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    • By phrunt
      My 12x6" X-Coil arrived yesterday from Russia, I was out prospecting with my Equinox when it arrived, luckily my wife was home for the courier.  I ended up with a skunk on the Equinox, I took it back to the place I found my 1.2 gram nugget last week.  I detected the living daylights out of the hillside I found the nuggets on hoping there would be another.

      There ended up being no more for the Equinox but now seeing I had my X-Coil I figured I'd give it another try.  I jumped in the car and started the journey, it was another stunner of a day so I did a few stops on the drive to soak up the view.

      Not a breath of wind anywhere.

      I figured my X-coil would like a photo shoot, being such a good looking coil 🙂
      I arrived at my spot and started hunting, I immediately noticed the X-coil wasn't as concerned by the hot rocks in the area as my Evo was.
      Here is an example of the areas hot rocks on the Equinox
      Here is the X-coil running on the same ground, maximum gain of 15, audio in boost and sensitive extra, hardly even notice the hot rocks.
      You notice the cars more than the hot rocks, when they drive past even though I'm a reasonable distance from the road they interfere with my GPX, this is always the case on any coil.  There was a bit of EMI noise but that's because my gain is on max 15 and I'd forgotten to airplane mode my phone before taking the video.  The hole in the video is where my nugget came from.
      The GPX using the X-coil was blissfully unaware of them being there, only the biggest ones would sound off, a majority were silent, about 90% of them didn't make a peep.  On my GPX with Nugget Finder EVO they were quite troublesome.  There was no knock sensitivity at all and I was running the detector flat out, gain of 15 (max) with audio in Boost. 
      This made detecting in this area quite enjoyable, I had been here now a few times so I wasn't expecting much but I really wanted to detect the exact hole I dug to get my 1.2 gram nugget with it as when I found that nugget with the Equinox there was another faint signal on the Nox coming in the -7, -8 range but I was never able to pin it down and ended up deciding it must be a tiny hot rock annoying it.
      It turns out I was wrong, as soon as I put the X-coil in the hole I had a signal, I scraped a bit and out it popped.

      My first X-Coil gold !!!! 0.287 Grams, a nice screaming signal too.
      I detected the rest of this little mound but didn't have any joy on the gold, the one interesting thing though was I found a NZ 1 cent piece, a long extinct coin.  What is interesting about this is the Nox missed it, there is no way I wouldn't dig it with the Nox as they come in at 21 on the VDI's, same as a NZ Gold coin.

      No more luck at this spot so I went back into town to get some lunch as I had a plan to try another spot to see how the coil goes there.
      I'd decided on another occasion I was unable to use my GPX with EVO coil in this spot in the past, it's close to power lines which drive my GPX nuts there, it also has hot rocks that also set my detector off constantly.  I also can't use the VLF's here as the amount of shotgun pellets is just insane, damn Rabbit shooters.
      The X-coil was a different beast.  It still had the EMI issues but dropping my gain back from my usual 15 (max) to 10 mostly resolved the EMI with the odd UFO siren sound occasionally.  I guess being a smaller coil helped with EMI.
      By dropping my gain back I wasn't picking up any shotgun pellets at all, I was a bit worried at first as when I used my EVO here I was digging many pellets, I believe with the EVO I kept my gain at about 13 and put up with the EMI but I wasn't going to do that today, I didn't really want to spend my time digging pellets anyway so I ran with my gain lower hoping to find some gold bigger than a pellet.  The GPX was running really nicely, the shape of the coil was letting me snoop around in spots my EVO couldn't get.  Being long and skinny it gets into tight places well, it's also a dream for pinpointing.

      I could squeeze in between rocks and right up next to them too.  For my EVO I'd be going over the top of these, not between them.
      Also in the plant life it was great, again going between them.  These little plants are quite stiff, you can't just push them over easily but you can navigate between them with this coil.

      I felt I was detecting places that hadn't overly been done due to this, even though I was in flogged ground.
      I managed to pull a signal too, very faint but there every swing

      See how thin I can do my dig hole, the width of the coil...
      And this was it, gold number 2 for the X-coil

      It's heavier than the other one, just 🙂 0.294 grams!  I was pretty happy with this as I've been to this spot about 10 times and only once even got a nugget so for me to get a nugget here was very surprising.
      I was pretty worn out now so I decided I'd hit the lake front for a quick detect near Mcdonald's to try find enough coin to buy dinner.  It was a pretty nice time to be doing it.

      There is the beach I detected, my cars the first one on there, the silver one.

      I'd done this beach before some time ago and it was never great for finds, this time wasn't much different. 

      My days haul.  I do like my X-coil.  I ended up having to pay for my McDonalds
      I think one of my nuggets looks like me, especially on the non-zoomed photo above 🙂

    • By 1864hatter
      So today I thought it was about time I took my 2.5 year old daughter out to my gold claim. The claim is in reasonably rugged country with steep slopes and dense vegetation. Most of the gold is found as small nuggets on or near bedrock. There was one spot I could think of that was within 100m of the road where a river bank had been washed out and bedrock was exposed. That said I knew I'd have to cut a bit of a track through the vegetation to get the little girl through.
      We got to our location after a bit of a scramble down a short but steep slope with the aid of a rope. Was a bit of a performance with a backpack on my back and carrying my daughter. I set her up on a grassy bank next to where I'd be digging and surrounded her with snacks with which to entertain herself. 
      As luck would have it I managed to uncover three small nuggets by clearing the gravels off the bedrock and detecting it. After about an hour she'd had enough and we clamberd back to my car.
      Needless to say, I'm very proud that she's now big and patient enough to take gold hunting!    
      Oh, we got 0.8g total. However in this case the memories (at least for me) are priceless. 

    • By nugget hunter nz
      Thought I'd do we show and tell these are from summer 2018 mainly bedrock hunting in upper creek heads .. using my gpx4500 and goldmonster 1000 all the fines in the left container were from the monster apart from a couple that were gpx or nox800   the two in the centre are 1.7 and 1.6 grams  still yet to break the 2 gram yet hopfuly this year .. I'll be pulling alot of you tube videos up if you want to follow my channel its nugget hunter new zealand ...
      I have a modded gpx4500 but I also modded the shaft to a 3 piece gold big 2 shaft it makes it very portable and easy to carry into hills 

    • By phrunt
      JW asked me last night if I was keen to go back to my hot rock skunk spot for another go, I knew he'd do well there so I wanted to go to see the action, I didn't have too much faith in myself but I was determined to at least break the skunk.
      I arrived at JW's and he had a gift waiting for me, a Minelab melon warmer, perfect timing right before winter kicks in, maybe it's my lucky beanie.

      We've gone to this spot the past couple of weekends, JW has been absolutely killing it at this spot with his X-coils getting double digit gold every time.  I had been skunked both previous times but this time was different, I was determined to break the skunk, the past two skunks were getting to me so I was going to find gold and gold I found, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain't bad...
      It's a nice spot, I enjoy being there wandering around

      The grass growth was bad, consistent with this year at every spot we go, it's been a bit wetter than usual

      That little plant in the bottom left of the photo is lethal, it doesn't look dangerous but it will stab you to death with its sharp spikes.  I found out the hard way.
      I started off using my GPX but the hot rocks were driving me mad, as you probably remember from my last two posts about this area I'm really struggling with this area and it's green hot rocks.  On the GPX they come up such nice signals, especially when they're underground, surface ones are simple to deal with.  The smaller they are the more annoying they are.  I quickly got sick of digging hotrocks so swapped over to my Equinox. 
      The Equinox although is just as bothered by the hot rocks can at least tell you they're hotrocks with the -8 and -9 on the VDI's.  I prefer to use my Equinox in all metal mode, I don't like how if you notch out numbers it just nulls the audio but you hear broken audio from any overlap in the VDI's that cross to another number. 
      Here is a video of the Equinox on this ground with no discrimination - I'll put better quality videos up later, Googles taking forever to process them.
      I put up with all metal mode for a while but gave up and notched out -9 and -8, not long after that I found my first bit of gold.  A nice 6 to 7 on the VDI's

      Not too shabby, It was quite deep too, I didn't bother to work out the depth but I'd say about 7",  a decent weight too

      You'll notice on all my dig holes in this post I clear the surface around them, that's to get rid of as many hot rocks as possible as they can disturb the signal and effect the VDI's
      That was it for me for some time,  I spent the next couple of hours detecting around and found very little, the good thing about this spot is its relatively junk free, there are just bucket loads of hot rocks to make up for the missing junk 🙂
      JW walked past on his way to another spot and I asked how he's going, I think at this point he was at 6 or more, I can't remember exactly but I wasn't surprised, it's the x-coil factor....
      Lately my best gold has come from the most unlikely places, so what's exactly where I went to explore next.
      My GPX was behaving nicely, I'm not overly certain what people consider a smooth running GPX is but this is mine in sensitive extra with gain of 15 and audio in boost, the signals it's getting are the hot rocks.
        Going over ground and finding a small underground hotrock
      Going over my .3 of a gram nugget I just found, I throw it in an about 6" deep dig hole from someone else.
      I gave up on the GPX again due to the hot rocks and lack of discrimination and went back to the Nox with 11" coil.  I was in Gold 2 with sensitivity 25, all else defaults but -8 and -9 discriminated out.
      JW wandered past as he was going back to get lunch, I'd already had mine so he said you may as well stay detecting, it's lucky he said that as I was about to give up on this spot but decided I'd stay a bit longer.
      Soon after I had a solid 15 on the VDI's, never changed.. absolutely solid.  I thought maybe I had an old coin or something but no, it was my biggest piece of gold ever!!!!!

      Look at that lump! You'll note I got my Carrot out for this one, I thought it was an old coin so I used my Carrot to locate it, which it did a quick job of.

      Down 3/4 of the depth of my carrot.

      Oh yea! my biggest ever! 1.208 grams 🙂
      A few foot away I got another nice signal, a very repeatable 5 on the VDI's this time

      Only about 2-3 inches down


      A very good day to me, but no match for JW and his X-coils! 🙂
      Some may wonder why I used the 11" coil on the Equinox and not the 6" when prospecting.... to me there is not that much difference, the 11" will find tiny gold, I wanted the ground coverage and the extra depth as I've seen from JW's experience the gold at this spot tends to be deeper.  The 11" isn't that far behind the 6" in sensitivity to tiny gold.
    • By GB_Amateur
      Got out to my (lately) best producing site for 2 1/2 hours last week -- a permission which I still have only covered less than half the area.  I thought I had hit the garden spots initially but that has turned out not to be the case.  One of the reasons I wasn't high on my current spot is that it had been backfilled with gravel.  When?  I don't know but based upon aerial photos I was thinking in the 1960's.  I've been pulling up keepers the last half dozen times and in that time I've only covered an area about four swings wide by 30 m long.  "Low and slow" is paying off.  The area is moderatly trashy with both iron (mostly nails and screws) and aluminum (all kinds, especially foil but some square tabs and the always present can slaw).
      I was running the Eqx 800 in Park 1, ground balanced, custom 5 tones, gain of 22 (high for me since I usually suffer from EMI in my town), recovery = 4, and iron bias = 0.  For iffy targets I had programmed the profile channel with Park 2, 50 tones, recovery speed = 6, iron bias = 0.   I can't seem to get my brain to hunt in 50 tones, but using that to verify good/bad targets works pretty well.  If I get repeatable tones and TID's which match the 5-tone signals then I dig.  Sometimes I get completely different TID's in 50 tones, other times I can't lock on a tight tone range from any direction.  When I've dug those they are some kind of iron.
      Ok, back to the hunt.  I mentioned above the gravel backfill, which is in the neighborhood of 2-3 inches in thickness.  There is a soil (sod) layer above that which varies in depth from about 2 to 5 inches.  When I get down to gravel and haven't recovered I start to feel more positive.  Most of my good finds in this area have either been at the top of the gravel layer, in the gravel layer, or below it.  Recovery is a bit tricky since it's not so easy to dig in gravel.  (BTW, this is true rounded river gravel, not sharp limestone chunks which some people call 'gravel' and which is even more difficult to dig in.)  I was using the standard Lesche hand tool (well, my toothless modded one) which does pretty well in gravel and stone.  The key is to hand pinpoint (TRX great for that), keep the blade away from the find and try to leverage it out with soil/gravel as an insulating buffer.  I do this when in regular soft ground as well but it's even more critical in gravel or stone.  I always have a plastic scoop to remove the loose ground (hopefully also containing the target).
      The dime hit in the penny/dime zone.  I'm not one of those detectorists who can tell the difference betweeen copper penny, clad dime, and silver dime.  All, under the right conditions, will ring up anywere in the 24-29 TID range for me, and I've even seen pennies hit 30 (but not staying there).  Interestingly I didn't find a single Wheat penny on this hunt, but I've found quite a few in this area.  Both nickels rang up where nickels typically do -- 12-13 with possible slides to 11 and/or 14.  The Buffie in particular was not a clean 12-13 but good enough!  The deeper the coin, the more likely it will be bothered by nearby iron.  And, no, I still haven't found a Warnick with a high TID.  So far I can't tell them from regular nickels (nor some evil size&shape aluminum).  This one is in the best condition of any Warnick I've found.  Unfortunately it's overexposed in the picture.  1942-P.  The Merc is a 1937 plain.  The Buffie is 1936-D.  None of these is scarce but I'm always glad to get silver and Buffies with dates.

    • By steveg
      Hi all!

      I just returned from a short vacation back home in western PA, and squeezed in a couple of hunts at a few old sites -- an 1872 farmhouse, an 1885 house, an early to mid 1800s foundation, and a 19th century cellar hole...plus a short time at an old church or school house estimated to be late 1800s. I managed a nice variety of finds; here are some of the better ones. The large cent is 1818, the pinkish-looking Indian is an 1863 fattie.

      There is writing on most of the flat buttons, but the only ones I can make out are the gold-gilded one that says "TREBLE GILT STANDARD COLOR," and one other that says "SUPERFINE STRONG LONDON." Does anyone know any ages on those?

      The round crotal bell says "OCT 24 76 & MAY 14 78" -- and has a maker's mark that has a small circle, then a diamond with a plus inside, and then another small circle. The other, acorn-shaped bell has no markings...


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