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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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! 🙂
  5. 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 🙂
  6. 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! 🙂
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. 34 points
  12. 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.
  13. 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:
  14. 32 points
    I guess I'll go first, Phrunt. My largest nugget find was a solid 9-ounce slug at a measured 24 inches (61 cm). Found back in the day with the trusty Minelab SD 2100 equipped with the Coiltek 24 X 12 elliptical UFO coil, it was the crown jewel of a nice 20-ounce patch.
  15. 32 points
    It’s a book on alcoholism and recovery, something I know too much about. I was addicted to alcohol and am coming up on eight years sober. It was the hardest thing ever did, with it taking lots of miserable years and two stints in rehab to get clean. I’m working towards a peer support specialist certificate at the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s a continuation of a new chapter in my life that I’m very excited about. Oddly enough I count my struggles with alcohol now as among the greatest blessings in my life as it set my feet on a path I don’t think I would have found otherwise. Thanks for asking. That was my official “coming out” statement. A real issue with addiction is the false dual life a person leads, and I’m enjoying finally just being whole in who I am. The good and the bad, no more energy devoted to presenting a false front. I’m just a flawed human doing the best I can. One of the reasons I am doing this is that as a so-called “successful person” I am in a position to speak out on issues surrounding the stigma attached to addiction and recovery issues. As an Alaskan I knew far too many people who are not with us now due to drugs and alcohol. It’s an issue that has touched too many lives in this country. My goal is to make some hard earned lemonade out of the lemons I grew and hopefully help some people the way I was helped myself. I am amazed every single day and eternally grateful for how fortunate I am. Thanks again for asking. This post is another big step forward in my ongoing recovery journey. But definitely off topic!
  16. 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.
  17. 31 points
    Found a nice little run a couple of days ago, 2 days in a row just over 1/2 oz each day and another 23 grams this morning. Here's a pic of this mornings total.... I don't film many digs anymore, but the bigger chunk had a bit of depth. I was hoping it would be deeper and bigger...but alas, not to be, it went just under 10 grams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUIZp0f7zQ
  18. 31 points
    Hi all, It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ll be sharing some knowledge and anecdotes more often, now that my summer job is a thing of the past and I’m free to once again roam the desert southwest, wielding the power of the mighty Zed to unearth nature’s golden treasures. I was carefully gridding (or - in deference to Gerry in Idaho - crawling) an old nugget patch during a recent trip to the far flung reaches of Nevada’s golden triangle, when the hypnotic drone of the threshold was suddenly broken by a sharp, double “wee-ooh, wee-ooh”. This type of response typically heralds a small and shallow target, usually within six inches of the surface. “Most likely a boot tack or bird shot”, I thought to myself as I crouched down and scraped an inch or two of the dry and dusty desert soil away from the target zone with my pick. Another swing of the detector coil indicated that I had moved the target, and a quick sifting of the material with the hand scoop revealed a small yellow nugget...the first catch of the day! A few more of these shallow pickers were dug during the the next couple of hours, and then I heard a faint, single “wee-ooh”. Knowing that this meant a bit larger target at depth, I went to work hacking into the densely packed soil with my pick until...well, I’ll let this short video tell the rest of the story: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzmm1pgdrpaswe7/Nugget dig.mov?dl=0 The actual weight of the nugget turned out to be 5.6 grams, bringing the total for the day to over a quarter of an ounce of the good stuff!
  19. 31 points
    This month in 1979 I bought my first metal detector a Bounty Hunter RB7, took me almost 3 years of pure frustration to get my first nugget,(pic below) after many 100s of hours, I know now I sure went over heaps of detectable gold, and still do, but not the heaps I went over then,...…...I hope...……... Below is some photos, I wish to share with DP members to celebrate, unfortunately I did not take many photos, straight into the crusher smelted down and off to the mint, have scanned what I could find from the old "shoe boxes". Plus a couple of recent ones, the specimen last is highly magnified, gold in limestone, and although no weight is probably the most valued by me, not just because it was my first piece (found with that RB7), but because of its uniqueness. Consider myself very privileged to live in this era, it has enriched my life not just in its monetary value, but given a challenge and still does that I suspect has no equal. MN I`ve gone and done it and not even close to the 30th of February.
  20. 30 points
    It had been a year since I had a chance to hunt with my friend Strick. We finally were able to get together for 4 days of relic/coin/ring detecting. On day 1 we went to an old standby location (ghost town) we had visited many times in the past. Strick found 2 silver coins, an 1876 and 1877 Seated Liberty dimes in the space of 1 hour. I found a few buttons. Day 2 we took his boat up the Delta to a party beach where I hunted in the water for the first time ever. I had a blast using my CTX 3030 just wading up to my waist. I found 2 silver rings which beat the costume jewelry Strick got so I was the king that day. On day 3 of my visit with him, we were off to a private property in the low Sierra foothills of California to meet up with Strick's friend, the ranch owner, and detect an early gold camp. We have been hunting this area for a few years when our schedules will allow. The last time I was here with Strick he had found a Quarter Eagle and some seated coins while I had only found buttons. On this day things were not looking so great for me as I had only found one nice button and the usual assortment of period trash while Strick had scored a nice cast buckle wreath. We had just taken a break and had compared finds with the ranch owner, discussing the "whatizits" we had found. It was getting later in the day so we went back to detecting. I had earlier got into an area with quite a bit of scattered iron which developed into a nail bed which was obviously the remains of an old structure. So I returned to the heaviest area of nails which was about 250' away from the location of Strick's gold coin, and was carefully searching through the machine gun iron signals when I hear a definite signal but scratchy signal on my Deus. It was jumping around depending on which direction I swung but was repeatable. Just another bullet or cartridge I think as I pop the plug. Then I see about a quarter of a gold coin sticking out of the plug as it crumbles. I didn't stop to savor the moment or reflect on my find like you hear so many times. I started screaming like a 14 year old Valley Girl, " I found a gold coin" and waving my arms at my friends who were a short distance away. The coin was an 1849 Half Eagle. It has been my fondest detecting desire to find a gold coin and now I had realized it. On the journey back to Stricks I looked up the value of the coin as people always ask. I didn't much care as I did not plan to sell it but that is usually the first question from family and friends. I had not cleaned it well or looked at it too closely but I knew it had some wear so I figured a ball park figure of $500? It wasn't until we returned to Strick's place that he was looking at it through a low power microscope and he says" Her headband doesn't say liberty it says Moffat". I had never in a million years ever dreamed I may find a Territorial coin but I knew in an instant that I had just scored the find of my life. On Day 4 we went to a location of an old military base. Strick has taken buckets of military paraphernalia from there and he scored again. I found 2 pieces but they were severely corroded. I would say this has been the best detecting trip I have ever been on due to finding the Territorial Half Eagle. All the thanks go to my buddy, Strick and the ranch owner for getting me on that location. I will ask Strick to post his pics of his finds.
  21. 30 points
    I began this Rye Patch trip on Thursday morning about 2 AM. It was time to go meet Dig It and see how he was doing there. This time it was a normal trip without the burning satellite re-entry I saw on one trip before. I was treated with a full moon on my way up 395, 6, 95 and I80. We met up without a problem and I headed out to places where I wanted to look and some places where I had found nuggets in the past. I'd say at least half of my trips to Rye Patch get me on a nugget and the other half don't. This is my first trip up here since Australia so I'm wondering what I gained from all that swinging. Anyway, it was good to meet up with Ken, have a chat about his escapades and try to help him understand what little I know about Rye Patch. We parted and I expected to see him again the next day. I have a bit of an open schedule and he warned me that it was going to be warmer than we planned. I went on to near the burn barrel and spent one of those glorious nights of sleep I get after doing an all nighter. I had no sleep the previous night and I can stretch out in the 4Runner and enjoy a night of no city or neighbor noise! Planes are constantly landing at LAX and if they are from Asia they fly over Santa Monica. No planes at Rye Patch. haha I went to bed at dark, watching the sunset out the front and watching the moon rise in the back! I captured the sunrise the next morning. Rye Patch is full. I've been here many times when all of that area was dry. It was a nice, clear, cool morning. Time to get going. I headed in a direction to take advantage of the morning. Before I got to my spot I had my first target of the day. I dug around and in the early light with my sunglasses on and dirt on the target I thought it was lead. There's lots of trash in the area as I found out later. I looked and looked and finally gave it a mouth wash and I saw the color! Yeeee haaaa ... a nice nugget. I've cleaned it up by soaking it in vinegar. I don't know the weight yet. I'll edit this post when I find out. I think it is my best Rye Patch nugget. Lucky Friday the 13th full moon nugget. I gridded that area for half the day and only found trash. I don't think I would have that nugget now if it had been in the reverse order. I found the clue early and gridded. If I would have found trash, trash, trash without a clue I probably would have moved on. I discovered a couple of things while looking for more in that area but they will be put into another post. It is my only nugget of the 3 days so far but I'm seeing some new to me patches. More travel tomorrow while the temperature is up. Mitchel
  22. 30 points
    We've been out every morning for a few hours since Sunday practicing for the summer of Aussie Gold. Today was my day on the big gold. I was detecting a desert wash bench zone, and got what the Aussies call a Zed Warble. Down here in Sunny Yuma the Zed Warble usually means an old rusty bent nail. A bit of digging down to the hard pack maybe 15 or 16 inches. I switched detector down to Sens 1 to try and pinpoint, bit it was still overloading with the warble tone. Dennis and I took turns breaking up the hardpack and scooping out the hole till this nugget rolled on out. The small stuff I found over the past 2 mornings, I think I'm going to throw them back for seed on the big ones.
  23. 29 points
    This is from a local news report. A local prospector known as Sourdough Scott is being investigated for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Not only a single child but it appears an entire forth grade class may have been involved. The local police claim to have surveillance photos of Sourdough Scott teaching several young children about prospecting , local history and then shamelessly showing them how to pan for gold. Many parents were understandably very upset." I have spent thousands of dollars on video games and a big screen T.V.", said Mrs. Adit," but now all my child wants to do is play outside with a $5.00 gold pan. What's a mother to do". It has also been reported that a rogue gang of forth grade children, who call themselves "The Company" Turned on all of the neighborhood outside faucets and sprinklers then channeled the water at a one half percent grade for several thousand feet South of town and began washing off an entire vacant lot. It yielded $67.95 per cubic yard in gold with a fair showing of silver and a trace of platinum. 2000 cubic yard were washed with 150.000 yards remaining. (investors wanted). Sourdough Scott has apparently taken flight to avoid prosecution and could not be reached for comment. NEWS UPDATE This report may have been based on some poor information by an unreliable source.Namely a miscreant prospector referred to as Klunker. We now know that this was a scheduled activity for the local forth grade class and Mr. Sourdough Scott took an entire day off during his busiest time of year to assist with an annual Living History Program for the school. Though Mr. Sourdough Scott doesn't even have kids he works with them in an exceptionally expert fashion.
  24. 29 points
    Got a tip from a friend on some BLM land that has produced gold in the past. I spent 4 1/2 days (30 hours of detecting) while camping out there. Weather was quite good -- only rained intermittantly for part of one day; typical temps were 70's F daytime and 40's F nighttime. Got lucky to have had recent rains which brought out the flowers: I always try and learn as much as I can while MD'ing, regardless of the site/location and intended finds. I was hunting with the Minelab Equinox 800 with 6 inch coil in Gold 1 mode, White's Prostar headphones coupled to the WM08 wireless receiver. It was nice to get away from the EMI I typically deal with at home (coin hunting). However, the hot rocks more than made up for that! At the start of each day I adjusted my settings, taking advantage of what I had used previously but also trying to keep an open mind as to what would run the quietest. Over the 4+ days I tried gains (sensitivites) between 16 and 23, ran all metal or disked out just {-9,-8, -7}, notched in only {-2,-1,0,1,2}, tried all recovery speeds in {4,5,6,7}. I Ground Grabbed most of the time but did try tracking, which didn't seem to make any improvement at this particular site. The ground phase was locally pretty stable, only varying by about 1 or 2 typically. Regardless of settings there was always at least of bit of noise from hot rocks to put up with. Surprisingly sometimes the hot rocks ID'ed at 12. As if the Equinox needed one more object to read that value.... The biggest false signal I had to deal with was wet ground. This wasn't surface moisture but rather at about 2 inches and deeper. The ID's read right in the small gold range {+1,+2} and sounded pretty clean, although they weren't quite a sharp as the real thing. However, for me anyway, close enough to not ignore. Pictured below is my 'haul'. I actually found one more piece but lost it somehow in the process of putting it into the collection bottle. One more lesson learned. Bottom line is that I quadrupled my lifetime count but still haven't made it to my first gram. All read +1 TID and all were within 2 inches of the surface. One was in the grass, lying on the surface of the ground. I'm certainly appreciative of the lead I got to this location. Wish I didn't live 2400 miles away from it.
  25. 29 points
    New PB for me 35 grams, bit over a foot deep, very happy! ??
  26. 28 points
    This is my efforts for the last 8 days. They're all dinks that I have found with my Monster. Hoping for a/some bigger ones. After 8 days of hitting it slow and hard I am happy with the results. 😁
  27. 28 points
    Pretty much done for this year. We've had snow twice already and it's hitting the teens at night. Last season I got 106 bits for just under an ounce and this year I only detected 40 bits for just over an ounce so an improvement over my 1st season! 18 bits from Montana and 22 bits from Idaho. FULL DISCLOSURE: 1 gram of the tiniest bits came from crack scratching/panning in the creek. I had fun and met some locals from Helena area (BIG help) and that helped me stumble onto the two bigger pieces (25g/4.5g) that saved my season. As long as I can improve weight at the end of season over the last I've reached the main goal. good luck guys......
  28. 28 points
    Some of you may know what it is like to swing a large PI detector. It can turn into a job and not be fun even though the weight of gold found is good. I have used a GB 2 since it first came out and when I break it out I call that therapy. Recently Gerry's Detectors helped me obtain a Goldmonster to add to my many detectors. Thanks Gerry. I did not know what to expect , I just needed something to have as a loaner. Was not really impressed by the rod as it is a 3 piece screw together type. The big coil looks funny and the ergonomics are sort of out of balance. Well that all went away when i turned it on. The photo shows the result of the first three outings. I am very impressed. I never thought i would put my GB2 in the corner. Fisher needs a wake up call. Sorry I am the most die hard GB2 fan out there but this detector with the 5 inch round coil is amazing. Turn on and go. Rechargeable batteries and great response on the smallest gold. Did not even use headphones. The Bug 2 is better in some ways (hot rocks) but is in need of a total update. Heavier cables , push button, possibly a 71HZ Gold Bug Pro type package. I hear the Equinox is as good for gold. I guess i have some testing to do. I could easily put the heavier GPZ away for awhile and just go back to small coil detecting. If I can figure out the Equinox I could find old coins and small gold with one machine on the same day. This must be Steve's approach. Tired of heavy detectors.
  29. 27 points
    I recently detected an area close to some prospect holes, all of the usual finds, pieces of old tin cans, the broken end of a pick, shell casings, bullets, logging wire and finally a nugget. After finding the first nugget, I really slowed down and very carefully covered the area. The nuggets seemed to be in almost a straight line below a prospect hole. I thought I covered the line carefully, but returned for a second try and found one more piece, the one in the middle. Always detect around the rims of the holes and the adjacent areas.
  30. 27 points
    17 x 12 Spiral, pings tiny .1 gram bits no worries. Pain in the butt digging them but sometimes they lead to bigger and better chunks as was the case for me today. 76 grams at 18 inches, any detector would have heard it, same with the 6 gram bit. 14 gram bit was a different story, 20 inches down and very quite but definitely a dig me signal. With the X running so quiet it was no worries. A bloody pleasure to use, a complete contrast to my stock 14” which is so touch and knock sensitive, it’s had a hard life so maybe just worn out but it never ran as quite as the X.
  31. 27 points
    My little brother shared with me a couple recent finds over the weekend with his EQ-800 and stock 11" coil. Smaller specimen is 48.5 grams and its bigger brother is a sly heavier at 53.5 grams. Each piece probably has close to 8 to 12 grams of gold in them and in todays value approx. $300 to $500. What is so cool about this style of gold, is a GPX-5000 will not see it. In fact what further makes many minds wonder is why the GPZ-7000 misses many of them as well? I've personally found larger pieces in the multi ounce range and they have over 1 ozt of gold in them, but I try my best to get a GP/GPZ or GPZ to read and I get nothing. On occasion some are heard with a bigger machine, but then the VLF can see them 12" away. Moral of the story? Just owning a big dog detector for a variety of gold is a mistake and most owners don't know. So you better own both to have all bases covered.
  32. 27 points
    KiwiJW and I had a busy weekend, he'd just flown to Christchurch (The South Islands biggest city) to pick up his new Toyota Landcruiser or as I call it the monster truck and he had to drive it back down to Queenstown to pick up his caravan to tow it up to Christchurch to swap it over for his new Caravan. I went on the journey up to swap it over, it's about a 6 hour drive each way through some stunning countryside and a very nice drive. We were going to spend the night up there but decided it's best to take the drive up and back in one day so then we had the next day free for some gold detecting! Great idea! John now has two big new toys to enjoy, the Monster truck tows a caravan like it's not even there ? The spot we decided to detect is a place John had taken me on my first ever successful day detecting for Gold, I had tried to go back there a couple of times and got lost trying to find it. I was sure there was more gold there but it's in a difficult to find place in wild bush. My last attempt at finding the place I only just got out of the bush before dark and I had no light with me, I almost had to stay the night. John found the spot with ease and off we went detecting. He was using his Gold Monster 1000 and I used the Equinox 800 with 6" coil. There is a lesson in this post for Equinox users on finding tiny gold. The thing I like about this location is being as remote as it is there is no junk except that left behind by the old gold miners, and that junk doesn't bother me at all. Shotgun pellets are my enemy and fortunately these aren't a problem in this spot. If you get a good target in this spot, it's more than likely going to be gold, although my first target was mostly reading VDI 1, 2 on the Nox but jumping regularly down to -7, -8 then back up to 1, 2, a bit of an all over the place reading. It was down in a crack in the bedrock and I spent about half an hour smashing away at the bedrock to get it out, I wasn't sure what to do so asked JW who said just keep smashing away and he came over to help, we eventually got it out, much faster with JW's help and it turned out to be a tiny little bit of metal, possibly lead or zinc or something, but tiny. How it got so far down in the bedrock I don't know. This was my only junk find of the day. Next up was another target, this one was constantly in the -5 , -6 range but I knew this spot had small gold and I also knew there was virtually no junk here, the only targets in this location I ignore is ones that go a solid -8, -9 on the VDI's which is what the hot rocks in the area do, rocks bigger than a car or even a house can show a -8, -9 over the entire rock surface in this area, anything else could possibly and likely is gold. This little scraped out area to the left of my coil is where this target was located, in this photo I'd done a scrape to get to the bedrock to improve the signal before recovering the target. You'll see we are high up on a creek side, probably about 50 meters (164 feet) above the creek. Gold can be in the most unlikely places. That edge there has a big drop down to the creek and it's just rock with a thin later of soil and some grass growth of it. Now that I'd done my scrape with about 5cm of soil the target ID had improved drastically from the -5, -6 it was getting to a very repeatable 1, 2, I knew this was unlikely to be a shot gun pellet here so I was confident I had my first bit of gold. I scraped the leftover soil into my scoop and narrowed it down and here is the little sucker. You'll see the little spec in the middle of the scoop. and here it is next to the EQX06 on the coil. All 0.011 grams of it. John was digging away with his GM1000 beeping like mad and he was digging for quite a while in one spot so I knew he was on the gold. I figured I'd go explore further away and leave this area for him and passed a number of old rock piles and an old shovel head. The new location paid off and I quickly got another signal bouncing between -6 and -3 and knew it was going to be gold again If you look closely once I'd cleared the leaf litter away there was a crack in the bedrock, still detecting as -5 or so but I knew it was gold It's almost identical to the last piece and the same weight I next walked up to the cliff edge again where it drops off to the creek and started detecting the rock along the drop off, It wasn't even 10 minutes and I had another hit, again in the -6 to -3 range never once flicking into the positive numbers but my confidence was high it was also gold until there appeared to be two targets. It was in a crevice in the rock again but seeing there seemed to be two targets right near each other I was worried it was a hot rock spot. I cleared away the leaf litter and recovered the targets from the crevice, still never once reporting positive Target ID numbers Out popped this nugget, my biggest so far. Next to the EQX06 again as usual And now to recover the second target. Still stuck in the negative numbers on VDI due to the crevice not letting me get the coil close enough to get accurate ID's Another little tiddler ? The consistent thing happening was all nuggets were coming up in the negative VDI numbers until I was able to get the coil very close to them, you can't rely on positive numbers like the usual 1 and 2 VDI's on this tiny gold. Anything -7 or higher can be small gold. I experimented and checked out -8 and -9 targets but they always ended up just being rock, even small portions of a large rock were coming up as hot rock at -8 and -9 but the -7 and up numbers were consistently gold. For those wondering my settings were Gold 1, sensitivity 25 (max), Horse shoe pressed for all metal mode, I had manually ground balanced although in this location there was extremely mild soils. The other thing I had changed was the iron bias, I'd set that at 0. Detecting around more I got another hit, this one was on more flat ground and was coming up the usual 1 and 2 on the VDIs Another little tiddler. I was confident now I had learnt the secret to the Nox and small gold. Never ignore those negative numbers. I was lucky in this location there was next to no junk so it made this lesson easy, in other locations this method could lead to digging tonnes of junk. I went back to John's area to show him my finds and he was still at this same spot digging away in the same hole he was in when I left. We were both sitting on 5 nuggets each although his were bigger! It's extremely rare for me to have as many nuggets as John with his mighty GPZ, near impossible so I had a chance to beat him this time I just had to find one more!!! I was going to walk back to my spot and keep trying in that area but I walked past a nice crevice, I checked it and nothing, no signal at all but I knew the Nox coil can't get down in crevices well which later I learnt isn't exactly correct, it's coil edges just aren't sensitive all the way around like a concentric coil so I started clearing out the crevice, I got a large part of the dirt and leaf litter out of it and checked it again and I had a hit, another -4 to 1 signal bouncing around a lot. Here's my winner! I knew I had gold. John hollered out what's all that noise, I said I'm onto something I had cleaned out the crevice pretty good and had a signal in there somewhere but It had me stumped, it wasn't in the crevice, it was in the rock itself in the crevice next to it which seemed to come to an end. I smashed away at the rock and a big chunk broke off and inside it was some really fine plant roots from the little bit of grass that you'll see in the broken off bit of rock below.. The coil is sitting in the first cleaned out crevice, the gold wasn't in this one, it was in the one below, that big bit of rock with grass on it was the one I broke out. The grass roots were where the bit of gold was to be found. This piece of gold was deep, at least 3 inches, I am shocked I was able to detect it, I thought it was going to be pretty big as it was one of my best signals of the day and it was deeper than anything else I'd detected, but no, it was tiny. The embarrassing thing about this recovery is I sat the piece on my coil in my usual spot next to the EQX06 branding and stood up to get my phone out of my pocket to take the photo and knocked the detector over, the gold went flying. John heard me say something, I don't recall what I said but I sure was angry! It took me a good 15 minutes or more to recover the bit again, I was thinking it had fallen down in the crevice deeper than it was before and with the Nox coil not being overly sensitive around the edges I was struggling to find it, I had no target signal at all anywhere, I wasn't even sure it dropped in the crevice. I now see why people talk favorably about concentric coils with their sensitive edges. John pointed out I should have tried to use the tip of the coil rather than the sides, that's it's sensitive spot so I wasted a lot of time as it didn't cross my mind to try the tip/tail of the coil and used the sides, silly mistake on my part, the tip of the Equinox coil is indeed very sensitive. I just gradually cleaned all the soil out of the crevice with my fingers and scoop and eventually found the nugget. And my total for the day I also found a tiny spec in my gold jar, it must have broken off one of the "bigger" ones so if I was desperate and JW got 6 also I'd have a secret number 7 to win the day The Equinox can easily find Gold you would only ever expect to find with a gold pan. The little spec is on the scales, too small to give a reading, but I'm 100% certain it's gold and it was a new jar, I'd never used it before. The Equinox is an absolutely crazy sensitive machine to small gold, It's hard to believe how well it can do on the tiny stuff. I'm sure Multi IQ is the secret. Next we were off to KFC for dinner and back to JW's for a nap ready for another day prospecting We did a lot of exploring new places on this day, had a look around gold areas I'd never been to before and John was giving me a good history lesson of local gold mining. John took me to this old this trommel he knew about so I could see one on our exploring, we weren't detecting here, just having a look around at the old mining history of the area. We were thinking of using this to start up our own Kiwi Gold Rush show, John named the trommel Mini Me, and if you look closely you'll see our shiny new digger in the background. Jw next to "mini me" We went to a new location I'd never been to before later in the day detecting, I ended up with a skunk using the Equinox at this spot getting just an insane number of shotgun pellets and 22 shells as the gold just seemed to be too deep for a VLF. JW showed me how it's done with his GPZ, doing extremely well with it of course but that's his story. All I will say is the GPZ is an amazing machine, in fact it's insane how well it works and the tiny gold it can find at massive depth is just mental, I continue to be amazed how good the GPZ 7000 is, one day I will swing one.... one day.... as long as it doesn't lead to a divorce ?
  33. 27 points
    goldEn is back in town for a couple of weeks and managed to get out my place for a couple of days. Today we went to a Ironbark forest where there was a little bit of surfacing so goldEn could use the 2300 and I detected in the forrest with the 7000. I got one of those really iffy signals that I thought was ground noise and when I approached it at 90º I couldn`t hear it at all.I scraped a bit of dirt and same thing, could hear it one way but not the other. As the hole got deeper the signal seemed to move in the hole. First it was in one spot, then in another spot and it never sounded like a real target. When I finally got it out of the hole I couldn`t hear it at all, but I move a bit a bit of dirt and I can hear something, move a bit more dirt and I couldn`t hear it again. From when I first detected it to holding it in my fingers was about 15 minutes and it goes a whopping 0.12 gram and is about ¼" long. Good to see you again goldEn ?
  34. 26 points
    I had my first outing with my GPZ about a week ago with JW, my back was still terribly sore at the time from an injury so I wasn't really doing well and had trouble digging targets, and we were in terribly heavy rain so I was off my game. I went back to the same spot today, the weather was much better, in fact it was far too hot for me. My back has improved a lot, I lasted about 3 hours which I thought's pretty good, my longest detect since I did my back in. This particular place I've always called my Nemesis as I could just never do well there. I've been there probably 25 times and only found gold three from memory. The first time with my Gold Bug Pro which was 1 bit, then the QED with 12x6" X-coil which got 1 bit, then the GPX with 10" X-coil which got 1 bit. I've never got a bit with the Nox or Gold Monster here even though I've used the Nox the most I'd imagine and I'm the most comfortable on it feeling I can use it pretty well. I had a lot more faith in myself today as JW has done very well here with his GPZ and 10" X-Coil so now we were both driving the same machine surely I could come away with a piece. I threw my little ferrite super magic ring on the ground and waved over it, no response unless I rubbed the coil on it so maybe I don't need to do that anymore after doing my Quick start procedure the other day so I just got stuck into it. I've had a few skilled operators suggest I use Manual instead of Auto or Semi Auto, that made sense to me with our mild soils here so I was in manual, I raised and lowered the coil and had no response from the ground so I assumed that I didn't need to do anything so I just got stuck into detecting. I first tried all the mountain goat one gust of wind and you're dead terrain, I get a bit wobbly detecting this stuff as I'm not so good with heights. My first target was a shotgun pellet.... not unexpected, there are many of them around here.... That's good though, it means the detectors working well 🙂 I'm not used to the target noise of the GPZ on these small targets yet, bigger targets sound similar to the GPX but these small things behave differently, it's sort of a wobbly noise, different to the GPX. I kept going, detecting closer to the cliff..... Scary! I did get a target in this area, it wasn't on the surface as it remained after my first scrape and moved on the second, unfortunately, a tiny little bit of some sort of junk I was super impressed with the sensitivity of the 12" X-coil getting these tiny little targets, Gold Monster size bits of junk. I really thought I had a nugget in this photo above, this was just before my dig..... turned out to be another shotgun pellet stuck in the schist bedrock 😞 Now the sun came out, it was terribly hot and I was frustrated looking at the nice cool water below me while I'm up here sweating badly wanting to jump in it to cool off, I really struggle in heat so I moved away from the cliffs and jumped in my car to go back into the terrain JW found his bits last weekend, it's very close by and I could have walked if it wasn't so hot and my drink had run out already 🙂 This next area has lots of good bedrock and didn't seem as junky with the pellets, the issue here is the power lines, I dropped my gain down to 14 from the 20 it was on previously so the machine ran nicer as I couldn't put up with the power line noise as the spot with the bedrock I wanted to detect was basically under the power lines. As I detected further away from them I cranked my gain up again and as I got closer lowered it down, quite easy to do on the GPZ as you just leave it on that option and adjust as necessary. Why do they always put these right where the best bedrock is... I'm sure they did it on purpose. Nice bedrock though... I could see a number of fresh looking dig holes around, I suspect JW's handy work, he was good though, all necessary ones were back filled. 😉 The funny plants are getting annoying, there is a plant that looks like that if you grab onto it and try rip it out it spikes you to death so I wasn't game to touch them, just worked around them. I noticed an area with a lot of dig holes but it was virtually right under the lines, I figured there is no point doing that area but the dig holes seemed to go off in a direction so I instead went down rather than follow the digs and it was only 15 steps from a dig hole and I had a target, quite faint but very obvious. At this point my gain was on 12 to calm down the power lines and I had the detectors volume on 4 as the Steelphase SP01 was attached to the Wm12 and gave me all the volume I could ever want. I did notice if I got between the WM12 and the detector sometimes the audio dropped out for a few seconds and picked up again if I moved, it seems it doesn't like passing the audio through my body, is this normal or is my WM12 a lemon? I would think it's pretty normal passing wireless though your body. I tried changing frequencies but made no difference. I might just use my Quest Wirefree mate as it doesn't seem to do that, similar thing to the WM12 anyway. I dug the target thinking it's probably going to be another shotgun pellet, it was doing the same wobbly type noise, hard to describe the noise.... I did a scrape with the pick and it was still in place, getting hopeful but the bedrock was quite shallow so I just started taking scoops out with my plastic scoop and waving them over the coil, narrowed down a target and it was a bit of gold! Awesome, my first GPZ gold, a tiny little thing.... I rechecked the area and the exact same noise was still there, it sounded like I never even dug the target. So I kept scraping it out and waving the scoop over my coil, a few more scoops with and I had the target. Boom! Another bit of gold. Two from one hole! this doesn't happen to me often. The spot I got them! You can see the detector sitting in the spot still where I got them and if you look up the damn power lines! The two little guys! 🙂 I was done for the day now, it was too hot and my back was pretty sore. I had a goal of finding a bit of gold then I was going to leave, it's lucky it happened when it did as to clean the little bits I had to use the last drop of moisture in my body, my spit came out like pasty thick molasses to clean them. I stumbled back to my car and was lucky. I found a few fruit trees on the walk that were covered in fruit. I got my fluids up eating a bunch of apricots and a few plums. I picked a few for the road too Washed down my KFC with them. Time to head home, my wife had sent me a text message while I was detecting saying I've had a parcel arrive, it was the two coils I've ordered to start exploring for some new ground, I wanted some ground coverage so I can explore and find some ground JW hasn't already done so I think this is partially why I called it quits so early in the day, I wanted to rush home and see the new coils 🙂 15x10 and 17x12" I've tested both of them out already in my backyard, both detect my bits of gold I found today, that means they'll be my perfect exploring coils. I hoped they'd both still have the sensitivity to small gold which they do. I shouldn't say my bits of gold either, my wife confiscated them off me, valentines day gift she said as its valentines day here today 😄 It's the first nuggets I've given her so that's OK. Time for the weigh in. Not too bad! Happy with that. I really like the 12" coil, it's going to to be my everyday use coil.
  35. 26 points
    Took the ORX to 9,200 feet in the Colorado mountains today. It did really well in a lot of iron, tin, lead, brass, along with ironstone and gneiss/schist hot rocks. One 2.5 grain nugget/flake and a nice 1.5 gram specie. Gold 1 worked really well with frequency at 54 kHz, IAR 2, reactivity 2, iron volume on, sensitivity 90, threshold 10, 9" HF coil. The 1.5 gram specie was 6" deep with a nail and ironstone hot rock within 2 " radius. I could still hear the gold loud and clear. The 2.5 grain was 3" deep. The lead bullet and button back were both 8" deep. I was fairly certain that the iron and tin can shards were iron range targets but there is so much black sand at this location that every target has a little iron response especially in the scoop. Kept thinking I was going to break the ORX in this rugged terrain. No problem. Can't wait to get back up to this location that is NOT known for any gold over 1/2 gram. Jeff
  36. 26 points
    Fred made a comment on one of my posts to Mitchel and I feel it needs more input from a variety of hunters and their styles. This is results from my last day at Rye Patch (last Saturday). My 5 days of hunting had me doing the hoping and looking for an indicator nugget...and I also snail crawled. Here are my results. The 2 days I want Prospecting and covering a lot of ground produced 1 nugget. The 3 days I snail crawled with 7000 produced 25 nuggets. In fact, my last day was spent in a very small area of approx. 20' x 30' and I found 12 pieces of gold. 10 of those were signals most others have missed and including myself a few times missing them, as I have detected that exact same piece of ground twice. I'm much more fortunate than most folks who hunt Rye Patch, NV as I've been doing it for 20+ years and I know the history of the old patches. Sometimes I go back to those old patches, pick a small section of ground and work the crap out of it. I especially like sites where I was pulling deep nuggets in years past, as I know those deepest pieces of heavy metal might only make a peep within a small 1 to 3" width. Don't ask me how or why, but overlapping at least 1/2 and sometimes 1/4 of coil size, per sweep with the 14" coil on the GPZ can produce. Lunk and I spent the last day crawling with our 7's and here is a photo of the results. Both of us and some other well known hunters have been in the wash before. The old saying it true "You can never get them all". I just want to make sure I get my share. How do you other Prospectors do it and what is your results when covering ground and snail crawling with a detector? I look forward to hearing everyone's comments. Nuggets on top of dime are Lunk's and the ones on bottom were found my myself on the last day.
  37. 26 points
    I and probably many of you have been experiencing forum connection issues recently. Some of it was a database server crash, and part of it a corrupted file due to the crash. However, the forum database is also getting large, over 2GB now. I May do a prune of all members who have not logged in or posted in over a year. This has not been done in years so there are thousands of inactive accounts taking up space. If you have not logged in or posted in over a year now is the time, otherwise your account may disappear. You can see the forum without an account though you can’t download files and such. Bottom line is if you are not logging in or posting you don’t need an account so I will be cleaning that up very soon. I figure a year is long enough to be reasonable but if anyone thinks that’s too little please speak up! I am also going to delete the photo gallery. It gets very little use but is a resource hog. 90% of the photos there are mine, and I may move them to my personal website then link there. Almost no members are using the Gallery and it is a separate module I pay for on top of the other forum costs. I suspect most members don’t even know it exists. So that’s going away unless you all rise up in protest! Simultaneous members online at once has been climbing rather rapidly. 133 on the site as I type, and that alone may be causing connection refusals due to the forum being on a shared database server. So concurrent with the above I am working with my hosting service to move from a shared database server to my own VPS dedicated database server. This will help protect the forum performance from being impacted perhaps by other server users (and them by us), and allow me to isolate and more easily diagnose any issues here. Add all this up and we should all see better forum access and speed very soon. To anyone experiencing these issues, my apologies. The good news is that this is all because the forum is growing while most seem to be shrinking, so in a weird way I’m happy to be bumping into server limits. Just wanted to let you all know I do pay attention to this stuff and try to do what is needed to keep things humming along smoothly.
  38. 26 points
    Just my 10 cents worth on after market coils. I know this thread was about the coils for the 2300 but someone mentioned the Russian coils for the Zed. I made a small mention last week about me taking delivery of three of their coils. The 10 x 9, 12" round spiral wound & the 15 X 14. Last weekend with Simon I got skunked with the 10 X 9. I had great intentions of trialing all three this weekend but got off to a good start with the 15 X 14 & just stuck with it. Actually it is my 2nd outing with the 15 X 14 & it is proving to me to be doing a very good job on ground I have pounded to death with the Zed & the minelab 14" coil that had stopped producing gold finds. I will do a more in depth post later but just to show you how well this 15 X 14 Russian X coil did for me on ground that was no longer coughing up gold with the ML 14" coil. The depth were staggering. I bang on about how blown away I still am after 2.5 years of swinging the Zed & the ML 14" coil but this 15 X 14 coil is next level. It runs quite a bit more sensitive so I am putting up with a bit more ratyness. I tried to stay in my usual settings of High Yield/Normal & sensitivity up at 18-19. We had quite a bit of heavy rain the other day which made for much easier digging but it livened up the ground a bit. So wasn't able to handle the ratyness all the time. I have got into a good understanding of my Zed running in these high end settings I am pretty good though at dealing with it but it can get fatiguing with all that commotion & reading & deciphering the signals in between it all. But it pays off. 3.3 grams at a good 14 inches. My biggest for ages. Some of the small ones were at around 4-5 inches. & 2 were just .06 of a gram. So small for that big coil at that depth. I think so any way. Total of 12 for 5.5 grams I am loving this coil. It has changed the face of my detecting for me on old flogged Zed ground. Ye Ha. Bring it on. Good luck out there JW
  39. 26 points
    This past weekend me and a buddy got out and did some prospecting, on saturday we both dredged with 4 inch dredges, I did ok got 2 small pickers and a bunch of fines. My buddy killed it and got three nuggets and some pickers. He has basically located our next paystreak that we will hit hard in the coming days. The second day i decided not to dredge due to an old injury that was acting up, so i packed my dredge up and went down stream and decided to pull out the GM 1000 and detect around where my buddy was finding nuggets with the dredge. Just up stream from where he was dredging there was a nice large area of exposed bedrock in the creek that was pretty soft and decomposed, so i fired up the the monster and started detecting. Low and behold the first hit i get is a little picker, second hit another little picker, and so it went. During the course of about 1.5 hours, i got 13 little pickers in about 5 square feet of bedrock. I was stoked, this is basically the first gold patch i have found with a detector. Ill be taking the equinox back there later this week to see what it can find. Once i clean it up with detectors we will dredge it to get all the fine gold that is hiding there. Should be the start of a pretty rich paystreak/patch. All in all a fantastic weekend and i cant wait to detect that spot more as well as dredge that whole section of creek bank to bank. Should eventually get a video together of the weekends events.
  40. 25 points
    Hi all, been pretty busy lately, and what started out as a really slow year ended up being pretty good prospecting wise. The first half of the year was very slow, only able to scratch a few nuggets out of some old patches. Not much luck looking for new areas. A few buddies and I decided to meet up in the middle of the summer in Gold Basin. Dave, Steve, and a couple of other Chris' . They were out there since Friday evening, but because of work I couldn't get out till Saturday afternoon. Dave was meeting us on Sunday. I made the drive out from Vegas, and when I got there I tried reach the guys, but no luck. Cell service can be spotty out there, and the must have been out detecting. I figured I might as well get started on my own till I was able to reach them. I ended up in an area where I had found a nice gold quartz specimen years ago, and figured I might grid the area to see if I could come up with a few scraps. It was found 3/4 the way up a tiny drainage where nothing else was found (by me anyway) I detectected the drainage top to bottom with no luck, so I decided to hit the hillside. About 7 or 8 feet from where I found that specie I jammed the coil under a creosote bush and got a strong signal over a large area. It wasn't a distinct signal like a nugget, so I kind of thought I was some mineralization but decided to dig anyway. There was only about 5 or 6 inches of overburden, so I scraped that off, and now the signal was sounding much more like a target, but still over a 2 sq ft area. I carry a rock hammer in my pack so I used that to tear up the bedrock. I got down about a foot total and now the signal was screaming. One more attempt with the hammer, and now I have signals in the tailings. I pick up a piece of quartz and put it over the coil...bingo!! I found my first pocket. I actually found the source. I kept working on my hole, still pulling gold out, and still getting strong signals in the bedrock. I was finally able to reach the other guys and dropped them a pin so they could meet up with me. Everyone got some specimens out of my tailings. Over the next several weeks I brought home several buckets of ore. I kept at it till there was no more signal in the ground with my GPZ. The next step was to crush and pan...geeze that is tedious work when you dont have a proper rock crusher. It took several more weeks to process the ore. thanks the pocket ended up being around 4oz!!! And a big to 1515Art and his contest I got to use my kiln to make my first gold bar. Took me a while to figure out how to use the electric kiln, it does take a few hours to reach proper temps, but works great!! added to the nuggets I found, it was a 5z year! I still have some ore to crush and a nice speci I may just keep. But definitely learned a lot. I'm going to be looking for more pockets. 2020 has been a pretty good year so far as well. Cheers, Chris
  41. 25 points
    Something I've been wanting to do for a while now..I got another x ray generator couple weeks ago and wanted to try it out on my DR System.. Heres most but not all of the coils I have. 1. CTX 6" 2. TDI Pro 12" double mono 3. CTX 17' 4. XP Deus 9" 5. Miner John 8x12" mono 6. x cal 8" 7. Gold Monster 6" 8. Fisher Gold Bug two 6" 9. Nox 6" 10. Nox 11" 11-14 GPZ 7000 stock coil
  42. 25 points
    This in many ways is a repeat of my 2018 UK Adventure except two weeks this time instead of three. The 2018 thread is loaded with details and very many local photos that I will not repeat here. Go to the link for the "full tour" with location and travel details. I booked the trip last year as is pretty much mandatory for the Colchester trips. There are only a limited number of trips available in the spring and fall and with so many people returning every year you really have to plan ahead. Mindy had a 10 day opening so I jumped on that as a week is just not enough in my opinion. With the benefit of last years trip experience I was able to weed my suitcase down to 40 lbs including two complete Equinox with 15" coils. Had it about perfect except for a couple shirts I never did wear. I was packed well in advance, and had great connections, so was looking forward to a relaxed trip. I had an afternoon flight out of Reno connecting in Chicago with an overnight to London. Perfect for me to sleep away a lot of the 10 hour overseas portion, and arriving in London in the morning. The plane was half boarded when they announced boarding would halt while they evaluated a flight advisory just in from Chicago. Massive thunderstorms, all flights in delayed for three hours - just enough to miss my connection! I have to give American Airlines credit, they automatically booked me into another flight just two hours later than the original connection, still arriving in London plenty early. We land at Chicago and the plane taxis forever. Finally the pilot announces the gate is blocked and he has driven past it twice. I'm looking at my watch thinking "this is going to be close!" Luckily the gates were close together, but I literally got off the one flight and walked onto the other. I was pretty sure my bag was not going to make it. Well, the flight was fine but less seat space than any overseas flight I have had yet. Price was great though so oh well. I can't say I was shocked to find my bag had been left behind in Chicago as did prove to be the case. Still, all we were doing was booking into a hotel next to the airport before heading out next day, so I hoped my bag would follow on the next flight. No such luck, so next day on the first hunt in the afternoon I was in my travel clothes and on a field with a borrowed Equinox. Thanks Tim! Luckily in a group of seven people somebody always has spares; just as I always travel with a spare, so do others. My very first target that I dug was a full British Crown, I believe a 1937 George VI. Not that old but a large coin and 50% silver. I made some other finds but was hampered a bit wandering around in corn stalk stubble in street shoes. Can't complain though... I was happy to be in England and out detecting! 12th-14th century St Mary the Virgin's Church, Little Bromley Again, American Airlines came through in the end. They actually delivered my bag that afternoon the 99 miles to Colchester (their limit is 100 miles) at no charge. So it really was just a minor snafu of no consequence, mainly due to good weather and a spare machine being available. We had a really great group, four guys and three gals including Mindy. Mindy cooks in each evening except for one pub night out. There was also an optional museum tour for one day later in the trip. I wanted to wait and see how my finds were doing before deciding about that. Weather for the first part of the trip was the best I'd ever seen in England, about 70F each day. It made for really pleasant field hunting. I was as always hoping for a gold coin, with anything else accidental by catch. I was making nice coin and relic finds, including a couple hammered silver coins. A few days into the trip, good buddy Tim, he of the gold ingot from last year, was nearby when he scored his second Celtic 1/4 stater ever, a real beauty. Not minutes later Mindy found here first ever Saxon sceat, a small rare coin that was one of her last "bucket list" items. Lots of smiles and high emotion in the group that day! This may not seem real but the fact is I come very close to liking somebody else making a great find as making one myself. I was right there, got to see the finds right out of the ground, and shared in that "great find high". It's one of the best things about hunting with a group in my opinion. I may never find a Celtic gold coin, but I have been right there when it happened several times now, and that really is about as good for me. Tim and Mindy's finds - Celtic quarter stater and Saxon silver sceat A few days later we were hunting a field right across the road from a small town. I was getting some nice buttons and 1800's coins but nothing spectacular. Late in the day I got another typical button signal of about 17 on the Equinox. I proceeded to dig but the hole was getting deeper and wider with no button found. One of the things I like about the 15” coil is I can pinpoint fairly well with the tip or heel of the coil, and nosing around in the hole revealed the target was deeper and larger. At over a foot the target was squealing, and I was sure it was a large iron target or possibly even an aluminum can. There have been times and places where I have kicked the dirt back in the hole and moved on from such targets, but not in England where you never know what might turn up. I was however getting near the plow line now, the point below which the ground turns rock hard and where due to the rules we have to stop digging. I worked round the center of the target and gave a last scoop, and there sitting in the bottom of the hole was a large green item that tumbled out of the shovel full of dirt. I’m no expert at this kind of stuff, but it looked like a Bronze Age ax head to me. This was not something that I had ever expected to find and so my brain was not really processing it. I wandered over to my buddy Tim who was nearby and asked “is this what I think it is?” I swear he almost fell over, realizing the import of the find more than I had, and assured me I had found an excellent condition Bronze Age ax. Better yet, it appeared to be intact, as many of these that are found have been broken. The final verdict was that my find is a Bronze Age palstave, a predecessor to the modern ax. A palstave is a development of the flat ax, where the shaped sides are cast rather than hammered. My particular find has been identified as a Bronze Age (circa 1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase. In other words about 3500 years old, and about as old as anything that can possibly be found with a metal detector! I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would ever find anything so ancient while metal detecting, and the fact this ax is intact and in good condition makes it the find of a lifetime, and that is no exaggeration. I have always been looking for that gold coin, but after all the gold I have found in my life and now with this I am officially saying "good enough". Anything I ever find from here on out in my detecting career is just gravy, my detecting bucket list is complete. Bronze Age (c.1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase (photo of Steve by Tim Blank with permission) This trip was extra good because everyone in the group was making some really great finds, many in excess of what they were hoping for. After many years detecting these huge fields are far from hunted out, with many of the best finds coming from fields that have been hunted well over a decade. Still new ground does come online regularly, and those fields add a little extra fun in the form of the unknown, especially as regards possible horde finds. There was one set of new fields that another group had found a lot of Roman stuff, including a really nice Roman silver coin and some good condition bronze coins. The trip was over half over and our weather had turned rainy. Not too bad really, just passing storms, with two hours of solid rain the worst I saw. Still, this limits some of the hunting as some fields with a lot of clay content get really nasty. After my ax find I had four days of mostly newer 1700s and 1800s coins and various widgets, but sort of a four day dry spell. So Tim and I passed on the museum tour and braved the rains instead since time was now running short. That plan paid off for me in a couple more hammered silver coins, bring my total for the trip to four. The hammered silver are kind of the standard prized find on these trips, rare but not so rare that most everyone has a good shot at some. Most date from 1200 to the 1600's after which milled silver coins replaced them. I found them off in one corner of the field and as the day wore on decided to head back to the area where all the Roman stuff had been found. There were many footprints but lots of gaps and so I hunted in the gaps. The day was almost over when I got a strong signal and dug up an odd looking lump. At first I had no idea what it was, but suddenly as I cleaned it a head and shoulders resolved into view. I had what appears to be a small bronze Roman bust! There is no real way to date the find, but it definitely looks like a Roman noble of some sort, and was found in the middle of a lot of other Roman finds so it is 90% certain to be around a couple thousand years old, maybe 100 AD going by the coin finds. I am in some ways more pleased by this find than the ax head for some reason. It’s almost like I am talking to that old Roman. I wonder who lost it and what it was. Decorative? A child’s toy? There was a Roman barracks in the area so military related somehow? It is just a great find and I am not aware of anything like it being found by the club before. Small bronze Roman bust found by Steve As noted I was running the Minelab Equinox with 15" coil the whole trip. In retrospect I wish I had brought steveg's new rod with counterbalance as my upper back would have thanked me for it the first three days, but it was a bit too long for my suitcase. Since everyone always wants to know, I basically used the same settings this year as last year with one minor tweak. Last year I ran Recovery Speed 5 and this year lowered that to 4. I normally run with nothing rejected, full tones, but have the Horseshoe button set up to reject 6 and under. This eliminates small stuff, maybe even small silver cut coins, but anything round will still ring up. Target ID 1-6 gets all manner of really tiny stuff almost always small lead or brass fragments. Stuff that’s also slow to recover. So as I say I normally hunt wide open and dig it all, but if time is limited or I am just tired of tiny stuff I hit the Horseshoe Button to go to “Cherry Pick Mode”. Park 1 Frequency Multi Noise Cancel 0 (adjust as needed) Ground Balance Manual, 0 Volume Adjust 20 (adjust as needed) Tone Volume 12, 25, 25, 25, 25 (Steve 4, 25, 25, 25, 25) Threshold Level 0 Threshold Pitch 4 Target Tone 5 (Steve 50) Tone Pitch 1, 6, 12, 18, 25 Reject –9 to 1 and Accept 2 to 40 (Steve Reject -9 to 6 and Accept 7 to 40) Tone Break 0, 10, 20, 30 Recovery Speed 5 (Steve 4) Iron Bias 6 Sensitivity 20 (Steve 22 to 25) Backlight Off Just a really great time with great people and some fabulous finds. I will post a complete set of pictures at some later date when I get the export listing, but for now here are a couple of my favorite hammered silvers from the trip to wrap up this report. Submitted to Minelab for the Find of the Month contest so we will see if I get lucky there also.
  43. 25 points
    Hi guys. I had a long time friend that I have known since college days come down to stay for a week. He & his wife had never been to Queenstown before & he loves the outdoors so he was in for a treat. I took the week off work to show them around. Trouble with that is it involves a lot of driving & for Mrs JW & I we have done it a thousand times so it wears pretty thin with us after a few days. But at least or friends really enjoyed it & showed it which made it all worthwhile for us. He of course wanted to go gold detecting. So I took him to a local spot & geared him up with the Gold monster. He had never ever used a detector of any kind. So I thought the Gold Monster would be the easiest for him to use & a good chance of getting some gold. I stuck with the Zed & 10" X coil. I had not actually had the Zed with the 10" X coil at this particular spot although I have thrashed it with all my other gold detectors & coil combinations. We got to the location & I am sure some of you will recognise it from the photos & some of my older posts. I gave him a crash course on the settings & he took to it like a duck to water. I started him off on full max sensitivity. Showed him the all metal mode & iron reject mode. Told him All metal was the deepest most sensitive mode & that iron reject will lose you a bit of depth & sensitivity but will give you a handle on it being iron (ferrous) or non iron etc. But basically just stick to all metal & dig EVERYTHING. If the detector gets a bit ratty of gives you heaps of false signals just back off the sensitivity. I told him all about VERY careful coil control & bump sensitivity. I pointed out the exposed bedrock areas of the schist & said that is were that detector excels. It love small/tiny gold that isn't very deep down. He was off. He was getting a nice collection of crap, but enjoying himself none the less. He still called them "his treasures" & put them in his little bottle. I went off in a direction to get away from him a bit & it wasn't long before I had a signal in a good likely looking spot. I was very confident it was going to be gold so before I even scraped I called my friend over. He got no hit with the GM so I then gave it a good scraping & bang...he got the signal. I let him keep at it until he had moved the signal. I told him to wave the magnet on the end of his pick through the dirt to see if any iron crap leapt up onto it. Nothing did so I told him now to use his scoop to get the signal in that & then just wave the scoop over the coil. To then just tip a bit out in his hand & wave the scoop over the coil again. The signal was in that crevice to the right of the GM. Doing that until he whittled the signal down in the scoop until he could isolate & see what the signal was. Twas gold. I said "That is yours....you dug it". No bloody way he said. You found it, it is yours. I only want what I find. Ok I said. Bugger off & find your own then. So off he went, but he had gone through the procedure of locating & isolating a signal. I actually found two more bits in that same run of crevice. Then bugger me....I get another signal, faint, from a big crack in the schist at the right hand end of that first crevice. The photo doesn't do it justice & is taken after the gold was retrieved. I called my mate back over but he never got a hit on it due to its depth & he couldn't get the little fat 5" coil on its edge down in the crack. Even the pointy end of my pick was right down to its max & I couldn't rake the signal out. I had to smash the schist & create that hole to get the signal out. I am sure a few of you will recognise this photo location from past posts. These were the last pics I took of this little adventure with my mate. But he did end up finding two bits of gold. Not bad for a complete novice. I was very happy for him & of course he was chuffed. I ended up with 10 bits for 1.73 grams which blew me away as I know how hard & how often I have been over this area with all my detectors & coil combinations over the years. It is where I very first used the Nox 800 with both the 11" & 6" coils with good success. The GM many times & my mate still found two bits. Just goes to show....no one gets it all. Least of all me. To be continued. (I need a coffee) JW 🤠
  44. 25 points
    My largest gold specimen weighs in at 84.5 grams. The gold leaf specimen weighed over 90 grams before I cleaned it. Like Lunk, I hit a pocket and many specimens came out over three day period. Before and after pictures:
  45. 25 points
    Just some stats for those who may wonder about such things. In the last year (July 2018 - July 2019) this website had just over 350,000 unique visitors (each person counted once, not every time they post). The top ten countries.... United States 55.5% Australia 13.93% United Kingdom 8.22% Canada 2.45% France 1.19% Germany 1.18% Italy 1.06% Netherlands 0.99% Turkey 0.92% Russia 0.71%
  46. 25 points
    Since the Equinox first came out and the Facebook groups started up covering it, there have been several examples of settings that are posted and stated as absolutes. One that warrants some discussion is GROUND BALANCE. The common response to the question “Should I Ground Balance my Equinox?” is “No, leave it at preset as there is no need to ground balance it since it is running Multi Frequency.” Before we accept that statement as gospel, let’s step back and ask a basic question which is if there was no need to use the function, why would Minelab had included it in the first place? The answer is they would not have and it is there for a reason which is to address the adverse effect caused by mineralized ground. The more mineralized the ground is at your selected search site the more the performance will be impacted. Remember, the factory preset for this is “0” yet it offers an adjustment range from “-9” to “99” So, do you know how mineralized the ground is in your area or the sites you frequent? Do you know that mineralization levels can change dramatically in a short distance? A good example is an older house where the front yard can be mild in terms of mineralization while the backyard can be severe due to coal cinders and other stuff in the ground. On a site such as this, settings that would be ideal for the front of the house might be mediocre at best in the backyard and ground balance may be the setting that corrects that issue. In the area around where I live in Michigan, the Ground Balance registers between 55 and 75 on the Equinox. I do extensive testing on actual targets before recovering them (great use for poker chips) so I can see if making a change or changes will improve performance and I have found that performing a Ground Balance at my sites makes a noticeable difference over leaving it at preset. In fact, several times I have found that a deeper target either is not detected or mis-identified with the GB at preset compared to setting it correctly. It also runs quieter which helps pick out those marginal signals. So, I could make the absolute statement that “Ground Balancing is always required” but is that really an accurate statement for any location worldwide? This past weekend my wife and I attended a hunt (rally) in central Pennsylvania and we stopped at an old school (circa 1924) on the way to the hunt site. I Ground Balanced the Equinox 800 and the site registered between 14 and 18 . . . much different than my home sites. I searched for a few minutes and got a good, deep signal. I reset the GB to “0” and checked the target . . .it was still discernible. So, in this case, adjusting the GB off of the preset did not buy me anything. The hunt site was a bit different and in some areas, the ground registered 50 or higher. In those cases, coins on edge were not as clear with the GB at preset (0) as compared to setting the unit for the ground conditions. I used the Equinox on my last trip to England and rarely saw GB values above 20 in any of the fields we visited. The takeaway from this is that there is no “one rule fits all conditions” as site conditions can and do change which will cause you to reassess your settings and make the adjustments needed to compensate for those changes. If you want to get an accurate answer to the question “Should I Ground Balance my Equinox?”, do the following . . . . 1) Do an Auto Ground Balance at your site to see what the ground mineralization is. 2) Find and mark a deep target. 3) Sweep over it with the GB set at “0” (preset) and then again with it at the value you found when you GB’ed the Equinox. If you get a cleaner, stronger signal with the GB set off preset, you have your answer for that location. If not, leave it at preset and reap the rewards. But avoid saying it always should be left at Preset based on an Internet forum or Facebook post as the person that made the post might be searching sites totally different than what you are. Dial the detector in to YOUR sites and YOUR targets . . . you will always do better than simply taking advice that might be fine in one area and not another and usually that other area will be yours. Hope this helps . . . . . remember, the answer to virtually any question that pertains to setting a metal detector is almost always "IT DEPENDS" as conditions vary so greatly!
  47. 25 points
    So today I thought it was about time I took my 2.5 year old daughter out to my gold claim. The claim is in reasonably rugged country with steep slopes and dense vegetation. Most of the gold is found as small nuggets on or near bedrock. There was one spot I could think of that was within 100m of the road where a river bank had been washed out and bedrock was exposed. That said I knew I'd have to cut a bit of a track through the vegetation to get the little girl through. We got to our location after a bit of a scramble down a short but steep slope with the aid of a rope. Was a bit of a performance with a backpack on my back and carrying my daughter. I set her up on a grassy bank next to where I'd be digging and surrounded her with snacks with which to entertain herself. As luck would have it I managed to uncover three small nuggets by clearing the gravels off the bedrock and detecting it. After about an hour she'd had enough and we clamberd back to my car. Needless to say, I'm very proud that she's now big and patient enough to take gold hunting! Oh, we got 0.8g total. However in this case the memories (at least for me) are priceless.
  48. 25 points
    JW asked me last night if I was keen to go back to my hot rock skunk spot for another go, I knew he'd do well there so I wanted to go to see the action, I didn't have too much faith in myself but I was determined to at least break the skunk. I arrived at JW's and he had a gift waiting for me, a Minelab melon warmer, perfect timing right before winter kicks in, maybe it's my lucky beanie. We've gone to this spot the past couple of weekends, JW has been absolutely killing it at this spot with his X-coils getting double digit gold every time. I had been skunked both previous times but this time was different, I was determined to break the skunk, the past two skunks were getting to me so I was going to find gold and gold I found, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain't bad... It's a nice spot, I enjoy being there wandering around The grass growth was bad, consistent with this year at every spot we go, it's been a bit wetter than usual That little plant in the bottom left of the photo is lethal, it doesn't look dangerous but it will stab you to death with its sharp spikes. I found out the hard way. I started off using my GPX but the hot rocks were driving me mad, as you probably remember from my last two posts about this area I'm really struggling with this area and it's green hot rocks. On the GPX they come up such nice signals, especially when they're underground, surface ones are simple to deal with. The smaller they are the more annoying they are. I quickly got sick of digging hotrocks so swapped over to my Equinox. The Equinox although is just as bothered by the hot rocks can at least tell you they're hotrocks with the -8 and -9 on the VDI's. I prefer to use my Equinox in all metal mode, I don't like how if you notch out numbers it just nulls the audio but you hear broken audio from any overlap in the VDI's that cross to another number. Here is a video of the Equinox on this ground with no discrimination - I'll put better quality videos up later, Googles taking forever to process them. I put up with all metal mode for a while but gave up and notched out -9 and -8, not long after that I found my first bit of gold. A nice 6 to 7 on the VDI's Not too shabby, It was quite deep too, I didn't bother to work out the depth but I'd say about 7", a decent weight too You'll notice on all my dig holes in this post I clear the surface around them, that's to get rid of as many hot rocks as possible as they can disturb the signal and effect the VDI's That was it for me for some time, I spent the next couple of hours detecting around and found very little, the good thing about this spot is its relatively junk free, there are just bucket loads of hot rocks to make up for the missing junk ? JW walked past on his way to another spot and I asked how he's going, I think at this point he was at 6 or more, I can't remember exactly but I wasn't surprised, it's the x-coil factor.... Lately my best gold has come from the most unlikely places, so what's exactly where I went to explore next. My GPX was behaving nicely, I'm not overly certain what people consider a smooth running GPX is but this is mine in sensitive extra with gain of 15 and audio in boost, the signals it's getting are the hot rocks. Going over ground and finding a small underground hotrock Going over my .3 of a gram nugget I just found, I throw it in an about 6" deep dig hole from someone else. I gave up on the GPX again due to the hot rocks and lack of discrimination and went back to the Nox with 11" coil. I was in Gold 2 with sensitivity 25, all else defaults but -8 and -9 discriminated out. JW wandered past as he was going back to get lunch, I'd already had mine so he said you may as well stay detecting, it's lucky he said that as I was about to give up on this spot but decided I'd stay a bit longer. Soon after I had a solid 15 on the VDI's, never changed.. absolutely solid. I thought maybe I had an old coin or something but no, it was my biggest piece of gold ever!!!!! Look at that lump! You'll note I got my Carrot out for this one, I thought it was an old coin so I used my Carrot to locate it, which it did a quick job of. Down 3/4 of the depth of my carrot. Oh yea! my biggest ever! 1.208 grams ? A few foot away I got another nice signal, a very repeatable 5 on the VDI's this time Only about 2-3 inches down A very good day to me, but no match for JW and his X-coils! ? Some may wonder why I used the 11" coil on the Equinox and not the 6" when prospecting.... to me there is not that much difference, the 11" will find tiny gold, I wanted the ground coverage and the extra depth as I've seen from JW's experience the gold at this spot tends to be deeper. The 11" isn't that far behind the 6" in sensitivity to tiny gold.
  49. 24 points
    Saying I had an epic weekend would be an understatement! I loaded the latest Equinox firmware update to try the new FE2/0 iron program, and it did not disappoint! I've posted about trip reports from this site several times over the years. It's always been a fun site IMO, you just never know what you'll dig, and it dates back to the early 1800's with history into the 20th century. It saw it's share of the Spanish, Mexicans, Emigrants, and Americans. It's getting difficult, lots of flat iron still left, but good finds have been thinning out, easy finds have been gone for years. TomCA won't even hunt there any more. This trip turned out to be absolutely EPIC! Unbelievable really, because there have been trips where neither Tom nor I have dug a single coin at this site, so to dig five period coins in one trip was astounding. Now if these were just five common 1800's coins, I would've left there an extremely happy camper, but two out of the five turned out to be astounding finds! An 1865-S Seated Liberty Dime AND a 1856-S INDIAN PRINCESS $1 GOLD PIECE!!! I am absolutely over the moon from this hunt! I got all the coins on video, if you have a chance, take a look: Without further ado: Right after she was dug and I just ran some bottled water over her in the field: Thanks for looking!! GL&HH, Cal <<<<<<<< THE ORIGINAL CAL
  50. 24 points
    I asked and got permission to hunt an old yard in the older part of town. I was told that it had been detected several times over the years and a $20.00 gold coin was found there about twenty years ago. I said that technology had gotten better and I would like to try my chances. I was very pleasantly surprised with this coin
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