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  1. This is my latest "Nugget Detector Guide", now published for over fifteen years, updated August 2020 with some of the latest model information. Each model has a short description, followed by a very PERSONAL OPINION. Copyright 2002-2020 Herschbach Enterprises - Please do not reuse or repost without my express permission. This is offered as a simple guide for those wanting a general comparison of the various nugget detectors available new with warranty, along with some kind of real opinion about them. That's all it is, folks, so take it or leave it for what it is worth. It's just that list
    12 points
  2. These are "how to" or explanatory guides on metal detecting and gold prospecting themes written by Steve Herschbach. Many were written in response to questions asked on this websites forum. Each article focuses on a single subject and they are meant to be relatively short but cover the topic well. There is information both for beginners plus advanced topics for the pros. Metal Detecting Steve's Guide to Headphones for Metal Detecting Steve's Guide to Metal Detectors with Reliable Target ID Numbers Steve’s Guide to How Deep Metal Detectors Can Go Steve’
    5 points
  3. I've been a longtime fan of the White's Goldmaster series, but I was really annoyed when White's put the machine into the XLT packaging. I like to keep weight off my arm, but more importantly I work some very steep hills where putting a machine down can be a problem. The unit will simply roll to the bottom of the hill. I also work in muddy conditions a lot and so I do not want to set my detector down in the soup. A little history. Prior to 1990 the White's Goldmaster was a simple T/R detector housed in a blue aluminum box. Those old obsolete models should be avoided by all but collectors
    4 points
  4. My wife and I finally took a long-awaited vacation to Hawaii. We returned to the same location we had visited previously on the island of Kauai as it was really our kind of place. My wife mainly likes to lay in the sun and read. I like metal detecting the beaches and surf. So it works out well... she parks herself on the beach and I wander around nearby with my detector. My last trip to Hawaii three years ago produced only one gold ring in two weeks. See the story here for details on that trip. I was determined to do better this time. I took two detectors, my Garrett Infinium LS, and
    4 points
  5. The White's PulseScan TDI was released in 2008 and is still in production as the TDI SL. Prior versions have been discontinued. I was one of the original users of the TDI and still dabble with them to this day. See my story White's TDI at Moore Creek, Alaska for pictures of lots of TDI gold nugget finds. I also have extensive notes on using the TDI for coin detecting at Steve's Guide to White's TDI Coin Settings. The TDI is a unique detector and is seeing use in many applications unforeseen when it first came out. The TDI has been available in several versions but all are basically the sa
    3 points
  6. *Notes on specifications: This page is a footnote link in all "Steve's Reviews" - metal detector and gold prospecting equipment reviews by Steve Herschbach. Two basic technologies are described here; Induction Balance (IB) and Pulse Induction (PI). Induction balance is often referred to as VLF, or very low frequency. This is a misnomer, as some gold nugget detectors and some coin detectors are not very low frequency units as normally defined. VF = Voice Frequency = 300 Hz - 3 kHz, VLF = Very Low Frequency = 3 - 30 kHz, LF = Low Frequency = 30 - 300 kHz. Most IB gold detectors operate in t
    3 points
  7. This section focuses on gold prospecting for individuals and small time operators. Equipment used may include metal detectors, suction dredges, gold pans, and sluice boxes. You will find articles here to help you for both beginners and pros. There is location information, equipment reviews, and more. Steve's Mining Journal - Real life gold prospecting and metal detecting stories spanning over 40 years. Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Guides - Basic information to get you started. Recreational Mining Sites, Parks, Museums, etc. - Locations available to the public to
    3 points
  8. Well, here is a report on my last visit to Ganes Creek, Alaska for the year. I set myself up for this visit this spring by saying I would go to the mine after everyone had been there this year and find gold, just to prove there was still some left to detect. To show that it just can't all be found... no matter how thorough the hunters. I also wanted an opportunity to work with some new machines, and so in addition to my White's GMT I brought along a new White's MXT and Garrett Infinium LS. Brian, Jeff, and I left Thursday morning for a five day visit. We got to Ganes and settled in, then
    3 points
  9. This page is a free service to help people find mining claims for sale or lease in Alaska. Listings here may be deleted after 6 months but in general the ads are left up until you notify me that you want them removed. To have your ad listed here, email your ad with details. I no longer list ads that do not include an email address in addition to phone numbers as calling people for updates is too much hassle for me. Use the existing ads as your template. Note that since I am a prospector it can take a week or more for listings to be posted. Be patient - the service is free. VERY IMPORTANT!
    2 points
  10. This page has links to a collection of online "books" about prospecting and metal detecting subjects of interest. Most of these were actual printed books or brochures that are now available as html or pdf documents. In the case of pdf documents especially you can download and save these creating your own library of essential information. Many of these are out of print and hard to find so we are very lucky they are being scanned and made available on the internet. Metal Detecting How Metal Detectors Work by Mark Rowan & William Lahr - Originally published by White's Electronics a
    2 points
  11. What is metal detector “autotune” or automatic tuning? Not automatic ground balancing or automatic ground tracking. Autotune is something so common now it is taken for granted, but it is a key feature when considering how detectors work, especially those designed to work with a faint threshold sound, like most nugget detectors. Prior to the 1980's most detectors had to be ''tuned''. You held them at a fixed height over the ground and manipulated a ''tuner'' until you got a bare threshold sound. A very faint sound you could barely hear. An increase in this sound meant you had a target. You
    2 points
  12. Well, back home safe and sound after a couple weeks in Hawaii with my wife. We visited the island of Kauai for the umpteenth time. We like the laid back vibe, made even more so by being familiar with everything. We do what we both like - she relaxes in the sun and I go metal detecting. And lots of walks and dinners together. The back story is told at Steve's Mining Journal about prior trips made to the same location over the years. Hawaii has always been a pet project of mine as it is the most difficult environment I have even encountered for a metal detector. There is of course the salt wa
    2 points
  13. The secret to the Minelab GPX series is thoroughly understanding the timings and when to use each one. Timings are variations of the basic pulse induction technology at work in the GPX series that gives you far more flexibility than exists in other pulse induction detectors. Unfortunately this extra flexibility also adds complexity, and so it is not unusual that some people may not be using the optimum settings in many cases. It is very important when investing in a Minelab GPX detector to take the time to read the manuals and study until you fully understand what the settings do and how to ad
    2 points
  14. The two best-selling professional metal detectors in Alaska over the last twenty years are probably the White’s Electronics GMT and White’s Electronics MXT. This is because a set of local circumstances favored these two detectors. These two machines are based on the same circuitry, but have very different design goals and therefore features which determine which might be the best choice. Since the sole purpose of the GMT is prospecting, it operates at a high 48 kHz for extreme sensitivity to small metal items... hopefully gold nuggets. It is not a "gold-only" machine in that it picks up a
    2 points
  15. I became involved in metal detecting and gold prospecting at an early age and have been at it now for over 45 years. My quest has taken me all over the world and this journal documents many of those adventures. I hope to offer an idea of what can be done by one person with relatively inexpensive equipment. Keep in mind I have been doing this most of my life, and that I am familiar with the areas I am working. I don't want to imply you can just jump right in and have the same results I have. On the other hand, if one works at it, the rewards can be immense. I'm not talking about just the g
    2 points
  16. I have added two new sections to the website that cross link to each other. The first is a Metal Detector Database with User Reviews. Most current name brand metal detectors are listed with basic specs like price, weight, water resistance, etc. You can sort the listing by these basic specifications and you can leave your own review of each detector. Discontinued models are now being added. The new area is accessed in the menu under "Reviews" The second area is a revamped Downloads Area. Various manufacturer catalogs are collected there for historical reference to models, specifications an
    2 points
  17. The White's MXT was released in 2002 and is still in production. I helped popularize the use of this detector for searching tailing piles for large gold nuggets. Hundreds of ounces of gold have been found at Ganes Creek, Alaska alone by people using the White's MXT. My own largest gold find, a 6.85 ounce specimen, was with the MXT at Ganes Creek. I have a couple stories on Steve's Mining Journal that highlight the MXT. See Infinium & MXT at Ganes Creek and GP 3000 & MXT Get Fortymile Gold. My most recent find of note with the MXT Pro was a 267 AD Roman coin found while on a trip to the
    2 points
  18. I recently treated myself to a metal detecting holiday to the area around Colchester, England. This was a reprise to a trip I made to the UK in 2010 in search of Celtic gold. Gold was not in the equation for that trip, but I did find the oldest coins and artifacts I have ever found.... as in 2000 years older than anything I have found before! Colchester has history reaching back into prehistoric times, and is generally acknowledged as the location of Britain's first city. Celtic tribes were active in the area, leaving behind many Celtic gold coins to be found by modern day detectorists. T
    2 points
  19. White's MXT Engineering Guide David E. Johnson, engineering consultant This Engineering Guide is written to provide dealers and customers greater insight into what kind of product the MXT is, from an engineering perspective. It does not attempt to provide complete information on the features and use of the MXT: for that, please consult the MXT user's manual. A BIT OF HISTORY In January 1998, White's decided to develop a true multipurpose metal detector, with the kind of sensitivity it takes to be a real gold prospecting machine, and with computerized ground tracking for ease
    2 points
  20. From original forum post 5/27/2008 updated 2/14/2010, 1/13/2013 and 1/3/2014 The White’s PulseScan TDI is a ground balancing pulse induction (GBPI) metal detector and as a rule these detectors are considered “dig-it-all” type detectors. The TDI, however, has a number of manual controls that can be adjusted to allow for a degree of discrimination not normally found in PI units. Most normal pulse induction (PI) detectors have a monotone audio response on targets. In other words, the soft threshold tone simply increases in volume in relation to the target strength. All target sound more
    2 points
  21. There are a few key things to know about headphones for use with metal detectors. The most important thing is to know that some detectors operate in mono, and some in stereo. If you mismatch headphones you can end up with audio in one ear only, or none at all. In fact, this has happened to me. I took my White's DFX out to do a little detecting, and grabbed an old pair of Fisher Phones I had around, and when I got out I found the phones would not work on the DFX. So most detector phones have a stereo/mono switch, or are specially wired to work either way. Make sure your headphones match your de
    2 points
  22. This outing was part of my testing of the Minelab Gold Monster 1000, a new high frequency (45 kHz) VLF detector for gold nugget detecting. The Gold Monster 1000 was designed for use in Africa and other third world countries and therefore has some unique design features. The key design goal is ease of operation, and the control set is kept minimal, with everything possible done automatically. The GM1000 is the first nugget detector I have ever used that even has an automatic sensitivity tracking function. All this adds up to the Gold Monster 1000 being an extremely easy detector for beginners t
    2 points
  23. Many people have seen the ad copy in the Minelab GPZ 7000 brochure where I am quoted about how amazing the new GPZ 7000 is. Now you get to hear the rest of the story. This is a more detailed version of an email I sent to Minelab last fall regarding the new GPZ 7000. The background is I had been using the GPZ prototype for some time but was underwhelmed. I was initially put off by the weight and frankly it was just not my trusty old GPX 5000 and I was slow to shift gears. Yes, the machine performed but I had not seen anything that particularly knocked my socks off and had not been shy in saying
    2 points
  24. These are reviews on metal detecting and prospecting equipment I have personally used over the years. In the last 45 years I have used a lot of metal detectors and prospecting gear! A lot of items are not made any longer but may be found used. In each instance my goal is to provide details and commentary not found anywhere else. If you see information here that is in error or wish to add something email me here with details. For more user reviews of metal detectors visit the new Metal Detector Database. Do not miss Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors for honest opinions on gold nugget
    1 point
  25. Where Do I Begin? by Ron Wendt You’ve developed an interest in prospecting for gold. A couple friends have told you how much fun they’ve had looking for gold. In this article I’ll point out the pros and cons about this activity and in the end you’ll probably have decided to what degree you want to pursue your search for gold. To begin with, it must be pointed out, there are several types of prospectors: 1 - Those who wish to dig right in as a recreational prospector. 2 - One who is serious about learning about the finer aspects of geology related to precious metals and would pur
    1 point
  26. This is not intended to get into every nitty-gritty little detail, but instead is a brief overview for those unfamiliar with the Minelab Pulse Induction (PI) detectors. The units released so far are the SD2000, SD2100 (and V2 variant), SD2200D (and V2 variant), GP Extreme, GP 3000, GP 3500, GPX 4000, GPX 4500, GPX 4800, and GPX 5000. The Minelab SD2000 was the first of the series, a genuine breakthrough in metal detector technology. It is the basis on which all the other models were developed. It was the first true prospecting pulse induction metal detector and it had a major impact in th
    1 point
  27. When Minelab started developing our EQUINOX detector, we looked very closely at all of the current market offerings (including our own) to reassess what detectorists were really after in a new coin & treasure detector. A clear short list of desirable features quickly emerged – and no real surprises here – waterproof, lightweight, low-cost, wireless audio, and of course, improved performance from new technology. This came from not only our own observations, but also customers, field testers, dealers and the metal detecting forums that many detectorists contribute to. While we could hav
    1 point
  28. The Minelab Eureka Gold was introduced in 1998 and was discontinued in 2017 after a 20 year run. The Eureka Gold has been replaced by the new Minelab Gold Monster 1000. The Minelab Eureka Gold for a long time was the only nugget detector that allowed you to change frequencies with the flick of a switch; 6.4, 20, and 60 kHz, all using the same coil, unlike the Minelab X-Terra units. This made the Eureka Gold one of the most versatile VLF gold prospecting detectors available for handling different ground conditions. The Eureka Gold 20 kHz mode is used for most detecting for great all-around
    1 point
  29. The Makro Gold Racer metal detector was introduced in 2016 and is still in production. I very much anticipated the Gold Racer as something unique on the market at the time - a 56 kHz high frequency gold prospecting detector with all the extra discrimination and other features to make it versatile enough for other uses. What follows is a basic description with a very detailed review starting below the specifications chart. Note that Makro has introduced the 61 kHz Makro Gold Kruzer in 2018 and there is a possibility the Gold Racer will be discontinued soon in favor of this new model. The M
    1 point
  30. The XP metal detector company has announced a new model for late 2018 called the XP ORX. This new model appears to be a refined version of the XP manufactured Depar DPR 600. The DPR 600 was made to take advantage of the African gold rush by offering a model designed primarily as a gold prospecting detector with other uses taking a back seat. I personally think the Depar DPR 600 was used as a proving ground for the new high frequency (HF) coils while also offering an opportunity to fine tune the Gold Field program. My expectation all along is that XP would eventually release a similar model for
    1 point
  31. The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 was introduced in 2017 and is still in production. The GM1000 was created as a relatively inexpensive, easy to operate, high performance metal detector. The Gold Monster 1000 is designed specifically for gold prospecting but may have applications such as micro jewelry detecting. At 45 kHz with both automatic ground tracking and automatic sensitivity settings, the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is not only very sensitive to small gold but it is relatively easy for beginning detectorists to use. I am fortunate to have been involved in the testing of the new Minelab
    1 point
  32. The Fisher F19 was introduced in 2014 and is still in production. It was originally released in two "Limited Edition" models that feature a camouflage paint scheme, one in green and one in pink. There are no other differences between the Ltd models and the standard black and gold model finally released in late 2015 except for a slightly lower price. The Fisher F19 is basically a Fisher Gold Bug Pro enhanced with additional features to make it more appealing as an all around detector. The F19 is mainly targeting the relic hunting market. The features revolve around enhancing the discrimina
    1 point
  33. Here is a question I received via email, with personal references removed. I prefer to answer these on the forum so everyone gets the benefit of the answer plus others can offer their opinions also. "I am new to metal detecting and, your site here has really helped me out. I have a couple questions that maybe you can help me out with. What are some of the geologic indicators that you look for to determining where to prospect for nuggets? I try to study some of the geology maps but I could use some further pinpointing. I have also been looking at the National map of Surficial Mineralogy. U
    1 point
  34. The Garrett ATX was introduced by Garrett Electronics in 2013 and is still in production. It is a pulse induction metal detector waterproof to ten feet. It is unique in that it is one of the few metal detectors retailed to the general public in a housing developed for military applications. Garrett makes a military land mine detector called the Recon Pro AML-1000. It was developed and marketed after the Garrett Infinium, the only underwater ground balancing pulse induction (GBPI) metal detector made by a major manufacturer at the time. The Recon is notable for the waterproof telescoping compac
    1 point
  35. The Fisher Gold Bug 2 was released in 1995 and is still in production over 20 years later. I had the first Gold Bug 2 in Alaska and to this day it is one of my all time favorite detectors - a true classic. Amazingly, nobody has come out with a better detector for hitting tiny gold after all these years. Quite a few models have tried to challenge the Gold Bug 2 on the tiniest gold, and while many can be said to give the "Bug" a run for its money it is debatable if any have really exceeded it. There is a specialized tool called the Falcon Gold Probe that will actually hit smaller gold than a Gol
    1 point
  36. Jack Wade Creek runs along the Taylor Highway a few miles north of Chicken, Alaska. It has a long mining history. Jack Wade Creek is open to recreational gold panning from one-quarter mile (0.4 km) upstream of the Walker Fork Campground to the mining claims near Milepost 85. No permits are required. Panning is not allowed on adjacent mining claims. What's Allowed: gold pans, picks, pry bars, shovels, metal detectors, manually fed rocker boxes and sluice boxes. What's Not Allowed: Motorized equipment, including suction dredges, pumps, and earthmoving equipment; disturbing the Taylor H
    1 point
  37. The mention of Alaska has always conjured up visions of gold. Early gold-seekers traveled to Alaska by every means imaginable and endured endless hardships. They stayed to build communities in the wilderness. Present-day travelers, still lured by gold, come to Alaska to try their hand at panning or sluicing on the streams of the last frontier. They search for elusive gold nuggets or other semi-precious minerals. The Dalton Highway Built in 1974 to transport materials to oilfields on the North Slope, the Dalton Highway slices through northern Alaska, paralleling the Trans-Alaska Pipel
    1 point
  38. Sixmile Creek Gold Panning Area Early prospectors named Sixmile Creek because the creek was about six miles up Turnagain Arm from Cook Inlet. Gold was discovered in Sixmile Creek in 1895. In the 1930s, hydraulic mining was attempted. In recent years, there were several small suction dredge operations. Sixmile Creek has produced up to 2,000 troy ounces of gold, mainly in the area just below the confluence of Sixmile and Canyon creeks. A withdrawal bounded by the east bank of Sixmile Creek and a line 200 feet west of Hope Road’s centerline, is available for recreational panning—0.7 mile
    1 point
  39. Modern induction balance (VLF) detectors usually can operate in two basic modes. A true detect everything all metal mode or a discrimination mode. Discrimination modes use various filtering methods to help separate desired targets from the trash. The filtering takes away from overall depth and the target identification gets less reliable with depth. In nearly all cases a detector operating in a pure all metal mode will find targets deeper than a unit running in a discrimination mode. It is possible to take a detector running in discrimination mode and set it to accept all targets. You are
    1 point
  40. A suction gold dredge is basically an underwater vacuum cleaner. Material is transported from underwater to the surface and run through a sluice box to capture the gold. A sluice box works because gold is 15 times heavier than sand and gravel and so is easily trapped by the riffles and carpet in the sluice box. Dredges almost always need to be mounted on a set of floats. This is because a dredge has just enough power to lift water and gravel to just above the surface of the water. Every inch of vertical lift above the surface of the water robs power/suction from the system. Floats are also nee
    1 point
  41. I have done well in Hawaii with my Garrett ATX as told in my previous story at my previous story here. Most of the details of where and what I am doing, detector settings, etc. are all covered there so I will not repeat it all here. My wife only had a week off for spring break so I had half the time to work with this go round. Still, I think I did all right. Now that I have my system down less time was wasted figuring things out. I used the Garrett ATX exclusively with the 8" mono coil. Discrimination was 3 and Sensitivity 7-8 with unit ground balanced underwater over basalt rocks. I
    1 point
  42. I have had the new Minelab SDC 2300 to Alaska earlier this summer and found it to be an excellent detector for Alaska's rainy weather and typically smaller gold nuggets. Details here and here. Now I have had a chance to give it a go on some intensely mineralized ground in California. Chris Ralph turned me on to this location. The bedrock is highly mineralized to start with, and past forest fires have baked some of the bedrock. This can actually change the alignment of the magnetic particles in the rock, making them even harder for a metal detector to handle. The other thing about this pla
    1 point
  43. I have all my various metal detecting requirements pretty well covered. I like to do a lot of different things with detectors so that takes a collection of models all with specific purposes. Most of these purposes have to do with gold in one form or another. One thing I have been lacking for some time however is a waterproof pulse induction detector. I have used several, most recently the White's Surf PI Pro and Garrett Infinium. The Infinium in particular served me well - see my previous story on the Garrett Infinium in Hawaii. I really liked the Infinium but had two main issues with it.
    1 point
  44. My father, two friends, and I flew northwest to the Interior Alaska town of McGrath Friday morning. I have permission to hunt several creeks in the area, but have had a hard time getting there the last couple summers. Bad weather or scheduling has kept me away. Everything finally came together this year, so off we went. My father is a classic Alaska bush pilot with a Cessna 206, so I'm luckier than most when it comes to access. The destination for this trip was Ganes Creek, owned by Doug Clark and Dan Wiltz. Ganes Creek has produced over 250,000 ounces of gold, and some of the largest gol
    1 point
  45. This ended up being one real busy trip. I blew out of here about 7PM last Friday night and got to Mentasta by midnight. I sacked out in the front seat of my truck, and was back on the road by 5:30AM. Had breakfast in Tok, then on to Chicken to deliver gold pans to Sue Wiren in "downtown Chicken". Then off to Boundary at the Canadian border. I spent several hours chasing down miners to get permission to hunt land. Permission had been lined up in advance from a couple but one in particular I was trying to find. He was around, but I kept missing him. It was worthwhile as I got to talk to a c
    1 point
  46. I'm one of the luckiest people in the world to have been born where I was and to be doing what I am. This last weekend was truly fantastic. Great country, great people...great gold! I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and my new Bombardier Traxter ATV to make a run up to the Fortymile country in search of gold. The plan was to head up Friday, get in a couple days of detecting, and get back to town on Monday. The drive up was uneventful though long at 400 miles. I saw a few moose along the way and stopped in Chicken to visit a bit. There were still patches of snow in the high c
    1 point
  47. The problem with packing dredging equipment into a canyon is that someday you must pack it out again. I spent a good deal of Saturday and Sunday doing just that. The dredge had to be packed piece by piece up the creek to a log footbridge. There is a 100 foot climb up a rope above the footbridge, and then a short walk to the base of another steep hill. The distance is not too far, it is just kind of vertical! The photo above was taken during one of the previous weekends, so the snow is now gone. This kind of access is the main reason why I prefer the twin 5.5HP pumps on my dredge. I'd rather ma
    1 point
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