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  1. 58 points
    I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Posted On Facebook Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  2. 51 points
    Tis the season for nuggetshooting the great American desert southwest once again, and for the first leg of my annual pilgrimage it’s always mandatory to spend some time at the Rye Patch area in northern Nevada. With the ground being very dry this time of year, the GPZ 7000 performs at its best in this region with minimal interference from the conductive alkali component of the local ground. In areas where there was variable ground however, a quick adjustment of the Ground Smoothing from Off to Locate Patch returned the threshold to a smooth and stable operation again. One of the highlights of the hunt was a decent, broad target that had a hint of a gurgle as the coil was swept completely out of the target zone, which indicated the nugget was going to be a bit larger than the usual dinks I had been finding. After removing 8 to 10 inches of material out of a broad area centered over the target, the signal response was fairly screaming as I swung the coil flat against the bottom of the excavation. Turning the coil up on edge however, and the Zed struggled to get a response from the bottom of the hole; when this scenario happens, it’s telling me there’s a really nice nugget and that I have a lot more digging to do. 🙂 Finally, at a depth of 18 inches, the target was screaming off the edge of the coil, so just using the plastic scoop, I dug into the floor of the mammoth dig hole and retrieved the golden beauty: a lovely 10.6 grammer!😍 This same process was repeated on another occasion, but this time it was a 4.5 gram nugget about 3 inches away from another nugget about half its size, again at around 18 inches deep. Although pretty nippy in the mornings, the sunny weather held out with no wind. So all in all, a super good hunt, with a total of 51 grams of golden goodies.
  3. 42 points
    Quick story-- As most of you know i work with Veterans, and a lot are dealing with PTSD --- I always thought detecting would be good therapy because they can get away from the crowds, carry a firearm in most cases (so they feel safe) and they can relax a bit. One guy showed up last week with a Minelab GoFind60---[maybe the only mInelab i havent bought ...Yet...lol] He said he was new and he hadnt found much but trash...I told him to trget places people would be sitting on the ground... like ball fields, picnics and such..I told him that I like to go around old trees. Mind you this is on an old Army base so there can be some neat things there. So far the first day he got half an old spur, second day---1912 penny in good shape!, third day- two Taxca Mexico sliver bangles with the floral design....($25ea!) So he is feeling better , he isnt so jumpy, i see him smiling now, and he is sleeping better after going to classes and then detecting the rest of the day.... That's all it took....a little detector and a place to detect---- Im happy I got to meet this new detectorist.
  4. 41 points
    KiwiJW was keen to go for a prospecting trip yesterday which I was excited about, last time we went out I found a 0.62-gram piece which is certainly one of my bigger ones. We tend to have a lot smaller gold than the Aussie’s which makes hunting for gold quite the challenge when the average size found is probably within the 0.0X grams range. I couldn’t imagine hunting for gold when the average size piece is in the 0.5+ gram range or larger, I often get those big booming signals and as I get tired later in the day or on a hot day when I can’t be bothered just walk past them as they’ve been almost always 22 shells, but this day was different, even though I’d forgotten my lucky hat. We first went to an entirely new location for me which was a nice lake with old workings at it, I first had some trouble getting a ground balance with my GPX 4500 here, it took me quite a while to work out what to do, I was considering just putting it down and using my GM1000 but seeing I only had the 5” coil with me it didn’t seem optimal in such a big area. In the end I just changed out of sensitive extra which I’ve stuck in since I got my GPX and went into normal, I haven’t needed to do this before but there was no way I was going to get a ground balance in this soil, it was near white soil with lots of nice gravels and quartz in it and looked very promising. It’s lucky I had my little GPX timings chart with me that Steve had made up, it helped a lot in this situation. Steve's awesome GPX timing Charts There were lots of dig holes around from somebody in the area and the person who did them was annoying as a lot of them already had a signal in them which I re-dug only to find a bit of junk so I suspect the person was throwing the junk back into their holes. JW was off in the distance detecting the bedrock which goes down into the lake, this is normally covered in water but on this day due to lack of rain I guess the water level was low exposing this bedrock. No luck was had at this location so we decided it was time for a fuel up at KFC before heading to a spot I call old faithful. JW shouted lunch and we had our usual feast, it’s a tasty treat, then we were all charged up and ready to go. Old faithful is one of the first places I’d been to and we regularly end up here but it’s usually productive for us, JW does particularly well here and it was home to my old gold miners silver ring I found some time ago. I switched back to sensitive extra timings here. Once at old faithful we did something different and detected right at the entrance, an area we have walked/rode on the E-bike’s past so many times but I’d never detected before. We split off in directions and starting going for it. JW was quick to find a bit to keep me motivated and it was insanely small, I can’t believe he can find bits this small with his GPZ but he does, and he does regularly, it’s no fluke. I will leave the story on his bits to him as it’s pretty amazing. I said to him, "oh that bit’s so small, there is no way I’d be able to get that with this detector" (GPX) so he waved it over my coil and what do you know, a signal, waved it deeper, a signal again, waved it at the depth he found it with the GPZ, and again an obvious signal! What is going on I was wondering, then I realised exactly what it is, I’d modified my settings and threshold due to the wonderful post Northeast did about thresholds on the GPX. He explained to me how to adjust my threshold, the thread also talked about volume levels which I also took note of and adjusted. I was incorrectly running my threshold very high, and also had my GPX volume level very high and then going into my booster and the cranked up high again. I gave JW my gold bottle to store his bit in as he’d forgotten his as he was likely to need it more than me. The grass growth was pretty insane, it's normally a dry desolate place, this year has been different. Fortunately this time the grass was easier to push over than last time so we were able to swing crushing the grass down What I was doing now is turning my threshold right down so it was silent, then I turned up my threshold so it was just audible and stable and left it there. As for my volume I had the volume turned down very low on the GPX itself, and used the Steelphase SP01 enhancer to control my volume, I had it turned up to a comfortable loudness on that which gave me nice clear crisp audio, I had it in my preferred setting of Filter 2 using its pseudo stereo mode wired to 2 x GME SPK08 speakers wired in stereo. This location is known for it’s pellets and using a HF VLF like my GM1000 is just a nightmare here as you will spend your time digging pellets, 20 or more pellets is not usual but this is where the magic happened, my GPX was now doing as well on pellets as my GM1000, it was detecting pellets everywhere, even quite well buried ones, this new volume/threshold settings combination was opening up a new world of small targets I was missing. I normally got six or so pellets a day with the GPX here, now I was finding them constantly. It felt like these new GPX settings combined with the Steelphase SP01 enhancer and the Nugget Finder 14x9 EVO coil had just majorly enhanced the sensitivity of my GPX to small gold. Thanks Northeast!! I didn’t mind at all spending my day digging pellets as I was hoping it meant I’d find a small bit of gold that this spot is known for and JW had already just found, a real confidence booster for me. Shortly after something else unusual happened, a guy walked up and surprised me out of nowhere. He was carrying a Makro Gold Kruzer he’d bought three days earlier and was a newbie at detecting but had done a lot of sluicing in the past. He was keen for any tips I could give him so I gave him a few good tips on where to look but warned him that thing is going to eat pellets all day long, he walked off all excited about the prospect of finding gold as I told him JW over there has found a piece already and we’ve only been here 30 minutes or so. It is so rare we stumble across another detectorist, we’re more likely to find a gram+ piece of gold than see another detectorist 😊 I kept wandering around digging up pellets and small shards of metal excited knowing I’m really gelling with my detector on this day hoping a little bit of colour was on its way and then I stumbled into an area I will now call Mr Pocket 😊 I had a big loud signal, I assumed it was going to be a 22 shell as I’d just dug a few of them in the same little area of about 4m x 4m but this time it was different, it was gold! I walked over to JW and said I’m going to need to share the bottle 😊 he was excited for me and I showed him my bit which I described as almost needing a wheelbarrow to get it over to him and we dropped it into the bottle and back I went to my spot. It was the most unlikely of spot, no bedrock, no signs of any gold workings, just a grassy area near the creek side within about a meter or so of the dirt road. 0.294 grams, not too bad, It looks bigger than it weighs for some reason, it's a lumpy one. This was quite a big piece for this location and seeing it was such a loud booming signal I kept digging booming signals in this little area and out popped another big one! I took it over to John to put in the bottle and said I’m onto something down here, and so Mr Pocket was born. He now passed me the jar and said looks like you’ll be needing to hold onto this 😊 It was almost down the depth of my scoop but was a loud booming signal. My first ever nugget over a gram! A rare find. I went back to my spot and the next thing to pop up was another bit of gold, this time not so big and more in line with our usual gold sizes around here but still, small for me with my GPX and down about 3 inches. Pretty impressive and thanks to my new settings. This little guy wasn't particularly deep, 2 to 3 inches I'd guess. But it sure is tiny for the GPX and it was such a nice stand out signal. I now felt I’d gone over this little 4m x 4m patch to my ability level so I called JW over to see if he could get any more out of it with his Zed and GB2. I didn’t have a HF VLF with me so I was hoping he’d end up finding some gold the GPX missed with his two high powered weapons. I showed him my spot and took off looking for a new spot. Shortly after “new guy” walked up again, he’d been detecting about 30 minutes’ walk further along the roadside with his Gold Kruzer and had only found what looked to be 4 old rusty nails and a 22 shell. I thought something is wrong here, a 61khz detector and no shotgun pellets in a place riddled with them. I scattered a few pellets Id found on the exposed bedrock and asked him to wave over them, nothing at all even touching them. I dropped my gold bottle on the ground and asked him to wave it over it, nothing, absolutely nothing unless he virtually touched the jar and then it did a threshold change. Something isn’t right here. I’d never seen a Kruzer before but helped him out with his settings on it and then got him to re-test over the bottle, this bottle had a piece over a gram it in, this thing should be screaming on it, and now it was working and picking up the gold at some depth. His gain, discrimination and mode were now adjusted. I still don’t know if it has the right settings but I told him he should be reading the manual. It was now picking up pellets too but not to a level I’d consider good. He said it was a choice between the Kruzer and GM1000 but he picked the Kruzer. He was disappointed he wasted the afternoon with the wrong settings so even If he passed a 1 gram bit of gold he would of missed it ☹ This is where the simplicity of the Gold Monster shines, if he had of bought that, he would have been fine right off the start line. He was appreciative of the help and we parted ways. This made me think back to how lucky I was I had KiwiJW and this forum to help me out with my prospecting or I'd be in the position of this poor guy trying to work it all out alone. I went down to check how well JW did in Mr Pocket but it seems I’d cleaned it out, he got no more gold, reassuring in a way but also disappointing as I was hoping JW would get some out of it. I will leave it to JW to tell his side of the day, all I will say is him and his ability to operate his GPZ is a shock to me. Here is a majority of the junk from the day, I'd lost a few pellets out of my pocket and I'd dumped a few on the ground for the new guy to test his detector on but I sure got a lot of small junk showing just how sensitive the GPX was. I was regularly finding shards of metal even smaller than pellets. The Minelab GPX 4500 with the 14x9 Nugget Finder EVO combined with the audio provided by the Steelphase SP01 Audio Enhancer is a deadly combination, I've never used a SDC2300 but it has to be getting up there to it's small metal finding ability because I know it's getting pretty close to that of my Gold Monster 1000. It was now time to head off, another great day prospecting and now my confidence is on a high. I enjoyed going back to Johns house afterwards for a coffee and showing off my gold finds to Mrs JW,. Thanks for another good day John.
  5. 39 points
    So I titled this as such because when it gets especially hot (here in Arizona) I start my hunts at midnight and go thru until the morning until about 8am. For me, this offers multiple benefits. There is more time with the family on weekends, which for me is #1; I cherish this more than gold. And secondly, if it is hot out, I cannot keep my ground balanced, as some put it. When it starts getting hot, I would tend not to look as hard and rush through areas. Anyways, back to the gold. I was in a wash last week when I ran into some pretty good gold. I found 11 small pcs adding up to almost 4 grams. Now, for my night hunts, I won’t go every weekend, I usually skip 1 or two so that I get my sleep cycle working again. But then there is Mother’s Day coming up and so my wife briefly mentioned that I should go this weekend, too. An hour later I am charging batteries. She walks by and says, “wow, you really have the fever don’t you”. I just laughed. She knows me. She has seen me prospecting for 5 years and put up with it for 5 years. One of the best decisions I made was marrying her. I explain all of this because it was nice to come home and show her the source of the fever. So I went back to this area with my GPZ and started walking through more washes I had marked out on my gps. Nothing for the first one, but the second one, I got a nice strangely shaped 2.75 grammer. Now, I can kinda see a patten on my gps when I look at my finds. I finish the wash and go to a wash that is in the direction of the gold distribution. Good topography … I am in. First couple of minutes of slow hunting in this wash yields, nothing. And then I start focusing on a bench that is maybe a foot higher than the rest of the wash… and I get a signal. A clear, still loud, but smooth signal. My heart jumps as I begin to dig. The dirt just fell away until 15-16” I hit gravel. By now the target was booming. I scrape the gavel back with my pick and I see a large piece of gold flip out! It replays in my mind over and over. Needless to say, you may have heard my scream at 2:15 in the morning (Arizona time). LOL. From there the gold kept coming. I got a couple more pieces farther up the wash and then came back and placered the area for a couple more little ones missed by depth. Wide range of sizes. THAT is why I love the GPZ. And it was nice to see my wifes face change to a smile when she felt the .86oz chunk fall into her hand. Priceless. All in all, my findings came to just over 1oz. Who needs sleep ... Andyy
  6. 36 points
    I've returned from my second detecting trip to England and what a trip it was!! I was lucky enough to be staying in the same barn as Steve Herschbach!! The first day on the fields are a half day usually. After the 2 hour ride from London to the "barn" where we will be staying for the next seven days. The "barns" are actual barns that have been renovated into vacation rental units. We unload all of our luggage from the van, find our sleeping spot for the week, dig out all of our gear, assemble everything, jump back in the van, and head out to the first field! My best find that afternoon was a hammered copper Rose farthing. They are commonly dated 1636. (Look for the pattern here). And the usual buttons and lead. So that was a good start. Day 2: Our first full day. A cool, slightly foggy, just perfect! The day wasn't real eventful for me. We hunted two different farms. At the end of the day my better finds were 5 farthings and a wiped out copper token, plus some buttons and lead. The farthings were late 1700s-1800s. Here at home in the States, to find those 5 coins would be a day to talk about for months. It was funny for me while I was over there, knowing with so much history the possibilities make my hopes and expectations exhilarating! You truly never know what will pop up next. It could be 10 years old or 2000 years old! There were multiple milled, and hammered silver coins found and some neat relics dug throughout the day by the other team members. Day 3: Things started to pick up for me a little on day 3. We came across a late Georgian/Victorian home site members of the team started popping some milled coins. Coppers and silvers. If I remember correctly one member found 3 or 4 silver 3 pence coins in that same field. A little silver 3 pence was one of the coins I was hoping to get while I was there, but it wasn't meant to be this trip. Shortly before lunch I switched fields and got onto my first bit of English silver for the trip! An 1844 Vicky 4 pence in nice condition. So after lunch I was headed back to the field were I got my 4P and we had to walk past a 1700? mansion to get back to where I wanted to be. So I slowed down and detected in front of the mansion along the way and got my first hammered silver for this trip! A nice "full" penny. Turned out to be a 1279 Edward I ! That was the highlight for my day three. But I did find plenty of buttons and lead too. Day 4: This day was one of those roller coaster type hunting days. The morning was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead. Until while hunting near a 13th century church and villa when I popped a nice little cut quarter hammered silver and less than 10 mins later another hammered silver coin fragment. Kinda bang bang! We broke for a short lunch break and went our separate ways and as I was walking into a field through a tractor path I got a nice high tone. But real erratic at the same time. One you would figure to be either a coin or part of a beer can. But when I pinpointed the target it was a nice small tight pinpoint I figured I better dig it. Boy am I glad I did! Turned out to be a 1908 Edwardian decorated silver mount! Turns out it was in a place they usually park the van! The rest of my days finds consisted of the usual trash plus some buttons and lead. Day 5: Today was another one of those days that I was digging lots of targets like buttons and lead... But not one coin all morning till around lunch. After lunch I decided to stay on that field determined to find one of my wish coins a "Bullhead". A King George III silver. And with the coins being found in the area one was definitely a possibly. Lo and behold it happened! A melted bulkhead six pence. Even though it was melted almost to the point of unrecognition I could make out a G III and a reeded edge. Mission accomplished! The only other "wishlist" coin I really had on my mind on my way over was a Roman silver coin. Not really expecting to ever find one. We all carried radios every day, and as a good find was made, we would put it out over the radio. Ron gave the 15 min count down to the end of the days hunt over the radio so we all started to swing back towards the van. Walking pretty fast, with 8 minutes left, I got a signal figured I had time to pop one more. Boom! A Roman silver coin! It has a bad "horn crust" on it that needs to be "cooked" off so it can be properly identified. Early id's put it in the 4th century! I'm really looking forward to seeing that coin cleaned up! Day 6: The group split up in the morning between some rougher ground and some land that was nice and smooth. I went to the smoother field with a few other hunters. First hole out of the van 20 feet away I nabbed a hammie fragment! After that the first half of the day was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead of course. It was a enormous field. It has been hunted a lot over the years from what I understand. The lack of targets for me proved it. But it wasn't a total waste. You just have to walk over the stuff. With a half hour walk back to the van and only about 45 mins left to hunt I spun around and within or 3 or 4 swings later I got a loud high tone! As I was pinpointing I looked down and laying right on top of the ground was a complete silver thimble!! Sweet end to a pretty slow day. Day 7: The day I dread. The last day. You know not only is it your last day of detecting heaven and the inevitable time you'll power down for the last time of your trip, plus the last day is usually cut a little short. That's so we have time to get back to the barn and get all of your finds from the week cleaned, bagged, catalogued, and photographed if you want to see them again before they leave your life for the next few months. To optimize our hunt time we decided to hunt some nearby land. Even though it's also the land that the club has had lasted the longest! Even after all those years there were many great finds found on it this season! The week before we came a gold coin and a beautiful Celtic gold "votive offering" were found on it! I walked across the road from that field to a field that was surrounding a 16th century two story mansion. After a half hour or so of slowly working around the old mansion I dug a small piece of a hammered silver coin. That coin put me in a tie for 1st place for the weekly "Hammy competition". So I slowed down hoping to get another one to take the lead and hopefully win the competition. It was 10:10 a.m. when I got the loudest, jumpiest, most obnoxious signal of my trip. Not being too far from a tractor entrance into that field I figured it was a beer can or a grease tube but I figured I'd dig it up and get it out of there anyways. I missed the target on the first scoop. Moved a shovel blade to the left, stepped it in and kicked the back of the shovel and pushed the dirt forward and a big yellow ..... egg looking thing rolled out to my left. As I looked at it half my brain said to myself " what is that?" And the other half of my brain was saying "HOLY .....!!!!! That looks like gold!!" When I bent over to pick it up and I was lifting it off the ground the weight of it made it fall out of my hand! That's when I knew it was definitely a big piece of gold!!! After Ron came over to shoot some video and take some photos I strapped back on all my gear took 2 steps and 3 swings and got a solid 19 TID on the Equinox 800. I told myself after just finding that thing I don't care what this is, I'm digging it up. One scoop, and I pushed the shovel forward and a 11.2 gram ancient solid gold ring was laying there looking at me!! I about started to hyperventilate!! I quickly got Ron's attention again and he came over to shoot more video and more photos. I can only imagine this will be the most amazing thing I will ever find! It's been over a week since I found it and I still can't stop picturing those two artifacts rolling out of the dirt in my head...... Thanks for lookin' & HH
  7. 36 points
    The best part was how much fun I had chasing the gold with my son. The two of us really hit some nice stuff this past season. All the best to those of you that enjoy chasing the gold, Lanny
  8. 32 points
    I stumbled out of bed yesterday to our first big frost of the year, it was -3.9 outside, 24°F in the old money It was a nice still clear day and a perfect day to get out there doing something, fortunately there was a message from KiwiJW in my inbox on the forum asking if I'd like to go for a gold hunt, well I don't need to tell you my answer to that. I was quickly ensuring all my gear was charged and ready to go. The drive to JW's house can be a bit hit and miss depending on the time of the day. A majority of the cars on the road are tourists in their hire cars and they're usually all going the same directions to the same places and in the morning's they all usually heading to Milford Sound. Here is a video for those who don't know showing what Milford Sound is https://youtu.be/iiBOi_8yVlQ There is always some tourists heading the opposite direction however, which can make my journey take far longer when I get stuck behind them on a road with many blind corners and few passing opportunities. This one green hire van had me stuck behind it doing almost half the speed limit for about 10 minutes as the Ute refused to pass, so I had to take them both. The tourists tend to drive much slower as they're looking around enjoying the scenery. The snow is forming on the hills too, a sure sign winter is on it's way. Arriving at JW's we were quick to head out on our mission, we decided to go for a bush walk and view some local gold mining history too, it was the perfect day for it and I do enjoy learning about all the history in the area. We walked a hiking track that had a lot of Gold history. We stumbled across these bars out of an old timers sluice And found an old gold miners hut still in very good condition, JW was thinking of moving in by the looks of it 🙂 A nice fireplace to get him through the winter, and all the creature comforts of home 🙂 He forgot to take his equipment inside so it rusted away. The old timers went to extraordinary lengths to move water and gravel around, here is a tunnel they built, with JW entering it That's JW up there exiting the tunnel. All through solid rock, incredible. They did some serious work to the landscape too, It's hard to believe how much soil they washed out, I guess with water monitors. Now we both had the itch to find some gold we left our bush walk location and went to near the creek location I found my last tiny Equinox gold Now it's down to the business end of the story. JW pointed me to a bit of bedrock and said that will suit the Equinox, It looked nice and so did the path down to it, I always think back to JW's path that just keeps on giving at another location, every time we go there he finds gold in the path, I never have, well this path turned into my path that keeps on giving. The little track down to the bedrock. It wasn't even 2 minutes after we started detecting and I had my first hit, bouncing between 3 and 4 on the VDI's. And about 2 inches down in the gravelly soil was this little guy Skunk broken straight away, a nice .1 of a gram. It's sitting next to the EQX06 logo on the coil. A couple of minutes later right near it in the path another hit again between 3 and 4 on the VDI's Things were looking good for my path so I decided to go back to the top of it and try again in case I missed something, and right at the top another 1, 2 on the VDI numbers but this time it was solid rock with lots of quartz through it, I didn't know what to do so asked JW, he said smash it out break it up so I did just that. The bit of rock in the scoop is still giving 1, 2 on the VDI's. JW helped me smash it up further narrowing the bit down with the signal, we got it this small in the end, still a 1, 2 on the VDI's I'll have to smash it up more I guess and find out what surprise is inside! I can't see any gold yet. Now time to head further down the path to the bedrock JW pointed out for me It was on quite a cliff edge, you'll just see the creek far down below in the top of this photo Another 10 or so minutes and I had another hit, this was getting crazy This one was coming up as the standard 1, 2 on the VDI's. I was having a ball at this stage and finally knew what it felt like to be JW, pulling nuggets up all over the place with his GPZ 7000 🙂 Not even 10 steps later another hit! Unbelievable!! This one was in a crevice and a bit harder to get to, coming up in the negative VDI numbers, sitting around -6 to -3 but I knew from my tiny gold experience the other day it's likely to be gold and not junk in this location on those VDI numbers. I scraped all the soil out trying to get to the target and finally found it, it was a lot harder to track down so I knew it was tiny. If you look hard you'll see the spec in the scoop. And next to the EQX06 on the coil. My smallest detected bit so far I believe, 0.010 of a gram, smaller than last weekends 0.011 of a gram. The same settings as last weekend, horseshoe mode all metal, sensitivity 25, iron bias 0, gold 1 and manual ground balance. I would never not use horse shoe all metal mode when tiny gold hunting, you'll miss all the little gold as it often goes in the negative VDI's and you'll just get a blanked out target. Now I was getting to the end of my cliff drop off point, and the end of my little spot It's a very long drop from up here down to the creek below, kinda scary for me being here but I make my way to the edge anyway, wobbly knees and all. Looooonnnggggg way down. Last attempt at my spot was to detect the mosses on the edge of the cliff, hoping some gold had been washed into them and soon after another hit at 1, 2 on the VDI's And that was it for the day, John sacrificed this good spot by pointing me in it's direction while he went off detecting elsewhere. Thanks John. On the way out we walked past a nice waterfall Another enjoyable day with 0.269 of a gram in my bottle 🙂 The small 6" coil for the Equinox is great but surprisingly the 11" is quite capable of finding all of the tiny gold I found on this day. It's just not as maneuverable in among the rocks and crevices as the little 6" but it's still incredibly sensitive to small gold. The 11" is good if you're needing to cover a lot of ground quickly, it does a good job of it without losing much at all in sensitivity. Even the 12x15" coil is still pretty sensitive to tiny gold, it will lose the 0.010 gram piece but will get the slightly bigger ones well. The Equinox is a brilliant detector, just has happy finding this tiny gold as it is coins and jewellery in the parks and beaches, very versatile.
  9. 32 points
    This particular find happened on July of this year. I went out today for few hours just to kill time. I wasn’t expecting much so I was just taking my time digging targets. I was digging lots of thrash as usual along with some pennies. I was using the Equinox 800 and since I wasn’t finding much I started just jumping between park 1 and field 1. After a few hours I came across this iffy target that would jump all over the place with negative numbers and hit 20-21 once in a while. I’m like another penny, I guess I will dig it since it’s my last target. I dug it and I see this weird coin staring back at me. I grab it and I’m a little confused now cause it sure doesn’t look like a Penny at all. After a few seconds go by it finally clicks, OMG this a fracken gold coin. Now I’m shaking And trying to figure out what to do next. After a minute or two I figured I should put it on top of the detector to let it breath and take a picture. Well, here it is and I hope this isn’t a dream. Thank you for looking and remember to dig everything because you just never know. I wish you all a Happy New Year. The last two pictures are after I finished cleaning it with water without any rubbing. The coin looks better in person but my camera phone can’t capture it good. I found the coin in a public place where construction was being done. A lot of old dirt was pulled and spread out, about the size of a football field and 12”+ in depth. A few of us hunted this site for a couple of weeks till they took most of the dirt back and cover the rest with clean dirt. I will make another post later with my othe finds from there. Happy New Year to all.
  10. 32 points
    Well we’ve had some snow and cold temps up at the cabin....here’s my thermometer for my morning walk the other day: Hadn’t made it to my little claim in well over a month, so decided to give it one more visit when it warmed up in the afternoon. Roamed over the handstackings and found a promising spot to clear and detect a bit: Nice little nuggies found both near the surface, and some better ones in some depressions in the bedrock...here they are in the canister cap. Was afraid with my cold hands I’d knock them off the Monster’s coil if I displayed them spread out! : Did a final weigh-in of the gold found on the claim....used the Monster mainly, and some drywashing till it started to crap out on me mid season(a big shout out to Chet for fixing it better than new for next year!) My goal was to just find enough to at least pay for my claim fees and corner posts....ended up with 12.85grams, so did a bit better than that lol! Here’s the pic of it all....looks like a tiny micro version of Lunk’s killer Rye Patch finds that he posted about recently😄 It was great fun to have my own special place to play this summer....looking forward to continuing moving rock etc on the claim next year! I am so grateful that I have my cabin in the hills and pines, and am able to enjoy the wilderness and the critters in it. Here’s a couple recent pics taken while on my walks...not the best quality on my phone, though I think you can make out Mrs Moose(Mr had stepped out of view by the time I took pic), and a huge coyote that hung around for a couple weeks. I’ll be heading to FL for the winter soon....so will be switching to beach hunting....wish me luck! 🙂
  11. 32 points
    For those that don’t follow me on Facebook this is the end result of 3-days behind my GPZ at Rye Patch. Robin and I, just got home from a big group hunt at Rye Patch and a few days later one of my partners said, he was heading back up. I already had three other buddies there that didn’t make it to the outing and his call got me off the fence to pack my truck up with my gear. Surprised my new Super Ice Chest still had some ice in it too! If you followed my last posting we all had a great trip, but the wind was doing what wind does...keeps nuggets out of your poke. It creates all kinds of noise to fight to hear a faint signal or tones while metal detecting. I knew we left nuggets behind on this hot little patch. Not a puff of wind and the area produced like I was hoping. We took advantage of the warm calm Autumn Desert on a handful of other old huants and if you listened close, you could hear the whispers and cheers of times past while adding to the poke of memories of the present! Leave no nugget behind...I always leave them behind, it’s what keeps me motivated to come back! 5 of us added nuggets and good times to our pokes. Below is my harvest (keeping it in season) of the Great Pumkin Patches of Rye Patch! LuckyLundy
  12. 32 points
    I took the Gold Monster into the hills again this weekend. With autumn well underway now, temperatures are definitely cooler than just a couple of weeks ago, but the resultant fall colors are a sight to see. Only 5 minutes into the hunt on Saturday and I had recovered the first target; a chunky little bit of yellow at a good 4 inches...a nice start. Next was a shallow target, just under the moss, that turned out to be a small flake of gold. After digging a couple bits of foil, I manuevered the Monster’s 5-inch coil next to an ancient river-worn cobble. The detector responed with a broad, deep sounding signal that I really like to hear, as it usually heralds something good. Well, this one was no exception, because by the time I excavated the 4 inch hole I had recovered no less than ten pieces of the good stuff. It was then that I thought to myself, certainly there must be some gold under that cobble, right? And indeed it was so...seven more bits to be exact. The next two flakes were loners off by themselves, again just under the moss. Ahead I spied a small depression in the moss-carpeted terrain - a good hiding spot for some gold. Sure enough, the Monster sniffed out another couple of golden goodies. And the last target of the day was a small chunky bit down in a bedrock crevice. Sunday was even a few degrees cooler than Saturday, with a few rain sprinkles. I hit another spot of old diggings up slope and managed to coax 3 small flakes from their hiding places. All these nugglets combined tip the scales at a whopping 1.2 grams, but oh what fun it is to recover each little bit!
  13. 31 points
    We've been out every morning for a few hours since Sunday practicing for the summer of Aussie Gold. Today was my day on the big gold. I was detecting a desert wash bench zone, and got what the Aussies call a Zed Warble. Down here in Sunny Yuma the Zed Warble usually means an old rusty bent nail. A bit of digging down to the hard pack maybe 15 or 16 inches. I switched detector down to Sens 1 to try and pinpoint, bit it was still overloading with the warble tone. Dennis and I took turns breaking up the hardpack and scooping out the hole till this nugget rolled on out. The small stuff I found over the past 2 mornings, I think I'm going to throw them back for seed on the big ones.
  14. 31 points
    For me this was a real opportunity to help my friends get their enterprise off of the ground. There was much work to be done and everyone pitched in and fixed everything..I have a few great stories from this adventure and one terrible happening for me... My mate of 44 yrs passed away and I was almost totally devastated by this. Fortunately I had Moore Creek to come too and this work helped me pass this rough time...One afternoon during this startup time I decided to give my Minelab PI a try..I wandered away from the main camp area and walked on a road above what would be the High banking area, I was testing the berm that a dozer had kicked up years ago... Holy Smokes. Weeeee Ooooop. I dug around a little and out popped a beautiful Slug.. Needless to say after putting the gold in my pouch I hunted around to see if there was Moore lol.... I walked back to the camp, everyone was still there chatting, so I put the nugget on the table for everyone to see... He he the conversations stopped......
  15. 31 points
    It's been well over 4 months since I have picked up a metal detector. A house remodel and some landscaping has kept me away from the treasure fields unfortunately. When my buddy Merton called and said he wanted to go on a hunt all I could think of was that I needed to get the house finished before I went goofing around with a metal detector. Reluctantly I told myself that I probably could use a break and so I invited him to come on down. Merton, being the thoughtful guy he is called a couple days before our designated date and gave me the option of cancelling but I told him to come down and lets go for a hunt! I was starting to look forward to it as we always have fun treasure hunting together. I had already decided we were going to the spot where I found the old antique gold ring this past May. I had yet to revisit this spot. https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/6528-needle-in-a-haystack/ This area is on private property and has a small area of mining activity. It's not on any map. It's a tough area for the nugget hunter, the dozen or so pieces of gold that I have found here are small and few and far between. To make matters worse the area is loaded with lead from #9 bird shot to old 50 Cal plus round balls. For now I've pretty much written it off for gold hunting and would rather be a lazy relic hunter there instead. Up till now I had never found a old silver US coin there despite having made 7-8 visits to the area. A few old Chinese coins, a couple powder flasks, some gun parts and the surprise gold ring form the last hunt were enough to lure me back. As the saying goes "if you don't use it you loose it" And I had forgotten how to operate the equinox 800. The night before our hunt I broke out the owners manual that I had printed out (my wife made a nice binder for me) and brushed up on how to work the machine. I went outside and played around in the yard a bit with the detector. I'd even forgot how to noise cancel and was beginning to have doubts thinking I was wasting my time. Saturday found us in the foot hills on a bright sunny morning surrounded by herd of 75 very hungry cattle. I told Merton I was going to go on a walk about starting where I had found the gold ring and I'd catch up with him later. Merton with his XP Deus headed for whats left of some old chimneys down in a flat close to some tailing piles. I decided to keep things simple with the equinox so I put it in park 1, 5 tones, ground tracking, recovery speed 5 and Fe 1. The ground here is very noisy and it took me a while before I got back into the hang of things knowing which targets to dig and which to ignore. After about an hour of detecting I had it down and was building confidence. About two or three hours had gone by when I caught up with Merton. Neither of us had found anything really good. The place is not a very target rich environment for the relic hunter. We went back to the truck for a beer and some lunch. After lunch I told Merton that I was going to go up on the hill above the main camp and workings since neither of us had hunted it very hard before. This is where things start to get interesting. I had been gridding the hillside for about an hour or two when I came across a rare high tone. Kinda scratchy...but repeatable. A couple swings of the pick and out pops a seated silver dime in excellent condition. Immediately I call for Merton who is about a hundred yards below me and show him the coin still in the hole. I tell him to start working this area with me. Merton is a very polite detectorist and using good etiquette he heads up hill a little ways from me as to not encroach upon my new spot. Maybe another 20 minutes or so goes by and I'm about 20 yards or less from where I found the seated dime and I get a mid tone on the Equinox..14-15 and repeatable. Thinking it's just another shot gun cap or lead ball I dig a little dirt out with the pick....my Garret carrot says the target is an inch or two behind and to the right of where I originally thought it was. Using the Lesche I start digging out the area and out pops this little gold shiny thing. I could only see part of it but it had a serrated edge and I immediately knew what it was even though I had never dug one before! Gasping and jumping backwards all I could do was call out for Merton to get over here! he could tell by my excitement that It was something good....he's smiling as he walks down..... "What did you get a half dollar?" I shake my head no...."Silver dollar?" again I shake my head no....."A GOLD COIN?" all I was capable of was looking up and smiling as I was still speechless. As I went down to reach for it and Merton says "CAREFUL DON'T RUB IT!" There was a lot of congratulatory back slapping, high fives etc... then without touching the coin I said I got to go to the truck and get my phone so I can take some pictures. The coin is in excellent condition (1853 2.5 dollar) which is hard to believe since it's been in the ground for well over a hundred years. Here are the pictures so you can see what we seen. We went back the day after and then hit another spot a couple days after that. We managed another Seated and a few other trinkets. I'm back to working on my house again and Merton is out at sea. But I'm looking forward to our next hunt together. What a great hobby. strick
  16. 31 points
    After finding a few nuggets last year this year is starting off a little better. The Monster does a fine job on small shallow pieces of gold in the Arizona desert. This is only my second year detecting.
  17. 31 points
    Snow trying to stick down low and drove thru snow to the gold fields a couple days ago so days are numbered!!!!! Might be able to get in 1-2 more days depending? Here's my total nuggs for my 1st year chasing with a detector. I'm happy with results and thank ALL on here who helped me general info and "secret" info (lol)...they know who they are. The New Zealand boys post up great info and I think we all appreciate the scenic so I thought I'd sprinkle in some scenic for them so they can see my area in particular which is typical in many areas of the western U.S. All the nuggs were got with the Gold Monster in 2 locations in Idaho and 2 in Montana. Sluiced gold came from Montana claim from 2 trips mid winter in butthole deep snow (FS don't allow sluicing in river but they ain't up there mid winter...lol). My other hobby is chasing predators with trail cams so I sprinkled in a couple to show you guys, and the New Zealand boys what you could see at any time out in the western states. Hope you guys enjoy the pics...... Weight wise...this was my best day below
  18. 31 points
    Years ago, when I started to hunt Rye Patch I knew it was well past it’s hey days! Yet, I continued to see nuggets being found there by others Prospectors! Our group, finally started to pop some gold after wearing out several sets of boots and skid plates on our old trusty GPX’s. With the new generation of Minelab Detectors, SDC 2300 and the GPZ 7000, it was a new game. Having cut our teeth on the learning curve of both new detectors on the California side of the hill, we set our sites to Northern Nevada. Multitude of hours by our group to establish productive ground and techniques with our GPX’s, lead our new detectors to what seemed like brand new patches of gold. This last outing was no different! One of our hunting members had a moment of Total Recall and remembered a few years back that we found a few nuggets in a spot with our old GPX’s. Well we hit the spot swinging and soon our detector’s started to sing back to us! Now remember, I was out there a couple weeks ago, trying to track down a couple new spots for this group hunt trip. I didn’t find any new spots on that trip and we didn’t even hunt the old spots on this trip, which I did good on. Now, there is only one way to run the SDC and that’s turn it on, it’s and incredible detector and the operators of it on this trip pulled teens of nuggets with it. But, you have to know the variable sounds of the SDC when you run the coil over a target that set you apart from others swinging the same machine over the same dirt. It’s the same with the GPZ 7000, you really can’t run it wrong, just turn it on! You make it run for you and your inner self. Sure I have settings, I like and so does everyone in our group of Prospectors. You have to know what it’s telling you if it’s a target or not, there isn’t many Duck nuggets left in any old gold field(s). Air testing or burying a test nugget does not reproduce any of these nugget signals (tones). I’m still learning tones of the GPZ and will never be and expert of them. The sweet tones of a nugget, I do have lock in my mind is what keeps me and boot makers happy! Lucky...No - spend the time in your local gold field, might take a few pairs of boots, skid plates and multitudes of digging holes in hot ground and rocks to learn the tones of your settings of your detector. We had a great time, even though the wind was crazy windy and made Detecting a challenge - Persevere, press on regardless! Until the next hunt Here’s Robin’s and my 2 1/4 day hunt total in dwts
  19. 30 points
    Hi, I couldn't wait to get the Equinox 800 to Arizona for some gold prospecting especially since the area in Colorado where I live is frozen pretty solid. The first site I hunted was in the Little San Domingo Wash area which has been pounded by lots of people for over a hundred years. I used the Nox 800 exclusively in Gold 2 with the 6" coil due to an abundance of human metallic trash, with sensitivity at 15 to 16 (falsed over those settings) with -9 to -4 discriminated out, iron bias 3 or 4, recovery speed 4. Hot rocks were hitting in the -9 to -6 range and also sometimes in the 12 to 14 range with the classic boing sound just at the edges of the coil and almost nulling in the center. I dug every detected metallic target in roughly a 30'x40' area. Iron targets were consistently in the -9 to +16 range depending on depth, size and amount of oxidation. Many of them jumped that whole range depending on direction of swing. When I was not using the horseshoe (all targets accepted mode) the iron targets would have very brittle, broken, clipped sounding audio and would be easy to identify just by sound alone. 100% of the time I checked those targets by pressing the horseshoe button and iron was suggested with -4 to -9 numbers included in the very jumpy target IDs. After digging each of these targets, (60 or so) iron was confirmed. I detected 19 non ferrous targets which all turned out to be lead, brass, aluminum or steel bird shot. Small lead, aluminum and shot gave beautiful evenly rounded tones and target IDs in the -1 to 4 range which were very steady and repeatable even after checking the target from a different direction. Larger lead and shell casings came in between 8 and 20 consistently with even, repeatable tones and solid numbers. The two nuggets pictured were both found near other targets, which is probably why they were missed. The .5 gram nugget was 4" deep with an iron target about 2" away and above the nugget. I never heard the iron initially. I only heard the classic zip-zip with a solid 3 target ID. When the horseshoe button was engaged I could hear and see target ID evidence of the iron target too. The two targets were clearly and separately defined and easy to identify as ferrous and non-ferrous. I was really exited to find that small nugget attached to caliche in that situation! The 4.5 gram nugget was 5" down, up against a large piece of hot volcanic tuft/basalt bedrock. The Nox 800 gave soft boings on the bedrock in several places near the nugget but the nugget screamed out a fantastic round signal at a rock solid 14. I thought it was going to be a 38 cal. or bigger slug. I was really surprised when I saw that first bit of gold peaking through the dirt!!!!! I lucked out on one other tiny picker at this location too during final clean up with the XP Deus. I also got to detect near Stanton on some placer/pegmatite deposits with tons of hot and cold rocks, huge prickly pear cactus and my least favorite----cat's claw bushes=OUCH. I completely shredded a virtually new pair of gloves on those things along with my hands too. I didn't find any gold with either my GPX 4800, XP Deus or the Nox 800. The GPX 4800 is one deep machine and hunted beautifully in this rugged area. I dug several up to 1 foot deep, less than coin sized lead, iron and tin targets that could have easily been gold with a NF Sadie and stock 11" mono coils. Any thing bigger was just not very practical since this was a boulder strewn, thorny area with very little open ground. The Deus with 9" HF coil at 54kHz handled the hot and cold rocks fairly well and was reasonably quiet in Gold Field. It always gave excellent audio responses to detectable targets and gave a predictable horizontal XY graph line for buried iron targets and very angular zig zags on near surface iron. Lead targets had more of a rounded, almost cursive writing indication on the XY graph which looks a lot like gold responses. The Nox 800 with 6" coil in Gold 2 again gave very clear indications of what to expect from the targets under the coil and after digging, those indications were confirmed every time with no surprises. There was some nasty hot magnetic schist, cold ironstone and unbelievable amounts of magnetite which sometimes confused the Deus and especially the GPX 4800. The Nox dealt with them very consistently with the magnetite giving iron signals, the magnetic schist reading in the 12 to 14 range and the cold ironstone high pitched VCO screaming at 39. Special thanks to Bill Southern and Tammy and also Rob Allison for their guidance during my fruitful trip. The Equinox 800 proved to be an outstanding and very trustworthy prospecting detector! Jeff
  20. 30 points
    Monday Simon & I went off on an E-Bike detecting mission. Simon used Mrs JW's bike. I took my modded 4500 & 14 x 9 Nugget Finder Advantage coil for a spin. I also threw in the sadie coil. While Simon took his 4500 with 14 x 9 Evo coil & the GM 1000. The bikes made for quicker access, even going up despite having to walk & push the bikes at a few dodgy bits. Especially with the back packs of gear we were carrying on our backs. They have a little thumb throttle so you just push that & walk beside the bike. So the bike is wheeling itself. No weight involved, just got to avoid kicking the pedals into your shins. I didn't get carried away with photos so nothing much to show in the biking department or the terrain we had to negotiate. On getting up & over the saddle & dropping down to the bottom of the turned over gully workings, we stached the bikes & rigged up for detecting. We still had a bit of a walk to get to an area that I wanted to target. The grass growth was just insane. Just shouldn't be like that this time of the year. It was hard walking thru it as you just didn't know what your footing was going to be. Weather you were going to step into a hole or in between rocks from the stackings from the old timers. It was going to be a hot day, thanks to that hot air blowing off from that large island to the west. Aussie I think it is. They can keep their hot air. There is not much bedrock in the gully but it is full of turned over ground & rock piles from the old boys. There are workings & piles everywhere, even up high on the sides of the hills but still very little bedrock. We came upon some bedrock on the side of a hill & I pointed out to Simon that it looked like the old timers had worked a bit of the hill side as there were water channels running down that had scoured out the hillside exposing some bedrock. The channels were dry now of course as it would have been from water they got there by races. I left Simon on what looked like some promising ground that also had stacked rocks higher up the hill & obviously some working just over the brow that we couldn't see from down below. I carried on to another little wash channel in a shallow gully. It was damn hard detecting with nothing showing up. At least there were no shotgun pellets. But no gold coming either. Simon got a signal on what he said was a rock. He mucked around with it for a while but I am not sure what the result was on that. I had forgotten about it until just now. Simon will have to fill us in on that one. A few hours must have passed & next thing I hear Simons detector nutting off a lot & saw that he had dropped down to the gully floor & was detecting in among the stacked rock piles. I didn't think that was a good move as it was just tones of turned over rocks & piles & would have its share of old timer rubbish. I think he was more keen on the cool water in the stream. 👍 I had finished my bottle of water & was keen for a refill. But I carried on where I was on the edge of an old dry water wash & some bedrock the old boys had exposed. I had got a couple of faint sweet sounding hits. Thinking they were gold but turned out to be tiny remains of rusted boot tacks right down on this bedrock. Damn. I then got a good loud hit. Thinking this is going to be rubbish for sure. MMMmm...itdidn'tt stick to the magnet. Wasnt that deep before it moved. Got be rubbish. But no. First piece of sassy gold. Ye Ha .58 of a gram Looking down over the detector & down to the turned over gully floor with its stacks of rock piles. Creek winding it way around. Simon was off to the left out of the picture. I moved a couple of feet & got another hit. Dug down on it & it turned out to be an old nail. Bugger. Slowly poking the coil into the grass & fern growth I got another nice hit. Scraped out some grass & ferns. This went a bit deeper than the first bit of gold & I was surprised at the small size for the signal. But gold it was. .15 of a gram. Then things dried up & I was dried out. So I headed on down to Simon who had soaked himself in the creek. Despite how hot it was the water was still freezing. We did have a bit of a snow fall high up in the hills last week. Not bad for the middle of summer. I got down to Simon & we headed off to another spot. Crossed the creek where I filled up my bottle & drank a couple of liters of water. We walked up an old wash out from a large spill of rocks from the old timers washing out a huge cut in the hill side. Got to the top of that & kept going up to some high sluiced ground sluicing s where the old boys had washed out a sizeable paddock & left neatly stacked rows of rocks. I didn't get a photo & I am not sure if Simon did. Wish I had of now. There were a couple of exit point where the water had flowed out of these workings from the water they had brought on by a long water race. Now dry of course. One of these exits the water was re used lower down & the other just spilled out & down a steep slope that just got steeper until it dropped off vertical into a side creek gully below. It was dry & I said to Simon, this could be worth detecting as it is cutting thru what looked like virgin ground & gravels. I sat down & let Simon get into it. Thinking he would head down the wash detecting up & down the banks. But he headed up into the workings end. He got a few signals that just seemed to spread out as he dug. Turned out to be piles of little bits of iron sand/stones. Round like shot gun pellets. Simon at first thought they were but they were all over his magnet. When he got to the top end by the workings I headed on down & cranked up my 4500 away from him so we wouldn't clash with each other. I got down to a bit of bedrock in the bottom of this wash. Got a signal next to what was an old detector hole. I had seen a few old digs so we were not the first to be in here. turned out to be a bit of rubbish. I then dragged the edge of the 14 x 9 coil backwards thru the crevice cracks in this bedrock. Again...no photos. Got a nice mellow hit & Simon came on down to investigate just as I saw the glint of gold. I popped it in my scoop to show him & then I looked down to the ground & it feel out back onto the ground. I couldn't see it & Simon gave it a go with his detector to see if he could get it. So I turned mine off & WHAM...he got it alright. So there is nothing wrong with his set up. He just doesn't seem to be able to walk over gold. We carried on for a few hours more but got nothing else. Despite covering a bit of ground. We were getting pretty hot & worn out so we started back towards the bikes. We came across on more bit of bedrock. The old timers had brought a small water race along the top of the ridge & had worked some ground at the end of this high little spur. I said to Simon, you go for it. I will have a sit down. You need to get a bit of gold. While he was detecting away I took a snap across the gully to the saddle we had ridden up to in the back ground & ridden down this side of it. The bikes were stashed directly below me out of site below the bottom of the picture. You will see more piles of stacked rocks & tell tale signs of ground sluicing with the higher lumps & bumps they didn't wash away. Unfortunately Simon came up gold less & I really thought we would have done a lot better in here. There was not much bedrock & what there was had seen detectors before. So now it was back to the bike & break down our gear & re pack the back packs for the bike ride up & out. We were poked. Simon has one of those apple watches that tells you your heart rate, how many steps you have taken & how far you have walked. He got his heart rate up to 150 at one stage when an alarm came on his watch warning him to take it easy. He said he had taken 12,000 steps & I think it was 10.5 kilometers of walking. A lot of that was up hill & around the hill sides. The ride back down was uneventful with no mishaps. Thank goodness. Simon making out in one piece. Look how crazy the grass is. And the smile happy to have done so. We still had a way to go to the wagon but that was the quick fun part. So all up just the three little bits for me for not even 1 gram. Better than poke in the eye with a blunt stick & avoided the skunk. Not bad considering I hadn't used a 4500 for nearly three years. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  21. 30 points
    Happy New Year! It has been a couple years of furious activity in a normally slow moving industry. We are in a Golden Age of detector hardware, with intense competition driving prices lower while fostering innovative new designs. Most of the action has been from manufacturers outside the U.S. - will 2019 be the year U.S. manufacturers strike back? It will be interesting but rumors are thin on the ground right now. New models appearing are niche models, like the new XP ORX, aimed at the gold prospectors. A new manufacturer has appeared, Tarsacci, with the new MDT 8000 that initially anyway seems to be aimed at beach hunters. The machine I most have my eye on is the upcoming Fisher Impulse AQ. I am satisfied with what VLF technology exists now, so all I need is a PI detector at least as powerful as a Garrett ATX in a housing weighing under 5 lbs. I sold my ATX and currently do not have a PI and am waiting on what Fisher has to show before deciding what to do about that. F75 replacement? I will believe it when I see it but the Aqua Manta is all but assured for 2019. I lobbied Garrett for years to make a LTX (Lightweight ATX) but to no avail. However, with the new AT Max just out it does make me wonder what Garrett has up their sleeve for 2019. If not a replacement for the embarrassingly long in the tooth GTI 2500 than perhaps my wished for lightweight ATX? A guy can hope but I am not holding my breath. Garrett has pushed single frequency as far as they can so their next step will be revealing. Minelab is still consolidating the Equinox rollout and a raft full of new gold machines in the last few years. They seem well set at the moment. I wish I could get a SDC 2300 in a Eureka Gold box but that is one wish I doubt will be granted. Nokta/Makro? They have long been known to be working on a PI detector so maybe the new Fisher Impulse AQ will have a competitor? It is almost 100% that Nokta/Makro will release a true multifrequency detector in 2019 so there will be that to look for. That and the soon to be released Nokta/Makro Simplex, a new low cost multipurpose detector. Tarsacci MDT 8000? I will let the beach and relic hunters sort that out. Tesoro is gone now so we can officially ignore them without feeling guilty about it. White's I will continue to hope beyond hope that a working version of the Half Sine Technology may finally appear. Fingers crossed as always, but the odds are low. One does get the sense that White's really does need to hit a home run however so the pressure is on to get it out the door. This could short circuit other developments above were it to actually happen. I’m not holding my breath however. XP just started shipping the new X35 coils and ORX model, so 2019 may be a quiet one for them. And with that, best wishes for a great 2019 to one and all!!
  22. 30 points
    I went to a new spot with a buddy of mine and decided to try a couple new locations I have been to once before. Wow what a great location. Top secret for sure. I missed this nugget by roughly a foot and my buddy Andy hit on it. We were both using Gold Monsters. It was only a couple inches down under an ancient cobble.
  23. 29 points
  24. 29 points
    New PB for me 35 grams, bit over a foot deep, very happy! 😀😀
  25. 29 points
    Here is a photo of my brothers finds from the sunny southwest corner of Arizona. All these were found with a gpz 7000 they range in size from just a few hundredths of a gram to close to 27 grams.Most all were found in areas that have been hunted and then hunted some more.
  26. 29 points
    I’ve got my lads home this summer so I’ve been grabbing every chance I can get to drag them out detecting. For me finding some gold is always a good way to get some ready cash for incidental things like beer which both boys now seem to have discovered a taste for.🤣 My attitude is the more I can get them out detecting with them the better because they will soon enough be pursuing their own life directions and if my life at that age is anything to go by no doubt it will be in another town a long way away. So in exchange for beer, a bed, air con, food and the odd bit of cash here and there, oh and don’t forget always running out of data on our internet plan,🤔 I get to occasionally grab one or both lads and go do a bit of father son detecting. Yesterday was a lot of fun, the weather has returned to hot and muggy again (typical February weather in Central QLD) so an early start was necessary. This time we decided to target an area not far from a high voltage power line, not because we love the constant discordant threshold (The GPZ is heaps better than any of gold machine in this regard), but because the gold tends to be chunkier thanks to the area not having been detected as often due to the interference. The keys to detecting here are to find a clear frequency for the location, this is changed pretty regularly as the frequency of the line changes often too, I also find lowering the sensitivity helps a lot and also backing off the B&Z booster a bit to take the edge off the variation. There is also a fair amount of trash so we tend to just focus on signals that sound a bit buried. I was lucky and pinged a deep 1 gram bit only 30 minutes into the session, I held off letting Tim know because its better in a nasty area like this to keep things low key and not too competitive. Being hot and sweaty as well as listening to an annoying unstable threshold is bad enough without feeling pressured from Dad. Anyway this session was kinder to me and I managed to ping quite a few chunky bits poking my coil here and there amongst the old boys diggings on the edges of the drainage. Poor Tim was struggling he had pockets full of lead and trash but no gold, so I suggested he head on over to were I pinged the first bit. Right on knock off time I saw Tim grinning triumphantly and he then refusing to finish off for the day until he had covered the area more thoroughly. Long story short, Tim got the biggest nugget for the session sitting right at 1.6 grams with a grand total of 7.4 grams between us. Seeing how were are partners we spilt the gold with 3.7 grams each or $214 AU for a few hours work, no wonder he likes coming home for a visit.😎😂 JP Some pics of yesterdays session and a few from another one last week. The gold is just a bonus, the true gold is the time spent with my boy.
  27. 29 points
    My prospecting buddy in San Diego and I decided to take a run down to Baja to see if this summer's hurricane event had moved any gold around. This particular Baja placer has been pretty popular over the past 20 years and we've pretty much hunted out all the easy stuff so we had high hopes for a new bonanza. We left on Monday crossing the border at Calexico. I was waved through after a cursory examination by the Mexican border officials. My friend was in a different lane and he was subjected to a much more thorough examination. I think it was end of shift and the border officials needed to make some quick money. Four of them pulling everything out of his truck. They ultimately came to his 7000 detector. He explained its use and then they asked what it was worth. He lied and told them $4000.00. They saw dollar signs because according to them he would need to pay an import duty on the equipment, $420.00 US dollars cash. I guess 100 bucks apiece is a good nights work. He refused and told them that he would just return to the US. After that the price came down to $240.00. He still refused and we used the turnaround lane back to the US side of the border. It's hard to argue their notion of justice. We spent the night at my house in sunny Yuma and decided to cross at Algodones the next morning. That crossing was going well as far as inspection, but then the immigration officer inquired as to our Mexican Visas. We've never needed a Visa in Baja unless crossing the states of Baja Norte to Baja Sur. So, we bought some much needed $35.00 cash only Visas and continued on our way. The summer hurricane wiped out most of the paved highway just outside of San Felipe. They were working on replacing the highway but in the meantime you're restricted to a rough one lane dirt road over about 40 miles. From my house to the Placer is abut 240 miles and we arrived in the early afternoon. The prime ground is another 3 miles by ATV. We spent the rest of the afternoon building some ramps and filling big holes to run the my Rokon and his Yamaha Big Wheel up the canyon. The hurricane had run water about 20 ft high through the canyon so all our improvements from last year were washed away. It was tough sledding all the way but I didn't get unhorsed this year. My friend took a nasty fall after his bike slid down a too smooth rock wall. He was hobbled and we ended up cutting our trip short. Nevertheless, I got one good day of detecting in. I found a stretch of bedrock that last year had a foot of overburden on it. It was now swept clean and I found these small nuggets in bedrock cracks. I intended to check some promising ground about a 2 mile hike away, but I just couldn't justify leaving gold to find gold. Maybe next trip. The weather was great and the gold available, just not enough time after our border mishap and my friend's banged up knee.
  28. 29 points
    Well with the Thanksgiving Holiday we just had, I was able to jump in the truck for a quick over-nighter to try out the 15" coil on the NOX. Now for those of you who know me, I spent most of the summer/fall testing the new Whites 24K in Oregon and Idaho (with great success) so I did not get to hunt gold this year with the NOX. Actually this was my 1st trip using it for gold nuggets and since my friends had already hunted the site with their NOX and standard 11" round DD coils, I figured there is no use in doing the same thing over. My intuition paid off and to say it bluntly was an understatement. My 1st gold piece (not jewelry as I have found ounces of gold rings so far with NOX) is a dandy. 2.78 ozt or over 3 regular ounce "Golden Oreo" at 16-18" deep. This is by far my biggest Oreo of 2018. The photos show the 15" coil standing upright in the hole and the sun is coming down at an angle and barley shining on the top of the coil. You can see the back of the rock pile is higher than the coil itself. Another factor is I found out the 15" coil is very bump sensitive to rocks so I had to swing it a couple inches off the ground. I typically do not recommend this to my customers and say to keep the coil to the soil, but at times it can't be done. Yes I did drop my SENS down and preferred 19 most of the time. Do you think "Golden Oreo" is a good name and if you have something better, please share it as this masterprice needs its own name. On a side note. When swinging the 15" coil on the NOX for 8 hour days in rough terrain, you need a bungee and I really do like and recommend Docs Ultra Swingy Thingy Harness System. I actually use it with my GPZ 7000 as. Another great thing I like about the harness is it actually clips to the back of my pants to hold them up better and my plumbers crack does not get burnt as often.
  29. 29 points
    Hi folks, I got out with the GPZ for some gold hunting. It has been almost a year since I used it...glad to say it still works. Dick W and Mike G were kind to invite me to their claim...I found four little bits For point 89 of a Gram...about 1/2 a pennyweight
  30. 28 points
    I always enjoy a trip to Quartzsite with beautiful weather and a warm sun. I love the solitude of exploring the lesser visited areas with the flowers beginning to bloom, lizards scurrying around and even a few bighorn sheep on the hills. Sometimes I even get lucky. On my recent trip with my Gold Monster I found two small nuggets, a 1.6 gram and a .05 gram. At the end of the day I drove into town and celebrated with a pizza at Silly Al's.
  31. 28 points
    I haven`t been posting any finds recently because, well, I haven`t been finding much. I`ve been spending a fair bit of time in a area where years ago multi ounce nuggets were common, but most days I come home empty handed. Today I got one of those "is that a signal or isn`t it?" targets. I run very conservative settings now and because the detector runs so quiet I dig a lot more ground noise than I used too, I thought this was another one. It was just the tiniest change in the threshold. When I was down about 4" it was giving off that lovely electronic warbly signal I like and somewhere down about the 8 or nine inch mark this little speci popped out.
  32. 27 points
    goldEn is back in town for a couple of weeks and managed to get out my place for a couple of days. Today we went to a Ironbark forest where there was a little bit of surfacing so goldEn could use the 2300 and I detected in the forrest with the 7000. I got one of those really iffy signals that I thought was ground noise and when I approached it at 90º I couldn`t hear it at all.I scraped a bit of dirt and same thing, could hear it one way but not the other. As the hole got deeper the signal seemed to move in the hole. First it was in one spot, then in another spot and it never sounded like a real target. When I finally got it out of the hole I couldn`t hear it at all, but I move a bit a bit of dirt and I can hear something, move a bit more dirt and I couldn`t hear it again. From when I first detected it to holding it in my fingers was about 15 minutes and it goes a whopping 0.12 gram and is about ¼" long. Good to see you again goldEn 🙂
  33. 27 points
    Had a couple hours to kill this afternoon, so I took the Equinox to a park here in sunny Arizona that I’ve not been to before. Typically, my goal on these time-constrained forays into the parklands is to cherry pick the higher conductive targets in hopes of finding a silver coin. But this time I decided to also dig targets that fell within the nickel range of the EQX. The first target was a shallow 20-21 signal; yep, you guessed it - a stinkin zincoln. Next up was a 13-14...could be a nickel, but most likely a pop can tab...sure enough, it was a can tab. Swinging along, next signal was a solid hit at 24-25; at 4 inches, out popped a 1963 D copper Lincoln cent: cool, definitely some hope for silver. After digging another pop tab, I got a strange deep signal that would bounce around from 25 to 31; a coin spill perhaps? The culprit was down around 10 inches, and turned out to be a corroded 1945 D copper wheat-back penny. Checking the hole and plug revealed no other targets...a total head-scratcher, but even more reason to suspect slver coinage was in the area. Moving on, the Nox responded with a tight 12 on the display. Down around 6 inches was a surprisingly corroded 2013 D nickel. Next was a broken pop tab around the 2 inch mark, then a nice sounding 27-28 ; the silver dime I’ve been waiting for? Nope, just a flattened aluminum scew-top.😩 Then I get another solid 12 hit at 4 inches. Fully expecting another nickel. I popped the target out of the hole and was flabbergasted to see a gold and diamond wedding ring! At 14 karat, it’s my first ever solid gold ring. I figured that I’d better stop at that point, since there was no way I was going to top that amazing find, but I decided to keep on swinging for another half an hour since I hadn’t found a silver coin yet. The very next target was a deep sounding solid 31, so I’m hoping beyond hope for a silver quarter. Getting down past 8 inches and the pinpointer was sounding off in the bottom of the hole; another couple inches and the target was out...a Washington quarter alright, and a gentle rub revealed the date: 1941...YES! I decided to quit on a high tone and call it a day. What a super awesome hunt, and I couldn’t be happier.😃
  34. 27 points
    On our Chisana mining claims there are a few areas that the old timers hydrauliced and of course in the bedrock area the bits were blasted into the cracks and crevices. Steve H and I took many of these bits out of there, our weapon of choice was the hot GB2 with the six' coil.. I I have to admit after a few years it is finally getting a little lean.. Personally this area taught me much about hunting bits.. You can find other areas too that have been scraped to bedrock and I have been given permission many times to have at it, so to say. The Bug is a killer in these areas and it get a little boring. Lol.. I started looking at these bits a little more carefully and I began to understand why you wouldn't hear some of these pieces, but when you disturbed the ground it was zip zip all over again.. You won't find these bits at depth, but looking at the bits you will see they are not round but flat.. Sometimes you missed them because all the detector could see was the edges they couldn't pick up. When you moved the dirt the flats were exposed and presented just enuff mass for a nice little zip.. I met a miner in the 40 mile area years ago and I always chatted with him. One particular area he had mined with his Hoe and D8, bedrock was scraped pretty clean and as far as he was concerned the mineable gold was gone.. He was moving his operation a ways and when he saw me he said the area is yours good luck..... Damn ,damn I thought, A good spot for me , I went over the bedrock slowly and carefully soon I heard what I was listening for.. There was an amount of dirt over the spot and I brushed it away, what I exposed was a beautiful crack in the bedrock that was full of cemented gravel and gold.. I picked out a few small nug and finally when I got most of the gravel out I almost choked, In the bottom was a slug, yikes, when I dug it out, that beauty weighed 1.7 ozs... Boo ya, Not sure I have a photo if I can find one I will post it soon. Tough being in Thailand and posting I don't have many photos only a lot of memories... Ok here’s the slug at the bottom of the crack
  35. 27 points
    Hi guys, I never got around to posting what ended up being my last gold detecting adventure of 2018. Mrs JW had gone up north to spend time some with her aging mum & was gone for over the course of a weekend. So being home alone I made the decision to do a saturday overnight camping adventure to "Doug's Gully". You may recall in a post not long ago of a day trip Mrs JW & I made to this same gully & I made the comment that in all the years I have frequented this gully I have never seen any water in the gully floor, let alone any running water. Well that time with Mrs JW there had been two days of very heavy rain resulting in lots of flooding throughout Central Otago. On getting to this gully there was 4" of water flowing down this usually bone dry gully floor. You will notice snow on the hills in the background. Of course the grass growth had gone mental & I had been struggling to find gold here now. I have trashed it over the years but always manage to wrangle a few bits out of it. On this occasion I was betting on the wet & damp conditions to aid me on this quest. I wasn't disappointed & managed 7 little pieces before Mrs JW made noises about heading home. So I had unfinished business to do in there as I had not detected as much of the gully as I had wanted to when Mrs JW was with me. I know the hot spots & again we had had a bit of wet weather & I knew the ground would be damp & so hopefully carry on giving me the edge on the gold from where I left off last time. So with tent & gear on board & Mrs JW up north I headed off. I took with me the Zed of course & the three amigos, the high frequency VLF's. The Gold Monster, GB2 & the EQ 800 with 6" coil. I can drive right to this gully but it is a bit of a mission & has its moments. But I got there unscathed. The grass had gone even more crazy but the bonus of the damp conditions was that there were mushrooms everywhere. Ye Ha. I love those so after I had set up camp, I went for a wander & gathered a few up. I knew what was going to be on the menu for dinner that night & breakfast in the morning. After a cup of coffee I fired up the Zed & targeted that bald spot straight out from the tent. Which is an eroded old timers throwout pile from turning over the gully floor. I was going to have to target these bald spots due to the crazy grass growth. Not even two minutes into it I got a real faint signal. Digging down onto it, it lived on to a bit of depth. I tried each of the VLF's at about 6 inches. Not a peep out of any of them. Hmmmmm. You will notice an old back filled dig hole to the upper right of the scoop & also to the left of the GB2. They were small bits of gold from my last time in here when the water was flowing down the "creek" So I kept on digging & at about 8 inches there was still nothing from the VLF's. Bloody hell. The Zed was going nuts but I still didn't know if it was ferrous or not or where a bouts exactly it was in the hole. Finally I got a hit on the VLFs, well the GM & the EQ 800....just. Not the GB2 at this stage. I had to dig a bit more to get the VLF's to give me the nod of a non ferrous target. My hopes increased that it may be gold now. Finally at about 14 inches the signal was out. The scoop is 12 inches long. Was it a bloody .22 shell?? No..... Just over 1 gram. Ye Ha. I am picking that it was on edge to give the VLF's such a hard time in picking up on it. Here is a pic standing back a bit from the scene looking down the gully. You will see the long grass growing in the pit that the old timers had dug out & the resultant doughnut like circle of the dug out dirt tossed out around the perimeter of the pit. Hence they were called pot hole diggings. Along with other humps & bumps & holes up & down the gully from there activity. I would love to get a digger into that gully. Well....not two yards away I got an identical sounding signal & on getting down 12 inches & it was still in the ground my hopes were high. I didnt get the VLF's involved on this one as the digging was a bit easier & then the signal was out. You Bastard.🤬 The tip of an old timers pick. Even if the VLF's told me it was ferrous I still would have got it out of the ground just to get rid of it. BUGGER. Not far away on the edge of this bald spot up against a clump of grass growth I got another faint signal. It was getting down to about 6 inches before it was out. Pretty small for the Zed & that 14" coil. Still blows me away at the depth it gets this small gold. I got another small one with the Zed. I then thought I would give the EQ 800 a spin over that bald spot after finishing it with the Zed. I got a faint little hit with the EQ 800 in full max everything in the settings department & Multi IQ, Gold Mode 2 Down about 2 inches. Looks better a bit bigger. I called it quits for the Saturday on that one. So three for the Zed & one for the EQ 800. Had me some mushrooms to sort out for dinner. On top of a couple of bangers, baked beans & eggs. Washed down with a coffee. Doing it tough on the goldfields. I then wondered if I was the first to have camped here since the old timers. I doubt if anybody else had. to be continued: I need my beauty sleep. Good luck out there JW
  36. 27 points
    Last year was not a banner prospecting year for me. I got out a number of times and did detect some gold and did some dry washing, but it was a year of other problems and obligations. I had two trips to the hospital, one emergency by ambulance, and one for surgery on my heart (not open heart, but the doctor put a probe up through a vein into the inside of my heart). My wife had two stays at the hospital as well. We also spent time moving my elderly mother in law from southern California where she has few remaining relatives, up to Reno. I did get out and find some nice gold in my prospecting, but I made fewer trips and got less gold than I have in many years. I did however, do some serious hard rock prospecting in 2018 and made two deals with mining exploration companies to lease out properties that I own. One deal was made on a set of claims that I had staked years ago, while the other was on a large set of claims I staked in 2018 (along with two partners which I have in that claim group). We staked over 200 claims in that group and it took some time in getting all of those claims out and posted. The company that leased those claims from us flew a helicopter survey over them and made several exciting finds. The ore bodies likely found there are electrically conductive, and the coil and electronics used to “see” the ore bodies are of a pulse type design – just like the pulse detectors we use, but with a gigantic coil and a bit different electronics. So I can look at 2018 in a couple of different ways – for the direct gold I dug, it was a very poor year. Yet for the total money I made on my prospecting it was a different story. Counting the money I made on leasing out claims in 2018, if you calculated out the equivalent ounces of gold, that would make it my best year ever, by far. The money was the bullion weight equivalent of several pounds. So in 2019 I hope to stay out of the hospital, and to take no rides in ambulances. I pray my wife stays out of the hospital too. I hope to spend more time in the hills prospecting, and do more detecting and more drywashing as well. I will stake some more claims and see if I can get those leased out as well, but I really want to do my own prospecting as I enjoy that so much. For those interested in more details on the story of the claims I staked and how I got them leased off to two different exploration companies, I have a story this month in the ICMJ – called Making a Big Discovery. In the February and March issues I will have a two part article on how these lease contracts are structured and what a small miner might expect in such a deal. Photos – A few of my detected nuggets; the helicopter surveying my claims, and some of the ground where the claims are located.
  37. 27 points
    I was just updating links and realized I have been posting adventures to Steve’s Mining Journal for over twenty years now. The Journal started when the internet was new, and information about metal detecting and prospecting for gold was new and rare. Metal detecting was still an obscure activity and gold prospecting even more so. I started posting the stories on my old company website as a way to show people this stuff really works and to help promote the business. It was one of my better decisions, as documenting these adventures has turned out to be far more important to me than anyone else. Memories fade with age, and I can’t do this stuff forever, so it is great now to have all these adventures to look back on. Anyway, many people never leave the forums and explore the rest of this website, so I thought I would post this to celebrate the unofficial 20th anniversary of Steve’s Journal for those who have never wandered across it.
  38. 27 points
    I was excited about getting my Nox 12x15" coil and was hoping it would arrive in time for a trip up to the ski fields to do a detect for some jewellery, I've found the odd bit at the ski fields in the past and end up with a fair collection of coins at the same time so it's an easy day detecting and can be a bit of fun pulling up coins every 20 minutes or so. I'd already planned to do it and then it started raining but because I made the plan, I stuck with it. The drive up to the ski field I saw a weird rainbow, it was a tiny one, it struggled to get up off the ground 🙂 I didn't find anything amazing on the day, which is a bit disappointing as I may as well of been swimming as the rain ended up being heavy the entire day, much worse higher up on the mountain than it was down on ground level, when I drove back down the rain stopped halfway down! Lucky the Nox is waterproof. I did find someones bank card, an old Cardrona Ski Area badge which is a competing ski field and a free Breakfast at Snowy Valley Resort, I had to look up what that was and it's in Australia and the food has a reputation of being awful which is why someone probably threw the free meal away 🙂 I've taken a more dig it all between VDI 5 and 25 approach lately as I'm trying to find more rings, I was originally just digging coin VDI's and the method is working, I did find a ring that was a very solid 18 on the VDI's, I'm not sure it's of any value, it's not magnetic and has some numbers on the inside that don't mean anything to me, it was about 20cm deep so it's been there quite a while. Other than the ring I got my usual coins and something that I think is an ear ring. I'm pretty sure the ring is a junker. Before the next weekend my 12x15" coil arrived for my Nox so I was itching for another ski field detect to compare it to the 11" I usually use. I found it decent, the extra ground coverage was great and sped up the mission, I was able to cover an area in what felt like half the time I took with the 11" I didn't notice any depth advantage and I honestly don't know how I could judge if there was without doing some "testing" burying targets but that doesn't seem viable as I've found coins buried for a long time react differently. It did have a bit more trouble with EMI than the 11", but I guess that's to be expected with a bigger coil. Dropping the sensitivity back two or three notches fixed that up. The ski field is bad for EMI as it has high voltage power for the lifts and Wifi all over the mountain with powerful boosters and a mobile phone tower all right near each other. The other big difference with the new coil is NZ $1 and $2 coins both came up as VDI 21 on the 11", sometimes flicking to 22 on the $2 coins but mostly 21, with the 12x15" the $2 coins are consistently 22 on the VDI's with the $1 being solid 21, I can now tell which coin I'm about to dig with some confidence. My dealer, DredgeNZ threw in a snuffer bottle and gold pan with my purchase, he's a good guy and trustworthy, certainly not a "used car salesman" dealer 🙂 I did the dig it all approach with the 12x15" also, and recovered a number of coins and a reasonable amount of the usual ski field junk After my ski field mission I drove down into town to buy dinner and saw a message from KiwiJW asking if I wanted to go for a detecting mission the next day using his EBIKES!!!!! that of course was an excited YES! I have ordered a Steelphase SP01 audio enhancer and it had arrived at my local post depot but as I got home so late at night and was leaving early the next morning for the gold mission I was unable to get it in time for the trip. It arrived this morning, just too late for this mission 🙂 Can't wait to test this puppy out, although I might let John take it's maiden voyage as he'll be better at testing it and also he'll be able to compare it to his B&Z Booster so that will be interesting. It's on charge right now! I arrived at John's and we threw the Ebikes on the back of his truck and off we went, We went to a place we've done quite a number of times, rarely do we come away with nothing. John mostly does pretty well here, I sometimes get the odd nugget. The Ebikes made the ride up the hillside much easier, it's still a workout for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 10 or so years but I think if I wasn't on an Ebike I would of been pushing the bike up the hill rather than riding. Once you get into more level terrain they really show their ability, you can cruise along with almost no effort at all. They even had a little throttle trigger that you can press and it behalves then like an electric motorbike, driving along without you even needing to peddle, but of course this drains the battery more so you only use it when necessary. I often used it to take off, you know how when you ride a bike the initial takeoff requires a powerful peddle, not so with this nifty little trigger. A BIG thanks to Mrs JW for allowing me to use her Ebike!!!!!! I was silly and forgot to get a photo of the Ebikes! We started off detecting by going to some old throw out piles I'd never been to before, I don't think John had been to them either, the beauty of the Ebikes is you can go further than you could ever do walking. These piles had powerlines directly above them, I was thinking this maybe to our advantage as it keeps people with their detectors away, John's GPZ handles powerlines reasonably well, my GPX on the other hand doesn't with my coil configuration so I had my Monster with me just in case, and I was glad I did. The Monster doesn't care about power lines, worst case scenario I had to drop it back to Manual 9 instead of my usual highest setting of Manual 10, but even still that was to make it operate completely quietly, if on Manual 10 I got a bit of broken pulsing noise occasionally from the power lines and wasn't sure if that was causing any harm so I knocked back to Manual 9 just in case, both Auto and Auto+ were completely silent so I assume they were dropping back to Manual 8 and 9. John's GPZ was having a little more trouble than usual with the power lines but it may of been the wind, there was a warm breeze and we've both noticed sometimes wind direction seems to effect the EMI. The Monster performed well for me, I had found a signal, it was a very faint one so I scraped a bit, the signal then went all the way to the ferrous side so I scraped a bit more and it started to get random readings, a much more positive sign, the more I dug the more erratic the signal became until I got right down to the bedrock when then the signal went all the way to non-ferrous and I was now very hopeful of breaking my skunk. I've had about 6 weeks I think it would be with no gold. After a lot of messing around trying to recover the target and dropping it in the separation process I eventually found it, a tiny little bee poo bit of gold. It's to the left of the Minelab Logo on the coil, tiny little thing, you'll also notice a spider took up residence on my coil, not one of the life threatening touch me and you die spiders I'm used to from Australia, a friendly little chap who moved on doing his business when I took my gold off the coil. The depth was pretty amazing, It was at a depth where my scoop changed to it's handle, hard to see in that blurry photo but it's the only one I got. All 0.035 grams of it 🙂 but it's official, my skunk was broken! Another thing we both wanted to do on this mission is find a secret cave, there is one here but it's not easy to find and not marked on any maps or anything, we rode around for a while trying to find it, and then we parked up the Ebikes and went for a walk using John's google maps photo of the area, exploring around trying to find it. There was a cool looking rock formation in the area I call it the hotel rock, the old timer gold miners used to use rocks with hollowed out bits for accommodation, well this one was a multi level hotel, with hollowed out bit's all over the place. We even saw a rock that looked like someone had decided to cut in half with a giant saw I have no idea how that can naturally happen. We were wandering around for some time trying to find this cave, comparing where we thought we were with the google earth satellite photo and the location John thought the cave was but with no luck so we headed back to where we parked the bikes and you wouldn't believe it, the cave was right next to where we parked up, within 30 feet there were two cave entrances. We rode right past them both to park the bikes! unbelievable!!! John's navigational skills were better than he thought, he stopped right at the cave 🙂 The entrance is well hidden, that's it below me, the little dark hole! We didn't go down in there this time, it was a bit muddy from a massive rain storm we had a few days earlier, the most rain I've had at my place in years. A job for another day, maybe detect the walls of it with the GM 1000 🙂 Next we rode off to find somewhere else to detect, and stumbled across some old chinese workings and some nice terraced walls they had made to get their wheelbarrows up and down into a gully We started detecting again and John was trying to break his skunk (at this location), the last time he came here he was skunked and spent most of his day exploring, this time I was ahead with my little bee poo so the competition was on 🙂 We spent an hour or two detecting and found nothing then all the sudden John yells out he got one... uh oh, his is no doubt bigger than mine as the Zed can't find bee poo so I was in trouble, he was going to win again!! I've never won in gold tally, it's usually 10 to 1 if I'm lucky but this day I thought I had it in the bag. John had a forgetful day, it happens to the best of us but his was out of control He forgot to bring his gumboots he usually detects in so he has no metal on his feet, but to make it worse he had steel capped shoes on!!! I often found his shoes laying around where we were detecting as he ended up having to detect in his socks Lucky the ground wasn't wet. He also forgot his phone so I was chief photographer, Not a role I excel at as I always forget to take photos. He also forgot his scoop so he had to separate out his targets the old fashioned way. It wasn't 2 minutes after John yelled out he got his nugget and I was yelling back, I GOT ONE. I was getting desperate to find another one and scanning the ground wasn't working for me so I started kicking over rocks. This has worked in the past and it worked again. I put a red circle around my little nugget so it can be seen, tiny little thing for such a big coil. My biggest of the day, 0.162 grams! Now this brings up a question, this nugget was an absolute screamer, a nice loud "wee woo" even with the coil 10cm above the nugget I get a nice "wee woo" yet this area has bucket loads of shotgun pellets, if I use my Monster I can find one every square meter, yet the GPX wasn't seeing them, yet it screams out loud on this bit of gold which incidently weighs less than a pellet. An example, here is a pellet I found with the GM at the same place It's bigger, and weighs more yet the GPX with NF 14x9" Evo coil completely ignores it, yet it will find a nugget than weighs less and is smaller in size with a loud screaming signal, so loud I thought I had a 22 shell. I completely don't understand this so if anyone has an idea why, please do tell. Now it was game on again, I had two nuggets and John had one, we were walking along finding piles to detect on and our detectors had an argument, his was making noises at mine, mine was making noises back at his, then all the sudden mine makes a police siren noise, scaring his detector off... my detector feels a little intimidated by his superior detector so it faked a police siren to scare his off. It wouldn't even be ten minutes later and John's yelling out he's got another one, 2 for 2... I knew he had won as I had a bee poo, and his would have to be bigger and of course they were. His were .12 & .22 of a gram so he won again 🙂 We called it a day and jumped on the Ebikes and headed back to the car, fastest trip back I've ever had, often we are walking out and it gets dark as it's an hour or so to walk back, we were back in under 10 minutes thanks to the bikes... best time of the day for an easy trip down as we were both pretty exhausted. To top off John's forgetful day he even left his sunglasses in the toilets at KFC at dinner time A big thanks again to Mrs JW for the use of her Ebike! Sure made the day a lot easier and more fun and of course to JW for taking me along 🙂
  39. 27 points
    The rest of the trip was nice though clouds kept threatening to move in. They would clear out however and the sun would appear again. With time running out I got back to detecting with the GPZ 7000 plus a little bit here and there with the Equinox. All in all I was only averaging about eight nuggets a lazy day of detecting, getting about 1/4 ounce a day average. Hand stacked rocks and bedrock - nugget detecting heaven! I have mentioned I have never found a nugget weighing even a half ounce at Gold Hill, though they are mentioned in the old records, and I know of some found more recently by others. I really thought I had one this trip however. I was in a bedrock gut leading into a mined pit that was producing nuggets. I got a deep signal in a bedrock pocket right in the bottom of the little gully. Whatever it was was wedged down in deep and tight, and when I first laid hands on it I thought "Aha!" but it was not to be. I found the largest copper nugget I ever found though there is very little copper exposed on the surface. I will treat it with acid later and post a photo someday, but for now here is what it looked like fresh out of the ground. Large copper nugget - should have been gold! The last couple days of this great trip were dedicated to some serious camp cleanup and so this adventure finally came to a close. My detecting had exceeded expectations. I am certain I could have found more gold had I worked more single-mindedly at the task, but the fact is this trip was a near perfect balance of relaxation and finding gold. I finished up with just a hair over 3 ounces of nice chunky gold. Three ounces chunky gold found by Steve with GPZ 7000 The Equinox 800 had proven itself to be an excellent tiny gold sniper on this trip. It was the GPZ 7000 that made the day however, literally making it feel like cheating compared to what the other guys were able to do. Dudley and George both got gold but it was the GPZ that impressed us all. I have long known how powerful the machine is, but this is the first time I have run it on ground I know very well. It was amazing at how easy it was for me to do well just one more time at Chisana and Bonanza Creek. Dudley had been hoping to find a couple nice pendant nugget for his daughters but the dredge kept finding smaller gold. I gave Dudley what I considered to be the best pendant nugget I found at 5 grams and traded a second 3.5 gram nugget for some fine gold he got dredging. Pendant nuggets 5 grams and 3.5 grams Again, just a fabulous trip. Thank you George and Dudley for the invite and a great time. I have learned never to say never, so I don't know if I will ever return to Chisana and Gold Hill again or not. I am grateful I got this last trip in however as it ended my decades of visits to the hill on a somewhat brighter note than the last time. I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane and a rare look at places and times in Alaska that few will ever see or experience. I am very lucky to have been born where and when I was. I have seen Alaska transition from true frontier to modern civilization in my lifetime and this is just a small part of what I have experienced. There are many people in this tale who have not been mentioned at all out of respect for privacy issues. My thanks to all of them. Thanks again for riding along on this long thread! One last look at Gold Hill below.... Steve Herschbach 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Gold Hill at Chisana, Alaska
  40. 26 points
    KiwiJW and I had a busy weekend, he'd just flown to Christchurch (The South Islands biggest city) to pick up his new Toyota Landcruiser or as I call it the monster truck and he had to drive it back down to Queenstown to pick up his caravan to tow it up to Christchurch to swap it over for his new Caravan. I went on the journey up to swap it over, it's about a 6 hour drive each way through some stunning countryside and a very nice drive. We were going to spend the night up there but decided it's best to take the drive up and back in one day so then we had the next day free for some gold detecting! Great idea! John now has two big new toys to enjoy, the Monster truck tows a caravan like it's not even there 🙂 The spot we decided to detect is a place John had taken me on my first ever successful day detecting for Gold, I had tried to go back there a couple of times and got lost trying to find it. I was sure there was more gold there but it's in a difficult to find place in wild bush. My last attempt at finding the place I only just got out of the bush before dark and I had no light with me, I almost had to stay the night. John found the spot with ease and off we went detecting. He was using his Gold Monster 1000 and I used the Equinox 800 with 6" coil. There is a lesson in this post for Equinox users on finding tiny gold. The thing I like about this location is being as remote as it is there is no junk except that left behind by the old gold miners, and that junk doesn't bother me at all. Shotgun pellets are my enemy and fortunately these aren't a problem in this spot. If you get a good target in this spot, it's more than likely going to be gold, although my first target was mostly reading VDI 1, 2 on the Nox but jumping regularly down to -7, -8 then back up to 1, 2, a bit of an all over the place reading. It was down in a crack in the bedrock and I spent about half an hour smashing away at the bedrock to get it out, I wasn't sure what to do so asked JW who said just keep smashing away and he came over to help, we eventually got it out, much faster with JW's help and it turned out to be a tiny little bit of metal, possibly lead or zinc or something, but tiny. How it got so far down in the bedrock I don't know. This was my only junk find of the day. Next up was another target, this one was constantly in the -5 , -6 range but I knew this spot had small gold and I also knew there was virtually no junk here, the only targets in this location I ignore is ones that go a solid -8, -9 on the VDI's which is what the hot rocks in the area do, rocks bigger than a car or even a house can show a -8, -9 over the entire rock surface in this area, anything else could possibly and likely is gold. This little scraped out area to the left of my coil is where this target was located, in this photo I'd done a scrape to get to the bedrock to improve the signal before recovering the target. You'll see we are high up on a creek side, probably about 50 meters (164 feet) above the creek. Gold can be in the most unlikely places. That edge there has a big drop down to the creek and it's just rock with a thin later of soil and some grass growth of it. Now that I'd done my scrape with about 5cm of soil the target ID had improved drastically from the -5, -6 it was getting to a very repeatable 1, 2, I knew this was unlikely to be a shot gun pellet here so I was confident I had my first bit of gold. I scraped the leftover soil into my scoop and narrowed it down and here is the little sucker. You'll see the little spec in the middle of the scoop. and here it is next to the EQX06 on the coil. All 0.011 grams of it. John was digging away with his GM1000 beeping like mad and he was digging for quite a while in one spot so I knew he was on the gold. I figured I'd go explore further away and leave this area for him and passed a number of old rock piles and an old shovel head. The new location paid off and I quickly got another signal bouncing between -6 and -3 and knew it was going to be gold again If you look closely once I'd cleared the leaf litter away there was a crack in the bedrock, still detecting as -5 or so but I knew it was gold It's almost identical to the last piece and the same weight I next walked up to the cliff edge again where it drops off to the creek and started detecting the rock along the drop off, It wasn't even 10 minutes and I had another hit, again in the -6 to -3 range never once flicking into the positive numbers but my confidence was high it was also gold until there appeared to be two targets. It was in a crevice in the rock again but seeing there seemed to be two targets right near each other I was worried it was a hot rock spot. I cleared away the leaf litter and recovered the targets from the crevice, still never once reporting positive Target ID numbers Out popped this nugget, my biggest so far. Next to the EQX06 again as usual And now to recover the second target. Still stuck in the negative numbers on VDI due to the crevice not letting me get the coil close enough to get accurate ID's Another little tiddler 🙂 The consistent thing happening was all nuggets were coming up in the negative VDI numbers until I was able to get the coil very close to them, you can't rely on positive numbers like the usual 1 and 2 VDI's on this tiny gold. Anything -7 or higher can be small gold. I experimented and checked out -8 and -9 targets but they always ended up just being rock, even small portions of a large rock were coming up as hot rock at -8 and -9 but the -7 and up numbers were consistently gold. For those wondering my settings were Gold 1, sensitivity 25 (max), Horse shoe pressed for all metal mode, I had manually ground balanced although in this location there was extremely mild soils. The other thing I had changed was the iron bias, I'd set that at 0. Detecting around more I got another hit, this one was on more flat ground and was coming up the usual 1 and 2 on the VDIs Another little tiddler. I was confident now I had learnt the secret to the Nox and small gold. Never ignore those negative numbers. I was lucky in this location there was next to no junk so it made this lesson easy, in other locations this method could lead to digging tonnes of junk. I went back to John's area to show him my finds and he was still at this same spot digging away in the same hole he was in when I left. We were both sitting on 5 nuggets each although his were bigger! It's extremely rare for me to have as many nuggets as John with his mighty GPZ, near impossible so I had a chance to beat him this time I just had to find one more!!! I was going to walk back to my spot and keep trying in that area but I walked past a nice crevice, I checked it and nothing, no signal at all but I knew the Nox coil can't get down in crevices well which later I learnt isn't exactly correct, it's coil edges just aren't sensitive all the way around like a concentric coil so I started clearing out the crevice, I got a large part of the dirt and leaf litter out of it and checked it again and I had a hit, another -4 to 1 signal bouncing around a lot. Here's my winner! I knew I had gold. John hollered out what's all that noise, I said I'm onto something I had cleaned out the crevice pretty good and had a signal in there somewhere but It had me stumped, it wasn't in the crevice, it was in the rock itself in the crevice next to it which seemed to come to an end. I smashed away at the rock and a big chunk broke off and inside it was some really fine plant roots from the little bit of grass that you'll see in the broken off bit of rock below.. The coil is sitting in the first cleaned out crevice, the gold wasn't in this one, it was in the one below, that big bit of rock with grass on it was the one I broke out. The grass roots were where the bit of gold was to be found. This piece of gold was deep, at least 3 inches, I am shocked I was able to detect it, I thought it was going to be pretty big as it was one of my best signals of the day and it was deeper than anything else I'd detected, but no, it was tiny. The embarrassing thing about this recovery is I sat the piece on my coil in my usual spot next to the EQX06 branding and stood up to get my phone out of my pocket to take the photo and knocked the detector over, the gold went flying. John heard me say something, I don't recall what I said but I sure was angry! It took me a good 15 minutes or more to recover the bit again, I was thinking it had fallen down in the crevice deeper than it was before and with the Nox coil not being overly sensitive around the edges I was struggling to find it, I had no target signal at all anywhere, I wasn't even sure it dropped in the crevice. I now see why people talk favorably about concentric coils with their sensitive edges. John pointed out I should have tried to use the tip of the coil rather than the sides, that's it's sensitive spot so I wasted a lot of time as it didn't cross my mind to try the tip/tail of the coil and used the sides, silly mistake on my part, the tip of the Equinox coil is indeed very sensitive. I just gradually cleaned all the soil out of the crevice with my fingers and scoop and eventually found the nugget. And my total for the day I also found a tiny spec in my gold jar, it must have broken off one of the "bigger" ones so if I was desperate and JW got 6 also I'd have a secret number 7 to win the day The Equinox can easily find Gold you would only ever expect to find with a gold pan. The little spec is on the scales, too small to give a reading, but I'm 100% certain it's gold and it was a new jar, I'd never used it before. The Equinox is an absolutely crazy sensitive machine to small gold, It's hard to believe how well it can do on the tiny stuff. I'm sure Multi IQ is the secret. Next we were off to KFC for dinner and back to JW's for a nap ready for another day prospecting We did a lot of exploring new places on this day, had a look around gold areas I'd never been to before and John was giving me a good history lesson of local gold mining. John took me to this old this trommel he knew about so I could see one on our exploring, we weren't detecting here, just having a look around at the old mining history of the area. We were thinking of using this to start up our own Kiwi Gold Rush show, John named the trommel Mini Me, and if you look closely you'll see our shiny new digger in the background. Jw next to "mini me" We went to a new location I'd never been to before later in the day detecting, I ended up with a skunk using the Equinox at this spot getting just an insane number of shotgun pellets and 22 shells as the gold just seemed to be too deep for a VLF. JW showed me how it's done with his GPZ, doing extremely well with it of course but that's his story. All I will say is the GPZ is an amazing machine, in fact it's insane how well it works and the tiny gold it can find at massive depth is just mental, I continue to be amazed how good the GPZ 7000 is, one day I will swing one.... one day.... as long as it doesn't lead to a divorce 🙂
  41. 26 points
    This past weekend me and a buddy got out and did some prospecting, on saturday we both dredged with 4 inch dredges, I did ok got 2 small pickers and a bunch of fines. My buddy killed it and got three nuggets and some pickers. He has basically located our next paystreak that we will hit hard in the coming days. The second day i decided not to dredge due to an old injury that was acting up, so i packed my dredge up and went down stream and decided to pull out the GM 1000 and detect around where my buddy was finding nuggets with the dredge. Just up stream from where he was dredging there was a nice large area of exposed bedrock in the creek that was pretty soft and decomposed, so i fired up the the monster and started detecting. Low and behold the first hit i get is a little picker, second hit another little picker, and so it went. During the course of about 1.5 hours, i got 13 little pickers in about 5 square feet of bedrock. I was stoked, this is basically the first gold patch i have found with a detector. Ill be taking the equinox back there later this week to see what it can find. Once i clean it up with detectors we will dredge it to get all the fine gold that is hiding there. Should be the start of a pretty rich paystreak/patch. All in all a fantastic weekend and i cant wait to detect that spot more as well as dredge that whole section of creek bank to bank. Should eventually get a video together of the weekends events.
  42. 26 points
    It’s been a lot of years since I last met Chris. At one time he was very visible in the prospecting world but I think family life caught up with him. Very nice to see him out and about again in this excellent video! Though I barely recognized his new furry look. Published on Feb 3, 2019 - “Come join me in the remote goldfields of Arizona as I revisit one my favorite old patches and pull off a few more gold nuggets with my metal detector.”
  43. 26 points
    I got my Equinox 800 on Feb. 9th and can't imagine hunting with anything else. The pic doesn't have everything found because some coins and war buttons along with some bullets are either in books or a display. Yep! I'm an Equinox fan!! Thanks for looking.
  44. 26 points
  45. 26 points
    Hi all just like to share a pic of my hunt over the Melbourne Cup long week end. All found with the 7000. Hope everyone is getting yellow.
  46. 26 points
    I took the new GM24K into the hills this past weekend for its maiden nugget hunt. Although my first time out with it was actually a week prior, it really wasn’t a hunt since I was mainly just familiarizing myself with the features and functionality of the machine and trying out different settings on a small buried test nugget. But after finally getting the 24k dialed in, I did happen to find a subgrainer a mere foot away from the test nugget that day; an obvious zippy target at an inch and a half deep.👍 This little yellow speck won’t even register on my grain scale! So fast forward to Saturday: I was digging every target or nuance of a target and noting the VID numbers. The occasional hot rocks in the area seemed to lock in at a solid 1 or 2 on the display screen, without deviation, but even the smallest of the subgrain nuggets I found would bounce around into higher registers, sometimes in the 70s or 80s, making it easy to differentiate the gold from the hot rocks. Slow and careful searching yielded 5 of the little yellow blighters. Sunday I continued on where I left off on Saturday, and although I was finding tiny bits of foil and lead, the gold eluded me all day until just an hour before quitting time. I was in a trashy area littered with small remnants of old timers boot tacks that just screamed on the 24k; they were shallow enough so that a quick dig and poke with the super magnet took care of them. One of the screamers however stood out from the others because it was reading much higher on the VID. First thought was something sizeable like a 22 bullet or casing, but it turned out to be a chunk of bedrock. A quick rinse with water revealed it was actually lithified ancient riverbed sediment containing a partially exposed nugget.😃 Definitely a nice surprise. The 24k sniffed out a couple of subgrainers nearby to round out the day. I’m really liking the new Goldmaster 24k, a very versatile VLF gold machine with innovative ground balancing technology. It’s lightweight, well balanced, very stable at high sensitivity with minimal coil bump falsing, has a pleasant tone, and won’t easily tip over when sitting on the ground. Good work, White’s! 😉
  47. 25 points
    Gold Basin Mining District has a long and colorful history. Starting back around 1861 the road now called Pearce Ferry Road was the trail that took the old timers down to the Colorado River. The River separated Arizona and Nevada. The Ferry was the only way for travelers to cross. Outlaws, Indians, cowboys and settlers heading to California were all part of the local landscape. This is the area where D’artagnon Jackson found an amazing find with his Gold Monster 1000 on January 22, 2019. “Dar” had purchased his Gold Monster 1000 from Doc at Doc’s Detecting in Henderson Nevada almost one year ago in January of 2018. Doc had taken him to Gold Basin for a day of one on one training. Dar lives in the state of Washington, and only gets to Gold Basin twice a year. He joins his brother, J.R. from Utah and they travel to Gold Basin to detect. Dar has been looking for elusive gold nuggets for 15 years with no success. He has owned every low end $200 detector on the market, with no success. However, armed with his Minelab Gold Monster, all of that was about to change. As he was detecting, looking for meteorites , and of course his first gold nugget, if he could be so lucky, he stumbled upon a good target. At three inches he uncovered a pull-tab. Somewhat disappointed, he said, “I remembered what Doc had taught me. Always check your hole before you fill it back in, there might be another target.” Somewhat reluctantly Dar swung the 5 X 10 coil of his Gold Monster over the shallow hole. He got a good target sound, and it was registering as non-ferrous, however the pull tab also had registered as non-ferrous. He started to dig deeper, and the ground started getting more hard packed. Ringing in the back of his head was Doc’s admonition, “When the target is deep and the ground is hard packed, it is less likely to be a trash target.” At 8 inches, Dar saw a glint of gold. Could this be his very first nugget after 15 years? NO! It was something much more impressive that spoke to the unique history of this Gold Basin area. It was an 1852 U.S. Gold dollar with a “D” mint mark. The coin was in amazing condition considering it was 167 years old. Needless to say, Dar, can’t believe that he found such a unique treasure, let alone, it was the very first piece of gold he has ever found. Think of it, this coin is 167 years old and yet this coin was minted only 76 years after the founding of our country via the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Later, after getting back to a computer, Dar found out just how special this coin is. There are only 125, 1852 mint mark “D” $1 gold pieces known to exist today. Valued at around $900 to $1,400 depending on condition and this one looks pretty good. Gold Fever? Yes, Dar has a really bad case of it now. Congratulations D’artagnon!
  48. 25 points
    Pulled 1 last really cool find before years end. Went to a late 1800’s site and found a few keepers with the Equinox 800. My favorite is this Pre WW1 military dog tag. I don’t want to clean it up much more than is, but I think it says: MILTON P CROWE. L 1ST CAVALRY. If I understand it correctly, then the L is for Lieutenant. 1ST should be 1ST CAVALRY. Also saved this US Cavalry crossed sabers Insignia Pin, a nice large non primer rifle casing, an old lead bullet, Eagle Coat Button and then another “whats it” do-dad. It’s made of brass and has like a pull end with two guide lengths (sorry about my description, check the photo). Any help of ID or knowledge in it is appreciated as well. But the dog tag is the shits… Anyone familiar with old military dog tags and how to research them, please email me the site.
  49. 25 points
    Indeed Simon, but I use a secret weapon in flogged areas: slow and careful gridding; most operators can’t even stand to do it for a half an hour, let alone all day for days on end. But in these kinds of areas, it’s the most effective way to maximize your gold recovery.
  50. 25 points
    Last Thursday night it was time for a Gold Basin trip. I knew I had a couple of days so off I went. The trip for me consists of leaving sometime in the middle of the night, driving 375 miles (6+hrs) and then beginning the hunt. I've done this many times since I first started going there in 2011. It is not an area where I've found a lot of gold but I've found some. Meteorites are also around but I didn't seek them this trip. When you go into gold basin there is always this sign. It is not the old Gold Basin road that is about 5 miles away but it makes for a good picture! These first couple of pictures were taken about 8 AM so I did pretty good with a couple of stops since I left at 1 AM. The hunt was on. I wanted to find something with the 6 inch Nox so I hunted with it for the morning and the afternoon. I'll save my details about that for another thread but I did manage to get a little .32g nugget with the Zed before the day was over. No skunk at least. My camping spot was near where I found the nugget. I slept in the 4Runner with all of the things outside. It was a great night without wind. This was the dawn the next morning looking out my bedroom window. After a bit more searching in this area it was time to explore and I ended up in a gully. You can get an idea of a partially dry washed and detected gully from these pictures. I didn't get any gold out of this stop but I did later. I called a friend and told him where I had been and what I had done and he suggested a place to go. It was very similar to the pictures (it all looks the same) but this time I was using the 7000! I heard a little mellow signal and dug down about 5 inches to bedrock and thought ... oh, no ... hot rock again but then the target moved and the bedrock stayed! In the scoop screaming ... a nice little .42g nugget! Two days, two nuggets for .75g total. This is better than I normally do in Gold Basin. The weather started closing in so it was time to go. It is better to stay longer there now because of the long drive but I was not going to stay in the rain. On the way out I had some visual treats. Mitchel
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