By Mike Hillis
Hadn't taken any pictures in a while for show and tell. But now that I have some, its show and tell time. Nothing spectacular but its still pretty eye candy.
A couple of few weeks back I was out with my V3 and got some silver and gold. The 14K DAD ring is the smallest diameter ring I have ever found. In the same patch I also found this really neat silver CZ charm.
This past week I took the Compadre/Cleansweep combo out to another patch and found the One Ring! Nothing happened when I put it on so I think its just gold plated stainless.
Anyway....some pics to keep the spirits up.
At the moment my life is pretty restricted, my wife went back home to Australia to see her family in Brisbane and to attend her brothers Wedding down in Canberra. I didn't want to go, it's far too hot for me there this time of year which is fortunate as I avoided a big dust storm that covered Sydney and Canberra.... My 7yr old daughter has taken after me and cant stand the heat either so she decided to stay home with me. I was eager for a detect, I'm desperate to try out my new SP01 Audio enhancer for my GPX but going gold prospecting wasn't going to happen with my daughter tagging along, she wouldn't have the patience for that so I suggested to her we go up a nearby ski field for an hour or two and get some coins for her money box, to her this was a great plan. We have an agreement if I find coins metal detecting and they're current currency she gets them to put in her money box.
So off we went up to the ski field, the area I was hoping to detect was closed off as they're replacing that particular lift with a new Gondola lift and the builders were there doing some work so it looks like I've missed out on detecting that lift, they'd done ground works there already. I was quite annoyed as it was one of the last spots left for me to do, except for the far away lift, and it's just not very popular compared to the others as the route down is very tricky and has very skinny bits through a gully which snowboards struggle to do. I didn't have much hope for this lift, whenever we use it there is never a queue and sometimes you can be the only person coming down.
The view down to Queenstown area from the mountain with the lake mostly obscured by the hills in front of it.
Ended up having to detect the far away lift I wasn't overly confident on.
The weather wasn't ideal and it rained a good portion of the hour or so we were up there, my daughter just sat under the cover of the lift and read a book on her kindle while I got to work.
Every lift has a dirty great big red power box with 11,000 volts charging through it, and even though the ski fields are closed for the season these things are juiced up to the max, a loud humming noise coming out of them, quite loud when you're up close to them.
These boxes cause havoc for the Equinox, especially with the 12x15" coil, the 6" handles them quite well, and it gets progressively worse the bigger the coil. I really wanted to test out the bigger coil so I left it on and just lowered my sensitivity to 14 which made the detector go back to it's usual quiet self.
The usual gold coins were popping up, if you've got a good set of eyeballs you'll see them still in the holes in the photos. Some were still quite deep, 10 or so inches even with my lower sensitivity
I'd finished detecting around the gates area that checks your pass before you can go on the lift, this area is often good to detect on lifts as people sometimes have to get the pass out of their pocket if the wireless pass system won't read their pass so they pull it out of their pocket to wave it in front of it, often doing this things can be dropped and they sink straight into the snow. Got about $8 here, nothing too great but still a bit of fun.
Then I moved to the point where you first sit down on the lift and it takes off taking you up the hillside, this area is usually the best to detect as when people sit down on the lift and it takes off at speed things can fall out of pockets and people also sometimes pull off their gloves once on the lift so they can use their phone as a camera to film the ride, this is when rings can drop off being hooked onto the gloves.
And that's exactly what happened, I found a ring, it appears to be silver with 7 diamonds.
I don't know what's with me, the Equinox and silver rings, I just keep finding them, I've only ever found one gold ring.
Other than that was just a few more coins in the takeoff area
You'll see my daughter in the background sitting under the lift reading her book, very patient to let me detect away 🙂 she was quick to run over and collect everything I found of course knowing all the money was hers.
Any my total for the hour and a bit I was there before the rain just got too heavy
$11.50 in modern NZ coinage, 2 Australian 5 cents and 2 chinese coins. The Ring and a funny musical thing, you turn the handle and it plays music, At first I thought it was junk and just put it in my junk pocket as I take all junk away so I don't have to detect it next year. When I got home and was going through all the stuff I cleaned it up under the tap and worked out what it is. It's pretty cool, you spin the handle around and it plays you are my sunshine, my only sunshine's music. The other two things the pyramid and round thing are my worst enemies on the ski field when searching for coins, they both come up a solid 21/22 the same as our gold coins, they're little things people attach to their snowboard so they can scrape the snow off their boots, they usually have a clump of 20 or so stuck to the board but they seem to fall off a lot.
It cleaned up nice.
A fun way to spend a bit of an afternoon 🙂
Happy to get another ring to add to the collection, my wife will probably want this one when she gets home, although she's meant to fly from Canberra to Sydney, then Sydney to Queenstown on Monday, with this dust storm in action that may well not take place.
Usually after a while of owning the next great thing in metal detectors, you kind of settle into the reality of what you purchased and how much of the hype is real or not. The Equinox is no exception. I am speaking strictly about beach hunting here, as I have not played a lot with it in real dirt. Today I hit my favorite gold beach. The tide was awful having a (coefficient of 35), meaning there is not much difference between low and high tide. This beach has terrible EMI from trains that run regularly and are close to you. Chatter city for about 5 minutes when they pass. I do realize that a small beach has to stop producing after a while, especially since there are a LOT of beach hunters in my area. So today the clad count was around 1 dollar. (8AM to 4 PM) I still can not believe a machine can continue to produce good finds under these conditions, but the Equinox does. Today was a stellar hunt after a slow start. 4 Mercury dimes, a buffalo nickel, some wheats and copper pennies and the 2 gold rings pictured. This 10K and Aquamarine beauty surfaced about 2 hours into the hunt. The last target of the day was what I believe is a 14K gold square cut diamond ring that may have been colored either with Silver or most likely Rhodium. It's marked and has the TWC (total carat weight) inscribed in it. It's worn but I think it says .48. Also has very worn numbers in it which may be a registration number in it. I was floored that the Equinox continues to give up the finds on pounded beaches. Hats off to Minelab. That Diamond ring was sitting at 10 inches on packed rock bottom. Rang in a choppy number 6. Out of the hole it was a solid 6 also.
Has anyone elses high K gold increased with this machine? Had it about 6 months now and nearly half of my gold has been 18K and above...... even a couple of 24k which ive never found. So is that a good thing? Im not sure when your goal is smaller gold. I cant figure if its just been this season. Me and a buddy tested it and on small gold the Nox is the obvious choice over an Xcal. I have some rather larger ... to me.... in the 1.4 gram range open earrings the Xcal just couldnt get. I got another 18K white gold 8.6 grams today....... read digit 18. High K gold normally is a little more conductive oddly. Oh...... and by the way im using the OLD program. It just works better for me..... especially in the wet sand. This machine to me is still a head scratcher because im not sure its does any better than the others on lower K gold IN the water.
This was my first beach hunt in a few days because I had been out in the Rye Patch area over the weekend. While I was gone I understand that it had rained and some wave alerts had been sent to my email. Our area beaches get hit hard by detectorists but I know them pretty well and followed my intuition when I got there.
We don't have a negative tide right now and there is a Santa Ana wind blowing so the new waves are very small. On my way 'out' I hunted near the waterline. There was very little to find. I walked about a mile or so with very few targets. There was a bit of a trough at the bottom of the hill (beach slope) but nothing seemed to be holding. I was thinking about leaving and I worked back in the direction from where I had come. Then I got a clue. The clue was the junk wire pack. It was completely buried in the wet sand and had a thin plastic bag around it. It certainly is an unusual beach find for me.
This pack was at the bottom of the hill and just above it for about 6 feet or so was hard sand and just above that was about 10 yards of 'past wave' deposited sand. You need some energy to move targets and you need the right conditions for those targets to be 'grouped' and deposited. Some beaches will stay this way for a few days and some beaches will only keep targets for a few hours. I look for these pockets. I liken it to a crab crawl on the Deadliest Catch.
Anyway, I went up into this area and found a hoop earring among the bobby pins, pennies and a few other coins. I was using the Nox 11 on all metal and I was digging EVERYTHING. Sometimes I skip pennies and bobby pin sounds but not last night. Then I was surprised by one of the silver hoop earrings and its mate was just about 5 feet away. Then came a copper hoop, and then another and all of them within 10 feet. They're all water tarnished. Then I got what I thought was a ring ... earring it turns out but then a stainless steel bracelet. Then another earring (GOLD) and finally a couple of silver rings (.925).
I worked the patch with a grid pattern and it kept giving. I had had enough after 4 hours. A 'bad' beach had turned into the most hoops (10) I've ever found. I've been on beaches where I've found 5 chains in a session but they are as rare as this beach.
You never know. Follow your clues.