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  1. 43 points
    This gold prospecting and metal detecting story takes us all the way back to the beginning - my beginning that is. I was fortunate enough to be born in the Territory of Alaska in 1957. Alaska was still very much on the frontier back in those days. My father was a farm boy from the midwest who headed for Alaska in the early 50's with not much more than an old pickup truck. He worked as a longshoreman offloading ships in Seward, Alaska for a time. He decided to get some education and earned his way through college in Fairbanks, Alaska by driving steampipe for the fleet of gold dredges that were still working there. He spent some time in Seldovia, Alaska working the "slime line" in a fish cannery. He met my mom in Seldovia, the two got married, and finally settled in Anchorage, Alaska. I came along in 1957. My father had taken a job as a surveyor but money was tight in the early years. I was raised on wild game and garden grown vegetables, and as soon as I was old enough to handle it, I was walking a trapline every winter with my father. Dad was a hard worker however, and Alaska was having one of its many booms at the time - the construction of the oil and gas fields in Lower Cook Inlet. This was the Swanson River oilfield, discovered the year I was born. The state was prospering and my father along with it as a surveyor on the new Swanson Field. He got the bug for flying early on, and by the time I became a teenager he finally got his dream plane at the time - a Piper Super Cub, the classic Alaska Bush airplane. Super Cubs equipped with oversize "tundra tires" can land just about anywhere you can find about 300 - 400 feet of open ground. A great little airplane and the one I ended up flying to get my own pilot's license. Super Cub N1769P parked on knoll in Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska It was in this same timeframe that dad got me hooked on gold prospecting. In 1972 I saw an ad in a magazine "Find Lost Treasure" and had acquired my first metal detector, a White's Coinmaster 4. This must have got discussions going about gold, and my father did have some knowledge on the subject having worked around the gold mines in Fairbanks. He took me to a little creek south of Anchorage, Bertha Creek, and I found my very first flakes of gold! By the ripe old age of 14 gold fever was in the air, I had my first metal detector, and already wanted a gold dredge. My first dredge, a 3" Keene with no floatation, was on the way to me in 1973. Keep in mind that the price of gold had only recently been deregulated from the old fixed price of $35 per ounce. In 1972 it was around $60 per ounce, and in 1973 made it to just over $100 per ounce. The money was not my motivation at all. I already just loved finding gold, and the connection to the prospectors of old and the historical quest for gold were more compelling than any dream of striking it rich. I just wanted to find gold! My first metal detector and first gold dredge (my 3502 had the older aluminum header box & a power jet) A young man with a new detector, new gold dredge, gold fever, and a father willing to fly him anywhere in Alaska on adventure. How great is that? Now there was only one problem - where to go? There was no internet then, so it boiled down to libraries and research. In short order I discovered the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) bulletin series and the number one Alaska title of the series, Placer Deposits of Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 1374 by Edward H. Cobb. This one book and the references contained in it became my prospecting guide to Alaska. My desired target? Remote locations with large gold nuggets! I read the book and certain places just jumped out at me. One was the Iditarod area and places like Ganes Creek and Moore Creek - tales told elsewhere. This paragraph of page 114 caught my eye: "Placer mining in the Chisana district, first of creek gravels and later of bench and old channel deposits of Bonanza and Little Eldorado Creeks, has always been on a small scale with simple equipment. The remoteness of the area, shortages of water on some streams, and the small extent of the deposits all prevented the development of large operations. There has been little activity since World War II; the last reported mining was a two-man nonfloat operation in 1965." Wow, that alone sounds pretty good. Nothing really about the gold however. The secret to the Placer Deposits series is not so much the books themselves, though they are great for getting ideas, like I did. The key is to use the references listed and in this case the main one is The Chisana-White River District, Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 630 (1916) by Stephen Reid Capps. It turns out I had stumbled over the location of the last actual gold rush in Alaska in 1913. It was a small rush and did not last long, but it did mark the end of an era. The world was on the brink of war and the age of gold rushes was soon to be history. The history of the area is covered in the report starting on page 89. It is fascinating reading, but it was this note on page 105 that really sealed the deal: "The gold is bright, coarse, and smoothly worn. The largest nugget found has a value of over $130, and pieces weighing a quarter of an ounce or over make up about 5 per cent of the total gold recovered. The gold is said to assay $16.67 an ounce." Gold nuggets a quarter ounce or larger make up five percent of the gold? And that $130 nugget at $16.67 an ounce? Somewhere over seven ounces. That's all I needed to know. Very remote, worked by simple means, and large gold - I wanted to go to Chisana in general and Bonanza Creek in particular. Even the creek names scream gold - Bonanza Creek, Big Eldorado Creek, Little Eldorado Creek, Coarse Money Creek, and Gold Run. Now all we had to do was get there. But when I said remote, I meant remote. Chisana is practically in Canada 250 air miles from Anchorage. To be continued..... Chisana, Alaska location map
  2. 38 points
    I posted earlier in the summer about a new spot that I was using the Monster and my Puffer drywasher at; well, I went ahead and claimed it so I could have a place to go play all the time?The process was a great learning experience, and the guys at our local BLM were really helpful to a newbie like me! I finally got the quarter mile of brush, downed trees and rocks cleared so now I can get in there with my side x side....a bit gnarly still, but doable. I initially attacked the old timers stackings...here’s one that was a screamer in a small depression, seen to the left of the Monster in 2nd pic: I continued to move rocks, detect, then drywash.....here’s the area now, and a sample of a good day’s detecting: I explored other areas of the bench, and Woo Hoo, got my biggest piece....a whopping .43g lol! It was almost 5” deep and pretty faint...pic doesn’t look that deep, but it was: Here’s one scraping/dig hole that had 6 pieces in it! Good thing I kept checking it, for sure: If you zoom on the scoop you can see all them little babies? So the pup and I have been having a fun summer.....nice utv rides along the creek and in the pines, picnic lunches at the claim, and I’m finding a bit of gold while she’s chasing chipmunks all day! Life is good??⛏
  3. 32 points
    It’s a book on alcoholism and recovery, something I know too much about. I’m an ex-drunk coming up on eight years sober. It was the hardest thing ever did, with it taking lots of miserable years and two stints in rehab to get clean. I’m working towards a peer support specialist certificate at the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s a continuation of a new chapter in my life that I’m very excited about. Oddly enough I count my struggles with alcohol now as among the greatest blessings in my life as it set my feet on a path I don’t think I would have found otherwise. Thanks for asking. That was my official “coming out” statement. A real issue with addiction is the false dual life a person leads, and I’m enjoying finally just being whole in who I am. The good and the bad, no more energy devoted to presenting a false front. I’m just a flawed human doing the best I can. One of the reasons I am doing this is that as a so-called “successful person” I am in a position to speak out on issues surrounding the stigma attached to addiction and recovery issues. As an Alaskan I knew far too many people who are not with us now due to drugs and alcohol. It’s an issue that has touched too many lives in this country. My goal is to make some hard earned lemonade out of the lemons I grew and hopefully help some people the way I was helped myself. I am amazed every single day and eternally grateful for how fortunate I am. Thanks again for asking. This post is another big step forward in my ongoing recovery journey. But definitely off topic!
  4. 32 points
    Hi Guys, I have been a bit slack in coughing up posts of my adventures & finds over the last couple of weekends. So I will go back a couple of weekends to my first mountain E-bike mission up into the hills chasing gold. The challenge was always going to be just how do I carry everything on me on the bike. My only choice was to put it all into my backpack. Pro swing harness with WM12 & B&Z booster & twin speakers clipped onto it. Pick, pick holder & belt. Smoko bag & coffee thermos. The Zed with coil & shaft sticking out the top of the pack. That was going to be the biggest obstacle negotiating through bush & past rocky outcrops without getting the detector caught up on something & getting thrown off the bike, hopefully not down a ravine, or worse...breaking the detector shaft. Oh well....we will find out. So I was all packed up ready to go. Bike on the bike rack & I was off. Simon has committed himself to skiing every weekend day until the end of the ski season. So no Simon. He was up there somewhere on Coronet Peak. I got to as far as I could drive & got the bike all set up ready to go. It was all uphill from here. Having the backpack on certainly didn't help too much with balance & poise on the bike. I need to centralise the detector & tie it tight so it doesn't flop about. Lesson one. While it certainly was a lot quicker getting up the hill than walking, it was still bloody hard work & I was pretty knackered when I got to as far as I could ride. I then had to ditch the bike & carry on with backpack on & climb higher. Tee shirt was soaking wet. Still had a fair way to go Still a bit of snow in the shadows. Note the high sluiced gully center top of pic & the material "flowing" into the creek. Heading on up. That horizontal line cutting across the browe of the hill is a water race that would have feed the sluicing of that gully in the above pic. Up & up & time for a breather. Absolutely stunning country. I love it. Looking back down to the gully floor & the whole floor of the gully has been turned over by the old timers. All done by hand. After having a look around & a bit of a reconoscience I started detecting. I chose some exposed schist bedrock. I got a sweet sounding signal. Bingo. On the same run of bedrock another signal. I am way up from the gully floor but in a bit of a natural run off. Another small bit of gold. I noticed some rotten crumbling looking schist bedrock on a steep slope that looked promising. Got another signal. looking down the gully. A nice slug it was. There were a few finds that I didn't bother taking any pics as it was pretty steep & I always turn my phone off as it interferes with the detector. So sometimes it is a bit of a pain turning it on to take photos, so on some I didn't bother. I had to start thinking about heading out so I started my walk back down. Detecting as I went. I got to some alluvial/glacial gravels that were just above some old workings. I got a nice sounding signal. Looking down on the same dig Another sassy bit of gold. On the same gravels I got another nice hit. This one went down to a bit of depth. My biggest bit of the day. Then on the edge of some bedrock & these gravels, another signal. Another small bit of the good stuff. That was my lot, I had to get a wriggle on to get out before dark. Still had a bit of a walk back to the bike & then a bit of an uphill grind to get up out of this gully for the big downhill back to my wagon. I had seen quite a few broken glass bottles & on my walk back to the bike I saw a bit of green glass only just visible in the dirt. I carefully scraped around it with my pick. Expecting it to be just another broken bottle. But it wasn't. Gosh...that is a first. They are always broken. That one came home. On my walk back to the bike I came across three of my mates, & the only other life I saw all day apart from a few rabbits, which sums up the type of country I was in. Mountain goats. Had a close call riding the bike back down. I got a bit over confident coming down a very narrow part of the track with some over hanging brush. Sort of forgot about the detector sticking up out as much as it was. It clipped a bush & very nearly threw me off & over a bluff. Don't tell Mrs JW, ok Simon.....It tore the skid plate off the coil & I was so thankful it didn't break the shaft. Whew....& the skid plate did not sail off over the bluff. Sure was fun coming down, apart from that close call. WAY quicker & easier than walking. End result on the gold front was 12 pieces for 3.54 grams & believe it or not. Not one piece of rubbish. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  5. 31 points
    Hi all, It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ll be sharing some knowledge and anecdotes more often, now that my summer job is a thing of the past and I’m free to once again roam the desert southwest, wielding the power of the mighty Zed to unearth nature’s golden treasures. I was carefully gridding (or - in deference to Gerry in Idaho - crawling) an old nugget patch during a recent trip to the far flung reaches of Nevada’s golden triangle, when the hypnotic drone of the threshold was suddenly broken by a sharp, double “wee-ooh, wee-ooh”. This type of response typically heralds a small and shallow target, usually within six inches of the surface. “Most likely a boot tack or bird shot”, I thought to myself as I crouched down and scraped an inch or two of the dry and dusty desert soil away from the target zone with my pick. Another swing of the detector coil indicated that I had moved the target, and a quick sifting of the material with the hand scoop revealed a small yellow nugget...the first catch of the day! A few more of these shallow pickers were dug during the the next couple of hours, and then I heard a faint, single “wee-ooh”. Knowing that this meant a bit larger target at depth, I went to work hacking into the densely packed soil with my pick until...well, I’ll let this short video tell the rest of the story: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzmm1pgdrpaswe7/Nugget dig.mov?dl=0 The actual weight of the nugget turned out to be 5.6 grams, bringing the total for the day to over a quarter of an ounce of the good stuff!
  6. 31 points
    This month in 1979 I bought my first metal detector a Bounty Hunter RB7, took me almost 3 years of pure frustration to get my first nugget,(pic below) after many 100s of hours, I know now I sure went over heaps of detectable gold, and still do, but not the heaps I went over then,...…...I hope...……... Below is some photos, I wish to share with DP members to celebrate, unfortunately I did not take many photos, straight into the crusher smelted down and off to the mint, have scanned what I could find from the old "shoe boxes". Plus a couple of recent ones, the specimen last is highly magnified, gold in limestone, and although no weight is probably the most valued by me, not just because it was my first piece (found with that RB7), but because of its uniqueness. Consider myself very privileged to live in this era, it has enriched my life not just in its monetary value, but given a challenge and still does that I suspect has no equal. MN I`ve gone and done it and not even close to the 30th of February.
  7. 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
  8. 29 points
    New PB for me 35 grams, bit over a foot deep, very happy! ??
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 29 points
    Thought I’d start a thread where folks can post there first gold finds of the new year. Here’s mine:
  12. 29 points
    Hi all son went out the other day down here in Victoria (Aussie) land In a well detected area. he was using his gpz7000 with the 19 inch coil, general gold mode and difficult ground mode he said it was a wirey sort of sound, thought it need to be investigated. with his pick he scrapped off a layer of dirt, then he said it sounded better.. after digging down 24 inches this is what he was rewarded with.
  13. 28 points
    This week I got a chance to get over to the goldfields for two days. It's a fair drive so I'm not able to get out as often as others so my experience is limited. Most of what I've learned has come from books, videos, forums, and Facebook. I was lucky last month to stumble upon some ground that had been worked over by someone else but not thoroughly. Out of that patch, i found another 2 ounces. Using what I learned from finding that patch I went looking for more in a different area. On Monday and Tuesday, i found another 40 grams of gold in 4 different locations. It's a shame I can only go prospecting once a month but at least now I know how to narrow my search area right down to make the time im prospecting count. Most of this was found using the 18" Coiltek Elite on a 4500. I do use a b&z booster with Gog headphones which I think picks up those faint targets better. I'm also thinking the reason I did ok is the ground is very cold and damp so maybe the signal strength is better than during the middle of summer. The biggest bit of gold weighed 16 grams and was dug at 350mm or around 14 inches. I was lucky to hear that one as I was walking pretty quickly swinging the coil.
  14. 27 points
    I recently detected an area close to some prospect holes, all of the usual finds, pieces of old tin cans, the broken end of a pick, shell casings, bullets, logging wire and finally a nugget. After finding the first nugget, I really slowed down and very carefully covered the area. The nuggets seemed to be in almost a straight line below a prospect hole. I thought I covered the line carefully, but returned for a second try and found one more piece, the one in the middle. Always detect around the rims of the holes and the adjacent areas.
  15. 27 points
    My father and I had only a couple days on our visit - one of those three day weekend kind of trips. However, when you have the results we did a return visit was quickly planned. This time more people got involved and so my sister and brother-in-law came equipped with a Fisher Gold Bug. Armed with our new knowledge from our exploratory trip we spent more time concentrating on higher bench workings away from the creek. I was running the Compass Gold Scanner Pro again. I detected my way across one relatively flat area high above the creek, when I started getting multiple beeps per swing. I called in the troops, and a brief gold rush occurred as we all started finding gold nuggets. This bedrock hump had been mined off, probably just washed off with water directed from one of the large hydraulic giant "water cannons". It did not appear however that the miners had actually cleaned the bedrock and the cracks and crevices were loaded with gold. Steve's sister detecting bedrock with Fisher Gold Bug View from above of bedrock "nugget patch" in old bench workings I got a particularly good signal from one location in the bedrock. A little digging and out popped a 6 pennyweight (9.6 gram) nugget! Plus another one about a third that size. I could see other smaller gold mixed in the dirt in the hole. Here I am holding the nugget just above the bedrock in which it was found. Steve with 6 pennyweight gold nugget found with Compass Gold Scanner Pro It was obvious that there was a lot of smaller gold in the pockets and crevices in the bedrock. We started scraping and cleaning bedrock as best we could and filled buckets with the material. This was then carried to a gully some distance away where the material could be fed through a sluice box. The was just barely enough water to run the sluice and feed it with a hand trowel, but it proved quite effective. The bedrock was blocky and came up easily. The rubble was screened into the buckets to remove the oversize material. Finally, when the bedrock was deemed halfway clean, we would splash buckets of water on it to wash it down, and then carefully excavate the last remaining material from the pockets in bedrock. You can see wet areas remaining in the picture below. Cleaning out cracks and pockets full of gold bearing material Sluice box set up in gully using all available water In the meantime metal detecting continued. There was a hot patch of bedrock that I had been working around, but my sister was able to get into it easily with the Gold Bug, and she found a nice 4 pennyweight nugget. Steve's sister with 4 dwt gold nugget she found with Gold Bug Steve's brother-in-law sniping for gold in crevices Time was running out and so our little bedrock cleaning and sluicing operation came to an end. The results were pretty impressive for hand work with simple tools... Steve with bedrock crevicing results from sluice box And finally, my results with the Compass Gold Scanner Pro. A nice showing of chucky gold nuggets, the largest weighing in at 6 pennyweight (9.6 grams). Gold nuggets found by Steve with Compass Gold Scanner Pro My wife to be made a trip up to Chisana with me in this timeframe and so I had the 6 pennyweight nugget made into a pendant for her. She ended up telling me gold nugget jewelry was not her thing, and she gave it back to me. I sell most of my gold so this is probably the oldest nugget I still have that I found. I wore the nugget on the chain you see around my neck in the picture above for many years. I am not really a jewelry person myself but it came in handy a lot when I was at work talking metal detecting and gold, and could easily pull the nugget out to show people. I eventually did retire it to the jewelry box but still have it, so just got it out to weigh it and take this picture. The nugget is well polished from many years of wear. All in all another fabulous trip with gold found by all involved! To be continued.... Six pennyweight (9.6 gram) gold nugget found by Steve
  16. 27 points
    After being tied up last weekend, I was finally able to get out into the hills with the Equinox today, and decided to spend some time fine-tuning the settings on the Gold Search Mode. I also decided to give max sensitivity a go on the mildly mineralized areas and, while it made the Nox quite sparky, I had no problem sorting out the various noises and homing in on the gold. While gridding a small area that has been hit hard with various VLFs, the Equinox hit a solid, repeatable target that read 1-2 on the display - right in the small nugget range. Upon recovering the target, I found that it was indeed a small nugglet. ? I checked the dig hole before backfilling it and still heard a nice, crisp 1-2; a little more digging and BOOYAH: another golden goodie! This process went on 3 more times, for a total of 5 pieces of gold out of the one hole...I like it when that happens! And just inches away, the EQX snagged 2 more nugglets. Needless to say, I’m astounded by the performance of this machine at locating some pretty tiny gold. Total weight 0.38 of a gram:
  17. 25 points
    So today I thought it was about time I took my 2.5 year old daughter out to my gold claim. The claim is in reasonably rugged country with steep slopes and dense vegetation. Most of the gold is found as small nuggets on or near bedrock. There was one spot I could think of that was within 100m of the road where a river bank had been washed out and bedrock was exposed. That said I knew I'd have to cut a bit of a track through the vegetation to get the little girl through. We got to our location after a bit of a scramble down a short but steep slope with the aid of a rope. Was a bit of a performance with a backpack on my back and carrying my daughter. I set her up on a grassy bank next to where I'd be digging and surrounded her with snacks with which to entertain herself. As luck would have it I managed to uncover three small nuggets by clearing the gravels off the bedrock and detecting it. After about an hour she'd had enough and we clamberd back to my car. Needless to say, I'm very proud that she's now big and patient enough to take gold hunting! Oh, we got 0.8g total. However in this case the memories (at least for me) are priceless.
  18. 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.
  19. 25 points
    Got out with my buddy Dave today to do some detecting. We had the plan to try a new area, and if that didn't pan out we would go back to the area I had had some luck the last 2 outings. We struck out in the new area, and headed to the old one. I went out trying to expand on the new patch...no luck. Dave hung around the area where I found the patch 2 weeks ago. I started exploring a bit looking for good ground when Dave radioed me that he had found a couple nice nuggets. I made a beeline to meet up with him, still working my GPZ when I hit a great mellow signal. Turned out to be a 2+ gram nugget and the start of a 5 nugget patch. Biggest being 3g. We had lunch a made another run for no luck, but a great day nonetheless. My nuggets 6.4 grams Dave's score, with a nice big nugget. Chris
  20. 25 points
    Picked up my GM1000 from Gerry on Friday, then after doing chores up at the cabin got it out yesterday and today. Used the larger coil for scouting out a new spot and after a couple hours of no decent targets yesterday, went over the same area with my GB2. Still nothing, so at least I didn't miss anything in that area, but I wasn't real comfortable with the Monster yet. So today, after yacking with VA Nurse Paul last night and Scott T today...both singing its praises, I put the small coil on it and went to my "old reliable" bench to see if I could squeak out another baby nugget. Moved rocks and dug up some sagebrush....initially hunting with trusty GB2 to get a target, then compare it with the Monster. Wow, it could hear the Fly-poo AU I find up there, and the disc was pretty reliable! I found 3 pieces using the GB2 first, then once I was more comfortable with how the Monster responds, it sniffed out 6 more! I noticed on some "iffy" signals that the Goldbug heard, the Monster picked them up a bit better. I was using manual 10 sensitivity and All Metal/deep, and as others have mentioned, it does false if you hit a rock etc. Not using headphones and having no threshold hum was actually nice for a change too. Pretty cool machine....tomorrow I'm going to hit the hard rock gravels and see how it does. :-)
  21. 24 points
    MY FIRST HAMMERED! Literally ... just got back home, from one of the best detecting days ever. Had to share this ? ? ? EDIT: And of course, it was found with the AWESOME EQUINOX!!!!! ? These pictures give a feeling of scale. Its a tiny little bugger!!
  22. 23 points
    You are too kind.... the lack of anything remotely resembling poor behavior is a real testament to all the forum members. I was more worried about a troll or spammer joining in my absence and going nuts, and even considered disallowing new members while I was away. I did also figure if anyone tried that you would all step up and just run them off. Part of me just wanted to see what would happen though so I just let it go since truly nothing could happen that I could not clean up on my return as if it had not happened at all. I know people want to know where I went and what I was doing. Yes, I went to some old haunts in Alaska. It would be hard to have a better time than I did in all respects - truly a fabulous trip and wonderfully relaxing. Other than that I have emails and posts to catch up on first. The tale itself will be a long story since I am going to backtrack decades and tell you all a genuine story full of context and photos. What I did the last few weeks will simply be the exciting ending you will all have to wait for. Yes, I do like building a little suspense. I think the tale will be fun and enjoyable for all so all I can say is get ready for a peek at a part of my life in Alaska over the years. It will also be a journey through models over the years and how improving technology really can make a difference. I am looking forward to telling the story as much as as some of you may be in hearing it. Note Sept 1, 2018 - The story is told here Thanks again to everyone for running a great forum. Yes, that is what you all did while I was gone - good job!!
  23. 22 points
    I was running the 7000 hot as I could maxed no filters normal hi yield semi auto SP1 enhancer, this was a soft sweet signal that finally sounded like something other than surface trash down about 4” on a hillside just above a wash in what i latter learned is a heavily pounded old patch with little left to give. It came out in one piece looking rusty and worthy of tossing aside except it was not magnetic so I began scraping, chewing and bending. Yellow began to emerge and that’s when I should have slowed down except it looked more like pyrite to me so I kept working at it and I was surprised it only bent a little before breaking, looking at it now it appears spongy and that may be why it broke the way it did. I’m not actually 100% convinced yet that it’s gold seems like it could be perhaps mixed with something else? This would be the first piece in a new area for me and I’m unfamiliar with hmmm the gold there and host rock and well everything. I was finding a lot of lead and bullet fragments so it seems there should still be more although today only the one (now it’s 4) for me, if in fact it really is gold and not mostly pyrite or something. my scale is in Santa Clara so I don’t know the weight?
  24. 22 points
    Hi all they small you get 10-15-20 each time but they add up. And they usually clean nuggets. All very shallow and fun to get. GoldEN
  25. 22 points
    Not getting much detecting time in lately.....but managed a few hours at the beach. Found these 5 rings and two silver dimes at the same beach. All the rings were found in the water. The rosie and merc were found around picnic tables. The gold ring is 14K and weighs in at 12.25 grams. The silver ring with the amethyst also has fire opal in it. The three other rings are all 925 silver.
  26. 22 points
    For those that don't know, we have a permit system here in Western Australia that lets fossickers access your large exploration tenements to metal detect for gold. Honestly I have never really liked the system because it basically lets the department sub let my lease, and no one ever fills out the form where they are obligated to tell you where the finds were ( Its very hard to find nugget patches if all the surface gold is gone). I have had over 50 people camped on that lease this year and not a single one has returned the form to notify of finds despite dig holes everywhere. Except 1 , I received a form back today from a couple of yanks , I think they were from Nevada. Reported all there finds with weights and coordinates, with a thank you note. Now that's how it should be done! I think the other 48 Aussies who were there could definitely learn a few things from the only 2 honest blokes out there. If they are members here or anyone knows a couple of Nevadans that were over here let them know they are more then welcome to come back with free access to all my tenements.
  27. 22 points
    Got a text yesterday from my buddy Chris, who said dude, get your , and lets get out there !!!! ( Well something like that , hehe !!! ) . I told him I can only hunt a half day, even though today was just a great day for a full day of hunting today, darn it !!!! Ended up finding almost 10 grams today.. :) . The large piece was a little more than a foot down, and just made a break in the threshold, I kicked some dirt out of the way, and it made the nice mellow weewoo sound, and I was like . Some digging in the side of a wash a little more than a foot down, and got a ..... maybe a foot away I found another small nugget right on top of the ground, and found another small piece in another wash. I also brought home a new pet, and the good ol U.S. deserts give them away for free, as you can see in the picture, he is enjoying his new home.... I have been bringing baby dinosaurs home in the backyard for years, but they never grow up , they just make babies in my back yard and eat the spiders... Dave
  28. 22 points
    I've been chomping at the bit to get outdoors, like everyone...so, after a few delays, my wife was sick (better not go yet) and so on and so forth I finally made it out on the road at 3am Wednesday morning (insert happy face here). The road was empty and conditions were clear, the drive up to lovelock was easy as 6 hour drives go and the gnawing pain on the left side of my lower back was tolerable. I checked into the casino at 9 in the morning and they had a room ready right away, things are going well...a good sign. I was doing a little research over the winter and came across this travel blog with listings for all the ghost towns in Nevada as a google earth overlay, the link is to a google earth KMZ file Http://www.forgottennevada.org if you have not seen this it's great information complete with history, gps cords, directions and photographs. So the first day I did a little touring around the towns of Tunnel, Mazuma and Seven Troughs, really interesting seeing the old relics in Tunnel and the canyon where the town of Mazuma was washed away in the 1912 flash flood. Thursday the weather was really nice, there was a little breeze, but low down in the washes the conditions were perfect. Later towards the end of the day I managed to hit a little section where the soil had eroded down about 6 inches to bedrock and within a fairly short span hit 3 little nuggets all sweet high/low with a slight warble, lodged in the bedrock shale and under a trickle of water. the first nut being the largest and my first piece of chevron gold the second piece slightly smaller and the last one was the baby (nice little happy gold family). Friday was perfect weather and only a slight breeze, I headed back to the same area, but couldn't repeat my previous days success. Saturday I hunted a different spot and it was pretty much a bust as the wind was really blowing. I took a drive up on top of the mountain (should have headed home) just for a look around and the wind was blowing so strong it was difficult to even walk. Sunday morning I headed home west on i80, light snow in lovelock and by the time the highway started to climb conditions were deteriorating and the road was getting slick. I kept finding my self dropping my speed down to about 35 and cars were blasting past me doing their best to get as close to the speed limit as they could, feeling bad I picked my pace up to 45 and (foolishly) set the c control at 40 as I was feeling like I was obstructing traffic and felt I was being overly cautious. One mini van passed me doing at least 60 and I thought to my self I'd probably be seeing his car again later down the road. High wind advisory was in effect and just as I crested the hill a really strong wind gust hit me from the right and i80 downhill was all ice...there it is and right away you know this is not going to end well. The back end of the jeep kicks around hard and I let off the gas, steer into it and s&!t, the damn c control kicks in I forgot that I'd set it earlier and my jeep is powering into the counter steer on ice downhill. Jab the brake zig zagging several times and the damn wind is blowing me across from the slow to the fast lane and I'm running out of room. One more zag and my backend slams into the guard rail hard, in my mind I can see the rear fender/bumper askew at an odd angle mentally I'm considering the replacement of parts. The one thing I'm thankful for is the impact gave me an opportunity, it stopped my zig zag death spiral...knocking me straight, no need to stop as I'm back in the right direction, jeep driving fine and nothing I can do about it now. I keep looking in my mirrors and can't see any damage, no clanking flapping things shouting to passing vehicles of my adventure, hmmm. 5 minutes passes and traffic slows to a stop, the guy behind me pulls along side to ask if I'm OK, I thank him give a shrug and a thumbs up just as the truck in front of me moves just enough to reveal the mini van that had passed earlier, blocking all lanes after careening front end off same said guard rail. As I slowly passed the unfortunate driver, the front end of the mini van struggled a small wave of acknowledgement, my jeep rolled silently past ignoring the gesture. I80 was closed and my nerves were slightly on edge all other routes home were closed as well, so I resolved to spend the night in Reno and checked into the el dorado. After finding a parking spot I began checking my jeep for damage, don't see any...fenders are fine bumper is where it was last time I looked at it. No bent metal anywhere...except the bottom right corner of the rear license plate is bent, the plastic plate holder is fine as it sprang back into normal shape after impact, a little dirt smudge on the rear plastic fender and smudge on the rear left Micky Thompson, but no permanent marks. The alignment seems fine and everything works normal, I'll have to inspect everything more, but all seems well...teflon coated. just bent the license plate, I could straighten it, but I'm thinking that might be bad luck and it adds "character." Things were supposed to improve on i80 late in the afternoon the following day. Monday trying to kill time until the roads open up I joined the morning Holden tournament and won first place, paying for my road trip. Feeling lucky I jump in the jeep as Truckie residents are being allowed through and my lucks on a roll so might as well see what happens, long story short I'm gonna play the morning Holden tournament tomorrow and see if I can repeat. After hitting the roadblock and giving cal trans my best poker face "Truckie sir" at state line my bluff was to no avail and they turned all the sinners around at the Donner road exit. I didn't bring a scale so I'll weigh my 3 little treasures and update when I get back.
  29. 21 points
    19-20 on the ole Nox stamped 14k
  30. 21 points
    Searching a new spot in the sunny Arizona desert this morning netted 3 small nuggets. While aimlessly swinging the mighty Zed back to the truck for lunch, a faint signal stopped me cold; what at first glance appeared to be a small magnetite hot rock turned out to actually be a meteorite fragment. After lunch, the Zed went to bed and out came the Gold Monster. While searching for more fragments, the GM 1000 signaled with a strong non-ferrous target response that turned out to be another small gold nugget. All in all, a fantastic day. More details here:
  31. 21 points
    We had a club outing at Rye Patch! Even our little group showed up in in force to see if we could pickup where Rudy and I, left of the week before. Our little group of detectorist have dozens of nugget finding spots in Rye Patch. Some with names we give them, so we can keep track of where we are located with the use of our radios. It’s kind of like Fishing, if they aren’t bitting at one spot maybe somebody at another location will sound off to come their way. Jack Rabbit, 4-Corners, October and Crossroads or some examples of where we might find the nuggets wanting to end up in our pokes. This trip, we had a few guest Club members, with us on each day. Some needed a few pointers with their settings and others only needed a pointy finger! As usual, October is a transitional Month for the North Western Seasonal change. Cold, Windy, smoke one day blew in from Northern California Fires making me think there was a local fire very close by. With extreme dry conditions with the wind, it made metal detecting difficult with static EMI’s. But, we fought thru Mother Nature elements and she rewarded us for the effort. This Tail Gate photo, was one day we had a late lunch cooking up a couple dozen brats. Only 6 pokes in the photo, as everyone else was hunting different location...just more Brats for us to eat, lol. We had a great time with our hobby and enjoying each other’s company! Just wish I could have ended up with the total Party’s Tail Gate photo with everyone’s pokes on it...maybe next time! Rye Patch still has nuggets to find and it continues to produce smiling faces. Until the next hunt LuckyLundy
  32. 21 points
    I had 4-days for a hunt at Rye Patch which really ends up being a good 3 days behind the coil. My goal for this many days is always 1/4 ounce in the poke! First morning I, added 4 nuggets to the poke, but nothing all afternoon! What's up with that, not much weight but well over a pennyweight. A good nights sleep and off I went the next morning, which fell into late afternoon with only 4 more nuggets, but one was over 2 dwts alone. After soaking them in CLR, I tossed them on the scale 4.2 dwts! My goal was in site, as I plotted my battle plan for the next morning before I fell asleep. The next morning, I put my thoughts into action. I figured I only needed 1 dink nugget 2 at the most. Well I ended up with 3 and was happy that my scale didn't let me down, settling down at 6.57 dwts. No easy duck nuggets on this trip, all well earned with intense concentration and extra slow coil swing. The GPZ, is and amazing machine, but you still have to get that coil over that nugget...and there's the struggle! I hope my next trip is a no-brainer and the nuggets just jump on my coil. Set a goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it...Until the next hunt! LuckyLundy
  33. 20 points
    Hi guys, After mowing the lawns & doing a bit of section tiding up & checking out the forum I went out for a late afternoon detect to a local spot. Being a bit cooler in the late afternoon/early evening. I took the E-bike to get in a bit quicker than it would have taken to walk. I wasn't really to sure where I was going to go as the grass growth is still crazy. There is crap growing in the exposed schist bedrock where I have never seen it before. Making detecting very hard to impossible. Hence the E-Bike so I could just keep riding, scoping out places where I could wave a coil. Ended up in just one spot, rigged up the Zed, & then realised I had left the bungy cord on the 4500. Bugger. Had to carry the full weight of the Zed. I targeted exposed bedrock & was getting my share of pellets when one signal lived on down a bit deeper into a crevice. I had to smash a bit of the schist out to get the target to move. This was looking promising. Bingo .26 of a gram Then a graveyard of pellets....one after the other after the other....I dropped the coil down the face of a bit of a drop off. Got a very faint signal. Probably another pellet. But the signal lived on deeper again than the pellets. I had to hack out a few bushes to get right in there. Ended up having to carefully hack out more schist in the face, careful so I didn't lose the target. I didn't lose it. .08 of a gram But no catch & release. That was it. Nothing more but rubbish so I packed it in & rode back to my wagon. That was a bit of fun for a couple of hours in the cool of the evening. Two for a total of .34 of a gram. Have I ever said how the Zed just Blows me away? ? Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  34. 20 points
    Last week, my son and I went on another “Treasure Coast” trip, this time armed with our new Equinox 800’s. Our last trip to St. Augustine had me finding the only “old coin”, an 8 Reale, that I was sure was authentic, but my 21 yo son had the opposite opinion. For the last 6 months, I have been hearing it from him about my “lead slug”. Fast forward to last week. It’s about 11:30 pm on 3/27, and he comes up from behind me and tells me he found a “fake” coin, and jokingly accuses me of planting it, so he could have the heart attack/heart break of finding a worthless piece of junk… So, Sam pulls the “coin” out of his junk pouch so we can both give it a better look. Upon inspection of the coin, its mint appearance gave the impression of a newly minted souvenir, but the coins details were so fine, and weight so heavy, we really did not know what to think. Back at the hotel we researched, compared pictures of actual coins, and did everything we could at 3 am to prove or disprove its origin. The next morning we went to the West Bay Trading Company in Vero Beach to have the coin seen by folks who know much more than we do. The guys at West Bay were really helpful, determined that the gold content is just under 90%. 21 carat (by all records we found, 87.5 % was what the coin were supposed to be), Both Ron and Scott looked at the coin in disbelief of the condition, and determined that it was indeed genuine, and Scott, with his loop, discovered that the date was an over stamp 1787 over a 6. We were advised to have the coin graded and slabbed, and that is where it sits now. Needless to say, we had a great trip. The Equinox has proved to be a great, fast, deep machine. Small brass/bronze/copper bits at 8 to 12 inches ring up VERY loud and clear on the wet sand (Beach 2), leaving no doubt that you have a non-ferrous item under the coil. Yes, aluminum rings up as well, but as we all know, that is just the cost of doing business… Battery run time is all of 10 hours plus, the wireless headphones worked well, the backlight on its lowest setting is perfect, and the machine preformed very quietly in the dry sand, and even in the surf. Very happy with the Equinox!
  35. 20 points
    I know I have said so on the tail end of a few posts. But just like to be a bit more official. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas & a prosperous New Year & 2018 sees you getting your share of the precious yellow metal. Mrs JW & I are heading over to the West Coast today for a few days jet boating up some of the beautiful West Coast rivers. Non gold related unfortunately. Making it harder for Santa to find us Take care & stay safe. Best of luck out there JW
  36. 19 points
    Nuggets found using Gold Mode, MF (multifrequency). Largest 9.8 grains, two smaller 0.6 grains each. Full report here. OK, there has been a lot of speculation on Gold Mode, and with Equinox shipping out in the next couple weeks I can now offer the basics. Gold Mode is designed to help optimise the finding of very small items. That normally means small gold to most people, so it has been called Gold Mode. A question that has been asked a lot. Is Gold Mode a true threshold based all metal mode? Not as I would define it. On many VLF detectors a true, raw, unfiltered response can be seen via some pinpoint modes. All metal non-motion response. Next would be a motion based "first derivative" all metal mode, that basically adds motion filtering to the raw pinpoint signal in an attempt to keep an even threshold while in motion. This mode has no discrimination capability at all and just signals targets. This is the classic "true" all metal mode used on early induction balance prospecting detectors. Next would be "second derivative" filtering that is the classic motion based discrimination we see on most detectors today. Then along came dual channel processing. Many detectors started layering a visual discrimination channel onto the all metal channel, creating detectors like the that have a visual target id while in audio all metal mode. The X-Terra also has what is called "Iron Mask" while in Prospect Mode, which apparently incorporates a ferrous reject into the channel or employs a layered parallel channel. I don't know the technicalities, just that the feature is there. Are these "true" all metal modes? Not by old school definitions. And so to me at least Gold Mode does not fit that particular definition. The threshold, while it exists, responds more to items that are nulling on masked items (which may include ground and some hot rocks) than to ground variations in the classic sense as would be expected of a pure all metal mode. However, the extra capability offered sure does not have me pining for a true threshold based all metal mode. Gold Mode can run at MF (multifrequency), or 20 kHz or 40 khz. It does fit the definition of being an all metal mode by not being able to employ target tone identifications as is available in all other modes. You have a single tone, but it is adjustable for pitch. You do however have full time on screen target id numbers displayed at all times so you do have visual discrimination ability, but Gold Mode goes one more step, and you can also block/mask/notch just like you can in other modes. This is particularly important for the very low numbers down around -9 and -8 as some ground and hot rock responses roll in around there. Blocking low end ground responses causes the threshold to null (assuming you have it set loud enough to hear it) and so the nulling effects can alert you to ground changes and a possible need to tweak the ground balance if you are running in manual. However, what makes Gold Mode different in my mind is the processing, and in particular the audio, which employs a VCO based boosted audio that conveys the target in a way that gives a fuller picture of target intensity. The other modes have the standard Minelab modulated "beep" that simply gets weaker or stronger depending on the size and depth of target. The Gold Mode VCO based "rising/falling" response is more akin to what is seen in machines that produce that "zippy" response on tiny targets. The bottom line is Gold Mode can provide stronger audio responses on tiny targets. The large coil is fighting this a bit as a smaller coil or an elliptical will provide even tighter, zippier responses. The Gold Mode is not an automatic magical solution; it is simply a mode processed in a different way that can be advantageous in some situations and not in others. I expect given how some of us are very particular about how machines sound and act that this will be a mode some people really love and others might hate. VCO tends to have that effect on people. To sum up, Gold Mode is optimized for tiny targets, the most obvious way being with a boosted VCO type response on tiny targets, but there may be more to it than that I am unaware of. It does have both volume and threshold controls and while it is monotone the pitch can be varied. There is full time on screen (LCD) target id information as will as the ability to individually mask responses, mostly intended for hot ground/hot rock/ferrous responses but it may be used on non-ferrous targets also. Anyway, for those who think this is a key issue for them between Equinox 600 and Equinox 800 I wanted to try and clarify this a bit while people are still in pre-order mode in case people want to rethink things. To me the Equinox 800 is something I have to have based on the audio and other advanced tuning options, and Gold Mode is just a bonus. I would still get the Equinox 800 even if Gold Mode did not exist. That's just me however and for others that lean differently hopefully this helps you out.
  37. 19 points
    One Guy and myself went on the first detecting trip of the year this past Thursday and we were gone til Sunday. I got to the location and headed up the road only to find the road was snowed in for the last 2 miles and was unpassable. I turned around and drove back to the highway to wait for One Guy to show up. When he did, I told him we were out of luck and too early so we decided to go in thru the lower road. We got close to the placer working and knocked on a door of a house closeby to ask who owns the property the tailings were on and low and behold this was the lucky house. We got permission to hunt and camp on 130 acres of dry land dredged ground on a hillside and the next day the nice gentleman got us permission on another landowners property bordering his. So now we had 1030 acres of gold placer ground to hunt on. It was tuff ground to find any nuggets on as I believed it was too far down the drainage to find many nuggets but on Saturday at 1:00 I found the first one of the year and it was the second one with my new 5000. I was using the Sadie coil. I love that little coil. I got plenty of shots for the cover of my book. I did not find any more nuggets the rest of the trip and One Guy got skunked. We even had to detect thru a couple snow squalls and the night time temps got down to 19 and 20 degrees which made for cold sleeping conditions in the back of our trucks. All in all it was a good trip that started out bad but turned out good for the first trip of the year.
  38. 19 points
    Between work and projects I've managed to get out on a few hunts. I bought my buddy an equinox 800 since he has been kind enough to let me run all around his ranches as if I own them myself. He has showed some interest in detecting...he thinks he's going to find a 1 pound gold nugget . After spending some time showing him how it works...I'd mark a target and then have him go over it and then dig it...he started to get the hang of it. So on our second outing he goes and finds a 1855 seated quarter (like Deathrays) but not in nearly as good condition. He was stoked and I wish i had brought my camera with me so I could get a pic of him smiling and holding the coin. Been hitting some other locations near where I live. Old homesites and street tear outs. Day before yesterday was a quick but pleasant hunt. Dug the standing liberty and put it in my pocket so it would not get banged up in the pouch. I never look at items much in the field but wait till I get home. I was glad I put this coin in my pocket. I'm going to have to get it looked at just to make sure but I think it's the real deal. If anyone knows what the sun god thing was? kinda cool digging it and have that smiling back. HH to you all strick
  39. 19 points
    A couple of weeks ago during an extreme high tide, I put aside 2 days to hit two different beaches to see what I could get at low tide. Those visits are a good example of how not to plan your hunt rigidly. Both days I focused on the wrong thing and at the end of each hunt I found a patch that helped save the day. One of those days was an area that I re hit yesterday, some 2 weeks later. It produced 2 silver rings, silver earring an pendant all in the last hour of the hunt. Yesterday it was sanded in a bit more, so the targets were deeper, but focusing on a productive area rather than having a master plan, payed off. What I wasn't counting on was that every hole I dug was in an area that was packed with a sand and cobble stone mix! Solid as concrete. I use a pointed spade and the only way to dig was on your knees with raking the rocks out of the hole. I slept well that night I dug 134 holes trying to focus between the silver signals and possible gold signals. I abandoned the small gold which reads #1 on the Equinox because this beach has a lot of black rocks that also read a solid #1. Since digging was extremely hard, I opted to ignore most of them. So here are the results of an all day hunt. I remember a post about nickel ratios in parks vs gold, so I'm including my ratio. It is way off of what a park gets and what some other beaches get, but if you hit the right area, you can get these results. 20 nickels dug (including 1 silver war nickel) vs 3 pieces of gold. Most of those nickels dated early 60's and older. This is why beaches can not give you the expected ratio as this will not be repeatable every time out. It's beena little while since I hit gold and I was starting to give the equinox the old "stink eye" look. But it's back on my favorite list now The chain hit at #2, the ring at #8 and I think the stud at #3 or 4.
  40. 19 points
    Big Arm state park on Flathead lake with my mxt and the detech 10x5 coil. ran it in relic mode with the sens. hot and the disc pot set at 2. the prospectors pick worked great to get through the cobbles to recover the targets. Highlights were .65 gram silver bracelet, 54 s and 56 wheat's, and junk butterfly pendant. it sure was nice to be out swinging. just thought I'd share my first hunt this year. The best of luck to all !
  41. 19 points
    This year, 2018, I'm working thru the year to pay up on last years not so great stab at a golden prospects in Australia last year, 2017. It was a great trip, always is, but a lot of little factors kept me gold poor *which I use to pay for food, fuel and amenities* so I leaned on the credit card a little to hard. Hahh! No one ever said I'd get rich but ehh~ One can dream by the camp fire.~~ Another driving factor for this post is that my email does not like to send pictures so this is for you all who have asked "Where are the pictures?" when I tried to send them. Well that aside Its Always A Good Go down under. I stayed mostly in the region of Kalgoorie last year, hard hunted land that, so I could be of help and hang around with my mates in Coolgardie while they fixed up a new caravan and ute. The gold was small and hard to come by but I still got a few ounces in littles from the EL's I applied for, and yes sent the reports in for, but in all here are a few good days on the scales : And here are what most days went like. I only had a few days streaches during the weeks out bush where I caught the skunk... but I entertained myself otherwise ? I did find one small meteorite but it chose to find the hole in my pocket instead of coming home with me. Bugger. But while I was out and about I decided to look for another mineral I knew occured in the region were I was and took a few days driving the fence lines to find it. Chrysoprase. Never did find the mine that my mate pointed me towards but I did find an area that had the right indicators, what is called white and blue chrysoprase and chalcedony, and on stopping there I took a couple of days to speck around. I was finding mostly low grade stuff, the above picture, but found one good bit with just the tip sticking out like an iceberg: Among other interesting rocks like this one, semi-crystalline quartz with some nice shiny bubbly limonite and from another area of flats a fulgerite, solidified lightning strike: So my rock hounding itch was scratched ? Now camp is always a treat in the mornings and evenings but I also mentioned I kept myself entertained on days when I was not finding much. Aside from just enjoying nature and walking Kays getting no where on the gold a few days of yabbie fishing made for a great reliefe after catching the skunk. I visited various dams nearby and treated myself to a Yabbie feast on many evenings. So all in all a great time, good eats and nice finds. If you want to go my suggestion is : Make a Plan and stick to it. You wont be dissapointed. There were a great many other things that occured but like I said, a short story. Regards and go live the dream. Next year who knows..... I'm thinking opal or sapphires myself with a little gold and yabbie. Thanks for reading, DD
  42. 18 points
  43. 18 points
    Extreme enjoyment. This might not seem like much but this small school (built in the late 30’s) has been hunted for over 10 years. With machines like the: Tesoro Tejon Garrett AT Pro White’s DFX, V3i Fisher F75 and LTD Minelab Etrac, and CTX 3030 And now the Equinox 800 Countless hours hunting from three guys including myself. Now I will say we’ve found some nice stuff from this site over the past 10 years and we all thought it was cleaned out but surprise, it’s not, yea I know they never are. But I was not expecting this many nickels and some over 6” deep. Then the silver nickel at maybe 5” and tilted to maybe a 45 degree angle. I will say this machine has a very good audio response but one has to listen and learn. I did the usual noise cancel and started off with park 1. I wasn’t really happy so I tried each of the park/field programs and ended back with park 1 with one change, I set the iron bias to 0. It didn’t take long and I knew this was the settings for the day. Numerous times I tried park 2 and the two field programs but it seemed like park 1 was the very best at both a good audio and stable ID on located buried targets. After a while I started wondering why these targets had been missed. Taking my time, I stared rotating around each target and I was quite amazed at how stable the audio/ID was. These were absolutely dig, dig signals, no doubts about it, with the exception of the silver nickel. If the silver had not given a double beep I might have walked away but I’m glad I didn’t. Well, toward the end of the hunt I purposely moved to the trashy area of the school and wow this machine, even with the 11” coil separates very well. I might add, the old Minelab wiggle I used with the Etac and explorer works with the Equinox too. Found a somewhat nice signal that I thought might be a nickel. Did the wiggle and marked the spot. Called my buddy over to check the spot. He gave no indication it could be a good target but at 5” comes another nickel (gave a solid ID of 13) and surrounded by heavy trash. Well, we had to leave and to be honest I felt sorry for him because he had not dug anything but trash. Now I’m beginning to wonder if I should buy the 6” coil and hit the trash again. Extremely satisfied user
  44. 18 points
    There’s been some sand movement in SoCal beaches and I got there just in time to get a few crumbs. There was another hunter there before me since I could see the opened holes and junk laying besides them. Luckily he left me a few keepers. I hunted 3 days for a total of $35+ in clad and 5 gold pieces. Good luck out there and happy hunting.
  45. 18 points
    Hot off the press ? Dug this over the weekend, talk about digging history! I haven't been getting to hunt as much as I'd like to this year as my wife and I had a baby girl in May. She's a doll, but those of you with kids know the drill Anyhow, my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday this month and I told her I wanted to go detecting for a few days at one of our old haunts, and to my amazement she said OK I was planning to go with TomCA, but he wasn't able to make it and I ended up going solo. This is a remote Spanish outpost site that we researched years ago. Tom's less crazy about it then I am, but I like the history around it and it's continued to produce interesting finds. It's a relaxing, beautiful place to detect, that just invokes early western frontier history, and almost every relic or coin you dig is dripping with age and history (for our neck of the woods that is). Anyhow, I had planned to use my Multi Kruzer with a new 7" concentric coil to work in the iron, but due to a headphone issue, I had to switch over to my Equinox 800. Boy am I glad I did, I made one of my best finds to date! A seated coin cache that I will never forget digging, and not just a seated coin cache, but a coin cache/spill with a hole mystery Was it Indian trade jewelry? Here's they are in all their glory: I dug several nice relics, and was able to capture the coin cache dug live: HH, Cal
  46. 18 points
    Hey everyone, I get out on Sundays. Some half days and some full days. Half days you don't get much except a lot of clad, and full days you will work your butt off literally, for a few worth mentioning finds. You really gotta work these parks. You have to find areas where there aren't crowds so driving around finding that right spot takes time from your day. Leaving the house at 6am or earlier is the norm for me. I'm still on a buffalo/V nickel quest and averaging 20 -30 nickels per hunt. Got a buffalo this past Sunday, 2 silver dimes and a few wheats. I come home dirty/sweaty due to the heat but I'm liking every minute of it. I hope everyone had a great weekend hunt.
  47. 18 points
    Sometimes you just have to find the right beach ... the right energy. That is what I did this morning. I got out about 3 hours before low tide (4:30 AM) at a regular beach and found next to nothing. There was nothing that had been moved by the tide or the waves in one of my favorite beaches. This half of a mile beach was dead. It was time to go over a jetty and detect a beach that could get waves and energy from a different direction. That got me started. The waves overnight had been small and the tide was not really going to be very low but the beach had quite a slope to it. I found a couple of quarters. I gridded as I have done this beach before and the quarters kept coming. These were 'old' quarters as my wife sometimes says. That means they are tarnished and have been in the water for some time. Now enough energy had focused on this beach to move them up. What comes with old quarters? RINGS! The first one came at the bottom of a grid. It was the stainless steel black ring. More quarters and more dimes and then the bracelet, and then the second ring and more quarters and a little trash and I'm skipping some pennies. Then I get an 18 on the 800 and I did it and it is the 3rd ring. Another cheap one but still a ring. I'm closing in on 3 hours and I need to go move my car but I also want to complete my grid pattern. Then for about the 3rd or 4th time this hunt I get multiple signals but the 800 is fast enough to distinguish the sounds. I focus on a 'ring sound' and sure enough I get the 1.9g/14k ring. It was among 2 other quarters, a couple of nickels and a dime. These were all within a 5 ft circle digging down about 6-8 inches. It was a good day and a good lesson once again about the energy. The places I hunt need energy to move valuable objects. Some of the heavies will be at the bottom of the grid but the gold ring was near the top. Quarters will get there also with the right waves and wind. I don't need a negative tide to find some good stuff. Totals 38 Quarters 37 Dimes 14 Nickels 23 Pennies (I could have dug more but I do a little cherry picking to save my arm and time!) 4 Rings The beach is not always this good and looking for gold in the desert has its challenges also. You have to take what you can get. Mitchel
  48. 18 points
    Good week for me including my best day so far. Hunted wed, thurs, and today. Today I got my smallest and thinnest piece with the Monster. The nice "patch" ended as fast as it started but I sure had fun for 2 hrs of my 4.5 hr hunt!!!! You guys have a good weekend....!!!!! Wed. (4).....Thurs. (11),...Fri. (2)…...
  49. 17 points
    It's been a good week all around. Dennis really got on the gold today, 15 nuggets total including a 3.4 gram piece. I'm going to rest up tomorrow, our flight leaves out of PHX on Sunday afternoon. We'll arrive in Perth on Tue, then meet up with Paul and Trent on Friday. We're just hoping our good luck hasn't run out. Tally Ho!
  50. 17 points
    There are just a few aerial photos of what a person sees from the air flying in and out of Chisana. The next photo is immediately after takeoff from the Devil's Mountain Lodge airstrip. The mountain you see behind the lodge is actually White Mountain - Devil's Mountain is seen from the lodge and is not visible in this photo. Nestled under the left side / end of White Mountain is the Nabesna Mine. This hardrock mine produced over 50,000 ounces of gold in the 1930's. White Mountain and Devil's Mountain Lodge at Nabesna, Alaska View from the backseat of the "Hulk" Floodplain of the glacial fed Nabesna River (glacier in distance) Typical mountain scenery Massive outwash floodplain from Chisana Glacier / Chisana River Chisana Glacier The Chisana River starts at Chisana Glacier and initially flows through the wide open valley where the town of Chisana is situated. The river is geologically older than the nearby Nutzotin Mountains. As the mountains built up over time the river maintained a channel that now appears to cut right through the Nutzotin Mountains. The river is actually flowing north until it eventually meets the Nabesna River and they both become the Tanana River. If we followed this river about 300 miles it would bring us to Fairbanks, Alaska. The Tanana River eventually meets the Yukon, and about 600 miles from this photo eventually flows into the Bering Sea. Chisana River where it flows through Nutzotin Mountains Finally we arrive at Gold Hill. There is another gold bearing stream called Big Eldorado Creek over the hill from us - this is an aerial view of Big Eldorado Creek. There is a gold source at Big Eldorado Creek that is situated in massive pyrite and so the gold there is of local source, bright and shiny. Only a few thousand feet of Big El were ever mined. I hiked over there years ago and still have a fist-sized chunk of pyrite from the location. Big Eldorado Creek flowing off Gold Hill The turning approach is made into the mountainside airstrip. The Hulk landing uphill comes to an almost immediate stop, and so even though this is a very short airstrip less than half gets used while landing. When departing the plane is often empty and can take off in just a couple hundred feet. The Hulk parked on Gold Hill To be continued....
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