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  1. 62 points
    I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Many more details and pictures later in this thread plus the settings I used so do follow along ! Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  2. 51 points
    Tis the season for nuggetshooting the great American desert southwest once again, and for the first leg of my annual pilgrimage it’s always mandatory to spend some time at the Rye Patch area in northern Nevada. With the ground being very dry this time of year, the GPZ 7000 performs at its best in this region with minimal interference from the conductive alkali component of the local ground. In areas where there was variable ground however, a quick adjustment of the Ground Smoothing from Off to Locate Patch returned the threshold to a smooth and stable operation again. One of the highlights of the hunt was a decent, broad target that had a hint of a gurgle as the coil was swept completely out of the target zone, which indicated the nugget was going to be a bit larger than the usual dinks I had been finding. After removing 8 to 10 inches of material out of a broad area centered over the target, the signal response was fairly screaming as I swung the coil flat against the bottom of the excavation. Turning the coil up on edge however, and the Zed struggled to get a response from the bottom of the hole; when this scenario happens, it’s telling me there’s a really nice nugget and that I have a lot more digging to do. ? Finally, at a depth of 18 inches, the target was screaming off the edge of the coil, so just using the plastic scoop, I dug into the floor of the mammoth dig hole and retrieved the golden beauty: a lovely 10.6 grammer!? This same process was repeated on another occasion, but this time it was a 4.5 gram nugget about 3 inches away from another nugget about half its size, again at around 18 inches deep. Although pretty nippy in the mornings, the sunny weather held out with no wind. So all in all, a super good hunt, with a total of 51 grams of golden goodies.
  3. 45 points
    It used to be blocking spammers was easy since most were automated bots. Unfortunately most now are real people. They used to be easy to spot due to poor English. So they took to copying real posts and posting them as their own. The tip off always comes in the form of links to some totally unrelated site. They now try and get overlooked by joining and posting for a week or two, usually innocuous posts. Then, they later take advantage of the forum edit function that allows you to edit your own posts to modify their old posts to include the stupid spam links. What they unfortunately do not know is I am always lurking and have a nose for this sort of stuff, so their efforts always go to waste. I not only ban them and delete all their content but add them to the Invision distributed spam list so they get nailed elsewhere. But there is always another one who does not know they are wasting their time here so it never ends. Long story short I have limited the edit function to 30 days after posting, so you can edit your own posts now for a month, which I think is good enough, but no more after that. Be aware though these people are hitting the forum weekly, and I do catch them, so don't be surprised if every now and then an entire thread or portion of thread disappears as I nuke these people. At this time however they are only a mild annoyance so I don't think I have to do anything more about the issue for now.
  4. 44 points
    Back from our Mexico gold hunt and wanted to share a few photos and my story. Every day I swung my 7000 I found gold nuggets. 60+ pieces weighing over 41 grams. (picture of gold and shovel is to show size comparison as some pics make the gold look bigger) So there is good gold to be found, but you don’t fill your pockets as we all dream. The locals who hunt there all use 7000’s and they are really good. They only miss the faintest of signals or the occasional boomer off the beaten path. Me being a 6’ 2” 230 lb guy is hard to get into the cactus bushes to find virgin ground. In fact I only found 1 small patch of undetected ground that held gold and over 9 grams came from that patch. The local Mexican folks have no issues getting into the thickets and I could see their dig holes in them. I give them credit for their desire and determination. Cactus, the guardian angels of the MX gold is everywhere. With over 600+ species alone in Mexico, I was amazed to see and able to get pricked by (it seemed all 600+ kinds) many. Some of them are masters at growing in the funniest of shapes and statues. I was amazed and giggled many times while trying to find a landmark for return. Best to use your GPS on the 7000 (thanks Luck for showing me) as it is really pretty easy. I learned quickly, most of my clothing including the Merrell Hikers were no match for the variety of pokers. I took 3 different pairs of boots and the all leather, heavy duty uncomfortable ones were the least effected from the pricks. I took a pair of shorts and T-shirts for hotter days but could not wear them. Long sleeve shirt and thick pants were a must. Found out on my 1st day there getting on my knees or anywhere on the ground was dangerous and I ended up buying a thick pair of knee pads. I managed 3 small pickers in one spot at the bottom of this wash. This looks like a cactus nugget right? I think I'll polish it and give it to my wife. Lunk was all eagle eyes and found some rare pottery shards probably from a water transport jug. There are desert tortoise to be found (more rare than gold) We were even rewarded seeing the ancient grinding pads, two of them, called an arrastra and were used to grind ore. Their desert is more beautiful than I expected and also has a much greater degree of mountains to climb that what I imagined. Another interesting part of the trip seeing the antique ways of prospects (100 to 200+ yr old dry wash piles) and their claim corner markers. Lunk always looks so serious. Notice he wore snake guards. I asked him about them and he said the snakes were not bad this time of year. He did not tell me to bring some for the attacking cacti and all their brothers. My coolest find of the trip was actually not gold at all but a copper type coin that looks to be hammered, made (very thin and off center struck) and has some words and symbols. I’ve been updated with identification as an early MX ¼ reale coin from 1830’s. The 2 nuggets and coin were all in one small area together. I also spotted (on the run) a small buck deer. A few days before, I found a big daddy antler. The last day in MX was me on the beach enjoying the Gulf of California (on the MX side). The very next day was me in snow as I was heading back to Idaho. So the total driven miles on my truck for the trip was over 2800. I lived in the back of the truck with the camper shell and the 40 degree nights was no issues for cold. Used my small compact Jetboil burner to heat water for cooking/bathing. The warm upper 70’s and lower 80 degree temps in days allowed for my canned and or packaged meals to be heated by placing them on my dash in the truck. Plenty of gold is still in MX., but the reality of it is, the gravy is gone. You’ll work you butt off finding it and most pieces you find are sub ½ grammers. It reminds me somewhat of Rye Patch, NV in a way as most folks won’t find any and those who do usually only find a few each day. The really big ones for the most part have already been found, but popping an occasional 1/4 oz’er+ is still possible. My own biggest piece of gold for the trip was only 4.9 grams, but I did see one find that was a multi ouncer 3 to 4 oz. Was the trip worth it and did my gold finds pay expenses? I’m all about adventure and as long as my body holds up I’ll go most anywhere with a metal detector at least once. Checking spot gold today shows $1580 oz. so that equates to just over $50 a gram. Take $50 a gram X 41 grams of nuggets = $2000. My cost for the trip with insurance, fees, all food and drinks was $1800. But with me, just like my travels to Australia, it is more about the “just go do it” adventure, than it is the finds or value of. Hopefully everyone enjoys the pics and story.
  5. 44 points
    While searching some ancient bench gravels with the GPZ 7000 in the Arizona desert today, my ears were met with a broad, mellow reversed signal from the wireless speaker. I took off six inches of soil with the pick, and the signal was a little stronger. Changing from High Yield / Normal to General / Difficult resulted in a fainter, but normal signal response...definitely a metal target and not a hot rock. Putting the coil on edge produced no discernible signal; all of this information together told me this was going to be a large, deep nugget...just how large and how deep remained to be seen. It was relatively easy digging, as the material was fairly clean, unconsolidated sand and gravel. Getting close to the two foot mark however, the material became cemented, and the target was now screaming off the tip of the coil. Time for a little finesse; using just the plastic scoop to dig with now revealed a small depression in the cemented gravel, and therein lay the target — a three and a half ounce gold nugget! The Zed scored a nice, deep fatty for me, finally. It’s still out there.
  6. 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
  7. 42 points
    Quick story-- As most of you know i work with Veterans, and a lot are dealing with PTSD --- I always thought detecting would be good therapy because they can get away from the crowds, carry a firearm in most cases (so they feel safe) and they can relax a bit. One guy showed up last week with a Minelab GoFind60---[maybe the only mInelab i havent bought ...Yet...lol] He said he was new and he hadnt found much but trash...I told him to trget places people would be sitting on the ground... like ball fields, picnics and such..I told him that I like to go around old trees. Mind you this is on an old Army base so there can be some neat things there. So far the first day he got half an old spur, second day---1912 penny in good shape!, third day- two Taxca Mexico sliver bangles with the floral design....($25ea!) So he is feeling better , he isnt so jumpy, i see him smiling now, and he is sleeping better after going to classes and then detecting the rest of the day.... That's all it took....a little detector and a place to detect---- Im happy I got to meet this new detectorist.
  8. 41 points
    On my first trip to the desert southwest 20+ years ago armed with my trusty Fisher Gold Bug 2, I looked up a nugget shooter by the name of Glen “Griz” Anderson in the Arizona outback town of Quartzsite, who was gracious enough to take me out to an old nugget patch that he and some other locals had hammered. He said if I hunted it thoroughly that I should be able to turn up a bit or two. Sure enough, careful searching with the six-inch elliptical concentric coil of my GB2 did coax a couple of crumbs out of the old patch, but other than that I wasn’t having much luck. So I decided to be adventurous and started detecting up slope away from the patch, towards the crest of a small hill. That’s where I started encountering the bird shot pellets...LOTS of them. After recovering about a dozen of them, I dug what sounded just like another, but it turned out to be a very small bit of purple quartz laced with thin stringers of gold instead.🙂 It seemed nobody had bothered to detect this area for long because of all the bird shot, but I stuck with it and for every dozen or so of the tiny lead pellets, I would find another bit of the beautiful purple quartz laced with gold, until I had a couple dozen pieces. I hunted the spot for a few days until it dried up, and I’ve been back again every time I have acquired a new detector over the intervening years, which has found me a few nuggets off of the patch, but never another bit of the purple quartz. So I was hoping to find more the other day with my White’s Goldmaster 24k, outfitted with the 6-inch round concentric coil. I was finding birdshot, but alas, no purple quartz and gold. As I pushed the coil under a very small palo verde tree, the 24k let out a healthy ZIP! declaring something definitely larger than a bird shot; I was fully expecting to see a 22 bullet or casing sitting on the surface, but could see nothing. So I raked a bit of the loose surface material into my nugget scoop, waved it over the coil and ZIP! got it! It turned out to be a small 4-gram speci with a limonite crystal, quartz crystals, and gold! I’ve never seen anything quite like it - a very unique piece.
  9. 41 points
    The weather in northern Nevada has been extraordinarily nice this past month, but it's due to deteriorate rapidly soon; time to head for the sunny warmness of the Arizona goldfields. During the last 3 weeks I've managed to scrounge up 43.4 grams (27.9 dwt) of the good stuff from old patches with the GPZ 7000 and stock 14" coil. Largest nugget weighs 7 grams (4.5 dwt) and the deepest bit was close to a foot and a half.
  10. 41 points
    Time flew by up at the cabin and on my little claim this season. I continued to clear, detect, and drywash the decomposed granite bench areas. Here’s a nice clean out from one drywash session: I also reworked the sides of some oldtimer Diggings, filling in their ditch as I go....lots of work here for little return lol! Found some nice nuggies when I uncovered some crevices in a different bedrock...biggest piece was almost .6gram, decent size for up here: A highlight of the summer was having my nephew’s boys visit. They learned drywashing, running the concentrates through the recirculating sluice, then how to pan. Each ended up with a couple grams(hmmm....maybe a little “salt” in those concentrates lol): AND the season ended on a positive note! Found a nice handful in this small scraping from a new spot....definitely will setup the drywasher here next year! Ended up with just shy of 12 grams total up here for the season....not much gold, but tons of fun and memories! 🙂
  11. 41 points
    KiwiJW was keen to go for a prospecting trip yesterday which I was excited about, last time we went out I found a 0.62-gram piece which is certainly one of my bigger ones. We tend to have a lot smaller gold than the Aussie’s which makes hunting for gold quite the challenge when the average size found is probably within the 0.0X grams range. I couldn’t imagine hunting for gold when the average size piece is in the 0.5+ gram range or larger, I often get those big booming signals and as I get tired later in the day or on a hot day when I can’t be bothered just walk past them as they’ve been almost always 22 shells, but this day was different, even though I’d forgotten my lucky hat. We first went to an entirely new location for me which was a nice lake with old workings at it, I first had some trouble getting a ground balance with my GPX 4500 here, it took me quite a while to work out what to do, I was considering just putting it down and using my GM1000 but seeing I only had the 5” coil with me it didn’t seem optimal in such a big area. In the end I just changed out of sensitive extra which I’ve stuck in since I got my GPX and went into normal, I haven’t needed to do this before but there was no way I was going to get a ground balance in this soil, it was near white soil with lots of nice gravels and quartz in it and looked very promising. It’s lucky I had my little GPX timings chart with me that Steve had made up, it helped a lot in this situation. Steve's awesome GPX timing Charts There were lots of dig holes around from somebody in the area and the person who did them was annoying as a lot of them already had a signal in them which I re-dug only to find a bit of junk so I suspect the person was throwing the junk back into their holes. JW was off in the distance detecting the bedrock which goes down into the lake, this is normally covered in water but on this day due to lack of rain I guess the water level was low exposing this bedrock. No luck was had at this location so we decided it was time for a fuel up at KFC before heading to a spot I call old faithful. JW shouted lunch and we had our usual feast, it’s a tasty treat, then we were all charged up and ready to go. Old faithful is one of the first places I’d been to and we regularly end up here but it’s usually productive for us, JW does particularly well here and it was home to my old gold miners silver ring I found some time ago. I switched back to sensitive extra timings here. Once at old faithful we did something different and detected right at the entrance, an area we have walked/rode on the E-bike’s past so many times but I’d never detected before. We split off in directions and starting going for it. JW was quick to find a bit to keep me motivated and it was insanely small, I can’t believe he can find bits this small with his GPZ but he does, and he does regularly, it’s no fluke. I will leave the story on his bits to him as it’s pretty amazing. I said to him, "oh that bit’s so small, there is no way I’d be able to get that with this detector" (GPX) so he waved it over my coil and what do you know, a signal, waved it deeper, a signal again, waved it at the depth he found it with the GPZ, and again an obvious signal! What is going on I was wondering, then I realised exactly what it is, I’d modified my settings and threshold due to the wonderful post Northeast did about thresholds on the GPX. He explained to me how to adjust my threshold, the thread also talked about volume levels which I also took note of and adjusted. I was incorrectly running my threshold very high, and also had my GPX volume level very high and then going into my booster and the cranked up high again. I gave JW my gold bottle to store his bit in as he’d forgotten his as he was likely to need it more than me. The grass growth was pretty insane, it's normally a dry desolate place, this year has been different. Fortunately this time the grass was easier to push over than last time so we were able to swing crushing the grass down What I was doing now is turning my threshold right down so it was silent, then I turned up my threshold so it was just audible and stable and left it there. As for my volume I had the volume turned down very low on the GPX itself, and used the Steelphase SP01 enhancer to control my volume, I had it turned up to a comfortable loudness on that which gave me nice clear crisp audio, I had it in my preferred setting of Filter 2 using its pseudo stereo mode wired to 2 x GME SPK08 speakers wired in stereo. This location is known for it’s pellets and using a HF VLF like my GM1000 is just a nightmare here as you will spend your time digging pellets, 20 or more pellets is not usual but this is where the magic happened, my GPX was now doing as well on pellets as my GM1000, it was detecting pellets everywhere, even quite well buried ones, this new volume/threshold settings combination was opening up a new world of small targets I was missing. I normally got six or so pellets a day with the GPX here, now I was finding them constantly. It felt like these new GPX settings combined with the Steelphase SP01 enhancer and the Nugget Finder 14x9 EVO coil had just majorly enhanced the sensitivity of my GPX to small gold. Thanks Northeast!! I didn’t mind at all spending my day digging pellets as I was hoping it meant I’d find a small bit of gold that this spot is known for and JW had already just found, a real confidence booster for me. Shortly after something else unusual happened, a guy walked up and surprised me out of nowhere. He was carrying a Makro Gold Kruzer he’d bought three days earlier and was a newbie at detecting but had done a lot of sluicing in the past. He was keen for any tips I could give him so I gave him a few good tips on where to look but warned him that thing is going to eat pellets all day long, he walked off all excited about the prospect of finding gold as I told him JW over there has found a piece already and we’ve only been here 30 minutes or so. It is so rare we stumble across another detectorist, we’re more likely to find a gram+ piece of gold than see another detectorist ? I kept wandering around digging up pellets and small shards of metal excited knowing I’m really gelling with my detector on this day hoping a little bit of colour was on its way and then I stumbled into an area I will now call Mr Pocket ? I had a big loud signal, I assumed it was going to be a 22 shell as I’d just dug a few of them in the same little area of about 4m x 4m but this time it was different, it was gold! I walked over to JW and said I’m going to need to share the bottle ? he was excited for me and I showed him my bit which I described as almost needing a wheelbarrow to get it over to him and we dropped it into the bottle and back I went to my spot. It was the most unlikely of spot, no bedrock, no signs of any gold workings, just a grassy area near the creek side within about a meter or so of the dirt road. 0.294 grams, not too bad, It looks bigger than it weighs for some reason, it's a lumpy one. This was quite a big piece for this location and seeing it was such a loud booming signal I kept digging booming signals in this little area and out popped another big one! I took it over to John to put in the bottle and said I’m onto something down here, and so Mr Pocket was born. He now passed me the jar and said looks like you’ll be needing to hold onto this ? It was almost down the depth of my scoop but was a loud booming signal. My first ever nugget over a gram! A rare find. I went back to my spot and the next thing to pop up was another bit of gold, this time not so big and more in line with our usual gold sizes around here but still, small for me with my GPX and down about 3 inches. Pretty impressive and thanks to my new settings. This little guy wasn't particularly deep, 2 to 3 inches I'd guess. But it sure is tiny for the GPX and it was such a nice stand out signal. I now felt I’d gone over this little 4m x 4m patch to my ability level so I called JW over to see if he could get any more out of it with his Zed and GB2. I didn’t have a HF VLF with me so I was hoping he’d end up finding some gold the GPX missed with his two high powered weapons. I showed him my spot and took off looking for a new spot. Shortly after “new guy” walked up again, he’d been detecting about 30 minutes’ walk further along the roadside with his Gold Kruzer and had only found what looked to be 4 old rusty nails and a 22 shell. I thought something is wrong here, a 61khz detector and no shotgun pellets in a place riddled with them. I scattered a few pellets Id found on the exposed bedrock and asked him to wave over them, nothing at all even touching them. I dropped my gold bottle on the ground and asked him to wave it over it, nothing, absolutely nothing unless he virtually touched the jar and then it did a threshold change. Something isn’t right here. I’d never seen a Kruzer before but helped him out with his settings on it and then got him to re-test over the bottle, this bottle had a piece over a gram it in, this thing should be screaming on it, and now it was working and picking up the gold at some depth. His gain, discrimination and mode were now adjusted. I still don’t know if it has the right settings but I told him he should be reading the manual. It was now picking up pellets too but not to a level I’d consider good. He said it was a choice between the Kruzer and GM1000 but he picked the Kruzer. He was disappointed he wasted the afternoon with the wrong settings so even If he passed a 1 gram bit of gold he would of missed it ☹ This is where the simplicity of the Gold Monster shines, if he had of bought that, he would have been fine right off the start line. He was appreciative of the help and we parted ways. This made me think back to how lucky I was I had KiwiJW and this forum to help me out with my prospecting or I'd be in the position of this poor guy trying to work it all out alone. I went down to check how well JW did in Mr Pocket but it seems I’d cleaned it out, he got no more gold, reassuring in a way but also disappointing as I was hoping JW would get some out of it. I will leave it to JW to tell his side of the day, all I will say is him and his ability to operate his GPZ is a shock to me. Here is a majority of the junk from the day, I'd lost a few pellets out of my pocket and I'd dumped a few on the ground for the new guy to test his detector on but I sure got a lot of small junk showing just how sensitive the GPX was. I was regularly finding shards of metal even smaller than pellets. The Minelab GPX 4500 with the 14x9 Nugget Finder EVO combined with the audio provided by the Steelphase SP01 Audio Enhancer is a deadly combination, I've never used a SDC2300 but it has to be getting up there to it's small metal finding ability because I know it's getting pretty close to that of my Gold Monster 1000. It was now time to head off, another great day prospecting and now my confidence is on a high. I enjoyed going back to Johns house afterwards for a coffee and showing off my gold finds to Mrs JW,. Thanks for another good day John.
  12. 40 points
    Gold Nugget Detecting with the Minelab Equinox Metal detecting for gold nuggets is one of the most difficult detecting tasks, and learning to run a VLF detector in highly mineralized ground will challenge even the best detectorists. There is more to this subject then can be covered in a brief article but I will try and offer some tips to get people started with the Minelab EQUINOX for gold nugget detecting. Minelab Equinox with 6" coil at work gold nugget detecting Tiny nugget in scoop - the Equinox can find very small gold nuggets! The EQUINOX 800 has two modes that are not available on the EQUINOX 600 – Gold Mode 1 and Gold Mode 2. The two Gold Modes as far as I h e been able to determine are identical except for the default settings. Gold Mode 1 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 6 and Gold Mode 2 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 4. These modes employ a boosted audio that increases both in volume and pitch as a target is detected. This in turn accentuates the signal on tiny gold nuggets. The threshold is also different than the “reference threshold” employed in the other modes and is more responsive to ground changes, providing important audio feedback about changing ground conditions. The Gold Modes are similar to the threshold based all metal modes available on most VLF nugget detectors with a major difference. A target id number is displayed for strong targets and each target id number can be independently set to accept or reject. In this regard the Gold Modes are a hybrid mode with more discrimination capability than is available in normal threshold based all metal modes. Normal VLF nugget detecting relies on the operator having their ear very tuned into the threshold sound of the detector. Slight variations in the threshold tone can indicate potential targets. The threshold tone is also very sensitive to changes in the ground mineralization. This includes the so-called “hot rocks” which have mineralization different than the ground they reside in which makes the detector react to them as targets. The challenge is to get the detector to operate with a relatively smooth threshold as the coil is swept over the ground so that desired targets will stand out. If hot rocks are signaling with every sweep of the coil, then progress will be extremely slow if not impossible. Tuning a VLF detector to hunt nuggets starts with the theoretical most powerful settings, and then reduces those settings until the detector becomes stable. Every setting is a trade off, because making a detector more sensitive to gold also makes the detector more sensitive to mineralized ground and hot rocks. The key settings for the EQUINOX 800 in Gold Mode are: Frequency. Multi frequency is the default and the most powerful frequency setting, with 40 kHz and 20 kHz single frequency options. Multi is the most sensitive to gold, but also reacts the most to bad ground and hot rocks. The goal is to get the EQUINOX to run well in Multi but if bad ground or hot rocks make that impossible, going first to 40 kHz and then to 20 kHz will make the EQUINOX progressively less reactive to the ground and the hot rocks. Ground Balance. The default is ground tracking on. Tracking attempts to keep up with and smooth out the variations in the ground. In doing so it has a filtering effect and can possibly tune out the slight audio variations that come not just from the ground but from very small or very deep gold. Tracking off is therefore the most sensitive setting, with adjustments made via the Auto (pump) method or manually. Sensitivity. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 20. Increasing sensitivity increases the audio response from all targets, plus the responses from things like electrical interference. Most importantly, too much sensitivity makes the ground itself into one giant target, and so if the detector refuses to ground balance properly then reducing sensitivity until a proper ground balance can be obtained is critical. The default of 20 can easily be too high for the worst ground, and settings in the mid to low teens may be necessary. Recovery Speed. The range on the EQUINOX 800 is from 1 – 8. The defaults are 6 for Gold Mode 1 and 4 for Gold Mode 2. Recovery speed as regards nugget detecting can be viewed as a smoothing filter. Higher settings act to smooth out audio responses from the ground and hot rocks. Lower settings enhance audio responses from weak gold signals, but also make hot rocks and bad ground stand out more. False signals from the coil bumping a rock also increase at lower settings. In general the EQUINOX will be easier to handle at higher Recovery Speed settings, with more careful coil control required at lower settings. Iron Bias. The range is 0 – 9 with a default of 6 in both Gold Modes. Lower settings reduce the chance of gold being identified as ferrous, while higher settings reduce the chance of ferrous items being misidentified as gold. Accept/Reject. The default is -9 through 0 rejected, 1 through 40 accepted. The discrimination range on the EQUINOX runs all the way into the ground signal, with ground signals in highly mineralized ground normally coming in at -9, -8, and possibly -7 though it depends strictly on the ground itself. Hot rocks can read almost anywhere, even in the positive number range in the mid-teens or elsewhere. Electrical interference is also likely to exhibit in the low negative number range. Any offending numbers including trash targets can be blocked directly, but the more numbers that are blocked or rejected come at a cost of slightly less signal strength on desired targets. Threshold. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 12. This is normally set to be just loud enough to hear, but no more. Just a barely discernible tone. However, the threshold can also act as a backend filter. Once all other tuning has been completed, the threshold can be set lower until it is silent, or set higher than normal. Running silent can suppress small variations in the ground signal but also the weakest gold signals. Running the threshold higher than normal can smooth out weak variations, again with a subsequent loss on the faintest gold signals. My starting point (initial settings) for either Gold Mode are: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (pump method) with manual tweaking Sensitivity: 20 Recovery Speed: 6 Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: -9 through 40 accepted (either through the settings or by hitting the “Horseshoe button”) The main thing I am going to try and do is operate the EQUINOX in Gold Mode without blocking out or rejecting any target id numbers. The goal is to find settings that reduce and smooth out ground responses while reducing the signal from gold as little as possible. These two things fight each other and there are no perfect settings, but simply the best compromise possible. For some people that will mean making the machine very stable, while others may prefer hotter settings that require more audio interpretation from the operator. The first step is to find an area clear of trash, and walk a bit waving the coil over the ground. Chances are you will get lots of ground noise. Go into the settings and adjust the ground balance. This normally means pumping the coil over the ground while holding the accept/reject button (see the manual) until the ground response evens out. If the ground is highly variable with mixed hot rocks, waving the coil from side to side may work better than pumping the coil. With any luck the machine will settle right down. However, in bad ground it will not, and the solution normally will be to lower the sensitivity setting. Basically this just takes some experimentation, lowering the sensitivity and adjusting the ground balance until the detector reacts very little or not at all to being waved over the ground. If you can get the EQUINOX set to where no target id numbers are popping up at all as the coil passes over the ground but where you can still hear faint variations in the ground, you are there. Then it is simply a matter of going detecting, and digging every target that stands out above the faint ground variations present in the threshold tone. Gold can read anywhere from negative numbers all the way up into the 30’s so typical nugget detecting involves digging everything. However, most nuggets weighing under 1/10th gram will give a target id number of 1 or 2, nuggets under a gram in the single digits, and several gram nuggets reading in the teens and higher. The smallest or the deepest large nuggets will produce no target id number at all, just a variation in the threshold. In real bad ground you may have to not only reduce the sensitivity setting, but possibly even increase the recovery speed setting to 7 or 8. In ground that refuses to behave, switching to first 40 kHz and then 20 kHz will progressively detune the EQUINOX , making it easier to get a stable ground balance. Engaging ground tracking may also help smooth out the worst ground – you have to experiment. In severe ground all this may not work, with ground signals still coming in around the low negative numbers and possibly higher. Some hot rocks may read as positive numbers. This is where the EQUINOX can go to the next level. Go into the settings and reject or “notch out” the worst offending target id numbers. This will usually be -9, -8, and -7 but may include even higher numbers, including positive numbers. Block as few numbers as you can. Simply rejecting the bottom three negative numbers will usually settle the machine down a lot, especially if there is any residual electrical interference being encountered. Rejecting target id numbers does come at a cost in reduced signal strength on desired targets, but you may find now that the sensitivity level can be increased from one to several points, reclaiming that lost sensitivity. In theory if you can get the EQUINOX running stable with no target id numbers rejected you have the ideal situation. However, EQUINOX allowing some offending signals to be rejected with an attendant increase in the sensitivity setting may be the better way to go. It just depends on the situation. So far we have been trying to deal with bad ground by using various detuning methods. In low mineral ground you can go the other direction. If the detector ground balances immediately with a sensitivity setting of 20, then try higher settings. You can also try reducing the recovery speed setting from 6 to 5 or 4 or even lower. Each reduction of the recovery speed setting is fairly dramatic and you will find it suddenly very hard to get and hold a decent ground balance if you go too low with the setting. In mild ground however it can add substantially to the signal strength of the weakest targets. Finally, for the worst ground and for EQUINOX 600 owners we have other alternatives. There is no reason at all why the other modes cannot be used to nugget hunt. Park 2 and Field 2 are both very hot on small targets and offer the ability to use tones while nugget hunting. Prospectors who encounter salt lakes/salt flat situations would do well to remember the Beach modes as possible last ditch settings. Either Park 2 or Field 2 can make for very good nugget hunting modes. I prefer to use Park 2 as a base because by default Field 2 blocks out or rejects the key target id numbers 1 and 2. Small gold nuggets read there, so using Park 2 makes sure somebody will not accidentally reject nuggets in that range. You can use Field 2, but beware those blocked numbers and adjust accordingly. For Park Mode 2: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method with manual tweaking) Sensitivity: 16 – 25 Recovery Speed 800: 4 - 6 (default is 6) Recovery Speed 600: 2 - 3 (default is 3) Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: Everything accepted, rely on tones (alternative reject -9, -8, and -7 if too much ground feedback) I have suggested accepting everything, and then using the two tone mode to hunt by ear. If trash is minimal then set the tone break lower than normal, so that 0 and several negative numbers read as non-ferrous. This way you can have ground signals reading as low tones (and possibly at a lower volume) and signals from gold as higher tones. Again, this works well with both EQUINOX models. To sum up, I suggest trying to use the EQUINOX 800 in the Gold Modes with no target id numbers rejected. Tune up just like any normal nugget hunting detector, and dig all decent audio signals. Some nuggets may deliver a negative number response or no number at all. A secondary method for more difficult ground is to reject or block out offending ground and hot rock signals. And a third method for both EQUINOX 800 and 600 owners involves using the Park 2 mode as a nugget hunting mode. That should give people plenty to experiment with. Nugget detecting can be very challenging, but learning to do so means you will learn how to wring every bit of performance possible out of your EQUINOX , and that can benefit you in other areas of detecting as well. Good luck! Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com Earlier post on same subject Gold found in Alaska by Steve with Minelab Equinox Gold found in California and Nevada with Minelab Equinox
  13. 39 points
    My new T2 arrived this week so I decided I'd take it out for a test run today, I haven't bothered detecting football fields before, it never really crossed my mind to do so especially small town football fields that barely ever get used. I think the last time I even saw people on this thing was about a year ago and they were riding a horse 🙂 I guess back in time it was probably a popular place and my results today show this. This is going to be more of a picture story as the pictures tell 1000 words! I started using the T2 with Mars Tiger coil and within two minutes of arriving I had my first coin, then another, then another..... it was nuts, coins everywhere and very little junk, I was finding nice old coins, possibly one of my oldest in a while too Silver 🙂 1938 British Penny The T2 was getting good depth, easily hitting on coins with good ID's, another silver! 1948 Penny - Now NZ currency, not British like the older Pennies, we used some British currency until 1967. Prior to 1933 United Kingdom currency was the official legal tender of New Zealand, although Australian coins and notes were also generally accepted. The first New Zealand penny was minted in 1940. The penny ran until 1965, when New Zealand stopped minting pre-decimal coins in preparation for decimilisation in 1967. I have no idea what this thing is This is the football field I was detecting, under the goal posts and along the end of the field had a good collection of coins, I guess from all the diving with the ball and coins in the players pockets, I don't know much about football, probably the only NZ male who has no clue about the game 🙂 My oldest find of the day, a British 1912 One Penny It was quite deep down but the T2 banged on it real hard with a solid ID. At this point I decided I'd go home and gear up better as this place obviously has a lot of good old coins. I was only using my T2 with Carrot and Lesche digging tool which was hard work with all the coins being so deep. I wanted a bigger coil to cover more ground but there was no way I was going to strap on the 15" Teknetics coil to continue using the T2 as it weighs a tonne. I opted for the Equinox with it's 15" coil and almost straight away after turning it on, another coin 1950 NZ One Penny. I left the bit of dirt on the coil up the top it came out of, I love when you get the impression of the coin in the soil. Another silver, 1934 Shilling This is the hole it came from, I always recheck my holes and I'm glad I did, another target in the hole, then another... this was crazy 3 Silvers in the hole so far, 1934 Shilling, 1934 Shilling and a 1946 Sixpence, I was sure this was it but I did another check and off to the side of the hole, ANOTHER SILVER Another 1934 Shilling, 4 silvers in one hole, incredible! Someone had a bad day. 1964 Sixpence... the coins just kept coming, all old ones. No longer are they made of silver in 1964... Nice and deep though +++++ My first modern coin, a $2 But look how deep it was, it was deeper than a lot of far older coins.... weird! Another two in one hole, just one cent coins from back when NZ had one cent coins. Another coin leaving a cool impression of itself in the soil, just a one cent I think It sure a lot of ground to cover, I'll be at this place for weeks... plenty more coins to find I'm sure. Time to head back to the car, with my coil to the soil. Another for the road 🙂 Double sided impression on the soil with this one. I couldn't possibly put up a photo of every coin find as there were just too many, all in about 3 hours detecting. The good stuff The bad stuff... not a bad ratio, good stuff far outweighed bad stuff, unusual for me.... I'll be back there tomorrow.... and the next day.... and the next day 🙂
  14. 39 points
    Hey Guys! Remember this thing that I found on Florida’s Treasure Coast a couple weeks ago and posted about? I was so disappointed there were no visible markings to link it to the1715 Spanish Fleet that sunk during a hurricane. Well, I decided to carefully try to separate the silver sandwich with a paring knife, and was successful with minimal damage. The inside surfaces were dark and thick with corrosion but I kept working on them(rubbing on wet aluminum foil did the best...very time consuming. I don’t have an electrolysis setup yet). So glad I did it! I’ve definitely found my 1st Pieces of Eight finally (1/2 Reales likely)! Minted in Mexico between 1700-1715 during Philip V’s reign in Spain, if my research is correct. They may be little, but I’m tickled pink with them! 🙂
  15. 39 points
    Most of you are aware of gold being found with detectors in NV, CA, AZ, AK and even OR or WA on occasion. But the majority (including many who live here in this geological wonder of a state) do not know much about or detect for the elusive Au in Idaho. So I've decided to share a Holiday Special with you, as it is Golden as glee can be. This little glimmer of Au comes in on my postal shipping scale at 1 pound 5.7 ounces = approx 22 oz which is then turned (if my math is correct) to 20 ozt. I did not get a specific gravity test done, but can assure you this astonishing mosaic is about 97% Au. History of this discovery. I'll not provide the name of the finder or site for security purposes. It was found with the Eureka Gold and I know many good pockets of wire gold came from the area. it was unearthed at a location already mined and was missed by the old timers. It is one of the biggest pieces of Idaho gold I myself has ever seen, but I have heard of larger pieces coming from the area. To put a twist on it and to add some beauty to this post, I'd love seeing some of your Idaho Au diggings. No worries about size, value or other as I would (and I am sure many others) enjoy seeing some more Idaho gold.
  16. 39 points
    So I titled this as such because when it gets especially hot (here in Arizona) I start my hunts at midnight and go thru until the morning until about 8am. For me, this offers multiple benefits. There is more time with the family on weekends, which for me is #1; I cherish this more than gold. And secondly, if it is hot out, I cannot keep my ground balanced, as some put it. When it starts getting hot, I would tend not to look as hard and rush through areas. Anyways, back to the gold. I was in a wash last week when I ran into some pretty good gold. I found 11 small pcs adding up to almost 4 grams. Now, for my night hunts, I won’t go every weekend, I usually skip 1 or two so that I get my sleep cycle working again. But then there is Mother’s Day coming up and so my wife briefly mentioned that I should go this weekend, too. An hour later I am charging batteries. She walks by and says, “wow, you really have the fever don’t you”. I just laughed. She knows me. She has seen me prospecting for 5 years and put up with it for 5 years. One of the best decisions I made was marrying her. I explain all of this because it was nice to come home and show her the source of the fever. So I went back to this area with my GPZ and started walking through more washes I had marked out on my gps. Nothing for the first one, but the second one, I got a nice strangely shaped 2.75 grammer. Now, I can kinda see a patten on my gps when I look at my finds. I finish the wash and go to a wash that is in the direction of the gold distribution. Good topography … I am in. First couple of minutes of slow hunting in this wash yields, nothing. And then I start focusing on a bench that is maybe a foot higher than the rest of the wash… and I get a signal. A clear, still loud, but smooth signal. My heart jumps as I begin to dig. The dirt just fell away until 15-16” I hit gravel. By now the target was booming. I scrape the gavel back with my pick and I see a large piece of gold flip out! It replays in my mind over and over. Needless to say, you may have heard my scream at 2:15 in the morning (Arizona time). LOL. From there the gold kept coming. I got a couple more pieces farther up the wash and then came back and placered the area for a couple more little ones missed by depth. Wide range of sizes. THAT is why I love the GPZ. And it was nice to see my wifes face change to a smile when she felt the .86oz chunk fall into her hand. Priceless. All in all, my findings came to just over 1oz. Who needs sleep ... Andyy
  17. 38 points
    A couple of years ago I was prospecting an area in the southwestern Arizona desert and picking up a few small bits, mainly in drywash piles (dryblower heaps), when I received a decent, deep sounding signal from the detector in bench gravels above the present dry stream bed, which turned out to be a solid, dense 1/2 ounce beauty of a nugget. I searched the surrounding area thoroughly and turned up a few more small bits, but nothing more of any size. Recently, I decided to target the same area using a different detector mode that is designed to punch deep on dense, sluggy gold. Sure enough, in a spot that I had gone over multiple times before, I got a faint, repeatable signal that ended up being a lovely 2/3 ounce chunk of a nugget at nearly 2 feet (61 cm) deep. I’ll be giving this location another good going over with a large coil to see what other golden goodies may yet be lurking in the depths.
  18. 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??⛏
  19. 38 points
    Had a good day out with the GPZ 7000. First target of the day was a hot rock 8 inches deep in cemented gravels. Next target was over a foot into the cemented gravels, but this time it was the kind of hot rock I like...the heavy, yellow kind. A half ounce day in the Arizona desert can be hard to come by these days, but it’s still out there.
  20. 37 points
    I've returned from my second detecting trip to England and what a trip it was!! I was lucky enough to be staying in the same barn as Steve Herschbach!! The first day on the fields are a half day usually. After the 2 hour ride from London to the "barn" where we will be staying for the next seven days. The "barns" are actual barns that have been renovated into vacation rental units. We unload all of our luggage from the van, find our sleeping spot for the week, dig out all of our gear, assemble everything, jump back in the van, and head out to the first field! My best find that afternoon was a hammered copper Rose farthing. They are commonly dated 1636. (Look for the pattern here). And the usual buttons and lead. So that was a good start. Day 2: Our first full day. A cool, slightly foggy, just perfect! The day wasn't real eventful for me. We hunted two different farms. At the end of the day my better finds were 5 farthings and a wiped out copper token, plus some buttons and lead. The farthings were late 1700s-1800s. Here at home in the States, to find those 5 coins would be a day to talk about for months. It was funny for me while I was over there, knowing with so much history the possibilities make my hopes and expectations exhilarating! You truly never know what will pop up next. It could be 10 years old or 2000 years old! There were multiple milled, and hammered silver coins found and some neat relics dug throughout the day by the other team members. Day 3: Things started to pick up for me a little on day 3. We came across a late Georgian/Victorian home site members of the team started popping some milled coins. Coppers and silvers. If I remember correctly one member found 3 or 4 silver 3 pence coins in that same field. A little silver 3 pence was one of the coins I was hoping to get while I was there, but it wasn't meant to be this trip. Shortly before lunch I switched fields and got onto my first bit of English silver for the trip! An 1844 Vicky 4 pence in nice condition. So after lunch I was headed back to the field were I got my 4P and we had to walk past a 1700? mansion to get back to where I wanted to be. So I slowed down and detected in front of the mansion along the way and got my first hammered silver for this trip! A nice "full" penny. Turned out to be a 1279 Edward I ! That was the highlight for my day three. But I did find plenty of buttons and lead too. Day 4: This day was one of those roller coaster type hunting days. The morning was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead. Until while hunting near a 13th century church and villa when I popped a nice little cut quarter hammered silver and less than 10 mins later another hammered silver coin fragment. Kinda bang bang! We broke for a short lunch break and went our separate ways and as I was walking into a field through a tractor path I got a nice high tone. But real erratic at the same time. One you would figure to be either a coin or part of a beer can. But when I pinpointed the target it was a nice small tight pinpoint I figured I better dig it. Boy am I glad I did! Turned out to be a 1908 Edwardian decorated silver mount! Turns out it was in a place they usually park the van! The rest of my days finds consisted of the usual trash plus some buttons and lead. Day 5: Today was another one of those days that I was digging lots of targets like buttons and lead... But not one coin all morning till around lunch. After lunch I decided to stay on that field determined to find one of my wish coins a "Bullhead". A King George III silver. And with the coins being found in the area one was definitely a possibly. Lo and behold it happened! A melted bulkhead six pence. Even though it was melted almost to the point of unrecognition I could make out a G III and a reeded edge. Mission accomplished! The only other "wishlist" coin I really had on my mind on my way over was a Roman silver coin. Not really expecting to ever find one. We all carried radios every day, and as a good find was made, we would put it out over the radio. Ron gave the 15 min count down to the end of the days hunt over the radio so we all started to swing back towards the van. Walking pretty fast, with 8 minutes left, I got a signal figured I had time to pop one more. Boom! A Roman silver coin! It has a bad "horn crust" on it that needs to be "cooked" off so it can be properly identified. Early id's put it in the 4th century! I'm really looking forward to seeing that coin cleaned up! Day 6: The group split up in the morning between some rougher ground and some land that was nice and smooth. I went to the smoother field with a few other hunters. First hole out of the van 20 feet away I nabbed a hammie fragment! After that the first half of the day was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead of course. It was a enormous field. It has been hunted a lot over the years from what I understand. The lack of targets for me proved it. But it wasn't a total waste. You just have to walk over the stuff. With a half hour walk back to the van and only about 45 mins left to hunt I spun around and within or 3 or 4 swings later I got a loud high tone! As I was pinpointing I looked down and laying right on top of the ground was a complete silver thimble!! Sweet end to a pretty slow day. Day 7: The day I dread. The last day. You know not only is it your last day of detecting heaven and the inevitable time you'll power down for the last time of your trip, plus the last day is usually cut a little short. That's so we have time to get back to the barn and get all of your finds from the week cleaned, bagged, catalogued, and photographed if you want to see them again before they leave your life for the next few months. To optimize our hunt time we decided to hunt some nearby land. Even though it's also the land that the club has had lasted the longest! Even after all those years there were many great finds found on it this season! The week before we came a gold coin and a beautiful Celtic gold "votive offering" were found on it! I walked across the road from that field to a field that was surrounding a 16th century two story mansion. After a half hour or so of slowly working around the old mansion I dug a small piece of a hammered silver coin. That coin put me in a tie for 1st place for the weekly "Hammy competition". So I slowed down hoping to get another one to take the lead and hopefully win the competition. It was 10:10 a.m. when I got the loudest, jumpiest, most obnoxious signal of my trip. Not being too far from a tractor entrance into that field I figured it was a beer can or a grease tube but I figured I'd dig it up and get it out of there anyways. I missed the target on the first scoop. Moved a shovel blade to the left, stepped it in and kicked the back of the shovel and pushed the dirt forward and a big yellow ..... egg looking thing rolled out to my left. As I looked at it half my brain said to myself " what is that?" And the other half of my brain was saying "HOLY .....!!!!! That looks like gold!!" When I bent over to pick it up and I was lifting it off the ground the weight of it made it fall out of my hand! That's when I knew it was definitely a big piece of gold!!! After Ron came over to shoot some video and take some photos I strapped back on all my gear took 2 steps and 3 swings and got a solid 19 TID on the Equinox 800. I told myself after just finding that thing I don't care what this is, I'm digging it up. One scoop, and I pushed the shovel forward and a 11.2 gram ancient solid gold ring was laying there looking at me!! I about started to hyperventilate!! I quickly got Ron's attention again and he came over to shoot more video and more photos. I can only imagine this will be the most amazing thing I will ever find! It's been over a week since I found it and I still can't stop picturing those two artifacts rolling out of the dirt in my head...... Thanks for lookin' & HH
  21. 36 points
    The best part was how much fun I had chasing the gold with my son. The two of us really hit some nice stuff this past season. All the best to those of you that enjoy chasing the gold, Lanny
  22. 36 points
    OK, so not really a BIG adventure....I just like the title!? I decided the Zed needed to get out and play, so we headed to northern Nv for a week...skipped my usual Rye Patch, and hunted 3 other areas instead. My 1st bit of gold was from Placerites, a sassy piece: Got a dink at Sawtooth, then moved on elsewhere. Had a couple skunked days but still enjoyed the scenery: Even found me a cool high desert hood ornament lol! Ended up with over a quarter oz, including a rough beauty of 3.9 grams about 12” deep: Wanted to meet Steve at the Nugget Shoot, but had to head home to meet up with some loggers up by my cabin. All in all, a great trip!
  23. 36 points
    Well it’s not as good as last year, but here’s a couple pounds from this season.
  24. 35 points
    I was getting bored with digging stove lids, shovel heads and kerosene tins so I figured I would dig one more target and proceed to a different location. So I did.
  25. 35 points
    I am always dismayed when I read of fellow detectorists who say that they have yet to find a piece of gold after one year, two years, etc. I am to the point now where I find gold almost every time I go detecting. I may get skunked 1 out of 20 times. That 1 time is usually when I am prospecting totally new ground, and just have not hit a new area yet. We all know the saying, "Gold is where you find it." I think that statement is wrong and very misleading and harmful. In fact I think it may give newbies the wrong impression about prospecting for gold. It implies that gold is randomly dispersed, and if you do happen to find it, it is only by some coincidence or luck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Finding gold is a science and an art executed by people with the skill and experience that know what they are doing. All we are doing with a metal detector is processing dirt. Now the more dirt we process the better chance we have of finding gold. But think of what a small amount of dirt we are processing. A column of dirt under the coil to an indeterminate depth and we sweep that coil back and forth. We do that for 6 to 8 hours a day? Now compare that to the tons and tons of dirt you see the boys on Gold Rush process. Yards and yards and tons and tons of dirt processed to collect their gold. It's amazing that we find anything when you compare the small amount of dirt we "process" with a metal detector. So, think about what a bizarre feat it is for a person with a metal detector to process such a small amount of dirt, and yet be able to find gold. It is the old adage "needle in a haystack" so to speak. Yet, experienced prospectors, like Steve and a host of others on this forum who are always posting pictures of their gold finds ...., us guys that have been around a while, how come we are more successful at finding gold than other people? Do we process more dirt? NOPE! Our secret is we spend our time processing dirt that is more likely to have gold, than other dirt. We have all heard go low and go slow. Well, I agree with that "go low" admonishment. You need to keep that coil on the ground. But SLOW? If you watch experienced detectorists, you will see that they vary their speed when they are "looking for gold." They speed up in areas that their knowledge and experience tell them they are less likely to find gold. They slow down in areas where that experience tells them there may be a greater chance for there to be gold. So they spend their time more productively by processing only dirt that has a higher probability of having gold. Now when they find a nugget, they may turn around and go back over the area they went through quickly. This time they will go more slowly. They do this because they now know this area may be more likely to have gold too. So they invest their time wisely. As an outlandish example. You are standing in a paved parking lot of a Walmart. Next to the Walmart are acres and acres of quartz strewn red dirt with all kinds of gullies where water has ran during the wet season. Where are you most likely to find gold? Are you going to spend your day in the Walmart parking lot swinging over asphalt? Well experienced detectorists are constantly looking at their surroundings. They look at where they are going and where they have been. They are calculating the odds. Is this a Walmart parking lot, or a gold vault? "Gold is NOT where you find it." "Gold is found in places it is most likely to be." Seasoned prospectors have spent their careers learning what those places look like. Now are we ever surprised to find a nugget in a place where we would never intentionally look. Certainly, but those are few and far between. Most times when we find a nugget we have a pretty good idea of why it is where it is. Deteriorated quartz is everywhere, we detect on a bench, in a tailings pile, in the bend of a gully, under a waterfall of boulders, behind a bush lining a gully, near an old mine or there are indications the old timers were there. I once was way off the beaten path on my ATV. I found a canteen that said BEAR BRAND, Patent 1918. Lid still on it, canvas completely gone. I stopped right there and detected the gully I found it in. I pulled out three nuggets. Let's say after a year you finally find your first nugget, under a boulder up on the side of a gully. From that day forward, you will check every boulder on the side of gullies. Why? Because you learned where to look. It's no coincidence that after taking so long to find their first nugget, newbies generally find their second nugget soon there after. WHY? Knowledge. I have often said, if you don't take at least 20 minutes with every nugget you find, letting it tell you it's story, you are missing a valuable education. "How did you get here little buddy? Why did you stop here? Where did you come from? What's different about this gully than other gullies I have checked? Is there a concentration of deteriorated quartz around here? A contact zone? You're sort of rough, you didn't travel far did you?" I can almost bet that any experienced prospector will tell you that they can be riding on their ATV and all of a sudden they come upon ground and their heart starts beating a little harder. They may even say to themselves out loud, "Oh man this area looks good." After years and years of experience, we sometimes just "get a feeling." It's not voodoo, it's just our subconscious telling us that at sometime in our past, we came across a place that exhibited similar conditions, and we found gold there. We may not even remember the specific area in our distant past on a conscious level, but our sub-conscious knows. So what is the moral of this story? Buying a detector and expecting to learn how to become a successful prospector without training is like buying a 747 and trying to get it airborne when you have had no training. I hear it time and time again. I've been detecting 2 years and never found a piece of gold. Who trained you? TRAINED ME? "Well I've done a lot of research and I have read a lot on detecting and prospecting and I belong to the GPAA ...." That's akin to someone saying, "I have had the worst luck with airplanes. I have owned five different planes and can't get the damn things in the air; I have crashed every one of them." Where did you get your flight lessons? "ME? LESSONS? YOU MEAN FLYING LESSONS?" So boys and girls, my lesson for today is: "Gold is NOT where you find it." "Gold is found in places it is most likely to be." So hire someone to teach you WHERE to look! There are great dealers who frequent this forum who offer training... it is invaluable. A company who only sells you a detector, is doing just that. They are selling you a detector. There is nothing wrong with that if you are a seasoned veteran who does not need training. Or if you have someone who is willing to take you under their wing and teach you this wonderful past-time. However, if you are new, or not successful at finding gold, look for dealers who sell detectors and offer training. Because then you are not just buying a detector. You are investing in a relationship with someone who wants to make sure you are successful at learning how to prospect and find gold. Doc © 2017 G.M. "Doc" Lousignont, Ph.D.
  26. 35 points
  27. 35 points
    You guys are too kind but absolutely not! I am a person of very simple needs and I want for very little in life. The only thing anyone can ever do to help me at all is to simply answer a question somebody has if you do have an answer that can help them. Just help each other, that’s all I could wish for and ask of anyone on this forum - and in life in general.
  28. 35 points
    I happened upon this toad today. Just under 2 Oz. 59.8 grams!
  29. 35 points
    So the pup and I headed out to some of my favorite bench areas above the creek; good thing I checked the depth of the water at the crossing before trying to take the side x side through like I normally did in previous years....mid-thigh high, so carried gear and pup to other side and hiked just under a mile to first site: A granite nob that's been hit by myself and several friends the past couple seasons, but it still keeps squeaking out little tiddlers: Got a couple there, then moved one to another spot where several more were found after moving some of the old-timers hand-stackings: Don't need a gym membership when you do this as a hobby! :-) Anyway, hit a few more areas with some success, but the creme de la creme (or should I say, creme de la crumb?) was this area I dug for hours and cleaned out at least 25 tiny bits....what fun the Monster was having! (To better get in under the roots etc, the Goldbug2 would have been better, but we managed) The next day and a half hit a couple more spots and ended up with this for my Bench Tour Total.....a lot of work(i.e. fun) for 1.4g lol! Pup and I had a great few days at the cabin.....but it's time to get the zed and 2300 out again, so off to California later this week! Cheers and Happy Hunting! p.s. kiwijw, I was inspired by your posts! :-)
  30. 35 points
    I recently had the very fortunate opportunity to use the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 for 30 days. During that time, I was able to discover the nuances of the machine that, like any metal detector, can only be fully realized by logging lots of hours behind the control box and investigating lots of targets. In Steve's excellent review, he has covered most of what the GM 1000 is capable of doing, as well as the features and functions of the machine, so I will not rehash those here. Instead, I will relate my experiences with the detector and its unadvertised abilities that have come to light during my sojourn with it in hand. I first powered up the Monster at Rye Patch, Nevada, and after a very brief automatic frequency scan, the unit emitted two short beeps, signaling that it was ready to start swinging with no pumping of the coil or ground balancing necessary...nice! The first thing I did was to bury a small 3 or 4 grain test nugget a couple of inches into the damp alkali soil, so as to fiddle with the manual and automatic sensitivity settings in order to find the most distinct target response. Right off the bat I noticed there was no audible threshold...a little unnerving, but I decided to just roll with it and trust that the engineers at Minelab know what they are doing. In all-metal search mode at low sensitivity settings there was no response from the conductive damp alkali ground, and very little to no response from the tiny test nugget. Increasing the sensitivity to 6 or 7 made the nugget start popping much better, but some slight feedback from the ground was also noticeable. At a manual sensitivity setting of 10, the conductive alkali response was overwhelming, but as soon as I increased it to 11 - which is the first automatic sensitivity setting - the screaming ground response completely disappeared and in it's place was a crisp, clear target response from the test nugget...very impressive. Advancing the automatic sensitivity to 12 (auto+), the signal response from the test nugget was even louder and more intense, but there was also some ground response as well. I decided why listen to ground noise when the test nugget is plenty audible at a setting of 11, and went with that. With any new detector, I dig every target, even if reads 100% ferrous, just to familiarize myself with how the machine responds to various different targets. The few hot rocks that signaled on the Monster, both positive and negative, completely pegged the gold chance indicator all the way left into the ferrous zone. Soon I was finding extremely small bits of foil, lead and iron. Then I started to notice something quite amazing to me; the iron targets - even the tiniest ones - were making a subtle "boing" type of a response like a negative hot rock, whereas the nonferrous targets were more zippy and lacked that subtle boing quality. After a while, I found that I no longer needed to look at the gold chance indicator to determine whether a target was ferrous or not, just by relying on the sounds; I was really starting to like this detector. Then it happened: a fairly strong response that was pegging the gold chance indicator all the way right, into the non-ferrous zone. After digging a couple of inches, out popped a beautiful little crystalline nugget weighing a mere 2.4 grains - the first Monster nugget! With the northern Nevada weather being uncooperative and still quite wintery, I headed for the sunny warm deserts of Arizona. First stop...the Yucca Dense Collection Area north of Lake Havasu City, formerly known as the Franconia meteorite strewn field. VLF machines make the best meteorite hunters, and the Gold Monster 1000 did not disappoint. I took it to an area that is carpeted with basalt hot rocks that make it extremely difficult to operate a VLF while retaining any shred of sanity. The Monster was incredibly noisy in auto sensitivity, but adjusting it manually to a setting of 4 mellowed it right out and within 5 minutes the detector nailed its first space rock! and then another a while later... Although finding meteorites is fun, the GM 1000 is a gold nugget detector after all, so it was on to the famed gold fields of Quartzsite, Arizona to see what the Monster could do in beat up old patches that have litterally been detected by hundreds, if not thousands of detector operators. Well, suffice it to say it didn't take long to find the first sub-grain speck of gold. And another... The ground in Quartzsite is much milder than the alkali rich soils of Rye Patch, but has lots more hot rocks including magnetite, which is super hot and very magnetic. As I was detecting an old nugget patch littered with these super strong magnetite hot rocks, I decided to see how the Monster responded to them; waving the coil over one resulted in a very sharp and intense zip-zip. Slowing my sweep speed to see if the signal would broaden, I slowly raised the coil an inch or two above the magnetite to see if the signal would drastically decrease in strength (an old VLF hot rock identification trick). Slowly lowering the coil back down above the rock, I was suddenly incredulous at what I was now hearing...absolutely nothing! The Gold Monster had completely tracked out a magnetite hot rock! I placed my test nugget right up against the magnetite and was stunned to hear the nugget respond loud and clear, with absolutely no interference from the hot rock. Even this guy couldn't hear that hot rock: I also found more meteorites in Quartzsite with the Gold Monster...the full story here: In my limited time swinging the new Minelab Gold Monster 1000, I can definitely say that it is unique and can do things that I haven't seen from any other single frequency VLF gold nugget detector, all in a light weight simple to operate and competitively priced package...kudos to Minelab!
  31. 34 points
    This thread is a place were I can share and continually update pictures of any of my current gold finds, kind of like a gold diary of sorts. Sometimes I’ll include narrative other times it will be just pictures of what I found for the day. I get out detecting regularly and I use a lot of different equipment some of which is not open for discussion. This thread is NOT about equipment but about the gold I find as I find it. I will try to include pictures of the terrain so people can visualise what the areas look like where I‘m detecting. I would prefer if others do not post up pictures to this thread but ALL DP members are more than welcome to comment and ask questions about detecting related subjects, especially about targeting locations and mind sets and approach. It’s OK to relate to a post and talk about your own experiences, in fact I insist on it. That’s the whole point of a gold thread, to share my daily gold finds and talk with like minded people about how much fun it is to find gold. The Last couple of days detecting things have been a little slow as I revisit old haunts not visited for years. I’m targeting areas associated with old gold finds looking for indications of other nearby locations that are conducive to nuggets being present. The signs I’m looking for are gravels that are exposed at the surface, especially with pieces of ironstone in the mix, then working off the edges into the soil covered zones. Clermont does not have channeled gravels that were originally associated with creeks and rivers but instead has deltas of wash that spread away from the source becoming water worn in the process, this means you can have quiet large areas of deco clays with very little gravels then hit an area the size of a kitchen with good wash that contains gold, sometimes it can be associated with a weathered down localised quartz reef which has acted as a trap for mobile gravels or it will be made up entirely of gravelly wash that has moved on-mass and delta’d out in a fan shape. The trick is to find these areas hidden amongst the tree cover and fine surface soils that hide them. Quite often you will head downslope following the gold then hit a blank of deco that goes for 30 meters then the gravels will start up again. The trick is to try and push the boundaries until either a major drainage gobbles up the contents of the slope or the ground becomes barren. The hard part is to try and decide if the surface soils are laying over gold gravel or just deco with nothing underneath. JP Pics are of the last couple of days in two different locations. Day two
  32. 34 points
    After sheltering in place for over a week, my son and I escaped to the desert to refine our social distancing. Instead of playing with settings on the 7000, I decided to work on my personal hunting technique concentrating on swing speed, 'range of motion' as JP calls it, coil control and listening for faint, vague changes in a steady threshold. My son took off to hike while I clambered down a boulder strewn and treacherous hillside with all my gear. I tuned up at the bottom and began to slowly cover ground I had already gone over in a previous post. Almost immediately I got what sounded like a small EMI tone-change in the threshold. But as I made my first boot scrape I saw my son waving from the top of the hillside and motioning for me to come up. I took off my headphones and heard him calling to me to come and help him. Now I am advancing in years and that hill is not for sissy's but he was insistent. A few minutes later I stood beside him out of breath and slightly put out, but when he pointed at a near-by prospect hole and said "can you help me get him out?" I was honored that he had asked me to come and help. Somehow a desert tortoise had fallen into the excavation. My son clambered down, lifted him out and handed him to me. We put him in the shade for awhile to let him calm down after being lifted and carried around. After awhile, refreshed and emboldened, he took off, snacking on Spring flowers and grass shoots as he went. My son continued his hike as I made my way back down through the rocks and resumed my hunting. My first faint change in the threshold produced a flake so small that, if it didn't go off on the detector, I would not have believed it was gold, it looked more like a slice of silica, but it was gold. (0.01g). The next flake was beside a basalt rock and I made out the signal in the midst of the sound the basalt was making. That's where swing speed (slow), and coil control makes the difference between finding a bit of gold or passing it up and moving on. Anyway, all in all, 5 stupidly small flakes - but all of them were found because I had decided to focus on what I was doing rather than what the detector was doing. Best to everyone in this strangest of times.
  33. 34 points
    Finally had a good sized nugg turn up for me. Hunted Fri. and Sat. over near Helena and drug up 8 pieces but I lost one little dink so only 7 in totals pic. Definitely did the happy dance and still can't believe I finally stumbled onto a big one!!!! Enjoy!
  34. 34 points
    Been back from wintering in Florida for over a month, and the weather finally got nice so headed to northern Nevada to meet up with some friends and nugget hunt. I got there a day before the others, so took off on the quad to look for new spots. Love the freedom the atv gives me out there, and the scenery is great! I explored some higher ravines and washes, and actually got a nice little .68g nugget a couple inches down at the edge of a wash. Unfortunately, after quite a few hours hitting the area pretty hard, that was the lone piece. We looked for new patches about 60-70% of the next week, and hit a couple old ones the rest of the time. Lots of skunked days. I did get 3 more pieces at a pounded patch, and another while detecting an alluvial fan off the mountains for the first time....Chet got one there too, but the gold was so scattered and random...no patches to be found. While wandering around I noticed this little guy....he wasn’t shy at all, jumped from rock to bush, and waited patiently for me to turn my phone on to get his pic. Here’s my take for the trip....much smaller than usual for my Nevada outings. Very tough hunting, but a great time anyway. Enjoyed some delicious meals with the guys(Tom is an incredible camp chef!), Chet had repaired and souped up my dry washer over the winter so it’s ready for action up at the cabin, and George found some amazing crystals and gave me a couple cool ones. Brian even made a cameo appearance, and as usual found some nice gold in a short time! So the sun sets on another detecting adventure....can’t wait for the next one!
  35. 34 points
  36. 34 points
    I have been using an Equinox for some time now, and a few of my early posts on the subject were received with skepticism because of my over the top enthusiasm. More time has passed, and with Equinox now getting ready to find its way into the hands of the general public I decided it’s time to reflect and recap. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the perfect detector. As someone who has been detecting for over 45 years now I certainly know what I want in a perfect detector. I like to partake in any type of detecting that exists, and so I want one detector that truly is as versatile as possible, with the least compromise possible. This is a complex and difficult task, because historically certain detecting tasks have been at odds with each other. In particular there has been a gap between detectors that are good at handling saltwater, yet which can also find tiny gold. In the past that meant I needed one detector to work in saltwater, and a different one for hunting micro jewelry on the dry beach or tiny gold nuggets in the goldfields. The Minelab Equinox is, for me, the best all around metal detector I have ever used. It is not any one thing in particular, though if I had to name one thing it would be Multi-IQ. It is the real magic of Equinox, and is the reason that when I use an Equinox I know I am holding onto one of the most powerful VLF detectors ever made. I think Minelab has created something that has surprised even them as to how good it is. In my case, despite what may seem over the top enthusiasm, the truth is I have been holding back. The Minelab Equinox is an extremely powerful VLF type detector, and I can’t think of anything I can’t do well with it. I would happily use a Equinox versus any other VLF machine and user anywhere in the world doing any type of detecting, and not worry I am being outgunned. Just the opposite in fact. That’s not to say the Equinox is perfect - nothing is. Yet for this jaded detectorist it is as close as I have ever seen for my purposes, and why I have pretty much abandoned using anything else at this point. Because for me, the Minelab Equinox is the best all around do everything detector I have ever used. I am honored to have been chosen to take part in this project and I want to thank Minelab both for that and for finally putting the detector in my hands that has only existed in my mind the last twenty years. 2018 really is poised to be the Year of the Equinox. Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com
  37. 34 points
    We'll i finally got to join the 1oz+ club!! My buddy Dave and i headed to Gold Basin for a half day trip. We hit our usualy spot and split up. I headed to a wash that i found a 5.4 gram piece a couple of weeks ago. I didnt hit the whole wash, so i figured id start where i left off. A bit later, i get a nice signal by a bush in the middle of the wash. It turned out to an 8 gram specie with some dark host rock mixed in. 10 feet away in the bank of the wash i get another screeming signal. This was the flat nugget, also about 8 g. I radioed Dave to tell him the good news. The next couple of hours there was nothing except a couple of meteors. I decided to hit the bottom end of that same wash on my way back to the truck. After a bit i get a nice signal in the wash, it was the .8g flat piece. The wash had widened out, and the bedrock was deeper, so i wasnt detecting to slow wgen i got a slight sound. I thought it was just ground noise because i was running the GPZ hot at 18 sensitivity and high yield and normal ground. I did a scrape and the sound was still there. I took about 6 inches off with the pick and the sound seemed more distinct. I fugured it wasnt mineralization but rather trash because the dirt was silt, not hard pack. I kep widening and deepening the hole and when i got to over a foot it was screeming. I was figuring tin can ir something. After about 6 more digs and around 2ft deep. I get it out of the hold. I did reach bedrock so i was feeling hopeful. It turned out to be a 1.41 (OZ) nugget and a pretty one at that, with a bit of quartz. I finally joined the club. I feel like i deserve a patch or something lol. I radioed Dave to tell him the good news, and he was eccited for me. (He was already a member pf the club) a bit under 2 oz for the day. I took Dave to the wash, with his big coil on the GPZ, to try to score him a big nugget, no luck. We packed up and headed home. oh and i finally paid for my GPZ in nuggets ...and some. thanks Chris
  38. 33 points
    Around this time of year I normally have some time away and go somewhere, lately I've tried to focus that on a bit of prospecting. It's not that often I get a chance to take my Caravan out and get away as my daughter is always in School which ties us down but seeing it's school holidays at Christmas we took advantage of that and took off. I went to a spot I knew I'd at least find some gold and is close enough to home that it's not a giant mission. The weather started off pretty bad, it wasn't long after we arrived we had some snow, in the middle of summer!!! Before I'd even arrived I was contacted by the NZ Minelab dealer asking if I wanted to go on a mission with him, I jumped at that opportunity. He was going to take me to a couple of his creek claims to do some detecting. Unfortunately Queenstown has been getting slammed with weather, I think the Aussie heatwave has pushed all the wild stuff across to us as our weather has been well.... weird. Seeing the river was flooded too high for his 4x4 to get across he had a plan B and took me to some other claims he has on some creeks and we detected around there. Unfortunately we had no luck with the detectors. Possibly the gold was just too small in the area for them, he normally just dredges. He put a pan down into the gravels and panned it out and it had a fair few flakes in it. The drive was pretty crazy, I'd never been into this area before.... You have to follow one of the worlds most dangerous roads, rental car companies ban their customers from using the road and I believe car insurance companies won't cover you if you have an incident on the road. This is us driving it here, you'll see the little flat bit where the plant life is along that cliff side, there is a skinny little road there cut out of the rock, there were even areas with signs saying if it has rained recently don't pass this point as the cliff may come down, so of course we passed the point even though it rained bad the night before 🙂 It had a pretty crazy bridge, this bridge had a massive gully below it, a LONG way down. All very old infrastructure, put there by the old gold miners I would guess seeing that's what the area was all about. As we got nearer to where we were heading the gold mining history became apparent Then we arrived and I saw the cliff we had to climb down to get to the creek!!!! Yup, that's it, we had to climb down there.......... Fortunately we made it, plenty of good bedrock to detect but no detectable gold to be found, the creek was in flood too. Either way, it was a great adventure to a place I'd never been before. By the way, climbing out was five times as hard as getting down, and we had to turn back at one point and take another route as we were stopped by a steep cliff face. 😮 The weather had improved now but my Caravan's annex became as casualty of some strong wind and got a tear in it, my wife claims she can fix it so we ripped it down. First time we'd used it, I don't like the effort it takes to put up so now with the better weather and no annex life was good. Next up I decided I'd hit a creek I'd had VERY good luck in early on in my detecting, JW took me there and I got a few grams on my first time detecting properly. I had high hopes after all the flooding some new gold had washed down, it's a pretty crazy fast flowing steep creek. It's a public fossicking area so it's been hit pretty hard I'd imagine. I'm not game to take my GPX or QED up this creek, I'd be too worried about falling over and dropping it in 😞 Some bits you just can't deal with and have to climb up the edges to get around them. I stumbled across an anaconda, looks like someones been up to no good, no dredging allowed in public fossicking areas! It's a nice creek to hang around in on a hot day. The last time I came to this creek I got pretty lost, I went up a cliff to get around a waterfall and couldn't find my way back down 🙂 This didn't happen this time, I was heading up the creek well, further than I'd ever been before. I found this spot on the way, looks like someone had been attacking it digging behind the big rock, I couldn't find anything there. I then kept walking up the creek and got a iffy signal on the GM, mostly in the ferrous area but occasionally flicking to non-ferrous, it was annoying as it was under a fast flowing little waterfall, I had my hopes up, this one seemed real. I dug down and down through the gravels and the target was still there but screaming out a solid non-ferrous signal, after some messing around I remembered I had my Garrett Carrot in my bag, got it out and pinpointed it in no time, down on a bedrock it was, I scooped it's area out and tipped it up on some ground beside the creek. You can see in the photos how fast the water is flowing. Amazingly something I've always wanted to find, an old Chinese Gold miners coin. Even JW has never found one of these suckers. The Chinese heavily worked this creek, they have nice neat stacked rocks regularly in spots along it. They took a lot of time to stack their rocks neat and tidy. It is broken but most of it's still there, a great find in my opinion. If anyone can identify it I'd love to know more about it. I don't even know which way is up 🙂 I spent another day at the creek and found nothing more. Time to go sluicing! I always take my pooch sluicing, he likes hanging about at the creek and enjoys the drive to the spot. My wife helped find spots to sluice, shes quite good with a pan and if she had 5 or more flakes to a pan I'd try the spot out. It wasn't long and she got these flakes.... all in one pan so I was excited, time to make a dam and drop in my A52S Sluice. Dam built! a real masterpiece, it'd make a beaver proud. 🙂 and in she goes. A good flow but not enough to take advantage of the A52S not needing classifying, bigger rocks kept getting stuck, bugger, extra work. I dug my big hole where she got the test flakes and watched the gold appear in my indicator matting Only the tiny bits stay in there but it's handy to know you're getting gold. I started the process late in the day and the dam building took most of the time so we ripped it out. there's gold hiding in there..... Four decent little nuggets too, just picked these out by hand. Not bad for about 2 hours with the sluice in operation. We arrived back at the same spot the next morning to hit it again. My hole got pretty big, I used the indicator matting to work out where to dig and followed the gold, it was in a line. I couldn't get very deep, the rocks just made it too hard with my shovel, about knee depth was it. I already had to move some massive rocks. After about 5 or so hours my wife and daughter were more than ready to leave and I was tired so we called it quits. This was the total. My best ever sluice result, not bad for a public fossicking area. The black sand gets annoying doing the cleanup, gold gets sucked up on the magnet with the sand too. I had to be careful. I spent about an hour or two on the trip coin detecting, mainly just when I had a small chance, I put minimal effort into it as I didn't have the time but checked out little spots as I had a chance. I managed to find a silver ring, a gold ear ring and some coins. A few dollars in modern coins my daughter got too but they're not in the photos, long spent 🙂 This was an unusual coin find, never found a coin from Chile before. And now I'm home again, for a few days at least. My next mission needs to be to go detecting with my QED/GPX as I'm desperate to use my 10" X-coil, I'm super excited about it after seeing how well it performs on my last mission with it.
  39. 33 points
    Dealing with some family issues me, my wife and a group of friends finally made a trip to the central Colorado mountain’s to search for gold specimens on tailing piles that have been productive in the past. Part of the group this was their first time using a detector searching for gold specimens. After a brief overview of the history and different areas to search, we spent some time setting up the different types of detectors to achieve the best results. We then took off in different directions with some partnering up with others for additional instruction. It didn’t take long for the 10,000+ foot altitude to begin taking its toll and the steep terrain limiting the area they wish to search as everyone was cautious for their well-being while detecting. The group detected for three days and four specimens were found. Here are a few pics showing the wire and leaf gold specimens as found and then cleaned: Close up of the largest gold specimens: Couple of us detecting on the tailing piles:
  40. 33 points
    I was out a couple of days ago, the temperature was in the low 90's and I was trying to stay in what little shade there was. Those conditions made me really slow down. I thought I heard a very faint squeak,it was repeatable at just the right approach and swing speed. It was one of those signals that says, "DIG ME". After moving several limbs I was about six inches closer to the target and it turned to a low warble. Then after scraping off about six inches of organic duff it turned into a screamer. After several inches I was rewarded with this nice little chunk Norm
  41. 33 points
    This is a find (not a crime) of opportunity! Today I got a late start at the beach because of a number of chores but I wanted to make an appearance to see what the wind driven waves had done. I got there on an incoming tide about 2 hours after low tide. It has been a while since we have had conditions like these so better late than never. My previous hunt I had used a new pair of headphones but I felt more confident with the supplied phones so off I went. The last time out I had cleared my settings with the factory specs so now I was setting up Beach 1. That was very little change. Noise cancel, ground balance and check the sensitivity. Part of the beach had a cut and I was in the middle of that area. Many people were out even tho cool and in some wind. I headed for the waterline and pebbles and could tell the waves had not scoured out as much as I liked. I was getting a lot of nothing again but I could hear pretty good in all metal. My first hit was a corroded penny but you gotta dig. I think the next hit was the same 20-21 that a penny gets you. Now I had to make a choice. This is a beach I know well so I headed in a direction to the north where I have found rings in the past. After about 50 yards I decided to head south. (I was reminded by that feeling of a change when I had been hunting for sharks teeth in Venice, Florida in 1978. One morning I went to the right, felt I needed to go back to the left and in less than 100 feet I found a nearly perfect tooth about 4 inches long. It was my best find.) So, this time I went past where I had found the pennies and just behind a little girl standing in the shallow waves and I heard a 13/14. I know what 15s are in this area, nickels. There was no bottle cap chatter. I didn't have time to pump up and down on the target because waves were coming. I gave a scoop and missed the target so I went after it again. I could feel something on the edge of the scoop so I softened my dig in case I would 'hurt' the target. When the wave went out I flipped my scoop and I got a glimmer. I knew it was a chain but didn't know if it was stainless or what. With people around I reached down and picked up the object with some sand and stuck it in my pouch. I didn't need extra eyes at that point. There was time to check the area a bit before moving on, and on and on without many targets. On my way to another beach I rinsed off the chain and felt the weight and I was hopeful. This would be my best gold chain. My wife found a nice gold chain in 2015 so it was my time? I returned a half mile to where I found it and there were very few targets. Time to go back and get my glasses and see if it was real. When I got to the car and I got my glasses on I could see 14k ... yessss! This along with the other couple of gold rings would pay off my wife's 800! It was time to have a little fun. I put it around my son's neck and brought him in to Lu fixing dinner. She likes gold so it didn't take her very long to see it. haha We took a couple of photos with the king of the household and then I measured and weighed what I had found. It is 14k/20in/19.1g. It is my best gold chain to date. It could have been found with other detectors but maybe I wouldn't have been in that part of the surf with my 3030. Maybe another detector would be heavier and not as much fun as the 800 right now and I certainly would not walk out where I was with a wired headphone. The conditions were right. Wind waves are good for chains.
  42. 33 points
    Hello Finally had a day off after weeks of work to go detecting. My partner and i both had new purchases to try. First i tried out my new 18" detech mono coil for my 5000. It is an amazing coil. Very very quiet in tough soil. It is really sensitive to small targets. I dug one gold piece today at .24 gr. In about 20 minutes of detecting. And some lead targets missed by my previous grid sessions with the coiltek 14 and 18" elites. The detech 18" is definitely a keeper for my arsenal. Next was the amazing performance put on by my lovely partner and her new gold monster. I let her find quite a few undug targets at a site where we found hundreds of pieces of tiny gold in the past. Then once she had a few targets. I tried to follow her gold monsters performance with my makro gold racer running in all metal with sensitivity 75 and enough isat to run a smooth threshold. Any isat less then 7 dont work here. Blanks out the threshold constantly. In the end i could get a signal on 1/3 of her gold monsters undug targets. Mostly they were all a tiny break in the threshold. I also tried my disc 2 mode with the sensitivity turned up to where it gets sparky.(90) But they still just had a small beep. Her gold monster had a totally different reply to the undug targets. Very loud. Which i believe was already stated by steve in his report. We also had her try gold monster in many manual sensitivity settings in all metal. All the way to manual 10. But it is a little sparky up too high. Best manual setting for this site was 6. But the targets were either alot quieter or non existent with that setting. The disc mode was also applied and sounded off well on them. Just not as sensitive. The autoplus mode was definitely the best app for our conditions at the goldfield. The mineralization only made an occasional peep in autoplus. But was easily recognizeable. A few hot hematites sounded off. But they can be checked in a quick switch to disc. Then only once in awhile they would slightly ping only in one direction. So then we dug up the undug targets. Some were tiny birdshot but most were gold, missed previously with other detectors. Everyone of them amazed me how loud they were for their size. Especially the 2 that wont even weigh in the 10ths of grains. These targets were not right on the surface or i would have heard all of them with gold racer. They were deeper then gold racer could detect. I have mostly detected with vlf detectors for 32 years and i could not believe what i was seeing. It was actually pretty funny. Now i feel like i am running old school equipment with my gold racer. I am definitely going to be making the change to gold monster myself. No its not a zed or a pulse induction unit, but i am willing to put money on youll find gold you missed with whatever you are using now. If you already own a monster then take a look at the red dot at the end of the foreign writing and see how small it is. Thats how small the gold we found. Only it sounded like a shallow gram piece of gold. All the 18 pcs that gold monster found totaled only 1/2 dwt. Big money! I have seen the promised land and it is real and its called gm1000. Good luck
  43. 33 points
    Found a run in laterite yesterday, basically just laterite with the odd bit of quartz here and there. Picked up 1/2 oz of sub gr pieces and as it was late in the day and my ute was 6 klms away I marked and left in the ground 30+ signals. Returned this morning and picked up 40+grams of subs to 2.5grs. It was all reefy gold that hadn't travelled so I tried tracing it up the hill, marking another 50 or so signals to dig out later. All of a sudden WHAM!!!! The back of my ute now has 40+kg of rock absolutely riddled with gold and the signal is still going along and down. This spot will keep me amused for weeks as the initial run is about 30 metres wide and about 100 metres long and who know how big it will expand to. Not sure what I have yet and too afraid to estimate but it's multi ounces, just how many is the question. Half the bit I picked up were sunbakers too, sitting there winking at me. 40+grs from today 40+kg of rock / reef/ ore/ something Crappy pic of random chunk of what it's all like
  44. 33 points
    I managed to get the mighty Zed out to the hills today for a short hunt in some old Tertiary bench gravels. The ground proved a little too troublesome for the Locate Patch Ground Smoothing in High Yield / Normal, but by turning the Ground Smoothing off and changing to Difficult Ground Type I was able to nullify the ground response. It was only a short time before the WM-12 alerted me to a warble of moderate intensity. Switching back to Normal Ground Type, the signal became a solid, strong hi-low response which led me to believe that a respectable gold nugget was hiding below, but more likely it was just another piece of corroded square nail like the countless others I've dug at this particular location...only one way to find out! After blasting nearly a foot into the ancient gravels with my pick, I struck bedrock and the target was now screaming off the edge of the coil; definitely a promising sign. One final strike of the pick and the target was out - a chunky nine gram bit - in my book, a fat quarter ouncer. As an added bonus, there was a smaller, point seven of a gram piece in the dig pile. Happy Hunting!
  45. 33 points
    I was thinking about making the drive to Gold basin based on Jen's recent finds! Her skill behind the detector got me fired up. Instead I opted to stay in Nevada and headed to a closer spot. I decided to try a spot in usually drive by on my way to usually spot. I had check out a couple of times with my ATX, but there was an absence of bedrock, and what there was was mostly calichi. First signal in an area with no trash was a nice 1+ grammer up on a bench. Worked my way up a small drainage and got another both at good depth. I moved over to a bigger wash and worked up most of the wash for nothing then got a faint signal under the edge of a rock. Kept digging and the signal got louder and louder. Finally this plopped out of my scoop. .62g biggest nugget yet. I picked up a couple of smaller nuggets before I headed back to the truck to have lunch. After lunch I decided to head to some drainages coming off a ridge. Worked my way up one till I got a faint signal. Again it kept getting louder and louder. Finally getting it into my scoop! This specimen was exactly 3/4 of an Oz. I cannot believe what the GPZ is capable of. Total for the day. I'm 2/3 of the way to pay off my GPZ in the 2 months I've owned it! Now I have to break that 1oz barrier. Chris
  46. 32 points
    Hey guys, I haven't done a show & tell on this particular forum yet. But a few friends I know here aren't necessarily members or readers of some of the other forums. So here is my latest trophy show & tell. Got this @ last Saturday, on a hunt with Brian "Cal Cobra". An 1881 P $10 gold. This is my 16th gold coin of my career so far. Brian also got an old coin from this trip, but .... we'll let him chime in with his 🙂 This site has, so far, given up a Spanish reale, an 1829 bust dime, some 1800's foreign coins, an 1853 seated quarter, gold rush buckles, etc... And oodles and oodles of period "whatzitz" that keep us on the edge of our seats. All I can say about the location is: "In California" 🙂
  47. 32 points
    Patience in life is a virtue! But, even I was running low. Nice Spring days run into hot Summer day’s fast to be sitting around tinkering. Truck was all maintenance up before the lock down, RZR with new oil and filters, it was eager to roll. My detectors had a little dust on them, but batteries charged. I touched base with the Crew and 6 of us loaded up and stormed the desert of Northern Nevada. Heading to our camp spot, I noticed the desert was full of other Freedom Seekers mending their Soul for the need of the outdoors, a normal calling shared by all on this Forum. We set up camp and hit the nearest patch to Camp, with the skunk off our backs and with the setting Sun and cold breeze we headed back for some conversation, food and libations! 🥃. We strategized the following morning Gold Mission over the flickering flames 🔥 of our campfire. We decided to leave Gold to find more gold, not always the smartest move but, it was the first full day of the hunt. We hit the dirt roads to a spot I had in mind, leaving a dust trail seen for miles. Even the Antelope and Wild Horses wondered what the rush was about in the mornings cold temperatures. We finally arrived to a spot, I eyeballed years ago. We geared up and spread out amongst the hip high sage brush. 15 minutes or so, someone breaks on our Walkie Talkies, I got one as I seen a waving coil in the distance! The hunt was on, as our seasoned crew swung our coils to the first location of color. Another, call on the radio was from someone behind me and below in the dry wash scored a nugget! Well long story short, we all had a great time and I found the perfect rock to name the new patch “The X Patch”. The Crew slowly departed back to their Critical Jobs and the Weather changed on me, rain and wind I tossed the towel in. I did manage to flatten the curve of the lock down with 5 pounds lighter on the scale. Always, good to be back home, yet can’t wait to get out for the next hunt! LuckyLundy
  48. 32 points
    I stumbled out of bed yesterday to our first big frost of the year, it was -3.9 outside, 24°F in the old money It was a nice still clear day and a perfect day to get out there doing something, fortunately there was a message from KiwiJW in my inbox on the forum asking if I'd like to go for a gold hunt, well I don't need to tell you my answer to that. I was quickly ensuring all my gear was charged and ready to go. The drive to JW's house can be a bit hit and miss depending on the time of the day. A majority of the cars on the road are tourists in their hire cars and they're usually all going the same directions to the same places and in the morning's they all usually heading to Milford Sound. Here is a video for those who don't know showing what Milford Sound is https://youtu.be/iiBOi_8yVlQ There is always some tourists heading the opposite direction however, which can make my journey take far longer when I get stuck behind them on a road with many blind corners and few passing opportunities. This one green hire van had me stuck behind it doing almost half the speed limit for about 10 minutes as the Ute refused to pass, so I had to take them both. The tourists tend to drive much slower as they're looking around enjoying the scenery. The snow is forming on the hills too, a sure sign winter is on it's way. Arriving at JW's we were quick to head out on our mission, we decided to go for a bush walk and view some local gold mining history too, it was the perfect day for it and I do enjoy learning about all the history in the area. We walked a hiking track that had a lot of Gold history. We stumbled across these bars out of an old timers sluice And found an old gold miners hut still in very good condition, JW was thinking of moving in by the looks of it ? A nice fireplace to get him through the winter, and all the creature comforts of home ? He forgot to take his equipment inside so it rusted away. The old timers went to extraordinary lengths to move water and gravel around, here is a tunnel they built, with JW entering it That's JW up there exiting the tunnel. All through solid rock, incredible. They did some serious work to the landscape too, It's hard to believe how much soil they washed out, I guess with water monitors. Now we both had the itch to find some gold we left our bush walk location and went to near the creek location I found my last tiny Equinox gold Now it's down to the business end of the story. JW pointed me to a bit of bedrock and said that will suit the Equinox, It looked nice and so did the path down to it, I always think back to JW's path that just keeps on giving at another location, every time we go there he finds gold in the path, I never have, well this path turned into my path that keeps on giving. The little track down to the bedrock. It wasn't even 2 minutes after we started detecting and I had my first hit, bouncing between 3 and 4 on the VDI's. And about 2 inches down in the gravelly soil was this little guy Skunk broken straight away, a nice .1 of a gram. It's sitting next to the EQX06 logo on the coil. A couple of minutes later right near it in the path another hit again between 3 and 4 on the VDI's Things were looking good for my path so I decided to go back to the top of it and try again in case I missed something, and right at the top another 1, 2 on the VDI numbers but this time it was solid rock with lots of quartz through it, I didn't know what to do so asked JW, he said smash it out break it up so I did just that. The bit of rock in the scoop is still giving 1, 2 on the VDI's. JW helped me smash it up further narrowing the bit down with the signal, we got it this small in the end, still a 1, 2 on the VDI's I'll have to smash it up more I guess and find out what surprise is inside! I can't see any gold yet. Now time to head further down the path to the bedrock JW pointed out for me It was on quite a cliff edge, you'll just see the creek far down below in the top of this photo Another 10 or so minutes and I had another hit, this was getting crazy This one was coming up as the standard 1, 2 on the VDI's. I was having a ball at this stage and finally knew what it felt like to be JW, pulling nuggets up all over the place with his GPZ 7000 ? Not even 10 steps later another hit! Unbelievable!! This one was in a crevice and a bit harder to get to, coming up in the negative VDI numbers, sitting around -6 to -3 but I knew from my tiny gold experience the other day it's likely to be gold and not junk in this location on those VDI numbers. I scraped all the soil out trying to get to the target and finally found it, it was a lot harder to track down so I knew it was tiny. If you look hard you'll see the spec in the scoop. And next to the EQX06 on the coil. My smallest detected bit so far I believe, 0.010 of a gram, smaller than last weekends 0.011 of a gram. The same settings as last weekend, horseshoe mode all metal, sensitivity 25, iron bias 0, gold 1 and manual ground balance. I would never not use horse shoe all metal mode when tiny gold hunting, you'll miss all the little gold as it often goes in the negative VDI's and you'll just get a blanked out target. Now I was getting to the end of my cliff drop off point, and the end of my little spot It's a very long drop from up here down to the creek below, kinda scary for me being here but I make my way to the edge anyway, wobbly knees and all. Looooonnnggggg way down. Last attempt at my spot was to detect the mosses on the edge of the cliff, hoping some gold had been washed into them and soon after another hit at 1, 2 on the VDI's And that was it for the day, John sacrificed this good spot by pointing me in it's direction while he went off detecting elsewhere. Thanks John. On the way out we walked past a nice waterfall Another enjoyable day with 0.269 of a gram in my bottle ? The small 6" coil for the Equinox is great but surprisingly the 11" is quite capable of finding all of the tiny gold I found on this day. It's just not as maneuverable in among the rocks and crevices as the little 6" but it's still incredibly sensitive to small gold. The 11" is good if you're needing to cover a lot of ground quickly, it does a good job of it without losing much at all in sensitivity. Even the 12x15" coil is still pretty sensitive to tiny gold, it will lose the 0.010 gram piece but will get the slightly bigger ones well. The Equinox is a brilliant detector, just has happy finding this tiny gold as it is coins and jewellery in the parks and beaches, very versatile.
  49. 32 points
    This particular find happened on July of this year. I went out today for few hours just to kill time. I wasn’t expecting much so I was just taking my time digging targets. I was digging lots of thrash as usual along with some pennies. I was using the Equinox 800 and since I wasn’t finding much I started just jumping between park 1 and field 1. After a few hours I came across this iffy target that would jump all over the place with negative numbers and hit 20-21 once in a while. I’m like another penny, I guess I will dig it since it’s my last target. I dug it and I see this weird coin staring back at me. I grab it and I’m a little confused now cause it sure doesn’t look like a Penny at all. After a few seconds go by it finally clicks, OMG this a fracken gold coin. Now I’m shaking And trying to figure out what to do next. After a minute or two I figured I should put it on top of the detector to let it breath and take a picture. Well, here it is and I hope this isn’t a dream. Thank you for looking and remember to dig everything because you just never know. I wish you all a Happy New Year. The last two pictures are after I finished cleaning it with water without any rubbing. The coin looks better in person but my camera phone can’t capture it good. I found the coin in a public place where construction was being done. A lot of old dirt was pulled and spread out, about the size of a football field and 12”+ in depth. A few of us hunted this site for a couple of weeks till they took most of the dirt back and cover the rest with clean dirt. I will make another post later with my othe finds from there. Happy New Year to all.
  50. 32 points
    Latest expedition - pocket gold hunting in Oregon. Rough gold found with White's Metal Detectors. Can't be more specific than that. Total weight for the day around 1/2 oz.
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