't got it dated for sure), and right above it another Ford embossed (but unknown) part. As you hear about every detecting site (regardless of type of detecting) -- some say this town is hunted out. The ring shaped item with three mounting holes (near the left edge of the photo) came up a clean 28-30 on the Equinox, which is solid in the silver zone between dime and quarter. Who rejects digging that? It's actually a brass closet rod hangar (and, yes, I was disappointed). Regarding weather, the second of these two days was the windiest day I've ever detected, with sustained wins 20-30 mph and gusts over 40 mph, all day long. The temp only got up to about 60 F (15 C) and I wore a sweatshirt and denim jacket most of the day. This was only a week before the Western USA's first heat wave (highs over 100F = 38C in most of Western 1/4 - 1/3 of the Continental USA). I didn't complain about the cool temps even before I had to deal with that! Great sleeping weather as I was 'camping' in the back of my Jeep Compass.
Days 4-5 (Friday-Saturday) -- I got in a bit of early morning detecting at GT3 (note: I mentioned in an earlier post here that I successfuly used my magetic rake to clear both dead vegetation and iron bits before detecting a spot I had covered previously). Then we broke camp and moved to GT4, another railroad town from the early part of the 20th Century. Here's the haul from that one:
The large chunk at upper left is some kind of RR scrap. Tiny (jewelry) ring on left and rusty denim button at at bottom will be detailed shortly. Note the (German) Hohner harmonica housing piece at lower left. You can't see it in this photo but it had a lot of marking, including dates of awards from the 1920's. I don't know if the reed in the upper right is from it, but I think I found it several hundred meters away, so likely not.
Now for a closeup of the most interesting finds from GT3 & GT4:
Top two items are from old clothing -- left is a Lee button (likely off blue jeans) with their slogan "can't bust 'em" which an internet search reveals was first used in the 1940's, so this was likely from a railroad worker and not a town resident of GT4. The small brass/bronze rivet (from GT3) says "L.S. & Co S.F." for Levi Straus & Company, San Francisco. Again the internet clued me in that this particular rivet (the saying started earlier, BTW) is from early in the 20th Century. The middle two items didn't photo as well as I'd liked. RH is the Ford embossed broken piece of metal from GT3. Left is my only ghost town coin (not counting a very disappointing Zincoln -- damn railroad workers, or should I blame previous detectoris?). After hearing and reading so many stories here at detectorprospector.com of -S and -CC (Western mints) mintmarked coins from the 19th and early 20th Century I was optimistic this Wheatie was going to be an early -S minted semi-key. Imagine my disappointment when I got home and was able to see '1919' (no mintmark). That happens to be the highest mintage Lincoln cent minted prior to 1940, a span of 31 years! And it came all the way from Philadelphia!! What a disappointment. Lower left is a 45 caliber steel jacketed WCC 42 cartridge from GT4. Again, an internet search showed that the '42' meant it was made in 1942. The current mystery is a) whether or not it was military issue, and b) why it is steel jacketed lead. I doubt this was dropped recently (look at the patina) but as to whether a GI dropped it on his way to fight Hitler or it has a less romantic story (hunter who bought them by the gross at a surplus store) will probably never be known. Finally, the child's ring found near the train station at GT4. Rang up a solid, consistent 12 (USA nickel TID) on the Equinox with 11" coil, depth in the 2"-3" range. I thought I handled it carefully but it broke, showing strong orange interior (copper) so it's silver plated. The 'stone' looks like glass to me. Still my best find, and recovered near the most frequently hunted spot in that town -- right next to the train depot (now just a foundation). Was I really the first person to get my coil over it?
The comaraderie was enjoyable although besides my sister and partner, only Mike from Alaska, Tom from Arizona, and Mike from Utah detected the towns I was in at the times I was in those. Most everyone (22 was the unofficial count, I think) concentrated on the oldest (GT1) town. The round-the-dinner-table discussions were the pleasurable social hour. There were a few old coins found, including a seated dime and a seated quarter. Oregon Gregg found a beautiful and rare trade token, likely worth in the 3 figures. I hope there are more of these WTHO's as I'm ready to move on from 'beginner' and I just know there's an early -S mint coin with my name on it. Thanks to Monte, Gregg, Rich, and all involved.
A couple years ago a friend of mine (who already had gotten me 5 permissions) asked her sister if I could come detect her 18th Century homestead in NW Massachusetts. I had hoped to go in 2019 but time got away from me, and you all know what happened in 2020. Finally we agreed upon a time window and I made it out there in the past couple weeks.
Basically, after the Revolutionary War, soldiers were rewarded with property in unsettled parts of the previous Colonies and one of them started this homestead in 1785. The original cabin burned (remnants can still be seen but it was overgrown this trip) and was replaced by a larger house at the beginning of the 19th Century. The current owners have a lot of property but most is wooded and I had only three full days to detect so I decided to confine my searching to the 2-3 acres of cleared ground surrounding the house. Except for recently constructed garage (which replaced a barn burned down by an arson), there are no other current buildings, but with the help of a 1911 survey which they showed me we were able to figure out the location (and find the foundations) of a couple other long ago razed outbuildings.
My goal this trip was twofold -- survey as much of this cleared area as possible and try to hone in on the best spots to cherry pick, meaning specifically undisturbed ground. As is typical, improvements to property occur over time, covering up some of the history. I wanted to avoid those areas during this short trip.
I began in the front yard close to the house and not surprisingly got some nail hits, although trash wasn't thick. After digging 3 or 4 good sounding targets that turned out to be nails, I moved closer to the road, below a bulkhead wall. BTW, I was using the Minelab Equinox 800 in Field 1, 2 tones, wide open (i.e. no notching), recovery speed=5, iron bias F2=0, gain = 22. About 45 minutes into the first day's hunt I got a good, strong high tone and the dTID showed low 30's (silver quarter/half region). (I tend not to spend a lot of time requiring perfect, consistent dTID's since I've found so many good targets which don't give them. But I do listen for iron hints although even those don't necessarily turn me away, especially from weak signals.)
The ground was suprisingly soft and sandy, unlike the stickly clay I deal with at home. Also, they'd been having quite a bit of rain (the mosquitoes were evidence of that!) so digging conditions were near perfect. At about 6 inches I pulled out a metal disc the size of a USA Large Cent (size no coincidence because that's what it was)! First target and I dig a coin I've never found before. I wasn't sure -- could have been a slug -- and took it inside to rinse it off and carefully blot dry (even that seemingly benign action might have been a mistake) and still couldn't see detail but showed it to one of the owners and she, with better eyes than I, said in the center it said 'One Cent'. Bingo! Already I knew it was my oldest coin ever since the last year of minting large cents was 1857 and my oldest previous coin was an 1864 2-Cent piece.
I returned outside to that spot (coins congretate in patches, too ) and a few meters away got a nice high 20's hit, but rather weak. Eight inches down was a Barber dime. What a start! Unfortunately the only old coins I found the remainder of the trip were a few Wheat pennies. I did get a lot of relics, not surprisingly. Here's a picture of all but the obvious nails and modern metal trash:
Lower right group are what I consider the best finds and I'll show a closeup of those shortly. I'm pretty sure everything around and directly below the horseshoe are related to horses ('tack') including the two obscure pieces inside the horseshoe which are similar, one a piece of leather with two large copper rivets and the other just a bare rivet. Interestingly I found almost identical pieces in June when ghost-towning in NE Nevada. I guess leather survives in wet climates as well as in dry ones. Some of the buckles are chrome plated which I assume (but don't really know) means they are fairly recent, meaning 20th Century. (I apologize for not taking better pictures. It was the last day and I was in a hurry to get on the road for a long drive to my next stop. I left all but the old coins with the property owners.)
Here's a picture of what I consider the best finds:
(Again, my photography leaves a lot to be desired....) I'll show the old coins (upper left) in a better photo. Lower left are modern coins (clad and Memorial pennies). Lower right are ladies' items -- stocking clip, powder compact, and lipstick tube cover. (The woman of the property owners really liked the compact and cleaned it up with some metal cleaner. It really looked sharp after she did that; too bad it was bent.) Upper right are four buttons, two of which were flat buttons. The large one had no identifying marks. It was made of a copper alloy (brass?). If anyone can shed light on its possible age I and the owners would really appreciate it. One of the several mystery pieces I found is the dark looking floral(?) shaped item above with compact. It had 8 holes arranged symmetrically (two of them don't show up) and was attracted to a magnet). It was quite thin and reminded me of jewelry. Above it is a copper broach or pin, possibly previously silver or gold plated.
Now for the old coins:
Four Wheaties (one from each of the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's) plus a 1954-D Jeffie (ok, not very old...) with the two best coin finds. And those two best:
The 1941-S Merc came from a different site which I'll discuss in a separate post ('Part 2'). The 1911 plain (Philadelphia minted) Barber dime is in nice condition although not a scarce issue. But I'm still happy to get it. Unfortuantely you can't see detail on the Large Cent in these photos, but I can with a magnifying glass (still no date discerned 😞), and here's what I've found out so far:
On the obverse ('heads' side) the lady is facing right. That's very important because only USA Large Cents minted between 1793 and 1807 faced right. So that alone tells me that I didn't find a coin which might be as late as 1857 but rather my 'new' oldest coin find ever is now at least 50 years older than that! I can see some clothing at the bottom of the bust making it a 'Draped Bust' type. That narrows its birthdate down to 1796-1807. There are still a lot of varieties in those 12 years and after trying to figure things out on the PCGS site I broke down and ordered the definitive work on these coins. It won't arrive until Thursday so you will have to wait along with me to see if I can narrow down further info. Meanwhile, can you help me identify this unknown find?
It appears to be brass, but is hollow. The lower left of the picture shows damage, but it's breakage, not corrosive loss. You can see the seam to the left of the head where it joins the conical part. It reminds me of a calibrated weight for a scale but the only ones of those I've seen are solid, not hollow. Anyone??
To summarize the first part of this trip, in 10 1/2 hours of detecting (oh, I didn't mention that most of two of the three days was interferred with by Hurricane Henri!) I found some very promising post Colonial artifacts while just scratching the surface of a small part of this property. The (very generous, hospitable) owners were sufficiently pleased with what I found that I've been invited back, but I doubt I'll be able to make my return this year. I'll probably bring a weed eater next time and detect around that original cabin foundation. I can't wait....
Upon departing the Colonial Site in NW Massachusetts I made my way towards Eastern Pennsylvania to meet up with member here dogodog and spend half a day detecting one of his sites. I was fortunate that he had previously mentioned he'd like to get together for a hunt and since I was on his side of the world this seemed like a good time to take him up on his offer. The hunt was only part of the enjoyment as we spent some time (while driving and also over lunch, which he generously bought) to discuss detecting.
The site, which is one he's hunted previously but continues to hunt and make good finds -- see his recent posts -- was previously a private swim and sports club recently acquired by the local government. I don't think I'm going out a limb to say that except for DoD and his friends he's brought there, it had never been previously detected. This is like stepping on a time machine back to the 1970's but with a 2020 metal detector!
We began searching an open area which may have been a sports field or maybe just a play area for kids (of all ages) but it was in the open sun and it was becoming what dog said was the hottest day of the year so after about 15-20 minutes we headed to the backside of the property where we could detect in the shade of some large trees. I was using the Minelab Equinox 800 and 11" coil with my standard park and school settings: Park 1, 5 custom tones, no notching, Recovery Speed = 4, Iron Bias F2 = 0. He told me he was finding silver coins at shallow depths so I turned down the gain to 22 from my 24, but even that was overkill although the EMI was easily eliminated with noise cancel. I actually never did a ground balance since pumping the coil showed the current setting at turn-on was quiet as a mouse.
The early 15-20 minutes in the open produced some clad and copper Memorials. The back (shaded) part proved more promising. I got the first trophy (and as it turned out, my best find of the day) -- a 1941-S Merc in excellent condition other than the dark toning which was surely caused by some chemical in the ground. After showing DoD, it wasn't more than 10 minutes when he called me over to show me his first silver -- a Roosie. Then he shifted into high gear and found a 9 kt gold mens wedding band followed by his own Merc. I found quite a few pennies (see photo below) and a few (not old) nickels the remainder of the total 3 1/2 hours of detecting but only about half the number of coins (old and new) that dog did. Hey, I didn't want to show him up on his own turf! Here's a pic of my total recoveries:
Oh, that's not a pulltab from a dinosaur's drink can but rather a thoughtful gift from DoD -- a detecting towel. I still haven't figured out why he put a pulltab image on it.... At least it wasn't a Stinkin' Zincoln. Speaking of which, there wasn't a huge amount of trash, and particularly not that many beavertails which often fool me as being nickels. I got more aluminum bottle caps (three, one of which isn't shown) than classic pulltabs and not a single modern tab although I was doing some mental discrimination. Three tacks (which DoD warned me about) sure sounded sweet, as usual. Here's a closeup of my coin haul:
As usual my photography leaves something to be desired, but you're not missing much detail. From right to left: clad quarter (2001 North Carolina state quarter -- most recent date of all my recovered coins), four clad dimes, three Jeffies (oldest is the top one, a rather crusty and corroded 1941-D). Next are three rows of copper Memorials sorted by decade: one from 1980-82, nine from the 70's and four from the 60's. On the left are three heavily green scaled Wheaties and my best find, the Merc. I did find 3 Zincolns (shown in the previous photo) but in my book those are trash, not coins. Here are closeups of the 1941-S Merc (also shown are my two best finds from earlier in the trip which are highlighted in another post):
Except for the dark toning (which isn't all that bad), the condition of the Merc is quite nice. I note that the ground in this part of the country, and that include NW Massachusetts where the large cent was found, seems to be even more unfriendly to copper and copper alloy coins (including USA 25% nickel composition coins) than my soils at home. I know others have found similar deterioration of coin in other part of the Eastern USA. I don't think it's due to the trees since we pretty much share the same species, so it must be some inorganic chemical(s) in the soil.
Better than the detect was meeting dogodog and discussing several topics including soil effects, depth of finds, and coil options -- particularly DD vs. concentric. To put an exclamation point on this last topic, he showed me how well his Tesoro Compadre (w/fixed 8" concentric) performs, which he switched to after a short time detecting with his Eqx800. I've returned home with a new found respect for Tesoro analog circuitry and am planning on learning my Vaquero. (kac, don't say "I told you so" even though... you told me so, as have Monte, Rick N, and others here.)
Dang, is it September already? I didn’t even work my little Claim this season! All the easy gold has been gone for a couple years now, and since I’m looking at a Hip Replacement in the near future (old car wreck injury), it wasn’t worth the flare ups that come from hauling rocks, swinging a pick, and shoveling to get at the remaining gold. So I’ve focused on fitness and biking the hills this summer, with a couple fun detecting trips to Nv to keep me in the game….but the next trip isn’t for a couple weeks and I need a Gold Fix! So I decided that after my early morning walk, it would be time to go play with the Gold Monster😊
It was a brisk start to the day! My hummingbird feeder was starting to freeze; most have left, but I leave it out for the stragglers. While on my walk and planning where I’d go with the Monster, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful sunrise….unfortunately due to the awful California wildfires😥. Then I saw the neighborhood Mama Moose….her Baby was with her, but I didn’t catch the young one in the pic. I sure do love my morning walks up here!
Once it warmed up a bit, the Pup and I headed out in the side x side to an area I’ve hit quite a bit before with the Monster, but I was sure it could squeak out a couple more. Lila, of course, wanted to drive😄.
I worked real slow, and sure enough, was able to find some little bits. And LITTLE being the key word here…check out this tiny speck. Unbelievable that a detector can pick this up!
Here’s one of the larger bits found…can actually pose it on the detector lol!
All the while, my little Pup was protecting me from the chipmunks scurrying amongst the Old Timer’s rock piles…what a cutie 🥰
We spent several hours enjoying the late summer sun, the gentle babbling of the nearby creek, the breeze in the pines, and the solitude and contentment only Nature can bring. And I ended up with enough bits to actually weigh…what a great day!👍😊
Sourdough Scott and I have been detecting hillside that has never been mined before and doing quite well with finding gold. It confounded us both as to why this location was left untouched by the early miners. When I discovered the answer it sent chills down my spine.
I hate it when I start finding a lot of gold in a small area because that means I have to dig all the trash even when I know it's a tin can, shovel head, copper still, or a locomotive and I am basically a very lazy prospector. To make matters worse this spot must have been where the 1927 world champion squirrel hunting competition took place as there is an extraordinary quantity of lead and brass. There are also bits of steel cable, nuts and bolts, Caterpillar parts and hobnails from numerous logging operations which occurred there through the years.
One bit of trash that caught my attention was a pristine 50 caliber musket ball as they sound exactly like a large gold nugget. I put it in my pocket and continued on. Then, not far away, I found the remains of an ancient musket. I knew this had the makings of a Detector Prospector story so I took the ball and musket home for some forensic research.
Here are the horrifying results of my research findings.
Upon microscopic examination of the musket ball I discovered a minute speck of fossilized blood. By using the DNA identification app on my smarty pants phone I discovered it was blood from the much feared Plumas Mammoth Grizzly! I then began analysis of the musket. By getting my 51 caliber finger stuck in the 50 caliber barrel I was able to conclude beyond any doubt that the musket was the very one that fired the bloody ball.
I then closely examined the musket exterior and made three shocking discoveries! One was a patch of dried blood that proved to be from a human male of about forty years of age, dating from 1852. The next was another bloodstain that matched that which was found on the musket ball, identified as being from a Plumas Mammoth Grizzly. The third discovery (and this is where it gets scary) were bite marks which by careful measurement proved to be that of a grizzly over 11 feet tall and weighing nearly a ton!
The only logical conclusion from my research is that the doomed prospector discovered the same rich deposit that Sourdough Scott and I found, became distracted with finding gold and not paying attention to his surroundings, mortally wounding the grizzly when he was attacked by surprise but was disassembled by the grizzly before it succumbed from it's wound. That is why this rich strike has remained unworked for 169 years.