I almost threw out this tiny gold nugget while panning cons, thought it was a trash rock, but it caught my eye for some reason.Held it up close to eyeball and it was golden metallic yellow, NOT sand, and bounces an inch when dropped in my gold pan. I got it sluicing gravels with my home made electric 18 inch long sluice/banker, like 10 feet from the creek where I found a gold gravel deposit with my map dowsing . About the size of 2 pinheads side by side, dime for comparison, casts a shadow in gold pan... came from central Indiana near Attica....
We've been in a bit of a Covid lock-down recently and during that time my Garrett 24k arrived so I wasn't able to use it in the gold fields straight away, it was quite painful to look at it knowing I can't go and use it, fortunately we came out of our lock-down and as took off for a prospect with the 24k as soon as I could.
I ordered a White's 6" concentric coil for it to tie me over until Garrett and with any luck Nel come out with other coils for it, I hope they continue with the 6" Concentric as I'll buy a Garrett 6" Concentric as soon as they release it. It's a remarkably sensitive coil, I expected it to be less sensitive than it is as it's quite big however it surprised me and matches or exceeds smaller coils on other high frequency gold detectors. I've always been happy with Garrett coil quality so upgrading the Whites to a Garrett would be worthwhile I think. In saying that, neither the 10x6" Garrett coil or the Whites 6" coil were at all bump sensitive, not one bump noise the entire day. I'm so used to coil bump sensitivity from the Equinox and Gold Monster it was a rather pleasurable experience being able to scrub the coil on the ground like mad and bump it around not setting off the detector, giving me a distinct advantage over using bump sensitive coils.
I started the day using the 10x6" Coil as I wanted to see how it goes and I was going back to a spot I'd found a fair few grams of gold in the past, about 30 or more nuggets using the scrape and detect method taking off layers of soil at a time and detecting it. The initial nugget which was just under half a gram and a fair few more were found using my GPZ including a 4.2 gram nugget and then I brought in the Equinox with 6" coil to clean up as a majority of the nuggets were very small and the VLF's tend to do better cleaning up these very small nuggets. I'd even gone over this little scrape and detect area with the Gold Bug 2 however it was a bit of a nightmare as the area is absolutely full of hot rocks and the Gold Bug 2 in heavy hot rocks isn't a good detector in my opinion, it's too busy making it's response noise to the hot rocks to worry about the bits of gold next to the hot rocks so you miss nuggets if they're near hot rocks. The problem is this spot is loaded with hot rocks all through the soil of various shapes and sizes mostly a green type of schist that is all crumbly and broken up and detectors love to sound off on it. It's likely there from the old timers, it's basically some old workings where the old timers left their rock pile in a little gully, and right on the lower downhill side of the rock pile was my little scrape and detect patch. Even the GPZ struggled with all of the hot rocks so I was quite pleased how the 24k was coping with them, sure it was sounding off on some of them too but it wasn't too troublesome and seemed to ignore the little broken up bits and very usable.
I ran the 24k with the sensitivity maxed out, Sat on the middle setting and audio on Boost 2. The ground balance was quick and easy then I switched into the Locked balance mode. If the broken up schist bits of hot rock were too severe I left it in tracking which helped to knock them out. I gave the 6" Concentric coil a quick try and it struggled more with the hot rocks and i didn't want to lower my sensitivity down so I reverted back to the DD which appeared to handle them better and is still remarkably sensitive.
So I just started scraping back layers and detecting taking about 2 inches off at a time knowing the gold here is likely going to be very small and it will be stuff I've missed in the past as I've scraped this spot out before and back filled it so I was essentially checking the same soil all over again for anything I missed. I had high hopes I had missed some as all it would take is a small hot rock to be sitting on top of the bit of gold the previous time and I'd likely miss it or just the bit of gold on it's side being a very thin one or any number of reasons, even just at a depth too deep for the size of gold with the detector I was using.
It wasn't long and I had my first piece.
Quite a decent size one too, I was baffled at the time why I'd missed this one in the past. The 24k had now found it's first gold, highly likely the first piece of gold found in New Zealand with the Garrett 24k, a badge I'll wear proudly. 🙂
Next up was a reasonably faint but very repeatable signal with no target ID showing, I delicately used my scoop to scrape soil away knowing this was likely a very small bit of gold and it sure was... my smallest bit of the day too and surprised I managed to find it with the 10x6" coil, I don't recall ever finding a bit this small using the 10x5" type size on other detectors.
Can you spot it? 🙂
There it is!
0.007 of a gram, not bad for the 10x6" coil, especially in this hot rock infested ground.
I always check targets in case they're odd little bits of metal with my pick magnet, and you'll see it was quick to build up black sand, this soil has plenty of it in it.
I kept scraping down layers and found another.
Quite small too... but a bit more meat on it than the previous one 🙂
I'd had enough of the scrape and detect spot by now and wanted to go explore a bit to see how the 24k performed for general detecting so I walked for about 10 minutes to another spot I'd found some gold in the past and detected for about an hour digging plenty of shotgun pellets, completely normal in this area as there is a rabbit plague that causes countless thousands of shotgun pellets to be distributed all over the place for me to clean up 🙂 I didn't have high hopes as myself and a friend (JW) have absolutely thrashed this area but it's always possible to miss gold when there is so many pellets. We generally scrape a few times and if the signal persists dig it, if it moves after the first scrapes ignore it thinking it's very likely a pellet.
A few pictures of the sort of terrain I was detecting.
My batteries went down to 2 bars quite quickly, within an hour. I assume as they're rechargeable and run at 1.2 volts instead of 1.5 volts for standard AA's but it stayed at the two bars for the entire day so still plenty of life left in them yet by the looks of it.
Pretty wild rocky terrain and only really suitable for smaller coils.
The GPZ with it's stock coil is terrible here, the smaller the coil the better in general.
I did manage to find a piece though, after a lot of pellet digs 🙂
Not a bad size bit for the area too
I now decided I'd put the Whites 6" Concentric coil on and give it another go as this area doesn't have near as many hot rocks as my scrape and detect spot.
I found a bit of raised bedrock and had a signal that persisted down into the schist. At this point it almost had to be gold so I started filming.
And it was gold 🙂
I had to break up the schist to get it out.
A nice little piece too, a roundish flat one.
This area has plenty of black sand too, this was my pick after checking that bedrock in case it was a steel shotgun pellet.
It was getting near time to go get some dinner and I was pretty satisfied to even get one nugget in this area but I kept going a little while longer and it paid off. I like the bulls eye sight on the 6" coil, it really is the hot spot too, great for pinpointing.
I had a signal that persisted down into the gravels on the bedrock.
And got this one!
It's hard to tell the depth in the photo but it was a reasonable depth. A few inches anyway.
And that was it for the day, I was starving!
So, do I like the 24K? You're damn right I do, it certainly exceeded my expectations and will now be my primary VLF gold detector replacing my Equinox which replaced my Gold Monster, and the Gold Bug 2 was just not for me, I didn't gel with it at all especially with the masking from hot rocks. I look forward to getting more coils for the 24k, especially smaller ones, and judging by how well it handled the hot rocks I wouldn't mind a larger size coil for ground coverage too.
The total for the day. Very happy with the results.
really hard hunt. got in the wash at 6am very few targets over the first 1/2 mile.
on some bedrock i got a bit of a waver in the threshold, after moving it i could tell it was small.
i called my friend over to recover it with the monster, so i could keep moving.
it was about a 1 grain bit. it was about 930 and it was starting to look like a skunk day.
started moving very slow maxed out on manual with the threshold wavering i got a repeatable signal
that i would have missed without headphones on. got down to 6 inches in the crack and it got loud.
flipped the coil to slide in to the crack and it got really loud. 2 more inches and it was out.
very nice 9 grain nugget. stuck the coil back in the crack and there was another target a nice 7 grain nugget.
after that i found 2 more small ones and my friend got a few small bits with the monster.
over all a nice day. 19 grains or like 1.2 grams
im saying 8 inches, but it might have been a bit deeper. my scoop is about 12 inches, see pic.
By Gerry in Idaho
Yes I posted this video last Fall and have not watched in many months. Not sure why, as this is what dreams are made of. Every one of us thinks about the day this will happen and I just so luckily was there to catch it. Even though it's not my own find, don't you think I too was a little excited.
Someone is going to post a video this year of a monster found with a GPX-6000, it's just a matter of time.
This particular piece would have been heard with a GPX-6000 and or any other big Minelab PI, so part of it was just getting your coil over.
Realize you better be in shape as well since there was some serious hard digging going on.
Man it just excites me to watch it...enjoy.
By Gerry in Idaho
I wanted to share some pics of my last hunt with the GPX-6000 as it was fun to dig a little bigger and deeper gold.
This site was much different than my previous 2 gold hunts (Success in Dakota & Wyoming) as it produced quite a few hot rocks for a PI detector. Now yes I can easily spend the time to do the "lift coil as I swing across signal and listen to how fast the signal target dissipates" method (I'll post it later) or I can easily change the multiple of Settings on the GPX-6000 (very confusing detector)🤔 with the 2 timings (Normal or Difficult). Anyway, I pushed the pad on the LDC screen to DIFF and the hot rocks where gone. Pretty easy there. I ran SENS/GAIN at 10 -which is MAX and had THRESHOLD on.
After about 20+ small lead birdshots (this detector is a birdshot king), I get a little stronger-slightly more broad of a signal. It immediately sparks my interest as it's a big different than the lead pellets. I book scrape the 1st inch and target is still there, boot another almost inch and still there. Now I pull the pick and take another 1 1/2" off and now am actually into what I consider virgin layer. Quick swing and yet the target comes through very easily. So as to make sure I catch it on video, I hike back to my wheels and grab the cell phone and another water.
Trying to dig with an APEX (best pick on the market in my opinion) in 1 hand and the cell phone in the other, while trying to keep the phone on the hole is harder than you might think. Probably why so many people don't catch as many live digs, as you really do need a 2nd person to get the quality. Well no quality here, but I hope the video shows it?
After a few digs, swing, digs swing t test and digs, I finally get the target out of the hole. I'm really excited at this time and just so sure I have my 1st really nice 1/2" nugget. The depth of the hole was approx 8" deep, maybe 10", but it was not the 12" I had said in the video as I thought a water bottle was 12" and afterwards my tape showed it to be 8". But I know the detector easily heard the signal 2 to 4 " above the target before I started digging.
This piece of gold is not a solid 4.5 grammer, but is mostly gold on the one side and host rock on the bottom. A dense solid nugget of 4.5 grams should easily be able to respond much deeper as I have done it on many older SD/GP and GPX detectors.
Hope you folks much success this Fall with your detecting adventures and I look forward to seeing your heavy yellow metal digs.