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    • By Gerry in Idaho
      Most of you do not know the history of metal detecting and my family.  We go back to the early 1970's, my dad, uncle, 1 cousin and I all were pretty avid TH'ers back then.  In the 80's and 90's we took it to a new level and started concentrating more on older sites and doing research.  Our old coin finds were better with a few Barbers and Seated Liberty silvers.  The gold coin had still eluded us for all those yrs.  We knew it was just a matter of time.  Anyway about 20 yrs ago, my little brother started getting serious with detectors and making some nice finds.  It was about 20 years ago when the McMullen clan broke the gold coin barrier (it was me) with an 1852 $2.50 piece found in OR.  Then about 10 years ago on 4th of July I was greedy and hit another (my 2nd) GC of the clan.  My relatives and family started getting a little jealous and well deserving.  Especially my little brother who happened to be on that trip with me when I hit #2, It was a 1902 $5 found here in Idaho.
      Well last week I was with my brother in OR and his Equinox put a smile on his face in more ways than 1.
      Not only did he find a gold coin, but also a Barber and Seated Liberty Half.  Me, I managed to find a clad dime, which is the 1st modern coin that I know of to come from this site.  He does not do much with forums, but did say I could mention them and share the pics.  I wanted to let him have his glory and then after a few days I'd share.
      Here is his 1839 $5, 1907 Barber Half and 1877 Seated Half.  And you know what?  I honestly was a little jealous for about a minute and then I realize his tears were real.  I then became the proud big brother of another gold coin find for the McMullen clan.  I'm so proud of this guy for continuing to go and just keeps on swinging.  Now that I think back, it was meant to be and I was able to be there and share the precious moment with him.

    • By mn90403
      On Thursday I went out on my 3rd trip with my 15x10 X-Coil to well pounded patches in Southern California.  All of these places have been completely trashed.    I've only found gold in one of the areas but others have.  I did some thinking and testing at my first stop of the morning about dawn and decided to settle down the sensitivity.
      Thursday I switched to difficult and something close to Lunk and Coiltek's settings but the sensitivity at 15.  This helped me maintain a smooth threshold even with our hotrocks and mineralizations.  I've been poking it under bushes I could never get under before and going very slow and finding tiny bits of wire and bullets missed by Monsters, 2300s and 14s but I can't show any gold for my efforts yet.  It was more fun on Thursday than the previous two trips where I felt anxious and frustrated.
      About the middle of the day I noticed a tire on my 4Runner was low.  I couldn't trust going up higher into the mountains so I switched to a spot where a friend had Monstered and found some tiny surface nuggets so I thought I'd give it a try.  I was finding trash so that was a good sign.  Most of the bbs were long gone.  I just kept poking around.  I heard a deep signal (iffy) under a bush and was scrapping and digging and the signal brightened up a bit.  I was near a little road but I was going down into compressed rock and the signal is getting better.   After I'm down past the normal trash I decided to video this hole.
      As you could tell I was hopeful.
      I don't know how that cartridge got down that deep but it is only the 3 time I remember something like that happening.  One time was in Australia and the other time was in Gold Basin.
      Better luck next time.
    • By Chris Ben
      Hi all, been pretty busy lately, and what started out as a really slow year ended up being pretty good prospecting wise. The first half of the year was very slow, only able to scratch a few nuggets out of some old patches. Not much luck looking for new areas. 
      A few buddies and I decided to meet up in the middle of the summer in Gold Basin. Dave, Steve, and a couple of other Chris' . They were out there since Friday evening,  but because of work I couldn't get out till Saturday afternoon. Dave was meeting us on Sunday. 
      I made the drive out from Vegas, and when I got there I tried reach the guys, but no luck. Cell service can be spotty out there, and the must have been out detecting. I figured I might as well get started on my own till I was able to reach them. I ended up in an area where I had found a nice gold quartz specimen years ago, and figured I might grid the area to see if I could come up with a few scraps. 

      It was found 3/4 the way up a tiny drainage where nothing else was found (by me anyway) I detectected the drainage top to bottom with no luck,  so I decided to hit the hillside. About 7 or 8 feet from where I found that specie I jammed the coil under a creosote bush and got a strong signal over a large area. It wasn't a distinct signal like a nugget,  so I kind of thought I was some mineralization but decided to dig anyway. There was only about 5 or 6 inches of overburden, so I scraped that off, and now the signal was sounding much more like a target,  but still over a 2 sq ft area. I carry a rock hammer in my pack so I used that to tear up the bedrock. I got down about a foot total and now the signal was screaming.  One more attempt with the hammer, and now I have signals in the tailings. I pick up a piece of quartz and put it over the coil...bingo!! I found my first pocket. I actually found the source. 
      I kept working on my hole, still pulling gold out, and still getting strong signals in the bedrock. I was finally able to reach the other guys and dropped them a pin so they could meet up with me. Everyone got some specimens out of my tailings.  
      Over the next several weeks I brought home several buckets of ore. I kept at it till there was no more signal in the ground with my GPZ. 
      The next step was to crush and pan...geeze that is tedious work when you dont have a proper rock crusher. It took several more weeks to process the ore.

      thanks the pocket ended up being around 4oz!!! And a big to 1515Art and his contest I got to use my kiln to make my first gold bar. Took me a while to figure out how to use the electric kiln, it does take a few hours to reach proper temps, but works great!!
      added to the nuggets I found, it was a 5z year!
      I still have some ore to crush and a nice speci I may just keep. But definitely learned a lot. I'm going to be looking for more pockets. 
      2020 has been a pretty good year so far as well.
    • By mn90403
      Take My Land Matters with you and/or study it before you go.
      My Land Matters has managed to implement both the new Alaska BLM & State mining claims systems on the Alaska Mining Claims Map. They even went further by including the State Mineral Withdrawal areas and the State Mining Leases in the mapping.

      Each BLM mining claim information window now has a link directly to the BLM ACRES case file for that claim.
      Each Alaska State Mining Claim or Lease information window has a link directly to the Alaska State ADL Case file.
      Each Alaska State Mineral Withdrawal  information window has a link directly to the Alaska State ADL Case file for the Closure Order.
    • By Gerry in Idaho
      Back from our Mexico gold hunt and wanted to share a few photos and my story.

      Every day I swung my 7000 I found gold nuggets.  60+ pieces weighing over 41 grams.  (picture of gold and shovel is to show size comparison as some pics make the gold look bigger) So there is good gold to be found, but you don’t fill your pockets as we all dream. The locals who hunt there all use 7000’s and they are really good.  They only miss the faintest of signals or the occasional boomer off the beaten path.  Me being a 6’ 2” 230 lb guy is hard to get into the cactus bushes to find virgin ground.  In fact I only found 1 small patch of undetected ground that held gold and over 9 grams came from that patch.  The local Mexican folks have no issues getting into the thickets and I could see their dig holes in them.  I give them credit for their desire and determination.
      Cactus, the guardian angels of the MX gold is everywhere.   With over 600+ species alone in Mexico, I was amazed to see and able to get pricked by (it seemed all 600+ kinds) many.  Some of them are masters at growing in the funniest of shapes and statues.  I was amazed and giggled many times while trying to find a landmark for return.  Best to use your GPS on the 7000 (thanks Luck for showing me) as it is really pretty easy.  I learned quickly, most of my clothing including the Merrell Hikers were no match for the variety of pokers.  I took 3 different pairs of boots and the all leather, heavy duty uncomfortable ones were the least effected from the pricks.  I took a pair of shorts and T-shirts for hotter days but could not wear them.  Long sleeve shirt and thick pants were a must.  Found out on my 1st day there getting on my knees or anywhere on the ground was dangerous and I ended up buying a thick pair of knee pads.

      I managed 3 small pickers in one spot at the bottom of this wash.
      This looks like a cactus nugget right?  I think I'll polish it and give it to my wife.

      Lunk was all eagle eyes and found some rare pottery shards probably from a water transport jug.

      There are desert tortoise to be found (more rare than gold)

      We were even rewarded seeing the ancient grinding pads, two of them, called an arrastra and were used to grind ore.

      Their desert is more beautiful than I expected and also has a much greater degree of mountains to climb that what I imagined.  Another interesting part of the trip seeing the antique ways of prospects (100 to 200+ yr old dry wash piles) and their claim corner markers.  Lunk always looks so serious.  Notice he wore snake guards.  I asked him about them and he said the snakes were not bad this time of year.  He did not tell me to bring some for the attacking cacti and all their brothers.

      My coolest find of the trip was actually not gold at all but a copper type coin that looks to be hammered, made (very thin and off center struck) and has some words and symbols.  I’ve been updated with identification as an early MX ¼ reale coin from 1830’s.   The 2 nuggets and coin were all in one small area together.

      I also spotted (on the run) a small buck deer.  A few days before, I found a big daddy antler.

      The last day in MX was me on the beach enjoying the Gulf of California (on the MX side).

      The very next day was me in snow as I was heading back to Idaho.

      So the total driven miles on my truck for the trip was over 2800.  I lived in the back of the truck with the camper shell and the 40 degree nights was no issues for cold.  Used my small compact Jetboil burner to heat water for cooking/bathing.  The warm upper 70’s and lower 80 degree temps in days allowed for my canned and or packaged meals to be heated by placing them on my dash in the truck. 
      Plenty of gold is still in MX., but the reality of it is, the gravy is gone.  You’ll work you butt off finding it and most pieces you find are sub ½ grammers.  It reminds me somewhat of Rye Patch, NV in a way as most folks won’t find any and those who do usually only find a few each day.  The really big ones for the most part have already been found, but popping an occasional 1/4 oz’er+ is still possible.  My own biggest piece of gold for the trip was only 4.9 grams, but I did see one find that was a multi ouncer 3 to 4 oz. Was the trip worth it and did my gold finds pay expenses?  I’m all about adventure and as long as my body holds up I’ll go most anywhere with a metal detector at least once. Checking spot gold today shows $1580 oz. so that equates to just over $50 a gram.  Take $50 a gram X 41 grams of nuggets = $2000.  My cost for the trip with insurance, fees, all food and drinks was $1800.  But with me, just like my travels to Australia, it is more about the “just go do it” adventure, than it is the finds or value of.
      Hopefully everyone enjoys the pics and story.
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Paradise Valley is the oldest operating metal detector "pay-to-mine" operation in Alaska. The area to detect is small compared to what was available at Ganes Creek and Moore Creek and the nuggets smaller, but some great finds have been made there over the years. I was browsing around and just found a thread with some recent photos from Paradise Valley at Link deleted since Findmall update broke all old links

      The actual Paradise Valley website is at http://www.akpub.com/akttt/parad.html
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