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Steve Herschbach

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  1. Chris Ralph and I drove to Placerville, CA from Reno yesterday. Then up early this morning to join caravan from Auburn to a private mine near Iowa Hill. ICMJ Editor Scott Harn did an introduction to the crowd and the festivities started. Was nearly 200 people in attendance and about 100 of those had metal detectors. I tried to help one group of GMT owners get started off right but hard to do much with so many people, especially when they are all anxious to start looking for gold. There was a large number of highbankers set up for those more inclined towards working bedrock with a shovel. Weather had been rainy but quit when we got there and although a little cool was actually nice for digging. Unfortunately Chris and I had to run back to Reno early to get more show supplies so we were not there until end of day but will be back again Monday.
  2. Looks like you just need better lighting more than anything. Try it in sunlight or with a flash.
  3. Hmmm, Rick, hard to tell but I do think those are probably some really good looking specimens. Amethyst and white quartz is a good thing!
  4. Well, Chris and I head for Placerville tomorrow to get set up for the mining summit. We will be around all four days and hope to see some of you there.
  5. Good way to go trying one out. They are a pain to swing, hard on the body, and for me at least a nightmare to pinpoint with. I very often dig on what appears to be a signal dead center and it turns out later, after I have missed it and dug too deep, to be a nail, usually directly under one edge of the coil. A pinpointer can be very handy when running these monsters though you have to be careful not to have the coil picking up the pinpointer itself. Any excess metal on your body can cause false signals - be alert to any signal at the end of one end of your swing. Probably your pick or some other item you are carrying. Anyway, it really is hard to justify owning one of these and a good tryout may save you lots of money.
  6. Here are some closeups of the 6.85 ounce gold specimen I found at Ganes Creek, Alaska in September of 2002 with a White's MXT. It has a solid gold core surrounded by dark reddish brown lustrous quartz. Theoretically no gold is ugly but I thought this one was so I dubbed it "The Ugly Nugget". The full story and more photos are at Garrett Infinium & White's MXT at Ganes Creek The quartz is representative of one of the several sources of gold at Ganes Creek. The quartz verges on being agate but not quite, is always a shade of brown or reddish brown, and commonly has wisps or sponge-like masses of dendritic (mossy) gold enclosed in the quartz. I will find pictures of other examples. Gerry McMullen found a huge one at Ganes in later years. My buddy Jeff and I were hunting way down below camp. We were on old cobble piles way back off the road near the creek, and I swung over the bank on one edge down into the bushes with my White's MXT. I got a loud signal and with a couple swipes of my pick basically just laid the moss back, and there it was. I did not think it was as big at the time as it turned out to be when it weighed in at 6.85 ounces. This still is the largest gold nugget/specimen I have found to date, though a solid 6.5 oz nugget I found last summer may have more actual gold in it. I eventually sold the nugget to Mike Robuck at The Alaska Mint http://www.alaskamint.com/ and it was still on display there when I visited last summer. It is not for sale but used as a set piece to show off gold chains draped over it. If you ever are in Anchorage make the Alaska Mint part of your visit because it is more like a museum inside than a jewelry store. The first picture below shows the general terrain the nugget was found in, Jeff with MXT in the photo. The last photo shows the other 1.3 ounces of gold I found on that visit to Ganes Creek, 8.15 ounces total.
  7. Should be able to work next to each other no problem. You only have to shift a small percent of a kHz either way to be off frequency from another machine.
  8. Yes though coils as large as 4 feet by 4 feet are not uncommon on pulse induction detectors. The main thing is the larger the coil, the larger the item it usually takes to get a good response at depth. The good news is this means that some degree of small surface trash can be completely avoided. I saw at least two 36" coils employed in Australia as drag coils. Pretty common over there.
  9. There is a 30" x 7" coil I got to try while in Australia. No depth but made for covering lots of ground fast. In my opinion it is just too long. I have used 24" long elliptical coils day in and day out and they handled fine, but 30" is so much you are practically stepping on the end of it unless you push the coil way out front. Then again if I had found a nugget with it I might have loved it, but I did not. The bigger 36" and 40" coils are really designed more for dragging. I think 20" or even 22" might be something I could handle better for longer stretches than the 25", which is pushing it. But as I noted I like there to be enough difference in coil size to make a real difference so 25" it is. I really like my 18" and probably a 20" would really suit me. Maybe when the 18" wears out.....
  10. Welcome back Chris! Yeah, I bet the good old USA looks pretty good after a trip like that. Can't wait to hear the details. Next stop, Placerville, CA. Same story, speaking to prospectors who want to find gold, but in slightly different circumstances.
  11. Hi Rick, It all depends on the ground mineralization and the size of the gold. Maybe nothing, maybe an inch, maybe several inches. Another inch may be all it takes to get that nugget that was missed before. I do know one thing. If you are using normal size coils, going to smaller coils almost always gets more gold. Going to bigger coils? Not so much. No matter how you slice it big nuggets are very rare.
  12. I went back and found a picture of that 25" coil I had in 2009 at Moore Creek. Note the makeshift swing arm I fabricated out of a broken fiberglass handle. The Tesoro Lobo was being used as a pinpointer.
  13. Seems like I am pretty well outfitted these days. There is just not much I need when it comes to metal detecting. But I did just decide to go ahead and spring for a 25" Nugget Finder round mono coil for my GPX 5000. One of my main coils for the last few years has been an 18" Nugget Finder mono that Jonathan Porter gave me when Chris Ralph and I were in Australia. It was a coil I borrowed early on and then used nearly the whole month I was in Australia. I liked the overall combination of ground coverage and large nugget depth, yet it surprised me with how small a nugget it could still detect. JP saw how much I liked the coil and was kind enough to let me take it back to the States with me. I actually owned an earlier four spoked white version of the 25" coil that I used at Moore Creek a few times. I ultimately decided the coil was more than I wanted to swing and it was too big to pack into a suitcase for air travel. I sold it and have not missed it much. I spend so much time in brushy terrain and steep terrain that I rarely am someplace such a coil would be practical. What you need is flat, open, deep ground with a possibility of large gold. It turns out there are some places like that I will be visiting this summer. I decided a larger coil would be a good idea but was still worried about going too big. I considered the 20" mono, but it just did not seem like a large enough difference compared to the 18" to be worth the money I would be spending. So I decided to go all the way and go for the 25" Nugget Finder Advantage. I did prove to my satisfaction at Moore Creek that this huge coil can pull up large gold others miss. We had a flattened tailing pile next to the cabin that produced so many nuggets it was called the "Honey Hole". After one week of it getting pounded by the visitors I went up and flagged several deep, weak targets and then I cheated. I went and got the backhoe and dug them up! A 25" coil should actually come with a backhoe. Three out of five targets were nice nuggets a weeks worth of people carefully hunting had missed. At over two pounds I will not use this coil a lot, but I will give it a good go in relatively flat, open ground that has been hunted already to the point of being dead of targets. One decent nugget will pay for the coil so that will be the goal this summer - to at least find a nugget that pays for the coil. But maybe, just maybe, it will find something really noteworthy. I will report back when and if that happens. The new Nugget Finder 25" Advantage is a three spoked gray coil. These silly things are going for $629 these days. A good chunk of that goes to get the coil from Australia to the US and then to the dealer. The shipping cost on these coils is horrendous; they do not weigh much (37 ounces) but they bulk out something fierce when put in a box. I have not actually purchased the coil yet so if somebody has a used one they want to part with let me know. Looks like I need to take a good picture of one of these to post later. Nearly every photo on the internet is actually a smaller coil billed as a 25" and the few that look like they are 25" coils are watermarked. Photo of my new coil added 4/20/14
  14. I keep an eye on various forums just in case something new of interest pops up. I thought I would list the ones I frequent most often here. Feel free to add to the list. The prospecting forums I visit now and then are: TreasureNet Gold Prospecting Forum Very active gold forums Findmall Prospecting Forum General prospecting Alaska Gold Forum General prospecting with Alaska emphasis The ICMJ Prospecting & Mining ForumMany sub-topics relating to prospecting and mining Canadian Gold Prospecting Forum Very active forum with many sub-topics And now the metal detecting forums: Findmall Forums Detector model specific sub-forums TreasureNet Forums Huge number of treasure hunting topics Friendly Forums Very active forums on a wide range of metal detecting subjects Tom Dankowski Forum Focuses on technical aspects of detectors The Arizona Forums All good, tend towards Minelab and Arizona but more varied of late Rob Allison's Nuggethunting Forums Chris Gholson's Arizona Outback Forums Bill Southern's Nuggetshooting Forums What's happening in Australia? Australia Gold Detecting & Prospecting Prospecting Australia
  15. Thanks for the offer Jonathan but I am in Alaska June, July and August this summer and pretty well booked from now until then. 2015 maybe? You really should come this way instead just for a change of pace. Good luck out there JP and be safe!
  16. From the Tarrangower Times this morning: By this time, you may have smelt a rat, and your instincts are correct! Tuesday next week just happens to be 1 April - April Fool's Day. Alas, Bill the prospector does not exist, and neither does his fabulous gold nugget. Instead, the mythical Welsh Swagman was created from playdough, baked in an oven for a few hours, and covered in gold paint. We hope you enjoyed our annual April Fool's Day story! http://www.goldandrelics.com.au/in-the-media/
  17. The texture looks off to me, more like something made in a mold. But I do not get to look at very many 279 oz nuggets so what do I know? Should be a lot more news in the next few days.
  18. The Tarrangower Times http://www.tarrangowertimes.com.au of Australia is reporting a 279.55 ounce gold nugget recently found in the area. Hopefully more details on the story will emerge soon.
  19. The last document I linked to above is the actual process for doing a mineral survey and it is just that - a survey job. You are looking for the mineral exam report. From http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/mining_claims.html "The General Mining Law of 1872, as amended (30 USC 29 and 43 CFR 3860, provides the successful mining claimant the right to patent (acquire absolute title to the land) mining claims or sites if they meet the statutory requirements. To meet this requirement, the successful claimant must: 1. For mining claims, demonstrate a physical exposure of a valuable (commercial) mineral deposit (the discovery) as defined by meeting the Department's Prudent Man Rule(1)and Marketability Test(2) Mineral examiners are BLM geologists and mining engineers who have been certified by the Director to perform mineral examinations and to compile the necessary mineral report demonstrating the applicant's compliance with this aspect of the General Mining Law."
  20. I am sure it could be done but it is a non-issue for me personally. I never use tracking on my Minelab and can't imagine ever using it on the ATX. I will ask the good folks at Garrett if there is something I am missing though just to be sure.
  21. Aim your inquiry at BLM. If you are in Anchorage head down to the Federal Building. http://www.vuwriter.com/vubulletins.jsp?displaykey=BLID000004 https://m360.azpls.org/associations/1444/files/Part%201%20MS.pdf http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/row/landsurveys/Study_material/BLM_References/msprocdweb.pdf
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