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  1. 61 points
    I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Posted On Facebook Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  2. 51 points
    Still shaking after today I took my 24 k for a walk after spending hours combing the geology maps in my area and picked a random creek to go up and omg did it pan out first piece of bedrock I came to had a parralley crack running with the flow... Not normally gold catching but thought I'd swing my coil over it and it over loaded I turned down the sens and swang again solid 95 on the probability meter on the 24k so I dug down and neally had a heat attach when I saw what poped out.... Came in at 6..78oz Also does anyone know how to clean them up
  3. 51 points
    Tis the season for nuggetshooting the great American desert southwest once again, and for the first leg of my annual pilgrimage it’s always mandatory to spend some time at the Rye Patch area in northern Nevada. With the ground being very dry this time of year, the GPZ 7000 performs at its best in this region with minimal interference from the conductive alkali component of the local ground. In areas where there was variable ground however, a quick adjustment of the Ground Smoothing from Off to Locate Patch returned the threshold to a smooth and stable operation again. One of the highlights of the hunt was a decent, broad target that had a hint of a gurgle as the coil was swept completely out of the target zone, which indicated the nugget was going to be a bit larger than the usual dinks I had been finding. After removing 8 to 10 inches of material out of a broad area centered over the target, the signal response was fairly screaming as I swung the coil flat against the bottom of the excavation. Turning the coil up on edge however, and the Zed struggled to get a response from the bottom of the hole; when this scenario happens, it’s telling me there’s a really nice nugget and that I have a lot more digging to do. ? Finally, at a depth of 18 inches, the target was screaming off the edge of the coil, so just using the plastic scoop, I dug into the floor of the mammoth dig hole and retrieved the golden beauty: a lovely 10.6 grammer!? This same process was repeated on another occasion, but this time it was a 4.5 gram nugget about 3 inches away from another nugget about half its size, again at around 18 inches deep. Although pretty nippy in the mornings, the sunny weather held out with no wind. So all in all, a super good hunt, with a total of 51 grams of golden goodies.
  4. 43 points
    This gold prospecting and metal detecting story takes us all the way back to the beginning - my beginning that is. I was fortunate enough to be born in the Territory of Alaska in 1957. Alaska was still very much on the frontier back in those days. My father was a farm boy from the midwest who headed for Alaska in the early 50's with not much more than an old pickup truck. He worked as a longshoreman offloading ships in Seward, Alaska for a time. He decided to get some education and earned his way through college in Fairbanks, Alaska by driving steampipe for the fleet of gold dredges that were still working there. He spent some time in Seldovia, Alaska working the "slime line" in a fish cannery. He met my mom in Seldovia, the two got married, and finally settled in Anchorage, Alaska. I came along in 1957. My father had taken a job as a surveyor but money was tight in the early years. I was raised on wild game and garden grown vegetables, and as soon as I was old enough to handle it, I was walking a trapline every winter with my father. Dad was a hard worker however, and Alaska was having one of its many booms at the time - the construction of the oil and gas fields in Lower Cook Inlet. This was the Swanson River oilfield, discovered the year I was born. The state was prospering and my father along with it as a surveyor on the new Swanson Field. He got the bug for flying early on, and by the time I became a teenager he finally got his dream plane at the time - a Piper Super Cub, the classic Alaska Bush airplane. Super Cubs equipped with oversize "tundra tires" can land just about anywhere you can find about 300 - 400 feet of open ground. A great little airplane and the one I ended up flying to get my own pilot's license. Super Cub N1769P parked on knoll in Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska It was in this same timeframe that dad got me hooked on gold prospecting. In 1972 I saw an ad in a magazine "Find Lost Treasure" and had acquired my first metal detector, a White's Coinmaster 4. This must have got discussions going about gold, and my father did have some knowledge on the subject having worked around the gold mines in Fairbanks. He took me to a little creek south of Anchorage, Bertha Creek, and I found my very first flakes of gold! By the ripe old age of 14 gold fever was in the air, I had my first metal detector, and already wanted a gold dredge. My first dredge, a 3" Keene with no floatation, was on the way to me in 1973. Keep in mind that the price of gold had only recently been deregulated from the old fixed price of $35 per ounce. In 1972 it was around $60 per ounce, and in 1973 made it to just over $100 per ounce. The money was not my motivation at all. I already just loved finding gold, and the connection to the prospectors of old and the historical quest for gold were more compelling than any dream of striking it rich. I just wanted to find gold! My first metal detector and first gold dredge (my 3502 had the older aluminum header box & a power jet) A young man with a new detector, new gold dredge, gold fever, and a father willing to fly him anywhere in Alaska on adventure. How great is that? Now there was only one problem - where to go? There was no internet then, so it boiled down to libraries and research. In short order I discovered the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) bulletin series and the number one Alaska title of the series, Placer Deposits of Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 1374 by Edward H. Cobb. This one book and the references contained in it became my prospecting guide to Alaska. My desired target? Remote locations with large gold nuggets! I read the book and certain places just jumped out at me. One was the Iditarod area and places like Ganes Creek and Moore Creek - tales told elsewhere. This paragraph of page 114 caught my eye: "Placer mining in the Chisana district, first of creek gravels and later of bench and old channel deposits of Bonanza and Little Eldorado Creeks, has always been on a small scale with simple equipment. The remoteness of the area, shortages of water on some streams, and the small extent of the deposits all prevented the development of large operations. There has been little activity since World War II; the last reported mining was a two-man nonfloat operation in 1965." Wow, that alone sounds pretty good. Nothing really about the gold however. The secret to the Placer Deposits series is not so much the books themselves, though they are great for getting ideas, like I did. The key is to use the references listed and in this case the main one is The Chisana-White River District, Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 630 (1916) by Stephen Reid Capps. It turns out I had stumbled over the location of the last actual gold rush in Alaska in 1913. It was a small rush and did not last long, but it did mark the end of an era. The world was on the brink of war and the age of gold rushes was soon to be history. The history of the area is covered in the report starting on page 89. It is fascinating reading, but it was this note on page 105 that really sealed the deal: "The gold is bright, coarse, and smoothly worn. The largest nugget found has a value of over $130, and pieces weighing a quarter of an ounce or over make up about 5 per cent of the total gold recovered. The gold is said to assay $16.67 an ounce." Gold nuggets a quarter ounce or larger make up five percent of the gold? And that $130 nugget at $16.67 an ounce? Somewhere over seven ounces. That's all I needed to know. Very remote, worked by simple means, and large gold - I wanted to go to Chisana in general and Bonanza Creek in particular. Even the creek names scream gold - Bonanza Creek, Big Eldorado Creek, Little Eldorado Creek, Coarse Money Creek, and Gold Run. Now all we had to do was get there. But when I said remote, I meant remote. Chisana is practically in Canada 250 air miles from Anchorage. To be continued..... Chisana, Alaska location map
  5. 42 points
    Quick story-- As most of you know i work with Veterans, and a lot are dealing with PTSD --- I always thought detecting would be good therapy because they can get away from the crowds, carry a firearm in most cases (so they feel safe) and they can relax a bit. One guy showed up last week with a Minelab GoFind60---[maybe the only mInelab i havent bought ...Yet...lol] He said he was new and he hadnt found much but trash...I told him to trget places people would be sitting on the ground... like ball fields, picnics and such..I told him that I like to go around old trees. Mind you this is on an old Army base so there can be some neat things there. So far the first day he got half an old spur, second day---1912 penny in good shape!, third day- two Taxca Mexico sliver bangles with the floral design....($25ea!) So he is feeling better , he isnt so jumpy, i see him smiling now, and he is sleeping better after going to classes and then detecting the rest of the day.... That's all it took....a little detector and a place to detect---- Im happy I got to meet this new detectorist.
  6. 41 points
    KiwiJW was keen to go for a prospecting trip yesterday which I was excited about, last time we went out I found a 0.62-gram piece which is certainly one of my bigger ones. We tend to have a lot smaller gold than the Aussie’s which makes hunting for gold quite the challenge when the average size found is probably within the 0.0X grams range. I couldn’t imagine hunting for gold when the average size piece is in the 0.5+ gram range or larger, I often get those big booming signals and as I get tired later in the day or on a hot day when I can’t be bothered just walk past them as they’ve been almost always 22 shells, but this day was different, even though I’d forgotten my lucky hat. We first went to an entirely new location for me which was a nice lake with old workings at it, I first had some trouble getting a ground balance with my GPX 4500 here, it took me quite a while to work out what to do, I was considering just putting it down and using my GM1000 but seeing I only had the 5” coil with me it didn’t seem optimal in such a big area. In the end I just changed out of sensitive extra which I’ve stuck in since I got my GPX and went into normal, I haven’t needed to do this before but there was no way I was going to get a ground balance in this soil, it was near white soil with lots of nice gravels and quartz in it and looked very promising. It’s lucky I had my little GPX timings chart with me that Steve had made up, it helped a lot in this situation. Steve's awesome GPX timing Charts There were lots of dig holes around from somebody in the area and the person who did them was annoying as a lot of them already had a signal in them which I re-dug only to find a bit of junk so I suspect the person was throwing the junk back into their holes. JW was off in the distance detecting the bedrock which goes down into the lake, this is normally covered in water but on this day due to lack of rain I guess the water level was low exposing this bedrock. No luck was had at this location so we decided it was time for a fuel up at KFC before heading to a spot I call old faithful. JW shouted lunch and we had our usual feast, it’s a tasty treat, then we were all charged up and ready to go. Old faithful is one of the first places I’d been to and we regularly end up here but it’s usually productive for us, JW does particularly well here and it was home to my old gold miners silver ring I found some time ago. I switched back to sensitive extra timings here. Once at old faithful we did something different and detected right at the entrance, an area we have walked/rode on the E-bike’s past so many times but I’d never detected before. We split off in directions and starting going for it. JW was quick to find a bit to keep me motivated and it was insanely small, I can’t believe he can find bits this small with his GPZ but he does, and he does regularly, it’s no fluke. I will leave the story on his bits to him as it’s pretty amazing. I said to him, "oh that bit’s so small, there is no way I’d be able to get that with this detector" (GPX) so he waved it over my coil and what do you know, a signal, waved it deeper, a signal again, waved it at the depth he found it with the GPZ, and again an obvious signal! What is going on I was wondering, then I realised exactly what it is, I’d modified my settings and threshold due to the wonderful post Northeast did about thresholds on the GPX. He explained to me how to adjust my threshold, the thread also talked about volume levels which I also took note of and adjusted. I was incorrectly running my threshold very high, and also had my GPX volume level very high and then going into my booster and the cranked up high again. I gave JW my gold bottle to store his bit in as he’d forgotten his as he was likely to need it more than me. The grass growth was pretty insane, it's normally a dry desolate place, this year has been different. Fortunately this time the grass was easier to push over than last time so we were able to swing crushing the grass down What I was doing now is turning my threshold right down so it was silent, then I turned up my threshold so it was just audible and stable and left it there. As for my volume I had the volume turned down very low on the GPX itself, and used the Steelphase SP01 enhancer to control my volume, I had it turned up to a comfortable loudness on that which gave me nice clear crisp audio, I had it in my preferred setting of Filter 2 using its pseudo stereo mode wired to 2 x GME SPK08 speakers wired in stereo. This location is known for it’s pellets and using a HF VLF like my GM1000 is just a nightmare here as you will spend your time digging pellets, 20 or more pellets is not usual but this is where the magic happened, my GPX was now doing as well on pellets as my GM1000, it was detecting pellets everywhere, even quite well buried ones, this new volume/threshold settings combination was opening up a new world of small targets I was missing. I normally got six or so pellets a day with the GPX here, now I was finding them constantly. It felt like these new GPX settings combined with the Steelphase SP01 enhancer and the Nugget Finder 14x9 EVO coil had just majorly enhanced the sensitivity of my GPX to small gold. Thanks Northeast!! I didn’t mind at all spending my day digging pellets as I was hoping it meant I’d find a small bit of gold that this spot is known for and JW had already just found, a real confidence booster for me. Shortly after something else unusual happened, a guy walked up and surprised me out of nowhere. He was carrying a Makro Gold Kruzer he’d bought three days earlier and was a newbie at detecting but had done a lot of sluicing in the past. He was keen for any tips I could give him so I gave him a few good tips on where to look but warned him that thing is going to eat pellets all day long, he walked off all excited about the prospect of finding gold as I told him JW over there has found a piece already and we’ve only been here 30 minutes or so. It is so rare we stumble across another detectorist, we’re more likely to find a gram+ piece of gold than see another detectorist ? I kept wandering around digging up pellets and small shards of metal excited knowing I’m really gelling with my detector on this day hoping a little bit of colour was on its way and then I stumbled into an area I will now call Mr Pocket ? I had a big loud signal, I assumed it was going to be a 22 shell as I’d just dug a few of them in the same little area of about 4m x 4m but this time it was different, it was gold! I walked over to JW and said I’m going to need to share the bottle ? he was excited for me and I showed him my bit which I described as almost needing a wheelbarrow to get it over to him and we dropped it into the bottle and back I went to my spot. It was the most unlikely of spot, no bedrock, no signs of any gold workings, just a grassy area near the creek side within about a meter or so of the dirt road. 0.294 grams, not too bad, It looks bigger than it weighs for some reason, it's a lumpy one. This was quite a big piece for this location and seeing it was such a loud booming signal I kept digging booming signals in this little area and out popped another big one! I took it over to John to put in the bottle and said I’m onto something down here, and so Mr Pocket was born. He now passed me the jar and said looks like you’ll be needing to hold onto this ? It was almost down the depth of my scoop but was a loud booming signal. My first ever nugget over a gram! A rare find. I went back to my spot and the next thing to pop up was another bit of gold, this time not so big and more in line with our usual gold sizes around here but still, small for me with my GPX and down about 3 inches. Pretty impressive and thanks to my new settings. This little guy wasn't particularly deep, 2 to 3 inches I'd guess. But it sure is tiny for the GPX and it was such a nice stand out signal. I now felt I’d gone over this little 4m x 4m patch to my ability level so I called JW over to see if he could get any more out of it with his Zed and GB2. I didn’t have a HF VLF with me so I was hoping he’d end up finding some gold the GPX missed with his two high powered weapons. I showed him my spot and took off looking for a new spot. Shortly after “new guy” walked up again, he’d been detecting about 30 minutes’ walk further along the roadside with his Gold Kruzer and had only found what looked to be 4 old rusty nails and a 22 shell. I thought something is wrong here, a 61khz detector and no shotgun pellets in a place riddled with them. I scattered a few pellets Id found on the exposed bedrock and asked him to wave over them, nothing at all even touching them. I dropped my gold bottle on the ground and asked him to wave it over it, nothing, absolutely nothing unless he virtually touched the jar and then it did a threshold change. Something isn’t right here. I’d never seen a Kruzer before but helped him out with his settings on it and then got him to re-test over the bottle, this bottle had a piece over a gram it in, this thing should be screaming on it, and now it was working and picking up the gold at some depth. His gain, discrimination and mode were now adjusted. I still don’t know if it has the right settings but I told him he should be reading the manual. It was now picking up pellets too but not to a level I’d consider good. He said it was a choice between the Kruzer and GM1000 but he picked the Kruzer. He was disappointed he wasted the afternoon with the wrong settings so even If he passed a 1 gram bit of gold he would of missed it ☹ This is where the simplicity of the Gold Monster shines, if he had of bought that, he would have been fine right off the start line. He was appreciative of the help and we parted ways. This made me think back to how lucky I was I had KiwiJW and this forum to help me out with my prospecting or I'd be in the position of this poor guy trying to work it all out alone. I went down to check how well JW did in Mr Pocket but it seems I’d cleaned it out, he got no more gold, reassuring in a way but also disappointing as I was hoping JW would get some out of it. I will leave it to JW to tell his side of the day, all I will say is him and his ability to operate his GPZ is a shock to me. Here is a majority of the junk from the day, I'd lost a few pellets out of my pocket and I'd dumped a few on the ground for the new guy to test his detector on but I sure got a lot of small junk showing just how sensitive the GPX was. I was regularly finding shards of metal even smaller than pellets. The Minelab GPX 4500 with the 14x9 Nugget Finder EVO combined with the audio provided by the Steelphase SP01 Audio Enhancer is a deadly combination, I've never used a SDC2300 but it has to be getting up there to it's small metal finding ability because I know it's getting pretty close to that of my Gold Monster 1000. It was now time to head off, another great day prospecting and now my confidence is on a high. I enjoyed going back to Johns house afterwards for a coffee and showing off my gold finds to Mrs JW,. Thanks for another good day John.
  7. 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
  8. 38 points
    I posted earlier in the summer about a new spot that I was using the Monster and my Puffer drywasher at; well, I went ahead and claimed it so I could have a place to go play all the time?The process was a great learning experience, and the guys at our local BLM were really helpful to a newbie like me! I finally got the quarter mile of brush, downed trees and rocks cleared so now I can get in there with my side x side....a bit gnarly still, but doable. I initially attacked the old timers stackings...here’s one that was a screamer in a small depression, seen to the left of the Monster in 2nd pic: I continued to move rocks, detect, then drywash.....here’s the area now, and a sample of a good day’s detecting: I explored other areas of the bench, and Woo Hoo, got my biggest piece....a whopping .43g lol! It was almost 5” deep and pretty faint...pic doesn’t look that deep, but it was: Here’s one scraping/dig hole that had 6 pieces in it! Good thing I kept checking it, for sure: If you zoom on the scoop you can see all them little babies? So the pup and I have been having a fun summer.....nice utv rides along the creek and in the pines, picnic lunches at the claim, and I’m finding a bit of gold while she’s chasing chipmunks all day! Life is good??⛏
  9. 37 points
    I've returned from my second detecting trip to England and what a trip it was!! I was lucky enough to be staying in the same barn as Steve Herschbach!! The first day on the fields are a half day usually. After the 2 hour ride from London to the "barn" where we will be staying for the next seven days. The "barns" are actual barns that have been renovated into vacation rental units. We unload all of our luggage from the van, find our sleeping spot for the week, dig out all of our gear, assemble everything, jump back in the van, and head out to the first field! My best find that afternoon was a hammered copper Rose farthing. They are commonly dated 1636. (Look for the pattern here). And the usual buttons and lead. So that was a good start. Day 2: Our first full day. A cool, slightly foggy, just perfect! The day wasn't real eventful for me. We hunted two different farms. At the end of the day my better finds were 5 farthings and a wiped out copper token, plus some buttons and lead. The farthings were late 1700s-1800s. Here at home in the States, to find those 5 coins would be a day to talk about for months. It was funny for me while I was over there, knowing with so much history the possibilities make my hopes and expectations exhilarating! You truly never know what will pop up next. It could be 10 years old or 2000 years old! There were multiple milled, and hammered silver coins found and some neat relics dug throughout the day by the other team members. Day 3: Things started to pick up for me a little on day 3. We came across a late Georgian/Victorian home site members of the team started popping some milled coins. Coppers and silvers. If I remember correctly one member found 3 or 4 silver 3 pence coins in that same field. A little silver 3 pence was one of the coins I was hoping to get while I was there, but it wasn't meant to be this trip. Shortly before lunch I switched fields and got onto my first bit of English silver for the trip! An 1844 Vicky 4 pence in nice condition. So after lunch I was headed back to the field were I got my 4P and we had to walk past a 1700? mansion to get back to where I wanted to be. So I slowed down and detected in front of the mansion along the way and got my first hammered silver for this trip! A nice "full" penny. Turned out to be a 1279 Edward I ! That was the highlight for my day three. But I did find plenty of buttons and lead too. Day 4: This day was one of those roller coaster type hunting days. The morning was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead. Until while hunting near a 13th century church and villa when I popped a nice little cut quarter hammered silver and less than 10 mins later another hammered silver coin fragment. Kinda bang bang! We broke for a short lunch break and went our separate ways and as I was walking into a field through a tractor path I got a nice high tone. But real erratic at the same time. One you would figure to be either a coin or part of a beer can. But when I pinpointed the target it was a nice small tight pinpoint I figured I better dig it. Boy am I glad I did! Turned out to be a 1908 Edwardian decorated silver mount! Turns out it was in a place they usually park the van! The rest of my days finds consisted of the usual trash plus some buttons and lead. Day 5: Today was another one of those days that I was digging lots of targets like buttons and lead... But not one coin all morning till around lunch. After lunch I decided to stay on that field determined to find one of my wish coins a "Bullhead". A King George III silver. And with the coins being found in the area one was definitely a possibly. Lo and behold it happened! A melted bulkhead six pence. Even though it was melted almost to the point of unrecognition I could make out a G III and a reeded edge. Mission accomplished! The only other "wishlist" coin I really had on my mind on my way over was a Roman silver coin. Not really expecting to ever find one. We all carried radios every day, and as a good find was made, we would put it out over the radio. Ron gave the 15 min count down to the end of the days hunt over the radio so we all started to swing back towards the van. Walking pretty fast, with 8 minutes left, I got a signal figured I had time to pop one more. Boom! A Roman silver coin! It has a bad "horn crust" on it that needs to be "cooked" off so it can be properly identified. Early id's put it in the 4th century! I'm really looking forward to seeing that coin cleaned up! Day 6: The group split up in the morning between some rougher ground and some land that was nice and smooth. I went to the smoother field with a few other hunters. First hole out of the van 20 feet away I nabbed a hammie fragment! After that the first half of the day was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead of course. It was a enormous field. It has been hunted a lot over the years from what I understand. The lack of targets for me proved it. But it wasn't a total waste. You just have to walk over the stuff. With a half hour walk back to the van and only about 45 mins left to hunt I spun around and within or 3 or 4 swings later I got a loud high tone! As I was pinpointing I looked down and laying right on top of the ground was a complete silver thimble!! Sweet end to a pretty slow day. Day 7: The day I dread. The last day. You know not only is it your last day of detecting heaven and the inevitable time you'll power down for the last time of your trip, plus the last day is usually cut a little short. That's so we have time to get back to the barn and get all of your finds from the week cleaned, bagged, catalogued, and photographed if you want to see them again before they leave your life for the next few months. To optimize our hunt time we decided to hunt some nearby land. Even though it's also the land that the club has had lasted the longest! Even after all those years there were many great finds found on it this season! The week before we came a gold coin and a beautiful Celtic gold "votive offering" were found on it! I walked across the road from that field to a field that was surrounding a 16th century two story mansion. After a half hour or so of slowly working around the old mansion I dug a small piece of a hammered silver coin. That coin put me in a tie for 1st place for the weekly "Hammy competition". So I slowed down hoping to get another one to take the lead and hopefully win the competition. It was 10:10 a.m. when I got the loudest, jumpiest, most obnoxious signal of my trip. Not being too far from a tractor entrance into that field I figured it was a beer can or a grease tube but I figured I'd dig it up and get it out of there anyways. I missed the target on the first scoop. Moved a shovel blade to the left, stepped it in and kicked the back of the shovel and pushed the dirt forward and a big yellow ..... egg looking thing rolled out to my left. As I looked at it half my brain said to myself " what is that?" And the other half of my brain was saying "HOLY .....!!!!! That looks like gold!!" When I bent over to pick it up and I was lifting it off the ground the weight of it made it fall out of my hand! That's when I knew it was definitely a big piece of gold!!! After Ron came over to shoot some video and take some photos I strapped back on all my gear took 2 steps and 3 swings and got a solid 19 TID on the Equinox 800. I told myself after just finding that thing I don't care what this is, I'm digging it up. One scoop, and I pushed the shovel forward and a 11.2 gram ancient solid gold ring was laying there looking at me!! I about started to hyperventilate!! I quickly got Ron's attention again and he came over to shoot more video and more photos. I can only imagine this will be the most amazing thing I will ever find! It's been over a week since I found it and I still can't stop picturing those two artifacts rolling out of the dirt in my head...... Thanks for lookin' & HH
  10. 36 points
    The best part was how much fun I had chasing the gold with my son. The two of us really hit some nice stuff this past season. All the best to those of you that enjoy chasing the gold, Lanny
  11. 36 points
    OK, so not really a BIG adventure....I just like the title!? I decided the Zed needed to get out and play, so we headed to northern Nv for a week...skipped my usual Rye Patch, and hunted 3 other areas instead. My 1st bit of gold was from Placerites, a sassy piece: Got a dink at Sawtooth, then moved on elsewhere. Had a couple skunked days but still enjoyed the scenery: Even found me a cool high desert hood ornament lol! Ended up with over a quarter oz, including a rough beauty of 3.9 grams about 12” deep: Wanted to meet Steve at the Nugget Shoot, but had to head home to meet up with some loggers up by my cabin. All in all, a great trip!
  12. 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!
  13. 34 points
    Gold Nugget Detecting with the Minelab Equinox Metal detecting for gold nuggets is one of the most difficult detecting tasks, and learning to run a VLF detector in highly mineralized ground will challenge even the best detectorists. There is more to this subject then can be covered in a brief article but I will try and offer some tips to get people started with the Minelab EQUINOX for gold nugget detecting. Minelab Equinox with new 6" coil at work gold nugget detecting The Equinox can find very small gold nuggets! The EQUINOX 800 has two modes that are not available on the EQUINOX 600 – Gold Mode 1 and Gold Mode 2. The two Gold Modes are identical except for the default settings. Gold Mode 1 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 6 and Gold Mode 2 is set up with a default Recovery Speed of 4. These modes employ a boosted audio that increases both in volume and pitch as a target is detected. This in turn accentuates the signal on tiny gold nuggets. The threshold is also different than the “reference threshold” employed in the other modes and is more responsive to ground changes, providing important audio feedback about changing ground conditions. The Gold Modes are similar to the threshold based all metal modes available on most VLF nugget detectors with a major difference. A target id number is displayed for strong targets and each target id number can be independently set to accept or reject. In this regard the Gold Modes are a hybrid mode with more discrimination capability than is available in normal threshold based all metal modes. Normal VLF nugget detecting relies on the operator having their ear very tuned into the threshold sound of the detector. Slight variations in the threshold tone can indicate potential targets. The threshold tone is also very sensitive to changes in the ground mineralization. This includes the so-called “hot rocks” which have mineralization different than the ground they reside in which makes the detector react to them as targets. The challenge is to get the detector to operate with a relatively smooth threshold as the coil is swept over the ground so that desired targets will stand out. If hot rocks are signaling with every sweep of the coil, then progress will be extremely slow if not impossible. Tuning a VLF detector to hunt nuggets starts with the theoretical most powerful settings, and then reduces those settings until the detector becomes stable. Every setting is a trade off, because making a detector more sensitive to gold also makes the detector more sensitive to mineralized ground and hot rocks. The key settings for the EQUINOX 800 in Gold Mode are: Frequency. Multi frequency is the default and the most powerful frequency setting, with 40 kHz and 20 kHz single frequency options. Multi is the most sensitive to gold, but also reacts the most to bad ground and hot rocks. The goal is to get the EQUINOX to run well in Multi but if bad ground or hot rocks make that impossible, going first to 40 kHz and then to 20 kHz will make the EQUINOX progressively less reactive to the ground and the hot rocks. Ground Balance. The default is ground tracking on. Tracking attempts to keep up with and smooth out the variations in the ground. In doing so it has a filtering effect and can possibly tune out the slight audio variations that come not just from the ground but from very small or very deep gold. Tracking off is therefore the most sensitive setting, with adjustments made via the Auto (pump) method or manually. Sensitivity. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 20. Increasing sensitivity increases the audio response from all targets, plus the responses from things like electrical interference. Most importantly, too much sensitivity makes the ground itself into one giant target, and so if the detector refuses to ground balance properly then reducing sensitivity until a proper ground balance can be obtained is critical. The default of 20 can easily be too high for the worst ground, and settings in the mid to low teens may be necessary. Recovery Speed. The range on the EQUINOX 800 is from 1 – 8. The defaults are 6 for Gold Mode 1 and 4 for Gold Mode 2. Recovery speed as regards nugget detecting can be viewed as a smoothing filter. Higher settings act to smooth out audio responses from the ground and hot rocks. Lower settings enhance audio responses from weak gold signals, but also make hot rocks and bad ground stand out more. False signals from the coil bumping a rock also increase at lower settings. In general the EQUINOX will be easier to handle at higher Recovery Speed settings, with more careful coil control required at lower settings. Iron Bias. The range is 0 – 9 with a default of 6 in both Gold Modes. Lower settings reduce the chance of gold being identified as ferrous, while higher settings reduce the chance of ferrous items being misidentified as gold. Accept/Reject. The default is -9 through 0 rejected, 1 through 40 accepted. The discrimination range on the EQUINOX runs all the way into the ground signal, with ground signals in highly mineralized ground normally coming in at -9, -8, and possibly -7 though it depends strictly on the ground itself. Hot rocks can read almost anywhere, even in the positive number range in the mid-teens or elsewhere. Electrical interference is also likely to exhibit in the low negative number range. Any offending numbers including trash targets can be blocked directly, but the more numbers that are blocked or rejected come at a cost of slightly less signal strength on desired targets. Threshold. The range is 1 – 25 with a default of 12. This is normally set to be just loud enough to hear, but no more. Just a barely discernible tone. However, the threshold can also act as a backend filter. Once all other tuning has been completed, the threshold can be set lower until it is silent, or set higher than normal. Running silent can suppress small variations in the ground signal but also the weakest gold signals. Running the threshold higher than normal can smooth out weak variations, again with a subsequent loss on the faintest gold signals. My starting point (initial settings) for either Gold Mode are: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (pump method) with manual tweaking Sensitivity: 20 Recovery Speed: 6 Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: -9 through 40 accepted (either through the settings or by hitting the “Horseshoe button”) The main thing I am going to try and do is operate the EQUINOX in Gold Mode without blocking out or rejecting any target id numbers. The goal is to find settings that reduce and smooth out ground responses while reducing the signal from gold as little as possible. These two things fight each other and there are no perfect settings, but simply the best compromise possible. For some people that will mean making the machine very stable, while others may prefer hotter settings that require more audio interpretation from the operator. The first step is to find an area clear of trash, and walk a bit waving the coil over the ground. Chances are you will get lots of ground noise. Go into the settings and adjust the ground balance. This normally means pumping the coil over the ground while holding the accept/reject button (see the manual) until the ground response evens out. If the ground is highly variable with mixed hot rocks, waving the coil from side to side may work better than pumping the coil. With any luck the machine will settle right down. However, in bad ground it will not, and the solution normally will be to lower the sensitivity setting. Basically this just takes some experimentation, lowering the sensitivity and adjusting the ground balance until the detector reacts very little or not at all to being waved over the ground. If you can get the EQUINOX set to where no target id numbers are popping up at all as the coil passes over the ground but where you can still hear faint variations in the ground, you are there. Then it is simply a matter of going detecting, and digging every target that stands out above the faint ground variations present in the threshold tone. Gold can read anywhere from negative numbers all the way up into the 30’s so typical nugget detecting involves digging everything. However, most nuggets weighing under 1/10th gram will give a target id number of 1 or 2, nuggets under a gram in the single digits, and several gram nuggets reading in the teens and higher. The smallest or the deepest large nuggets will produce no target id number at all, just a variation in the threshold. In real bad ground you may have to not only reduce the sensitivity setting, but possibly even increase the recovery speed setting to 7 or 8. In ground that refuses to behave, switching to first 40 kHz and then 20 kHz will progressively detune the EQUINOX , making it easier to get a stable ground balance. Engaging ground tracking may also help smooth out the worst ground – you have to experiment. In severe ground all this may not work, with ground signals still coming in around the low negative numbers and possibly higher. Some hot rocks may read as positive numbers. This is where the EQUINOX can go to the next level. Go into the settings and reject or “notch out” the worst offending target id numbers. This will usually be -9, -8, and -7 but may include even higher numbers, including positive numbers. Block as few numbers as you can. Simply rejecting the bottom three negative numbers will usually settle the machine down a lot, especially if there is any residual electrical interference being encountered. Rejecting target id numbers does come at a cost in reduced signal strength on desired targets, but you may find now that the sensitivity level can be increased from one to several points, reclaiming that lost sensitivity. In theory if you can get the EQUINOX running stable with no target id numbers rejected you have the ideal situation. However, EQUINOX allowing some offending signals to be rejected with an attendant increase in the sensitivity setting may be the better way to go. It just depends on the situation. So far we have been trying to deal with bad ground by using various detuning methods. In low mineral ground you can go the other direction. If the detector ground balances immediately with a sensitivity setting of 20, then try higher settings. You can also try reducing the recovery speed setting from 6 to 5 or 4 or even lower. Each reduction of the recovery speed setting is fairly dramatic and you will find it suddenly very hard to get and hold a decent ground balance if you go too low with the setting. In mild ground however it can add substantially to the signal strength of the weakest targets. Finally, for the worst ground and for EQUINOX 600 owners we have other alternatives. There is no reason at all why the other modes cannot be used to nugget hunt. Park 2 and Field 2 are both very hot on small targets and offer the ability to use tones while nugget hunting. Prospectors who encounter salt lakes/salt flat situations would do well to remember the Beach modes as possible last ditch settings. Either Park 2 or Field 2 can make for very good nugget hunting modes. I prefer to use Park 2 as a base because by default Field 2 blocks out or rejects the key target id numbers 1 and 2. Small gold nuggets read there, so using Park 2 makes sure somebody will not accidently reject nuggets in that range. You can use Field 2, but beware those blocked numbers and adjust accordingly. For Park Mode 2: Frequency: Multi Ground Balance: Auto (Ground pump method with manual tweaking) Sensitivity: 16 – 25 Recovery Speed: 4 - 6 (default is 6) Iron Bias: 0 Accept/Reject: Everything accepted, rely on tones (alternative reject -9, -8, and -7 if too much ground feedback) I have suggested accepting everything, and then using the two tone mode to hunt by ear. If trash is minimal then set the tone break lower than normal, so that 0 and several negative numbers read as non-ferrous. This way you can have ground signals reading as low tones (and possibly at a lower volume) and signals from gold as higher tones. Again, this works well with both EQUINOX models. To sum up, I suggest trying to use the EQUINOX 800 in the Gold Modes with no target id numbers rejected. Tune up just like any normal nugget hunting detector, and dig all decent audio signals. Some nuggets may deliver a negative number response or no number at all. A secondary method for more difficult ground is to reject or block out offending ground and hot rock signals. And a third method for both EQUINOX 800 and 600 owners involves using the Park 2 mode as a nugget hunting mode. That should give people plenty to experiment with. Nugget detecting can be very challenging, but learning to do so means you will learn how to wring every bit of performance possible out of your EQUINOX , and that can benefit you in other areas of detecting as well. Good luck! Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com Earlier post on same subject Gold found in Alaska by Steve with Minelab Equinox Gold found in California and Nevada with Minelab Equinox
  14. 34 points
  15. 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.
  16. 32 points
    This particular find happened on July of this year. I went out today for few hours just to kill time. I wasn’t expecting much so I was just taking my time digging targets. I was digging lots of thrash as usual along with some pennies. I was using the Equinox 800 and since I wasn’t finding much I started just jumping between park 1 and field 1. After a few hours I came across this iffy target that would jump all over the place with negative numbers and hit 20-21 once in a while. I’m like another penny, I guess I will dig it since it’s my last target. I dug it and I see this weird coin staring back at me. I grab it and I’m a little confused now cause it sure doesn’t look like a Penny at all. After a few seconds go by it finally clicks, OMG this a fracken gold coin. Now I’m shaking And trying to figure out what to do next. After a minute or two I figured I should put it on top of the detector to let it breath and take a picture. Well, here it is and I hope this isn’t a dream. Thank you for looking and remember to dig everything because you just never know. I wish you all a Happy New Year. The last two pictures are after I finished cleaning it with water without any rubbing. The coin looks better in person but my camera phone can’t capture it good. I found the coin in a public place where construction was being done. A lot of old dirt was pulled and spread out, about the size of a football field and 12”+ in depth. A few of us hunted this site for a couple of weeks till they took most of the dirt back and cover the rest with clean dirt. I will make another post later with my othe finds from there. Happy New Year to all.
  17. 32 points
    Well we’ve had some snow and cold temps up at the cabin....here’s my thermometer for my morning walk the other day: Hadn’t made it to my little claim in well over a month, so decided to give it one more visit when it warmed up in the afternoon. Roamed over the handstackings and found a promising spot to clear and detect a bit: Nice little nuggies found both near the surface, and some better ones in some depressions in the bedrock...here they are in the canister cap. Was afraid with my cold hands I’d knock them off the Monster’s coil if I displayed them spread out! : Did a final weigh-in of the gold found on the claim....used the Monster mainly, and some drywashing till it started to crap out on me mid season(a big shout out to Chet for fixing it better than new for next year!) My goal was to just find enough to at least pay for my claim fees and corner posts....ended up with 12.85grams, so did a bit better than that lol! Here’s the pic of it all....looks like a tiny micro version of Lunk’s killer Rye Patch finds that he posted about recently? It was great fun to have my own special place to play this summer....looking forward to continuing moving rock etc on the claim next year! I am so grateful that I have my cabin in the hills and pines, and am able to enjoy the wilderness and the critters in it. Here’s a couple recent pics taken while on my walks...not the best quality on my phone, though I think you can make out Mrs Moose(Mr had stepped out of view by the time I took pic), and a huge coyote that hung around for a couple weeks. I’ll be heading to FL for the winter soon....so will be switching to beach hunting....wish me luck! ?
  18. 32 points
    For those that don’t follow me on Facebook this is the end result of 3-days behind my GPZ at Rye Patch. Robin and I, just got home from a big group hunt at Rye Patch and a few days later one of my partners said, he was heading back up. I already had three other buddies there that didn’t make it to the outing and his call got me off the fence to pack my truck up with my gear. Surprised my new Super Ice Chest still had some ice in it too! If you followed my last posting we all had a great trip, but the wind was doing what wind does...keeps nuggets out of your poke. It creates all kinds of noise to fight to hear a faint signal or tones while metal detecting. I knew we left nuggets behind on this hot little patch. Not a puff of wind and the area produced like I was hoping. We took advantage of the warm calm Autumn Desert on a handful of other old huants and if you listened close, you could hear the whispers and cheers of times past while adding to the poke of memories of the present! Leave no nugget behind...I always leave them behind, it’s what keeps me motivated to come back! 5 of us added nuggets and good times to our pokes. Below is my harvest (keeping it in season) of the Great Pumkin Patches of Rye Patch! LuckyLundy
  19. 32 points
    Hi Guys, I have been a bit slack in coughing up posts of my adventures & finds over the last couple of weekends. So I will go back a couple of weekends to my first mountain E-bike mission up into the hills chasing gold. The challenge was always going to be just how do I carry everything on me on the bike. My only choice was to put it all into my backpack. Pro swing harness with WM12 & B&Z booster & twin speakers clipped onto it. Pick, pick holder & belt. Smoko bag & coffee thermos. The Zed with coil & shaft sticking out the top of the pack. That was going to be the biggest obstacle negotiating through bush & past rocky outcrops without getting the detector caught up on something & getting thrown off the bike, hopefully not down a ravine, or worse...breaking the detector shaft. Oh well....we will find out. So I was all packed up ready to go. Bike on the bike rack & I was off. Simon has committed himself to skiing every weekend day until the end of the ski season. So no Simon. He was up there somewhere on Coronet Peak. I got to as far as I could drive & got the bike all set up ready to go. It was all uphill from here. Having the backpack on certainly didn't help too much with balance & poise on the bike. I need to centralise the detector & tie it tight so it doesn't flop about. Lesson one. While it certainly was a lot quicker getting up the hill than walking, it was still bloody hard work & I was pretty knackered when I got to as far as I could ride. I then had to ditch the bike & carry on with backpack on & climb higher. Tee shirt was soaking wet. Still had a fair way to go Still a bit of snow in the shadows. Note the high sluiced gully center top of pic & the material "flowing" into the creek. Heading on up. That horizontal line cutting across the browe of the hill is a water race that would have feed the sluicing of that gully in the above pic. Up & up & time for a breather. Absolutely stunning country. I love it. Looking back down to the gully floor & the whole floor of the gully has been turned over by the old timers. All done by hand. After having a look around & a bit of a reconoscience I started detecting. I chose some exposed schist bedrock. I got a sweet sounding signal. Bingo. On the same run of bedrock another signal. I am way up from the gully floor but in a bit of a natural run off. Another small bit of gold. I noticed some rotten crumbling looking schist bedrock on a steep slope that looked promising. Got another signal. looking down the gully. A nice slug it was. There were a few finds that I didn't bother taking any pics as it was pretty steep & I always turn my phone off as it interferes with the detector. So sometimes it is a bit of a pain turning it on to take photos, so on some I didn't bother. I had to start thinking about heading out so I started my walk back down. Detecting as I went. I got to some alluvial/glacial gravels that were just above some old workings. I got a nice sounding signal. Looking down on the same dig Another sassy bit of gold. On the same gravels I got another nice hit. This one went down to a bit of depth. My biggest bit of the day. Then on the edge of some bedrock & these gravels, another signal. Another small bit of the good stuff. That was my lot, I had to get a wriggle on to get out before dark. Still had a bit of a walk back to the bike & then a bit of an uphill grind to get up out of this gully for the big downhill back to my wagon. I had seen quite a few broken glass bottles & on my walk back to the bike I saw a bit of green glass only just visible in the dirt. I carefully scraped around it with my pick. Expecting it to be just another broken bottle. But it wasn't. Gosh...that is a first. They are always broken. That one came home. On my walk back to the bike I came across three of my mates, & the only other life I saw all day apart from a few rabbits, which sums up the type of country I was in. Mountain goats. Had a close call riding the bike back down. I got a bit over confident coming down a very narrow part of the track with some over hanging brush. Sort of forgot about the detector sticking up out as much as it was. It clipped a bush & very nearly threw me off & over a bluff. Don't tell Mrs JW, ok Simon.....It tore the skid plate off the coil & I was so thankful it didn't break the shaft. Whew....& the skid plate did not sail off over the bluff. Sure was fun coming down, apart from that close call. WAY quicker & easier than walking. End result on the gold front was 12 pieces for 3.54 grams & believe it or not. Not one piece of rubbish. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  20. 32 points
    I took the Gold Monster into the hills again this weekend. With autumn well underway now, temperatures are definitely cooler than just a couple of weeks ago, but the resultant fall colors are a sight to see. Only 5 minutes into the hunt on Saturday and I had recovered the first target; a chunky little bit of yellow at a good 4 inches...a nice start. Next was a shallow target, just under the moss, that turned out to be a small flake of gold. After digging a couple bits of foil, I manuevered the Monster’s 5-inch coil next to an ancient river-worn cobble. The detector responed with a broad, deep sounding signal that I really like to hear, as it usually heralds something good. Well, this one was no exception, because by the time I excavated the 4 inch hole I had recovered no less than ten pieces of the good stuff. It was then that I thought to myself, certainly there must be some gold under that cobble, right? And indeed it was so...seven more bits to be exact. The next two flakes were loners off by themselves, again just under the moss. Ahead I spied a small depression in the moss-carpeted terrain - a good hiding spot for some gold. Sure enough, the Monster sniffed out another couple of golden goodies. And the last target of the day was a small chunky bit down in a bedrock crevice. Sunday was even a few degrees cooler than Saturday, with a few rain sprinkles. I hit another spot of old diggings up slope and managed to coax 3 small flakes from their hiding places. All these nugglets combined tip the scales at a whopping 1.2 grams, but oh what fun it is to recover each little bit!
  21. 32 points
    Had a heck of a time getting there these last 2 weeks but finally made it today. Pretty big deal for me at my early stage of nugget shooting. Got 6 today and here's a pic of everything so far...should be 104(?). Over half ounce but well shy of 1 ozt. We'll keep pluggin away and hopefully I can get maybe 1 ozt by end of season???? Yellow rocks come from 4 different locations...2 in Idaho and 2 in Montana... STRONGLY thinking about a PI machine in near future....hmmmmm?????? BIG THANKS to ALL for the help, info, and Steve for maintaining such and great and informative website!!!!!
  22. 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.
  23. 31 points
    For me this was a real opportunity to help my friends get their enterprise off of the ground. There was much work to be done and everyone pitched in and fixed everything..I have a few great stories from this adventure and one terrible happening for me... My mate of 44 yrs passed away and I was almost totally devastated by this. Fortunately I had Moore Creek to come too and this work helped me pass this rough time...One afternoon during this startup time I decided to give my Minelab PI a try..I wandered away from the main camp area and walked on a road above what would be the High banking area, I was testing the berm that a dozer had kicked up years ago... Holy Smokes. Weeeee Ooooop. I dug around a little and out popped a beautiful Slug.. Needless to say after putting the gold in my pouch I hunted around to see if there was Moore lol.... I walked back to the camp, everyone was still there chatting, so I put the nugget on the table for everyone to see... He he the conversations stopped......
  24. 31 points
    It's been well over 4 months since I have picked up a metal detector. A house remodel and some landscaping has kept me away from the treasure fields unfortunately. When my buddy Merton called and said he wanted to go on a hunt all I could think of was that I needed to get the house finished before I went goofing around with a metal detector. Reluctantly I told myself that I probably could use a break and so I invited him to come on down. Merton, being the thoughtful guy he is called a couple days before our designated date and gave me the option of cancelling but I told him to come down and lets go for a hunt! I was starting to look forward to it as we always have fun treasure hunting together. I had already decided we were going to the spot where I found the old antique gold ring this past May. I had yet to revisit this spot. https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/6528-needle-in-a-haystack/ This area is on private property and has a small area of mining activity. It's not on any map. It's a tough area for the nugget hunter, the dozen or so pieces of gold that I have found here are small and few and far between. To make matters worse the area is loaded with lead from #9 bird shot to old 50 Cal plus round balls. For now I've pretty much written it off for gold hunting and would rather be a lazy relic hunter there instead. Up till now I had never found a old silver US coin there despite having made 7-8 visits to the area. A few old Chinese coins, a couple powder flasks, some gun parts and the surprise gold ring form the last hunt were enough to lure me back. As the saying goes "if you don't use it you loose it" And I had forgotten how to operate the equinox 800. The night before our hunt I broke out the owners manual that I had printed out (my wife made a nice binder for me) and brushed up on how to work the machine. I went outside and played around in the yard a bit with the detector. I'd even forgot how to noise cancel and was beginning to have doubts thinking I was wasting my time. Saturday found us in the foot hills on a bright sunny morning surrounded by herd of 75 very hungry cattle. I told Merton I was going to go on a walk about starting where I had found the gold ring and I'd catch up with him later. Merton with his XP Deus headed for whats left of some old chimneys down in a flat close to some tailing piles. I decided to keep things simple with the equinox so I put it in park 1, 5 tones, ground tracking, recovery speed 5 and Fe 1. The ground here is very noisy and it took me a while before I got back into the hang of things knowing which targets to dig and which to ignore. After about an hour of detecting I had it down and was building confidence. About two or three hours had gone by when I caught up with Merton. Neither of us had found anything really good. The place is not a very target rich environment for the relic hunter. We went back to the truck for a beer and some lunch. After lunch I told Merton that I was going to go up on the hill above the main camp and workings since neither of us had hunted it very hard before. This is where things start to get interesting. I had been gridding the hillside for about an hour or two when I came across a rare high tone. Kinda scratchy...but repeatable. A couple swings of the pick and out pops a seated silver dime in excellent condition. Immediately I call for Merton who is about a hundred yards below me and show him the coin still in the hole. I tell him to start working this area with me. Merton is a very polite detectorist and using good etiquette he heads up hill a little ways from me as to not encroach upon my new spot. Maybe another 20 minutes or so goes by and I'm about 20 yards or less from where I found the seated dime and I get a mid tone on the Equinox..14-15 and repeatable. Thinking it's just another shot gun cap or lead ball I dig a little dirt out with the pick....my Garret carrot says the target is an inch or two behind and to the right of where I originally thought it was. Using the Lesche I start digging out the area and out pops this little gold shiny thing. I could only see part of it but it had a serrated edge and I immediately knew what it was even though I had never dug one before! Gasping and jumping backwards all I could do was call out for Merton to get over here! he could tell by my excitement that It was something good....he's smiling as he walks down..... "What did you get a half dollar?" I shake my head no...."Silver dollar?" again I shake my head no....."A GOLD COIN?" all I was capable of was looking up and smiling as I was still speechless. As I went down to reach for it and Merton says "CAREFUL DON'T RUB IT!" There was a lot of congratulatory back slapping, high fives etc... then without touching the coin I said I got to go to the truck and get my phone so I can take some pictures. The coin is in excellent condition (1853 2.5 dollar) which is hard to believe since it's been in the ground for well over a hundred years. Here are the pictures so you can see what we seen. We went back the day after and then hit another spot a couple days after that. We managed another Seated and a few other trinkets. I'm back to working on my house again and Merton is out at sea. But I'm looking forward to our next hunt together. What a great hobby. strick
  25. 31 points
    After finding a few nuggets last year this year is starting off a little better. The Monster does a fine job on small shallow pieces of gold in the Arizona desert. This is only my second year detecting.
  26. 31 points
    Snow trying to stick down low and drove thru snow to the gold fields a couple days ago so days are numbered!!!!! Might be able to get in 1-2 more days depending? Here's my total nuggs for my 1st year chasing with a detector. I'm happy with results and thank ALL on here who helped me general info and "secret" info (lol)...they know who they are. The New Zealand boys post up great info and I think we all appreciate the scenic so I thought I'd sprinkle in some scenic for them so they can see my area in particular which is typical in many areas of the western U.S. All the nuggs were got with the Gold Monster in 2 locations in Idaho and 2 in Montana. Sluiced gold came from Montana claim from 2 trips mid winter in butthole deep snow (FS don't allow sluicing in river but they ain't up there mid winter...lol). My other hobby is chasing predators with trail cams so I sprinkled in a couple to show you guys, and the New Zealand boys what you could see at any time out in the western states. Hope you guys enjoy the pics...... Weight wise...this was my best day below
  27. 31 points
    Years ago, when I started to hunt Rye Patch I knew it was well past it’s hey days! Yet, I continued to see nuggets being found there by others Prospectors! Our group, finally started to pop some gold after wearing out several sets of boots and skid plates on our old trusty GPX’s. With the new generation of Minelab Detectors, SDC 2300 and the GPZ 7000, it was a new game. Having cut our teeth on the learning curve of both new detectors on the California side of the hill, we set our sites to Northern Nevada. Multitude of hours by our group to establish productive ground and techniques with our GPX’s, lead our new detectors to what seemed like brand new patches of gold. This last outing was no different! One of our hunting members had a moment of Total Recall and remembered a few years back that we found a few nuggets in a spot with our old GPX’s. Well we hit the spot swinging and soon our detector’s started to sing back to us! Now remember, I was out there a couple weeks ago, trying to track down a couple new spots for this group hunt trip. I didn’t find any new spots on that trip and we didn’t even hunt the old spots on this trip, which I did good on. Now, there is only one way to run the SDC and that’s turn it on, it’s and incredible detector and the operators of it on this trip pulled teens of nuggets with it. But, you have to know the variable sounds of the SDC when you run the coil over a target that set you apart from others swinging the same machine over the same dirt. It’s the same with the GPZ 7000, you really can’t run it wrong, just turn it on! You make it run for you and your inner self. Sure I have settings, I like and so does everyone in our group of Prospectors. You have to know what it’s telling you if it’s a target or not, there isn’t many Duck nuggets left in any old gold field(s). Air testing or burying a test nugget does not reproduce any of these nugget signals (tones). I’m still learning tones of the GPZ and will never be and expert of them. The sweet tones of a nugget, I do have lock in my mind is what keeps me and boot makers happy! Lucky...No - spend the time in your local gold field, might take a few pairs of boots, skid plates and multitudes of digging holes in hot ground and rocks to learn the tones of your settings of your detector. We had a great time, even though the wind was crazy windy and made Detecting a challenge - Persevere, press on regardless! Until the next hunt Here’s Robin’s and my 2 1/4 day hunt total in dwts
  28. 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.
  29. 30 points
    Hi, I couldn't wait to get the Equinox 800 to Arizona for some gold prospecting especially since the area in Colorado where I live is frozen pretty solid. The first site I hunted was in the Little San Domingo Wash area which has been pounded by lots of people for over a hundred years. I used the Nox 800 exclusively in Gold 2 with the 6" coil due to an abundance of human metallic trash, with sensitivity at 15 to 16 (falsed over those settings) with -9 to -4 discriminated out, iron bias 3 or 4, recovery speed 4. Hot rocks were hitting in the -9 to -6 range and also sometimes in the 12 to 14 range with the classic boing sound just at the edges of the coil and almost nulling in the center. I dug every detected metallic target in roughly a 30'x40' area. Iron targets were consistently in the -9 to +16 range depending on depth, size and amount of oxidation. Many of them jumped that whole range depending on direction of swing. When I was not using the horseshoe (all targets accepted mode) the iron targets would have very brittle, broken, clipped sounding audio and would be easy to identify just by sound alone. 100% of the time I checked those targets by pressing the horseshoe button and iron was suggested with -4 to -9 numbers included in the very jumpy target IDs. After digging each of these targets, (60 or so) iron was confirmed. I detected 19 non ferrous targets which all turned out to be lead, brass, aluminum or steel bird shot. Small lead, aluminum and shot gave beautiful evenly rounded tones and target IDs in the -1 to 4 range which were very steady and repeatable even after checking the target from a different direction. Larger lead and shell casings came in between 8 and 20 consistently with even, repeatable tones and solid numbers. The two nuggets pictured were both found near other targets, which is probably why they were missed. The .5 gram nugget was 4" deep with an iron target about 2" away and above the nugget. I never heard the iron initially. I only heard the classic zip-zip with a solid 3 target ID. When the horseshoe button was engaged I could hear and see target ID evidence of the iron target too. The two targets were clearly and separately defined and easy to identify as ferrous and non-ferrous. I was really exited to find that small nugget attached to caliche in that situation! The 4.5 gram nugget was 5" down, up against a large piece of hot volcanic tuft/basalt bedrock. The Nox 800 gave soft boings on the bedrock in several places near the nugget but the nugget screamed out a fantastic round signal at a rock solid 14. I thought it was going to be a 38 cal. or bigger slug. I was really surprised when I saw that first bit of gold peaking through the dirt!!!!! I lucked out on one other tiny picker at this location too during final clean up with the XP Deus. I also got to detect near Stanton on some placer/pegmatite deposits with tons of hot and cold rocks, huge prickly pear cactus and my least favorite----cat's claw bushes=OUCH. I completely shredded a virtually new pair of gloves on those things along with my hands too. I didn't find any gold with either my GPX 4800, XP Deus or the Nox 800. The GPX 4800 is one deep machine and hunted beautifully in this rugged area. I dug several up to 1 foot deep, less than coin sized lead, iron and tin targets that could have easily been gold with a NF Sadie and stock 11" mono coils. Any thing bigger was just not very practical since this was a boulder strewn, thorny area with very little open ground. The Deus with 9" HF coil at 54kHz handled the hot and cold rocks fairly well and was reasonably quiet in Gold Field. It always gave excellent audio responses to detectable targets and gave a predictable horizontal XY graph line for buried iron targets and very angular zig zags on near surface iron. Lead targets had more of a rounded, almost cursive writing indication on the XY graph which looks a lot like gold responses. The Nox 800 with 6" coil in Gold 2 again gave very clear indications of what to expect from the targets under the coil and after digging, those indications were confirmed every time with no surprises. There was some nasty hot magnetic schist, cold ironstone and unbelievable amounts of magnetite which sometimes confused the Deus and especially the GPX 4800. The Nox dealt with them very consistently with the magnetite giving iron signals, the magnetic schist reading in the 12 to 14 range and the cold ironstone high pitched VCO screaming at 39. Special thanks to Bill Southern and Tammy and also Rob Allison for their guidance during my fruitful trip. The Equinox 800 proved to be an outstanding and very trustworthy prospecting detector! Jeff
  30. 30 points
    Monday Simon & I went off on an E-Bike detecting mission. Simon used Mrs JW's bike. I took my modded 4500 & 14 x 9 Nugget Finder Advantage coil for a spin. I also threw in the sadie coil. While Simon took his 4500 with 14 x 9 Evo coil & the GM 1000. The bikes made for quicker access, even going up despite having to walk & push the bikes at a few dodgy bits. Especially with the back packs of gear we were carrying on our backs. They have a little thumb throttle so you just push that & walk beside the bike. So the bike is wheeling itself. No weight involved, just got to avoid kicking the pedals into your shins. I didn't get carried away with photos so nothing much to show in the biking department or the terrain we had to negotiate. On getting up & over the saddle & dropping down to the bottom of the turned over gully workings, we stached the bikes & rigged up for detecting. We still had a bit of a walk to get to an area that I wanted to target. The grass growth was just insane. Just shouldn't be like that this time of the year. It was hard walking thru it as you just didn't know what your footing was going to be. Weather you were going to step into a hole or in between rocks from the stackings from the old timers. It was going to be a hot day, thanks to that hot air blowing off from that large island to the west. Aussie I think it is. They can keep their hot air. There is not much bedrock in the gully but it is full of turned over ground & rock piles from the old boys. There are workings & piles everywhere, even up high on the sides of the hills but still very little bedrock. We came upon some bedrock on the side of a hill & I pointed out to Simon that it looked like the old timers had worked a bit of the hill side as there were water channels running down that had scoured out the hillside exposing some bedrock. The channels were dry now of course as it would have been from water they got there by races. I left Simon on what looked like some promising ground that also had stacked rocks higher up the hill & obviously some working just over the brow that we couldn't see from down below. I carried on to another little wash channel in a shallow gully. It was damn hard detecting with nothing showing up. At least there were no shotgun pellets. But no gold coming either. Simon got a signal on what he said was a rock. He mucked around with it for a while but I am not sure what the result was on that. I had forgotten about it until just now. Simon will have to fill us in on that one. A few hours must have passed & next thing I hear Simons detector nutting off a lot & saw that he had dropped down to the gully floor & was detecting in among the stacked rock piles. I didn't think that was a good move as it was just tones of turned over rocks & piles & would have its share of old timer rubbish. I think he was more keen on the cool water in the stream. ? I had finished my bottle of water & was keen for a refill. But I carried on where I was on the edge of an old dry water wash & some bedrock the old boys had exposed. I had got a couple of faint sweet sounding hits. Thinking they were gold but turned out to be tiny remains of rusted boot tacks right down on this bedrock. Damn. I then got a good loud hit. Thinking this is going to be rubbish for sure. MMMmm...itdidn'tt stick to the magnet. Wasnt that deep before it moved. Got be rubbish. But no. First piece of sassy gold. Ye Ha .58 of a gram Looking down over the detector & down to the turned over gully floor with its stacks of rock piles. Creek winding it way around. Simon was off to the left out of the picture. I moved a couple of feet & got another hit. Dug down on it & it turned out to be an old nail. Bugger. Slowly poking the coil into the grass & fern growth I got another nice hit. Scraped out some grass & ferns. This went a bit deeper than the first bit of gold & I was surprised at the small size for the signal. But gold it was. .15 of a gram. Then things dried up & I was dried out. So I headed on down to Simon who had soaked himself in the creek. Despite how hot it was the water was still freezing. We did have a bit of a snow fall high up in the hills last week. Not bad for the middle of summer. I got down to Simon & we headed off to another spot. Crossed the creek where I filled up my bottle & drank a couple of liters of water. We walked up an old wash out from a large spill of rocks from the old timers washing out a huge cut in the hill side. Got to the top of that & kept going up to some high sluiced ground sluicing s where the old boys had washed out a sizeable paddock & left neatly stacked rows of rocks. I didn't get a photo & I am not sure if Simon did. Wish I had of now. There were a couple of exit point where the water had flowed out of these workings from the water they had brought on by a long water race. Now dry of course. One of these exits the water was re used lower down & the other just spilled out & down a steep slope that just got steeper until it dropped off vertical into a side creek gully below. It was dry & I said to Simon, this could be worth detecting as it is cutting thru what looked like virgin ground & gravels. I sat down & let Simon get into it. Thinking he would head down the wash detecting up & down the banks. But he headed up into the workings end. He got a few signals that just seemed to spread out as he dug. Turned out to be piles of little bits of iron sand/stones. Round like shot gun pellets. Simon at first thought they were but they were all over his magnet. When he got to the top end by the workings I headed on down & cranked up my 4500 away from him so we wouldn't clash with each other. I got down to a bit of bedrock in the bottom of this wash. Got a signal next to what was an old detector hole. I had seen a few old digs so we were not the first to be in here. turned out to be a bit of rubbish. I then dragged the edge of the 14 x 9 coil backwards thru the crevice cracks in this bedrock. Again...no photos. Got a nice mellow hit & Simon came on down to investigate just as I saw the glint of gold. I popped it in my scoop to show him & then I looked down to the ground & it feel out back onto the ground. I couldn't see it & Simon gave it a go with his detector to see if he could get it. So I turned mine off & WHAM...he got it alright. So there is nothing wrong with his set up. He just doesn't seem to be able to walk over gold. We carried on for a few hours more but got nothing else. Despite covering a bit of ground. We were getting pretty hot & worn out so we started back towards the bikes. We came across on more bit of bedrock. The old timers had brought a small water race along the top of the ridge & had worked some ground at the end of this high little spur. I said to Simon, you go for it. I will have a sit down. You need to get a bit of gold. While he was detecting away I took a snap across the gully to the saddle we had ridden up to in the back ground & ridden down this side of it. The bikes were stashed directly below me out of site below the bottom of the picture. You will see more piles of stacked rocks & tell tale signs of ground sluicing with the higher lumps & bumps they didn't wash away. Unfortunately Simon came up gold less & I really thought we would have done a lot better in here. There was not much bedrock & what there was had seen detectors before. So now it was back to the bike & break down our gear & re pack the back packs for the bike ride up & out. We were poked. Simon has one of those apple watches that tells you your heart rate, how many steps you have taken & how far you have walked. He got his heart rate up to 150 at one stage when an alarm came on his watch warning him to take it easy. He said he had taken 12,000 steps & I think it was 10.5 kilometers of walking. A lot of that was up hill & around the hill sides. The ride back down was uneventful with no mishaps. Thank goodness. Simon making out in one piece. Look how crazy the grass is. And the smile happy to have done so. We still had a way to go to the wagon but that was the quick fun part. So all up just the three little bits for me for not even 1 gram. Better than poke in the eye with a blunt stick & avoided the skunk. Not bad considering I hadn't used a 4500 for nearly three years. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  31. 30 points
    Happy New Year! It has been a couple years of furious activity in a normally slow moving industry. We are in a Golden Age of detector hardware, with intense competition driving prices lower while fostering innovative new designs. Most of the action has been from manufacturers outside the U.S. - will 2019 be the year U.S. manufacturers strike back? It will be interesting but rumors are thin on the ground right now. New models appearing are niche models, like the new XP ORX, aimed at the gold prospectors. A new manufacturer has appeared, Tarsacci, with the new MDT 8000 that initially anyway seems to be aimed at beach hunters. The machine I most have my eye on is the upcoming Fisher Impulse AQ. I am satisfied with what VLF technology exists now, so all I need is a PI detector at least as powerful as a Garrett ATX in a housing weighing under 5 lbs. I sold my ATX and currently do not have a PI and am waiting on what Fisher has to show before deciding what to do about that. F75 replacement? I will believe it when I see it but the Aqua Manta is all but assured for 2019. I lobbied Garrett for years to make a LTX (Lightweight ATX) but to no avail. However, with the new AT Max just out it does make me wonder what Garrett has up their sleeve for 2019. If not a replacement for the embarrassingly long in the tooth GTI 2500 than perhaps my wished for lightweight ATX? A guy can hope but I am not holding my breath. Garrett has pushed single frequency as far as they can so their next step will be revealing. Minelab is still consolidating the Equinox rollout and a raft full of new gold machines in the last few years. They seem well set at the moment. I wish I could get a SDC 2300 in a Eureka Gold box but that is one wish I doubt will be granted. Nokta/Makro? They have long been known to be working on a PI detector so maybe the new Fisher Impulse AQ will have a competitor? It is almost 100% that Nokta/Makro will release a true multifrequency detector in 2019 so there will be that to look for. That and the soon to be released Nokta/Makro Simplex, a new low cost multipurpose detector. Tarsacci MDT 8000? I will let the beach and relic hunters sort that out. Tesoro is gone now so we can officially ignore them without feeling guilty about it. White's I will continue to hope beyond hope that a working version of the Half Sine Technology may finally appear. Fingers crossed as always, but the odds are low. One does get the sense that White's really does need to hit a home run however so the pressure is on to get it out the door. This could short circuit other developments above were it to actually happen. I’m not holding my breath however. XP just started shipping the new X35 coils and ORX model, so 2019 may be a quiet one for them. And with that, best wishes for a great 2019 to one and all!!
  32. 30 points
    I went to a new spot with a buddy of mine and decided to try a couple new locations I have been to once before. Wow what a great location. Top secret for sure. I missed this nugget by roughly a foot and my buddy Andy hit on it. We were both using Gold Monsters. It was only a couple inches down under an ancient cobble.
  33. 30 points
    I headed for the hills today to try out a recovery speed of 4 on the Equinox Gold mode, with the 6” coil, and I must say I was gobsmacked at the performance gain. I was also running the Iron Bias at zero and the sensitivity at max. I chose to grid an old spot that I’ve gridded with every machine I’ve ever owned. I hit the first flake right away, and the fun didn’t stop until quitting time. The last dig of the day was a whopper...0.7 of a gram at 5”...I was absolutely incredulous that A) the EQX hit so strong on it, and B) none of my other machines ever hit it; a real head scratcher!
  34. 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.
  35. 29 points
    New PB for me 35 grams, bit over a foot deep, very happy! ??
  36. 29 points
    Here is a photo of my brothers finds from the sunny southwest corner of Arizona. All these were found with a gpz 7000 they range in size from just a few hundredths of a gram to close to 27 grams.Most all were found in areas that have been hunted and then hunted some more.
  37. 29 points
    I’ve got my lads home this summer so I’ve been grabbing every chance I can get to drag them out detecting. For me finding some gold is always a good way to get some ready cash for incidental things like beer which both boys now seem to have discovered a taste for.? My attitude is the more I can get them out detecting with them the better because they will soon enough be pursuing their own life directions and if my life at that age is anything to go by no doubt it will be in another town a long way away. So in exchange for beer, a bed, air con, food and the odd bit of cash here and there, oh and don’t forget always running out of data on our internet plan,? I get to occasionally grab one or both lads and go do a bit of father son detecting. Yesterday was a lot of fun, the weather has returned to hot and muggy again (typical February weather in Central QLD) so an early start was necessary. This time we decided to target an area not far from a high voltage power line, not because we love the constant discordant threshold (The GPZ is heaps better than any of gold machine in this regard), but because the gold tends to be chunkier thanks to the area not having been detected as often due to the interference. The keys to detecting here are to find a clear frequency for the location, this is changed pretty regularly as the frequency of the line changes often too, I also find lowering the sensitivity helps a lot and also backing off the B&Z booster a bit to take the edge off the variation. There is also a fair amount of trash so we tend to just focus on signals that sound a bit buried. I was lucky and pinged a deep 1 gram bit only 30 minutes into the session, I held off letting Tim know because its better in a nasty area like this to keep things low key and not too competitive. Being hot and sweaty as well as listening to an annoying unstable threshold is bad enough without feeling pressured from Dad. Anyway this session was kinder to me and I managed to ping quite a few chunky bits poking my coil here and there amongst the old boys diggings on the edges of the drainage. Poor Tim was struggling he had pockets full of lead and trash but no gold, so I suggested he head on over to were I pinged the first bit. Right on knock off time I saw Tim grinning triumphantly and he then refusing to finish off for the day until he had covered the area more thoroughly. Long story short, Tim got the biggest nugget for the session sitting right at 1.6 grams with a grand total of 7.4 grams between us. Seeing how were are partners we spilt the gold with 3.7 grams each or $214 AU for a few hours work, no wonder he likes coming home for a visit.?? JP Some pics of yesterdays session and a few from another one last week. The gold is just a bonus, the true gold is the time spent with my boy.
  38. 29 points
    My prospecting buddy in San Diego and I decided to take a run down to Baja to see if this summer's hurricane event had moved any gold around. This particular Baja placer has been pretty popular over the past 20 years and we've pretty much hunted out all the easy stuff so we had high hopes for a new bonanza. We left on Monday crossing the border at Calexico. I was waved through after a cursory examination by the Mexican border officials. My friend was in a different lane and he was subjected to a much more thorough examination. I think it was end of shift and the border officials needed to make some quick money. Four of them pulling everything out of his truck. They ultimately came to his 7000 detector. He explained its use and then they asked what it was worth. He lied and told them $4000.00. They saw dollar signs because according to them he would need to pay an import duty on the equipment, $420.00 US dollars cash. I guess 100 bucks apiece is a good nights work. He refused and told them that he would just return to the US. After that the price came down to $240.00. He still refused and we used the turnaround lane back to the US side of the border. It's hard to argue their notion of justice. We spent the night at my house in sunny Yuma and decided to cross at Algodones the next morning. That crossing was going well as far as inspection, but then the immigration officer inquired as to our Mexican Visas. We've never needed a Visa in Baja unless crossing the states of Baja Norte to Baja Sur. So, we bought some much needed $35.00 cash only Visas and continued on our way. The summer hurricane wiped out most of the paved highway just outside of San Felipe. They were working on replacing the highway but in the meantime you're restricted to a rough one lane dirt road over about 40 miles. From my house to the Placer is abut 240 miles and we arrived in the early afternoon. The prime ground is another 3 miles by ATV. We spent the rest of the afternoon building some ramps and filling big holes to run the my Rokon and his Yamaha Big Wheel up the canyon. The hurricane had run water about 20 ft high through the canyon so all our improvements from last year were washed away. It was tough sledding all the way but I didn't get unhorsed this year. My friend took a nasty fall after his bike slid down a too smooth rock wall. He was hobbled and we ended up cutting our trip short. Nevertheless, I got one good day of detecting in. I found a stretch of bedrock that last year had a foot of overburden on it. It was now swept clean and I found these small nuggets in bedrock cracks. I intended to check some promising ground about a 2 mile hike away, but I just couldn't justify leaving gold to find gold. Maybe next trip. The weather was great and the gold available, just not enough time after our border mishap and my friend's banged up knee.
  39. 29 points
    Well with the Thanksgiving Holiday we just had, I was able to jump in the truck for a quick over-nighter to try out the 15" coil on the NOX. Now for those of you who know me, I spent most of the summer/fall testing the new Whites 24K in Oregon and Idaho (with great success) so I did not get to hunt gold this year with the NOX. Actually this was my 1st trip using it for gold nuggets and since my friends had already hunted the site with their NOX and standard 11" round DD coils, I figured there is no use in doing the same thing over. My intuition paid off and to say it bluntly was an understatement. My 1st gold piece (not jewelry as I have found ounces of gold rings so far with NOX) is a dandy. 2.78 ozt or over 3 regular ounce "Golden Oreo" at 16-18" deep. This is by far my biggest Oreo of 2018. The photos show the 15" coil standing upright in the hole and the sun is coming down at an angle and barley shining on the top of the coil. You can see the back of the rock pile is higher than the coil itself. Another factor is I found out the 15" coil is very bump sensitive to rocks so I had to swing it a couple inches off the ground. I typically do not recommend this to my customers and say to keep the coil to the soil, but at times it can't be done. Yes I did drop my SENS down and preferred 19 most of the time. Do you think "Golden Oreo" is a good name and if you have something better, please share it as this masterprice needs its own name. On a side note. When swinging the 15" coil on the NOX for 8 hour days in rough terrain, you need a bungee and I really do like and recommend Docs Ultra Swingy Thingy Harness System. I actually use it with my GPZ 7000 as. Another great thing I like about the harness is it actually clips to the back of my pants to hold them up better and my plumbers crack does not get burnt as often.
  40. 29 points
    Hi folks, I got out with the GPZ for some gold hunting. It has been almost a year since I used it...glad to say it still works. Dick W and Mike G were kind to invite me to their claim...I found four little bits For point 89 of a Gram...about 1/2 a pennyweight
  41. 29 points
    Two of us made the 5 day trip from eastern OZ to the Western Australian goldfields for a 8 week detecting trip.(armed with 7000,s and SDC) We targeted remoter spots that are not really on the radar. We invested in a pile of permits and researched lots of available ground spots. Lots of walking and lots of barren gullies and creeks...... but occasionally we found the odd gully or slope not touched by a detector that yielded some nice runs of gold. We went 50/50 with our finds, sharing is the way to get a bigger tally when 2 or 3 of you (of equal ability) spread out searching large areas. All up we shared 45 ounces between two of us. There are many ugly specimens not pictured and we will have a big crush and smelt day soon. Cheers RDD
  42. 28 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.
  43. 28 points
    I always enjoy a trip to Quartzsite with beautiful weather and a warm sun. I love the solitude of exploring the lesser visited areas with the flowers beginning to bloom, lizards scurrying around and even a few bighorn sheep on the hills. Sometimes I even get lucky. On my recent trip with my Gold Monster I found two small nuggets, a 1.6 gram and a .05 gram. At the end of the day I drove into town and celebrated with a pizza at Silly Al's.
  44. 28 points
    I haven`t been posting any finds recently because, well, I haven`t been finding much. I`ve been spending a fair bit of time in a area where years ago multi ounce nuggets were common, but most days I come home empty handed. Today I got one of those "is that a signal or isn`t it?" targets. I run very conservative settings now and because the detector runs so quiet I dig a lot more ground noise than I used too, I thought this was another one. It was just the tiniest change in the threshold. When I was down about 4" it was giving off that lovely electronic warbly signal I like and somewhere down about the 8 or nine inch mark this little speci popped out.
  45. 28 points
    It was a beautiful weekend in the forested hills of the Idaho goldfields, with temps in the low 70’s and plenty of sunshine and cool breezes. I took full advantage of the 3-day Labor Day weekend to continue working some old spots with the Minelab Equinox 800 in Gold Mode with the 6-inch coil. Saturday and Sunday saw a combined total of 24 bits with the Nox; I’m more amazed with the performance of this machine each time I use it. I switched gears on Monday however, and decided to swing the Gold Monster instead of the Equinox. It’s taken a back seat this summer, as I’ve been swinging the Nox almost exclusively. So much so that I’d nearly forgotten how good the GM 1000 is; even running the sensitivity at 10, it was much quieter than the Nox in hot ground. Between that and the Monsters simplicity of operation, along with its amazing sensitivity, I found myself falling in love with the machine all over again.? Definitely going to start using it more often, and not just because it found an additional 12 bits of yellow. So all up, 36 pieces for the extended holiday weekend, with a combined weight of 3.1 grams.
  46. 28 points
    Steve Herschbach said on the Equinox fan club page concerning Gold Mode 1 & Gold Mode 2: The manual says Gold Mode 1 is suitable for milder ground, and that Gold Mode 2 is for “difficult” ground conditions. I believe this is backwards. Again, the only difference as far as I know is that Gold Mode 1 has a faster default recovery speed. This makes the machine less sensitive to ground noise and coil knock sensitivity. Therefore the detector will be easier to handle in bad ground using Gold Mode 1 defaults than Gold Mode 2 defaults. My take is Gold Mode 1 is a default “standard” nugget hunting mode, while Gold Mode 2 with its lower recovery speed default is slightly more of an “expert” nugget hunting mode with slightly more depth possible but requiring more careful coil control. Personally I never use Gold Mode 2 - I use Gold Mode 1 and if I want a lower recovery speed, I simply reduce it while in Gold Mode 1. (end of quote) Due to our ground being so insanely mild & the manual saying that Gold Mode 1 is suitable for milder ground I had never used Gold Mode 2. I took the manual as gospel that gold mode 1 was the hotter mode setting & I have done quite well in getting some very small gold with the 11" coil & now with the 6". I have a few little hot spot areas that has rotten schist bedrock & by scrapping & detecting this bedrock with my high frequency VLF's I have had a lot of fun recovering this small/tiny gold. More just for the novelty as I usually always get a colour or several. These areas have also been good test beds for me in comparing performance between the high frequency VLF's. Namely the Whites GMT, GB2, Gold monster 1000 & now the EQ 800. First off with the EQ 800 & its 11" coil I was gobsmacked to get this small/tiny gold with that coil. What was even more surprising to me is I had been over these areas numerous times with the GB2 & the GM 1000 & was finding it hard to find more of this small/tiny gold with those detectors. Bring on the EQ 800 & its 11" coil & to get these was a real eye opener. Ok...so we move on to the arrival of the EQ 800's 6" coil. I first went to a spot where I had been getting quite a few bits of this small/tiny gold with the GB2 & the GM 1000. This is the start of the scrape & detect of this rotten schist bedrock area with the GM 1000 And this was the 2nd time After these two times the number of bits started to drop off & with the GB2 & GM 1000 I was down to 6 bits & could get no more & thought that was it. With the arrival of the EQ 800's 6" coil I went back to this same spot & in gold mode 1, Full max sensitivity of 25 due to our insanely mild ground, rest of the settings were factory default. Unbelievably I got 14 bits. I went back a few days ago & got nothing more off this spot so thought that it had done its dash. Then on seeing the thread on the Nox Fan Club page about Gold Mode 1 & Gold Mode 2 & what Steve explained about Gold Mode 2 being the more sensitive & hotter setting, despite what the manual said about Gold Mode 1 being more suited to mild ground conditions & he thought they had got it the wrong way around. I had never used Gold Mode 2 due to what the manual said. So today I went back to this spot & tried Gold Mode 2. All factory default settings except for sensitivity being cranked up to full max 25. I was into it. Even before scrapping the rotten schist bedrock to expose more potential targets I just went over the older scrappings & got a hit straight away. Gold it was. In fact I got 5 pieces before scrapping the bedrock. Most of the signals were very faint & I was switching from all metal to discriminate often. All metal giving the best hits but there were quite a few tiny hot rocks. These came up as -9 on the VDI but even in discriminate a gold signal was very erratic with VDI's all over the place. I was in Multi IQ all the time. It was the best setting to use. I tried 20 & 40 khz but Multi was the one doing the business, so stuck with it. When I got a good solid gold signal hit it was 2 on the VDI. I got just such a good hit on this little dig. It was my deepest dig of the afternoon. About 2 inches. Biggest bit of gold for the day. Still no match for your ones Lunk. I didn't get too carried away on pics but ended up with 17 little pieces. Thanks to Gold Mode 2 off a spot I thought was done. Some pretty tiny ones among that lot. So....Gold Mode 2 it is from now on.? Cheers Good luck out there JW
  47. 28 points
    Don't get out much at the moment, so this was a welcome surprise. Come in at 14.5 grams.
  48. 28 points
    I got my first metal detector in 1972, a White's Coinmaster 4-TR. This was before ground balancing technology was developed. The older BFO (beat frequency oscillator) models of the 60's were just being supplanted by this newer TR (transmitter/receiver) technology. TR was unproven but I decided to go with it as the latest thing. A wise decision because BFO detectors were soon replaced completely by this new way of detecting. Unfortunately I proved something to myself quite quickly. White's sold an accessory item at the time, a 4" coil on a handle they called the "Gold Probe". My Coinmaster had an 8" coil and I got the Gold Probe accessory to hunt gold nuggets. Even with the small coil these old models could barely detect a 1 gram nugget sitting right on the coil. And even that bit of detection capability disappeared in bad ground due to the inability to ground balance the detector. Steve with first detector - White's Coinmaster 4-TR with "Gold Probe" White's also sold a detector at the time called the Goldmaster. The Coinmaster did not seem to be able to find gold nuggets, so I got a Goldmaster next. Being the inquisitive sort, I opened up the Coinmaster and Goldmaster and got my early lesson in detector marketing. The exact same circuit board was in each box! Basically when you got a Goldmaster you got a bigger box with a bigger meter, and that was "better". And seriously, Ken White Sr. believed exactly that - bigger meant better. In fact, White's sold three models that were all basically the same detector in three different boxes - the Coinmaster 4, Goldmaster, and the "Alaskan", a chest mount version. I still have one of the old Alaskan series with a Gold Probe, the exact model pictured in the 1976 catalog excerpt below. White's Electronics Coinmaster 4, Goldmaster, and Alaskan 1976 TR model detectors That early experience turned me off metal detecting for gold nuggets for the remainder of the 70's and in fact for most of the 80's I was biased against metal detectors as a nugget finding method. When I started selling detectors in 1976 my standard line was that a $5 gold pan was likely to find more gold than a $200 metal detector, and for nearly all situations that was true. You needed ground with coin size and larger nuggets to even have a chance with the detector. Therefore in the early visits to Chisana I did not do any detecting, but mostly just sniped around with gold pans and sluice boxes. Even a pump was only employed a couple times due to the difficulty of getting fuel on site. Since we were new to the area this was also the time to hike around and explore. The place was amazing back in the 1970's. There were Long Tom's (the old timer's long wooden sluice boxes) scattered everywhere, and shovels left right where the old timers last worked. Old cabins had plates and the shelves and cutlery in the drawers. Many places looked like the people left, planning to come back - and then never did. The area became popular with sheep and caribou hunters in the 80's, and anything that could be carted off slowly disappeared. The old sluice boxes were recycled for the wood or just burned for firewood. I do not have many photos from that time, and the following is a few that show what things looked like back in 1973-1975. First, here is a general location map. All the major gold bearing streams in the area center around a round top mountain called Gold Hill. The gold is conjectured to have been deposited in old Tertiary channels that were mostly destroyed in the last ice age. Gold Hill is a small area that was surrounded by a sea of ice, but which escaped direct glaciation. The rounded top of the hill is surmised to be made up of a remnant of the old Tertiary gravels. Click image for larger view. Gold Hill and surrounding gold bearing creeks Camp at Little Eldorado Creek There are several camps in the area. The oldest and best preserved is the camp at the junction of Skookum Gulch with Little Eldorado Creek. Little El, as it is called, is the creek in the foreground above. Skookum Gulch is the little drainage coming down behind the cabins. The main cabins here were built around 1916 and have been in use more or less continuously ever since. Looking down Little Eldorado Creek to where it joins Bonanza Creek below Old "Long Tom" remnants on Skookum Gulch Upper end of mine workings on Skookum Gulch Like I said earlier, this was before I got into seriously detecting for gold, so all the gold we recovered was by panning and sluicing. My brother and I found a patch of blocky bedrock on Bonanza Creek that had gold. It was just the two of us, a couple gold pans, a pry bar and some spoons. Sorry for the poor photos, but each of the pans below are single pans of dirt scraped out of crevices and then panned. As you can see the gold is chunky, and the two of us panned over an ounce of gold that day off the patch of bedrock. In case the reader does not know it, anywhere a couple people with just pans can find over an ounce of gold in a day is very rich ground. We even found nuggets just walking the creek and eyeballing the bedrock - here and there nuggets would peek out of a crevice, ready to be pried out and placed in a bottle. Bedrock next to Bonanza Creek Gold nuggets in 14" plastic pan Gold nuggets in 12" steel pan Old cabin and hydraulic workings on upper Gold Run Creek (possibly Poorman Creek) Boom dam and steam boiler on lower Gold Run Creek A lot of the mining in the area used a method called "booming". This involved building dams to retain the water, and then periodically letting it all go to create a brief flood event. The dams could be released manually, but often were constructed with automatic gates so they could run unattended. Between flood washes, miners would enter the cut below the dam and stack all the large rocks to the side. The next flood would wash away the finer gravels materials, while gold settled lower and lower. Finally, when only a couple feet of enriched material was left, everything would be shoveled into sluice boxes and bedrock cleaned. This worked particularly well for areas with coarse gold and where gold is mainly concentrated on bedrock, with relatively barren overburden. An alternative was to use the impounded water to flush material into sluices set lower down the creek. This was the better way to go if the overburden had a lot of gold. At Gold Hill it appears booming to simply strip the overburden and then shoveling into boxes was more common. More complete remnant of a wooden "boom dam" Automatic gate boom dam; dam itself made of hand stacked rock (upper Gold Run) The channel at Gold Run is so narrow that the rocks were stacked along both sides as high as a man could reach. Walking up the creek at this point is like walking up a narrow passageway in a castle - rock walls on both sides. Hand stacked rock on Gold Run Creek An old rocker box Another little gulch that enters Little Eldorado Creek is called Snow Gulch. There was another hot spot there, and we used the pump off my 3" dredge to help wash material through an old wooden sluice. Again, lots of nice fingernail size nuggets recovered. Ground sluicing on Snow Gulch The partners working the ground at the time were using similar primitive methods - usually just a little pump supplying water to hand work a mining cut with old sluices found on site. "Shovel into" operation on Bonanza Creek What happens when you stay too long..... N1769P parked on dirt strip near Gold Hill Dad takes off ferrying people and gear back out of the mines The fact is those were early days. I only have a smattering of photos and slides from Chisana in the 1970's, and my memories have faded with the years. All the above happened in the 1973 - 1975 time frame. By 1976 my school chum Dudley Benesch and I had founded Alaska Mining & Diving Supply, the same year we were graduating from high school. Don Dipple, who I met because of Chisana, clued us onto a creek nearer to home, Stetson Creek, that ended up taking over from Chisana as my main place of interest in the late 70's and early 80's. It was not until 1989 over a decade later that I was to return to the Chisana area. The reason? New metal detector technology! To be continued...
  49. 27 points
    I was excited about getting my Nox 12x15" coil and was hoping it would arrive in time for a trip up to the ski fields to do a detect for some jewellery, I've found the odd bit at the ski fields in the past and end up with a fair collection of coins at the same time so it's an easy day detecting and can be a bit of fun pulling up coins every 20 minutes or so. I'd already planned to do it and then it started raining but because I made the plan, I stuck with it. The drive up to the ski field I saw a weird rainbow, it was a tiny one, it struggled to get up off the ground ? I didn't find anything amazing on the day, which is a bit disappointing as I may as well of been swimming as the rain ended up being heavy the entire day, much worse higher up on the mountain than it was down on ground level, when I drove back down the rain stopped halfway down! Lucky the Nox is waterproof. I did find someones bank card, an old Cardrona Ski Area badge which is a competing ski field and a free Breakfast at Snowy Valley Resort, I had to look up what that was and it's in Australia and the food has a reputation of being awful which is why someone probably threw the free meal away ? I've taken a more dig it all between VDI 5 and 25 approach lately as I'm trying to find more rings, I was originally just digging coin VDI's and the method is working, I did find a ring that was a very solid 18 on the VDI's, I'm not sure it's of any value, it's not magnetic and has some numbers on the inside that don't mean anything to me, it was about 20cm deep so it's been there quite a while. Other than the ring I got my usual coins and something that I think is an ear ring. I'm pretty sure the ring is a junker. Before the next weekend my 12x15" coil arrived for my Nox so I was itching for another ski field detect to compare it to the 11" I usually use. I found it decent, the extra ground coverage was great and sped up the mission, I was able to cover an area in what felt like half the time I took with the 11" I didn't notice any depth advantage and I honestly don't know how I could judge if there was without doing some "testing" burying targets but that doesn't seem viable as I've found coins buried for a long time react differently. It did have a bit more trouble with EMI than the 11", but I guess that's to be expected with a bigger coil. Dropping the sensitivity back two or three notches fixed that up. The ski field is bad for EMI as it has high voltage power for the lifts and Wifi all over the mountain with powerful boosters and a mobile phone tower all right near each other. The other big difference with the new coil is NZ $1 and $2 coins both came up as VDI 21 on the 11", sometimes flicking to 22 on the $2 coins but mostly 21, with the 12x15" the $2 coins are consistently 22 on the VDI's with the $1 being solid 21, I can now tell which coin I'm about to dig with some confidence. My dealer, DredgeNZ threw in a snuffer bottle and gold pan with my purchase, he's a good guy and trustworthy, certainly not a "used car salesman" dealer ? I did the dig it all approach with the 12x15" also, and recovered a number of coins and a reasonable amount of the usual ski field junk After my ski field mission I drove down into town to buy dinner and saw a message from KiwiJW asking if I wanted to go for a detecting mission the next day using his EBIKES!!!!! that of course was an excited YES! I have ordered a Steelphase SP01 audio enhancer and it had arrived at my local post depot but as I got home so late at night and was leaving early the next morning for the gold mission I was unable to get it in time for the trip. It arrived this morning, just too late for this mission ? Can't wait to test this puppy out, although I might let John take it's maiden voyage as he'll be better at testing it and also he'll be able to compare it to his B&Z Booster so that will be interesting. It's on charge right now! I arrived at John's and we threw the Ebikes on the back of his truck and off we went, We went to a place we've done quite a number of times, rarely do we come away with nothing. John mostly does pretty well here, I sometimes get the odd nugget. The Ebikes made the ride up the hillside much easier, it's still a workout for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 10 or so years but I think if I wasn't on an Ebike I would of been pushing the bike up the hill rather than riding. Once you get into more level terrain they really show their ability, you can cruise along with almost no effort at all. They even had a little throttle trigger that you can press and it behalves then like an electric motorbike, driving along without you even needing to peddle, but of course this drains the battery more so you only use it when necessary. I often used it to take off, you know how when you ride a bike the initial takeoff requires a powerful peddle, not so with this nifty little trigger. A BIG thanks to Mrs JW for allowing me to use her Ebike!!!!!! I was silly and forgot to get a photo of the Ebikes! We started off detecting by going to some old throw out piles I'd never been to before, I don't think John had been to them either, the beauty of the Ebikes is you can go further than you could ever do walking. These piles had powerlines directly above them, I was thinking this maybe to our advantage as it keeps people with their detectors away, John's GPZ handles powerlines reasonably well, my GPX on the other hand doesn't with my coil configuration so I had my Monster with me just in case, and I was glad I did. The Monster doesn't care about power lines, worst case scenario I had to drop it back to Manual 9 instead of my usual highest setting of Manual 10, but even still that was to make it operate completely quietly, if on Manual 10 I got a bit of broken pulsing noise occasionally from the power lines and wasn't sure if that was causing any harm so I knocked back to Manual 9 just in case, both Auto and Auto+ were completely silent so I assume they were dropping back to Manual 8 and 9. John's GPZ was having a little more trouble than usual with the power lines but it may of been the wind, there was a warm breeze and we've both noticed sometimes wind direction seems to effect the EMI. The Monster performed well for me, I had found a signal, it was a very faint one so I scraped a bit, the signal then went all the way to the ferrous side so I scraped a bit more and it started to get random readings, a much more positive sign, the more I dug the more erratic the signal became until I got right down to the bedrock when then the signal went all the way to non-ferrous and I was now very hopeful of breaking my skunk. I've had about 6 weeks I think it would be with no gold. After a lot of messing around trying to recover the target and dropping it in the separation process I eventually found it, a tiny little bee poo bit of gold. It's to the left of the Minelab Logo on the coil, tiny little thing, you'll also notice a spider took up residence on my coil, not one of the life threatening touch me and you die spiders I'm used to from Australia, a friendly little chap who moved on doing his business when I took my gold off the coil. The depth was pretty amazing, It was at a depth where my scoop changed to it's handle, hard to see in that blurry photo but it's the only one I got. All 0.035 grams of it ? but it's official, my skunk was broken! Another thing we both wanted to do on this mission is find a secret cave, there is one here but it's not easy to find and not marked on any maps or anything, we rode around for a while trying to find it, and then we parked up the Ebikes and went for a walk using John's google maps photo of the area, exploring around trying to find it. There was a cool looking rock formation in the area I call it the hotel rock, the old timer gold miners used to use rocks with hollowed out bits for accommodation, well this one was a multi level hotel, with hollowed out bit's all over the place. We even saw a rock that looked like someone had decided to cut in half with a giant saw I have no idea how that can naturally happen. We were wandering around for some time trying to find this cave, comparing where we thought we were with the google earth satellite photo and the location John thought the cave was but with no luck so we headed back to where we parked the bikes and you wouldn't believe it, the cave was right next to where we parked up, within 30 feet there were two cave entrances. We rode right past them both to park the bikes! unbelievable!!! John's navigational skills were better than he thought, he stopped right at the cave ? The entrance is well hidden, that's it below me, the little dark hole! We didn't go down in there this time, it was a bit muddy from a massive rain storm we had a few days earlier, the most rain I've had at my place in years. A job for another day, maybe detect the walls of it with the GM 1000 ? Next we rode off to find somewhere else to detect, and stumbled across some old chinese workings and some nice terraced walls they had made to get their wheelbarrows up and down into a gully We started detecting again and John was trying to break his skunk (at this location), the last time he came here he was skunked and spent most of his day exploring, this time I was ahead with my little bee poo so the competition was on ? We spent an hour or two detecting and found nothing then all the sudden John yells out he got one... uh oh, his is no doubt bigger than mine as the Zed can't find bee poo so I was in trouble, he was going to win again!! I've never won in gold tally, it's usually 10 to 1 if I'm lucky but this day I thought I had it in the bag. John had a forgetful day, it happens to the best of us but his was out of control He forgot to bring his gumboots he usually detects in so he has no metal on his feet, but to make it worse he had steel capped shoes on!!! I often found his shoes laying around where we were detecting as he ended up having to detect in his socks Lucky the ground wasn't wet. He also forgot his phone so I was chief photographer, Not a role I excel at as I always forget to take photos. He also forgot his scoop so he had to separate out his targets the old fashioned way. It wasn't 2 minutes after John yelled out he got his nugget and I was yelling back, I GOT ONE. I was getting desperate to find another one and scanning the ground wasn't working for me so I started kicking over rocks. This has worked in the past and it worked again. I put a red circle around my little nugget so it can be seen, tiny little thing for such a big coil. My biggest of the day, 0.162 grams! Now this brings up a question, this nugget was an absolute screamer, a nice loud "wee woo" even with the coil 10cm above the nugget I get a nice "wee woo" yet this area has bucket loads of shotgun pellets, if I use my Monster I can find one every square meter, yet the GPX wasn't seeing them, yet it screams out loud on this bit of gold which incidently weighs less than a pellet. An example, here is a pellet I found with the GM at the same place It's bigger, and weighs more yet the GPX with NF 14x9" Evo coil completely ignores it, yet it will find a nugget than weighs less and is smaller in size with a loud screaming signal, so loud I thought I had a 22 shell. I completely don't understand this so if anyone has an idea why, please do tell. Now it was game on again, I had two nuggets and John had one, we were walking along finding piles to detect on and our detectors had an argument, his was making noises at mine, mine was making noises back at his, then all the sudden mine makes a police siren noise, scaring his detector off... my detector feels a little intimidated by his superior detector so it faked a police siren to scare his off. It wouldn't even be ten minutes later and John's yelling out he's got another one, 2 for 2... I knew he had won as I had a bee poo, and his would have to be bigger and of course they were. His were .12 & .22 of a gram so he won again ? We called it a day and jumped on the Ebikes and headed back to the car, fastest trip back I've ever had, often we are walking out and it gets dark as it's an hour or so to walk back, we were back in under 10 minutes thanks to the bikes... best time of the day for an easy trip down as we were both pretty exhausted. To top off John's forgetful day he even left his sunglasses in the toilets at KFC at dinner time A big thanks again to Mrs JW for the use of her Ebike! Sure made the day a lot easier and more fun and of course to JW for taking me along ?
  50. 27 points
    A comment I made on Jins post recently reminded me of how easy it is to walk over good sized gold. We are all familiar with the horrible loud screams detectors make over big surface targets. Sometimes the cause is obvious, usually surface rubbish such as a visible piece of tin or squashed beer can. Occasionally, when walking paddocks (which I mostly do) it turns out to be something useful, such as a lost spanner or fuel cap from a tractor - I have even found a grease gun lying concealed in the grass. These items I always return to the grateful landowner. More commonly, however, it is something useless like an old horseshoe, worn out cultivator point and/or the sheared bolts which once held it to the plough tyne. After digging a number of these the temptation to keep walking (with ears still ringing) becomes ~almost~ irresistible. Back in the Minelab SD2200 days I had permission to work a large Victorian property located on the Tarnagulla granite pluton to the north of Dunolly. This had a number of unworked shallow Tertiary palaeochannels crossing it, on one of which I located a 7 oz patch. Mostly the gold was smallish and reasonably deep, but the same location was also littered with shallow shotgun shells. These were very loud and nearly drove me nuts, and in my frustration I ignored one outlier - - - Fast forward a number of years and, armed with later technology (GPX4000) I decided to check the patch once more and - - - WHUMP/SCREAM - - - greeted my ears over that same target. I kicked the dirt in annoyance - and then spotted the 70 grammer I had ignored years earlier: I had foolishly made the assumption that all the gold in that patch was deep and small, therefore loud shallow targets had to be junk - overlooking the possibility that something once deep could have been ploughed to the surface - - - I kept it to remind me of the old detecting maxim: "Dig your targets"
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