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Hunting Specimen Gold In Nevada With The SDC

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Last week Steve and I got out to a spot in Northern Nevada that is known for spongy specimen gold. This is the type most PI detectors have some difficulty with because the gold is not solid or well connected - its almost like a delicate jewelry chain formed into a ball. Stuff that is sparse enough in gold content can even be invisible to a PI. However, this is the kind of gold the SDC does really well with - and it doesn't have to be tiny gold either - some spongy, loose, hard to find specimen type gold even in larger sizes can show up poorly on many PI detectors. This is the first time I've had my SDC 2300 out specifically for specimen type gold (though I have found some specimen stuff with it). So I hunted this spot with my SDC 2300 which has been gone over time and time again with the GPX 5000, as well as high frequency VLFs like the GMT and the Fisher Gold Bug 2. I am guessing I was the first one here with an SDC.

There were no trash targets at all because it had been so pounded, but right in the middle of the patch were these two specimens, both of spongy specimen gold. Both were about 6 inches deep. Total weight for the two is five pennyweight or a quarter ounce. Tested one of them on a TDI and it only responded weakly when touching the coil. The SDC has really done well for me this year - and has much more than paid for itself.

Steve got some pieces of this spongy specimen gold on the same trip with his SDC as well.


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I found a few more pieces with the SDC after you left Chris. I KNOW I went over that area with the GPX 5000 and the GMT. The GPX missing the stuff does not really surprise me but the GMT missing it really does. The gold must be awfully close to reading the same as the ground and getting partially ground balanced out along with the ground because I am sure the GMT would hit them hard in an air test. This stuff is also high silver content so very low conductivity. Counter intuitive but adding silver to gold lowers the conductivity instead of increasing it. A piece I got was totally invisible to the TDI but screamed on the SDC. I would not have believed it if I did not see it with my own eyes. I will be doing some bench testing with this stuff.

I was running the GMT hot and that means it was running noisy on the ground. I got a couple smaller shallower pieces because they were sharper than the ground noises. I am willing to bet I went over those nuggets and actually heard them, but wrote them off as ground noise. They just did not stand out enough for me to catch them. The SDC? No ground noise at all, just the signal from the specimens.

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At that mining show at the Nugget in December, they will have XRF guns and they happily do product demonstrations. We could get some gold-silver-copper readings to see what metals are present - just an interesting thing to know.

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So much for the SDC 2300 not being good on large gold. Maybe large solid nuggets are not its strength. But we could be talking some very large specimen gold that is totally invisible to other detectors and easily seen by the SDC. In your case 1/8 ounce chunks!

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That was a year ago but there is not much to set on the GMT. Probably full gain, audio boost on, manually ground balanced, SAT on preset.

My guess is I was running too hot, should have backed her down a bit to smooth out the ground noise. It was extremely windy that day which did not help.

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Besides the obvious small gold benefits I'm finding that the SDC is deadly on specimen type gold in Australia too. Highly mineralised ground is no problem & the speccis signal great.

Found some in areas that I have used a GMT, SD2200D & GPX5000 in & got nothing.

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Chris, Steve,


You guys are doing great.  Impressive that you are managing websites and forums and also writing books and magazine articles and still finding time to get out and consistently find good gold, which is what it's all about.  Chris, I think you even also have a day job? 


I suffer from the way too many distractions syndrome and thanks for providing some inspiration to get out and detect more often.

Gave Ken Walls at Eureka Prospecting Supplies some money yesterday and in return he gave me a new SDC 2300!  So now I'm committed to becoming a serious prospector.  Going to be going detecting early this morning and hope to be posting some "finds" pictures soon.


I think I know where the specimen gold you posted here came from and it ain't easy to find gold with a detector there.  The SDC 2300 helped but I'm sure that the skill factor counted for a lot.


- Bob

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Hey Bob,

Good for you! Great detector for sure, the SDC 2300. It was screaming on specimen gold the TDI could not see when we rolled it on the coil! Amazing stuff to see in person, and most would not beleieve it without seeing it. Frankly, I would not have. The SDC is a game changer in several ways and a real asset for the serious prospector. The only trick is to make time to use it, and I am heading out again right now to do just that. May be offline a couple days to Chris will keep the riff raff away in my absence. Good luck with the new detector!

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I should have known.

With all ML knows about PI gold detectors and their active development of demining technology - I should have known that when the decided to make a machine which "kills" on small and specimen gold, that they would nail it.

I was one of those who thought of it as a rush job to head off Garrett's machine. Some rush job!

From what you are seeing, i suspect your Gold Bug 2 might be getting less use - it would be interesting if you found a spot where the SDC found several small nuggets then see if the GB2 have value as a clean up.

Anyway, it's clear from your reports that ML nailed it.

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