I have a dozen or so patches that have played out, but its played out with my ML 4500 with various size coils I hit them with dozens of times. Do I feel like they are played out? HECK NO !! I am sure that with new tech..like a 2300 sdc or zed for that matter with the newer 6000 I would squeeze out a few more. I m fortunate to live in the middle of Gold country here in the Sierra foothills, Iam fortunate to have access to large acreage ranches and live minutes of these diggins. Do I go back and hunt these patches still, YES...at times I find another piece here and there. Would I go to these spots if I lived hoours away, probably not unless I had the new machines to detect these patches. No patch is hunted out...they are just more deeper and out of reach with the machine I have at the moment. Most of the comments above mine are true and new patches are hard to find but they are there if you take the time to find them. The gold is NOT played out, I would encourage newbies to keep on hunting. In fact a new large nugget find up in Norhern Cali recently, a solid 15.25 ouncer!!! Keep swinging and diggin...the next target could very well be a nice nugget.