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  1. This in many ways is a repeat of my 2018 UK Adventure except two weeks this time instead of three. The 2018 thread is loaded with details and very many local photos that I will not repeat here. Go to the link for the "full tour" with location and travel details. I booked the trip last year as is pretty much mandatory for the Colchester trips. There are only a limited number of trips available in the spring and fall and with so many people returning every year you really have to plan ahead. Mindy had a 10 day opening so I jumped on that as a week is just not enough in my opinion. With the benefit of last years trip experience I was able to weed my suitcase down to 40 lbs including two complete Equinox with 15" coils. Had it about perfect except for a couple shirts I never did wear. I was packed well in advance, and had great connections, so was looking forward to a relaxed trip. I had an afternoon flight out of Reno connecting in Chicago with an overnight to London. Perfect for me to sleep away a lot of the 10 hour overseas portion, and arriving in London in the morning. The plane was half boarded when they announced boarding would halt while they evaluated a flight advisory just in from Chicago. Massive thunderstorms, all flights in delayed for three hours - just enough to miss my connection! I have to give American Airlines credit, they automatically booked me into another flight just two hours later than the original connection, still arriving in London plenty early. We land at Chicago and the plane taxis forever. Finally the pilot announces the gate is blocked and he has driven past it twice. I'm looking at my watch thinking "this is going to be close!" Luckily the gates were close together, but I literally got off the one flight and walked onto the other. I was pretty sure my bag was not going to make it. Well, the flight was fine but less seat space than any overseas flight I have had yet. Price was great though so oh well. I can't say I was shocked to find my bag had been left behind in Chicago as did prove to be the case. Still, all we were doing was booking into a hotel next to the airport before heading out next day, so I hoped my bag would follow on the next flight. No such luck, so next day on the first hunt in the afternoon I was in my travel clothes and on a field with a borrowed Equinox. Thanks Tim! Luckily in a group of seven people somebody always has spares; just as I always travel with a spare, so do others. My very first target that I dug was a full British Crown, I believe a 1937 George VI. Not that old but a large coin and 50% silver. I made some other finds but was hampered a bit wandering around in corn stalk stubble in street shoes. Can't complain though... I was happy to be in England and out detecting! 12th-14th century St Mary the Virgin's Church, Little Bromley Again, American Airlines came through in the end. They actually delivered my bag that afternoon the 99 miles to Colchester (their limit is 100 miles) at no charge. So it really was just a minor snafu of no consequence, mainly due to good weather and a spare machine being available. We had a really great group, four guys and three gals including Mindy. Mindy cooks in each evening except for one pub night out. There was also an optional museum tour for one day later in the trip. I wanted to wait and see how my finds were doing before deciding about that. Weather for the first part of the trip was the best I'd ever seen in England, about 70F each day. It made for really pleasant field hunting. I was as always hoping for a gold coin, with anything else accidental by catch. I was making nice coin and relic finds, including a couple hammered silver coins. A few days into the trip, good buddy Tim, he of the gold ingot from last year, was nearby when he scored his second Celtic 1/4 stater ever, a real beauty. Not minutes later Mindy found here first ever Saxon sceat, a small rare coin that was one of her last "bucket list" items. Lots of smiles and high emotion in the group that day! This may not seem real but the fact is I come very close to liking somebody else making a great find as making one myself. I was right there, got to see the finds right out of the ground, and shared in that "great find high". It's one of the best things about hunting with a group in my opinion. I may never find a Celtic gold coin, but I have been right there when it happened several times now, and that really is about as good for me. Tim and Mindy's finds - Celtic quarter stater and Saxon silver sceat A few days later we were hunting a field right across the road from a small town. I was getting some nice buttons and 1800's coins but nothing spectacular. Late in the day I got another typical button signal of about 17 on the Equinox. I proceeded to dig but the hole was getting deeper and wider with no button found. One of the things I like about the 15” coil is I can pinpoint fairly well with the tip or heel of the coil, and nosing around in the hole revealed the target was deeper and larger. At over a foot the target was squealing, and I was sure it was a large iron target or possibly even an aluminum can. There have been times and places where I have kicked the dirt back in the hole and moved on from such targets, but not in England where you never know what might turn up. I was however getting near the plow line now, the point below which the ground turns rock hard and where due to the rules we have to stop digging. I worked round the center of the target and gave a last scoop, and there sitting in the bottom of the hole was a large green item that tumbled out of the shovel full of dirt. I’m no expert at this kind of stuff, but it looked like a Bronze Age ax head to me. This was not something that I had ever expected to find and so my brain was not really processing it. I wandered over to my buddy Tim who was nearby and asked “is this what I think it is?” I swear he almost fell over, realizing the import of the find more than I had, and assured me I had found an excellent condition Bronze Age ax. Better yet, it appeared to be intact, as many of these that are found have been broken. The final verdict was that my find is a Bronze Age palstave, a predecessor to the modern ax. A palstave is a development of the flat ax, where the shaped sides are cast rather than hammered. My particular find has been identified as a Bronze Age (circa 1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase. In other words about 3500 years old, and about as old as anything that can possibly be found with a metal detector! I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would ever find anything so ancient while metal detecting, and the fact this ax is intact and in good condition makes it the find of a lifetime, and that is no exaggeration. I have always been looking for that gold coin, but after all the gold I have found in my life and now with this I am officially saying "good enough". Anything I ever find from here on out in my detecting career is just gravy, my detecting bucket list is complete. Bronze Age (c.1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase (photo of Steve by Tim Blank with permission) This trip was extra good because everyone in the group was making some really great finds, many in excess of what they were hoping for. After many years detecting these huge fields are far from hunted out, with many of the best finds coming from fields that have been hunted well over a decade. Still new ground does come online regularly, and those fields add a little extra fun in the form of the unknown, especially as regards possible horde finds. There was one set of new fields that another group had found a lot of Roman stuff, including a really nice Roman silver coin and some good condition bronze coins. The trip was over half over and our weather had turned rainy. Not too bad really, just passing storms, with two hours of solid rain the worst I saw. Still, this limits some of the hunting as some fields with a lot of clay content get really nasty. After my ax find I had four days of mostly newer 1700s and 1800s coins and various widgets, but sort of a four day dry spell. So Tim and I passed on the museum tour and braved the rains instead since time was now running short. That plan paid off for me in a couple more hammered silver coins, bring my total for the trip to four. The hammered silver are kind of the standard prized find on these trips, rare but not so rare that most everyone has a good shot at some. Most date from 1200 to the 1600's after which milled silver coins replaced them. I found them off in one corner of the field and as the day wore on decided to head back to the area where all the Roman stuff had been found. There were many footprints but lots of gaps and so I hunted in the gaps. The day was almost over when I got a strong signal and dug up an odd looking lump. At first I had no idea what it was, but suddenly as I cleaned it a head and shoulders resolved into view. I had what appears to be a small bronze Roman bust! There is no real way to date the find, but it definitely looks like a Roman noble of some sort, and was found in the middle of a lot of other Roman finds so it is 90% certain to be around a couple thousand years old, maybe 100 AD going by the coin finds. I am in some ways more pleased by this find than the ax head for some reason. It’s almost like I am talking to that old Roman. I wonder who lost it and what it was. Decorative? A child’s toy? There was a Roman barracks in the area so military related somehow? It is just a great find and I am not aware of anything like it being found by the club before. Small bronze Roman bust found by Steve As noted I was running the Minelab Equinox with 15" coil the whole trip. In retrospect I wish I had brought steveg's new rod with counterbalance as my upper back would have thanked me for it the first three days, but it was a bit too long for my suitcase. Since everyone always wants to know, I basically used the same settings this year as last year with one minor tweak. Last year I ran Recovery Speed 5 and this year lowered that to 4. I normally run with nothing rejected, full tones, but have the Horseshoe button set up to reject 6 and under. This eliminates small stuff, maybe even small silver cut coins, but anything round will still ring up. Target ID 1-6 gets all manner of really tiny stuff almost always small lead or brass fragments. Stuff that’s also slow to recover. So as I say I normally hunt wide open and dig it all, but if time is limited or I am just tired of tiny stuff I hit the Horseshoe Button to go to “Cherry Pick Mode”. Park 1 Frequency Multi Noise Cancel 0 (adjust as needed) Ground Balance Manual, 0 Volume Adjust 20 (adjust as needed) Tone Volume 12, 25, 25, 25, 25 (Steve 4, 25, 25, 25, 25) Threshold Level 0 Threshold Pitch 4 Target Tone 5 (Steve 50) Tone Pitch 1, 6, 12, 18, 25 Reject –9 to 1 and Accept 2 to 40 (Steve Reject -9 to 6 and Accept 7 to 40) Tone Break 0, 10, 20, 30 Recovery Speed 5 (Steve 4) Iron Bias 6 Sensitivity 20 (Steve 22 to 25) Backlight Off Just a really great time with great people and some fabulous finds. I will post a complete set of pictures at some later date when I get the export listing, but for now here are a couple of my favorite hammered silvers from the trip to wrap up this report. Submitted to Minelab for the Find of the Month contest so we will see if I get lucky there also.
  2. I apologize to the big boss for the place where I write, hoping not to harm him, but I want to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a hundred memorable finds. It has been many years and I think that from the gold fever I will never recover, so all I ask is to hang out with this big family as long as possible and may God send us luck. See you soon pirates!
  3. https://meduza.io/en/feature/2023/11/03/going-for-gold?_gl=1*mup04e*_ga*YW1wLXktTWMtYzlhOUlZc1RQM3VXTWxSZmc.
  4. I spent some time in Finland a week ago at the invitation of Garrett Metal Detectors. The idea was to visit the goldfields and come up with some recommendations for helping people there get better results finding gold nuggets with metal detectors. A such this document will focus on the use of Garrett metal detectors. I am writing this up specifically for my new friend in Finland, Jyri Walkaejarvi of Finndetector Oy. Thank you Jyri for being a wonderful host. And thanks of course to Garrett Metal Detectors and specifically Henry Tellez for this opportunity to visit the wonderful country and people of Finland! How To Metal Detect for Gold Nuggets in Finland - Observations and Recommendations by Steve Herschbach While in northern Finland, otherwise known as Lapland, I visited the site of the 1870's Lapland Gold Rush, in and around Tankavaara. Our time was limited and unfortunately some of our detecting equipment got held up in shipping, so my chance of finding gold was minimal. However, I was struck by the extreme similarities between Lapland and my home state of Alaska when it comes to metal detecting for gold nuggets. I feel well qualified therefore to offer some observations and advice for those wishing to find gold in Finland with a metal detector. I will focus on two main strategies. The first, which I will refer to as "dig and detect" has by far the best chance of finding gold. The second method involves general scanning, with possibly more chance for a larger nugget, but overall less chance of finding gold on any given day. Lapland has a complex glacial history typical of high latitude gold deposits. There have been multiple advances and retreats of the ice over millennia of multiple glacial ages. Huge numbers of geologically short lived water sources have come and gone, with massive flood events being common. This means gold can be found almost anywhere, but the deposits tend to be thin and discontinuous. Actual bedrock is always a good place to find gold concentrations, but false bedrock layers are very common in glacial terrain, and should never be overlooked as a potential source of gold. The biggest problem in northern climates is that the gold bearing gravels are often buried out of reach of a metal detector. Deep mossy tundra alone can be too thick to penetrate with a detector. It is also common for thick peat and muck layers to occur under the tundra. In Alaska this means it is impossible to detect in many locations unless they have been opened up by previous mining that has stripped the overburden. However, in areas north of the arctic circle there are very short growing seasons and nutrient poor soil, so large areas of glacial deposits have only supported thin layers of plant material since the last ice retreated. It is basically gravels just barely covered by moss, small shrubs, and thin trees. These areas do present opportunities for exploratory type metal detecting i.e. gold prospecting. There are private commercial mines employing heavy equipment in Lapland, but the areas I visited were more set up for visitor and club type hobbyists. These most commonly employ a pump to bring water to a spot nearby where gold is being excavated with pick and shovel, and fed into what are essentially modern long toms - very narrow long sluice boxes. The riffled gold recovery area is relatively short, with most of the length devoted to moving tailings away from the immediate work area. Water is at a premium at the sites I visited and so hand screening was far more common than the water fed spray bar screening systems we commonly use here in the states. The locations I visited were along small streams that acted as water sources. At the first the terrain was relatively flat, pocketed with many small excavations going down just a meter or two to bedrock. The gold might be on bedrock or concentrated in layers above the bedrock. The second location I visited was working more on a slope, water being pumped up the hill to the work face of the excavations all along the valley wall. If both cases work was proceeding farther and farther from the water over time, requiring longer hoses and larger pumps to deliver water to the work site. The area in between is generally discarded overburden and tailings. While larger gold nuggets do exist small nuggets and dust are more the norm. My recommendation for anyone wanting to have their best chance of finding gold with a metal detector is to concentrate on finding small gold nuggets. If I could go back to these locations tomorrow, I would be using a Garrett 24K high frequency detector outfitted with the new 6" concentric coil. I would go after the exact same material that the pick and shovel crowd are chasing. This is what I call the "dig and detect" method, where the main thing changing is the recovery equipment. Instead of a heavy pump, gasoline and oil to keep it running, a lot of bulky hose, and a large sluice box, you simply use a metal detector and a gold pan. The method has an obvious advantage for areas where motors are not allowed, or which are too far from water even if a pump was allowed. It is perfect for trips of only a single day or two, where dealing with all that equipment would eat up valuable mining time. Finally, it is an excellent way to look for areas to set up a pump based operation at a later date, after a good spot is found. My diagram above shows a couple possibilities. In the first we are basically digging in a hole down to a pay layer, often bedrock itself, and discarding tailings out of the hole. In the second we are working into a slope, discarding tailings behind and down the slope. The trick in all cases is to remember that the gold you are after is very small. The bigger nuggets will be easy, so concentrate on finding the smallest gold you can. This requires a metal detector like the Garrett 24K that can detect pinhead size gold. It also involves knowing that a true pinhead size nugget can be detected at no more than a centimeter or two. The secret is to be in careful control of the material. Excavate carefully, removing no more that 2 centimeters from your work area, discarding the material out of the hole, or onto the slope behind. Rake the discarded material into a flat layer and detect it all very slowly, very methodically, covering every portion of the material. Keep the coil touching the material, and overlap the coil sweeps by 50%. After you carefully detect the excavated material, carefully detect the entire newly exposed work area. Again, there is no rush, as you will spend more time digging than detecting. Enjoy the moment and really give it your all. Note that you are detecting what is basically the same material twice. Once when it is in place in the bottom or working face of the excavation. Then once again after removing a layer and spreading it out. This helps prevent accidentally digging too far and discarding a nugget that was just out of reach of the detector. In addition, some nuggets can't be detected when on edge, but on getting moved and reoriented, they can now be found. Again, most of the work is in the excavating and raking. The detecting is the fun part, and you only get one shot at the material before it gets buried by your future efforts. Taking the time to really do it right with a minimal chance of missing anything is very important, and I promise that I have personally found enough nuggets in the discard pile to make it worth that second look. It can be good to know when a nugget is found, especially in the work surface. This tells you not only that you have found gold, but also if it came from bedrock, or a specific layer above bedrock. When I am getting to know a new location, I do like to isolate and recover every target, to learn where the gold is coming from exactly. In the future this will help me to know where to concentrate my efforts. Maybe I can discard the top layers. Or maybe gold starts right at the grass roots. You never know without proper sampling. A plastic scoop can be very helpful in isolating and recovering small gold nuggets, because the 24K is so sensitive it will detect the salt content of your hand! It will also find gold much smaller than any normal pinpointer will find. Do not hold dirt in your hand and wave it over the coil - it will signal every time. Put the dirt in the plastic scoop and wave it over the coil instead. Once you know a location well enough however, chasing every tiny signal takes a lot of valuable time. It may be far more efficient to just recover every signal and put it in a gold pan or bucket, for recovery all at once instead of one at a time. Be sure you are in the gold and know where it is coming from before doing this, as you don't want to think you are filling your pan with gold nuggets, only to find at the end of the day it was steel bits and hot rocks. Ah yes, hot rocks. The mining areas do have some rocks that will set off a metal detector. The worst offender will be chunks of magnetite, a high grade iron ore. A super sensitive detector like the Garrett 24K is more prone to detecting these than less sensitive models, so small gold sensitivity is a mixed blessing. Luckily they are usually not so prevalent as to be more than an annoyance. The 24K does have a ferrous identification meter, intended for iron and steel trash. This can also aid in identifying hot rocks. Discrimination circuits are not entirely reliable when it comes to gold nuggets however, so I do recommend recovering all targets when using the dig and detect method, especially if you are into the toss it all in a bucket stage. The tools involved are generally a pick and a rake or hoe, and possibly a shovel also if excavating out of a hole. I prefer working the slope areas myself whenever possible, because it is far easier to rake material down hill, than to shovel it up out of a hole. A plastic scoop is a must have if the goal is to locate individual targets. Tools of the trade It should be mentioned before I move on to the next method that no metal detector finds all the gold, in particular gold dust. If you are doing particularly well with the dig and detect method, it should be a clue that there is likely gold there you are missing, and setting up that pump and sluice might be worth the effort. Pan sampling your discard pile is a good way to get a better idea of how much small gold might be present. I do think the method described above would be the best way for most people to look for gold with a metal detector in Finland. However, I have learned in my years of detecting that you tend to find what you look for. Large gold nuggets are the big game hunting of metal detecting. Large nuggets are much rarer than small gold nuggets, and typically when hunting them you end up finding lots of junk like nails and bullets instead. But they are out there, and the only way to find them is look for them. Instead of working with picks, rakes, and shovels excavating material, you will concentrate more on just scanning and recovering targets. A main target would be the piles of discarded rock and gravels pictured above, in hope that a large nugget somehow escaped recovery and was lost. It happens. Do not be surprised though if what is normally found are trash targets and hot rocks. Instead of a detector super hot on tiny gold like the Garrett 24K a person is probably better off with a detector tuned more for larger gold, like the Garrett AT Gold. This detector also features an excellent target id system that can aid a lot with the common trash items and hot rocks found in tailing piles. A more powerful alternative would be the Garrett Axiom, a new high power pulse induction nugget detector. The Axiom features extreme depth on large gold plus the ability to tune out hot rocks that bother most other detectors, but that comes at the cost of relatively poor discrimination capability. What intrigued me more when looking at the situation is the possibility of hunting thinly covered virgin ground. Yes nuggets are rare, and people overlooking them and discarding them are even rarer. Hunting tailing piles basically means hunting trash interspersed with very rare nugget finds. The good news is I saw a lot of this in Finland.... There are very large expanses of light forest with just the barest vegetation on top of glacial deposits of all sorts. Most gold in these areas is very small, but the nature of glacial deposits means a large, even a very large nugget, can be found randomly almost anywhere. Finland did produce some large gold. "The largest of all, weighing 393 g, was found in 1935, evidently in the headwaters of the Lutto, and another, weighing 385 g, is from the nearby Hangasoja area. The largest from the Lemmenjoki area, weighing 160 g, originates from the Morgamoja valley. Many of the larger specimens contain quartz, which has the appearance of being primary, as in a 183 g nugget from Tankavaara. The Geological Survey of Finland has a collection of some of the larger pieces of gold found in Finland."* Multi-gram nuggets are being found in Finland today by intrepid prospectors using metal detectors, so this is not all just conjecture, but a real possibility. Realistically hunting for large nuggets in glacial terrain will require a lot of dedication and patience. Not only is there iron and steel trash left by the old miners and the ever present bullets from hunting, but there was action in this area during WW2, so it is far more likely that metal items found will be anything but gold. That is why for most people I highly recommend the dig and detect method. When excavating into virgin ground, anything that signals will be a hot rock or a gold nugget, and with enough time, you will learn the hot rocks sound different. I promise if you persevere and use this method, you will have the satisfaction of getting a signal and saying to yourself "I KNOW that's a gold nugget!" I wish you success and do remember it's often not the finds but the hunt that matters in the end. Looking for gold can be a great way to spend time with family and friends, and the dig and detect method lends itself well to parties of two or three people sharing the work load - and the gold. Good luck to you, and most of all, have fun! Steve Herschbach Copyright 2023, for exclusive use by Garrett Metal Detectors and Finndetector OY References: *Placer Gold in Finnish Lapland Saariselkä Gold Rush GEOLOGY OF TERTIARY AND QUATERNARY GOLD-BEARING PLACERS IN THE CARIBOO REGION, BRITISH COLUMBIA - yes, Canada, and maybe too much for some people, but a wealth of thought provoking information on gold deposition in glacial terrain, well worth a look by anyone prospecting in similar areas.
  5. we are having a new heat wave by. at 6 in the morning my car marked 29 degrees centigrade. I hope that many people are bathing on the beaches since I will go this weekend to review it 😁
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/jun/03/experience-i-found-a-hoard-of-161-roman-coins-in-one-weekend
  7. https://www-elbierzodigital-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.elbierzodigital.com/el-oro-de-puente-domingo-florez-triunfa-en-madrid/99956?amp=&amp_gsa=1&amp_js_v=a9&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#amp_tf=De %1%24s&aoh=16539341500863&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.elbierzodigital.com%2Fel-oro-de-puente-domingo-florez-triunfa-en-madrid%2F99956. I leave you the link of an exhibition that took place in Madrid so that you can see the gold that has come out here in Spain, especially in the area of Extremadura. I hope to catch some soon. The article is in Spanish but if you will have it with chrome, it will surely be translated into your language. This is how I do it.
  8. Hi all. Guys, none of you know if and how mineralized the soil is in Scotland? And specifically in the Scottish and awesome Highlands? Thanks in advance.
  9. 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 problems in my life, and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Many more details and pictures later in this thread plus the settings I used so do follow along ! Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  10. No wonder metal the place is a hotbed of metal detector development! “The world's oldest known gold artifacts, a couple of 6000-year-old goat figures with holes punched in them, were not found in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley or Egypt, they were discovered in 1972 in a grave by a tractor operator laying some electric cable in northeastern Bulgaria. [Source: Colin Renfrew, National Geographic, July 1980] The largest golden goat was about two-and-a-inches long. It was discovered along with about 2,000 other gold pieces (weighing more that 12 pounds) in 250 excavated graves in an ancient cemetery near the Black Sea town of Varna. The pieces included golden necklaces, breastplates, chains, bracelets, earrings, a hammer, and a bowl painted in gold. The find was shocking. Most cultures still used stone tools in this period, a few had developed copper axes and awls, and the development was bronze was a thousand years away, and iron two thousand years. The gold pieces date back to at least 4000 B.C., and they may go as far back as 4600 B.C.” “The first residents of Bulgaria to be recorded in the written historical record were Thracians who are believed to have been around since at least 3000 B.C. according to the archaeological record. The Thacians had no written language so all that we know about them is inferred from Greek or Roman accounts or the archeological excavations. A mound discovered near Varna, dated to 1000 B.C., contained a four wheeled chariot and the skeletons of three horses, one with silver bit and harness. Next to them was the skeleton of a woman with a spear in her chest that may have been a human sacrifice. Another grave contained a 30-year-old man with 70 bronze arrows and silver and gold armor, and a an 18-year-old woman with a golden crown and knife blade lodged in here ribs.” “On a wooden chest containing two different sets of gold treasure left behind by the Getae, a Thracian tribe at the largest mound at the Sboryanovo Historical and Archaeological Reserve in northeastern Bulgaria, Svetla Dimitrova wrote in se times.com: “Weighing more than 1.8kg, the treasure was from the late 4th or early 3rd century B.C., buried as part of the funeral of a Getic ruler, archeologist Diana Gergova said. We found the chest in a vesicle at a depth of 8 metres … Inside were two sets of gold objects. The first was a set of women’s jewelry, including a unique tiara of a type never found before. There were also four spiral bracelets and a ring with an incredible haut-relief image of a lion,” Gergova told SETimes. The other set comprised an iron bridle and a number of gold items the bridle was decorated with, including horse harness decorations and buttons, as well as two large round pieces with the image of the goddess Athena and an exquisite forehead piece with a horse head.” [Source: Svetla Dimitrova, se times.com. January 18, 2013]” Much more at https://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/sub362/entry-6012.html, well worth the read.
  11. Sorry Steve if I'm posting on the wrong area of the forum, but I definitely don't know where to properly add the fact... In Italy we're living a really bad menace to our activity, due to a law modification for archaeological areas. As for the government announced in november 11th 2021, all the metal detecting activities are to be considered outlaw in the future and to immediately modify the actual law and create a professional's only authorized list. They mean any kind of professional forced to use It like Airport security, army and public security purpose. For all of the hobbyst the entire land will be forbidden😑. So I Need an international or at least an abroad regulation to translate and apply as a template to show a different conduct proposal to the Senate of Republic in Rome during an audition with dealers and archaeologists. Any link of a complete regulation can be of aid. Thanks to all of You.
  12. I decided to give a go at nugget hunting with a detector here in Ireland. I equipped the TDI with a new 6" Miner John coil and off I went. Third signal in and up popped this nugget. Not a monster by other countries standards but here in Ireland it is a monster. I am still buzzing and cant actually believe I found a nugget with a detector, but one this size, well over the moon is an under statement.
  13. Hello metal detector colleagues, I went on the beach yesterday with my minelab safari. I worked in all metal with discrimination from -10 to 0 (iron), sensitivity on 18 and trash density on high. 3 hours later I had dig around 40 holes with pull tabs, so I decided to increase discrimination from -10 to 20. I quitted from finding gold jewelry and I was focused on coins. In one hour I found 10 coins (7.05 euros).
  14. Some may have wondered what would happen to metal detectorists in the UK if they try to get away with not reporting the finds in the proper fashion. A friend of mine sent me this link which shows some of the consequences. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/detectorists-jailed-viking-hoard-intl-scli-gbr/index.html
  15. Dear fellow treasure- and coin hunters, as I am very much interested in a trip to the UK I had to find out that those trips are fairly expensive. After more investigations I found something I want to share with you: https://www.farmstay.co.uk/PlacesToVisit There is farms and B&B offering accomodation and there is an option to select by activities. One option is metal detecting. I already contacted 2 farms and wait for feedback.
  16. "Metal detector finds are on the rise, new Government figures show, as the popularity of TV programmes such as Time Team and Detectorists tempts more people to take up treasure hunting. Statistics released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show that the overall number of treasure discoveries rose to 1,121 in 2016, up from 1,005 in 2015. Experts say programmes such as Detectorists, a BBC sitcom starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones which began airing in 2014, have tempted more amateur searchers to try out the hobby." Full Story Here
  17. In the United Kingdom instead of outlawing metal detecting for antiquities laws are designed to encourage and make use of proper metal detecting practices. More than 900,000 historically important items have been reported since the new law was instituted in 1997, including 8,500 designated as treasure. The law has "revolutionized archaeology" in the UK. News article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25748576 Basic explanation of law http://www.dutp.org.uk/laws-on-detecting More details http://finds.org.uk/treasure/
  18. Hello les amis d'outre atlantique. Nous aussi en France on l'attends avec impatience cet Equinox. Nous avons notre excellente marque XP mais ce 800 je le veux. Cette technologie inédite (le multi fréquence) va nous permettre de faire des miracles par chez nous. Les petites gauloise en mauvais alliage ne m'échapperont plus, les petites romaines ainsi que tous les artefacts qu'il est possible de trouver sur le vieux continent tellement c'est riche en trouvailles. J'ai vendu mon précédent minelab et maintenant j'attends la sortie de cette machine (fin décembre chez nous) C'est pour quand chez vous ? Peut on mettre des photos sur ce site ? Amitiés
  19. Hi everyone, my name is Luca, I'm a new user of the forum and I'm a novice in the search for gold. It's been months for me to read the forum, thank you all, because through your experiences here, I understand many things. About six months ago, I was fond of looking for gold. I bought a plate to sift, at my first exit I found small pieces of gold (picture 1 Found me). A month later I managed to buy a sluice. I went out looking for gold a couple of times, but I did not find anything. I live in northern Italy, here is gold, but it is very small. (picture 2 Found by other people) I would like to use a metal detector to help me in the search. I can not spend the money in vain, so I decided to write on the forum. I would like to ask you, how useful is a metal detector for such a small gold? Using a low-frequency detector, such as a GMT, for example, will be able to detect very small gold? (like the one shown in the pictures) Thank you for your time. Ps: sorry for my English.
  20. This just hit the news over here an hour ago, It is good to see there are still great finds to be made, John. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-40962865
  21. Here`s the video of day 2 of my recent trip to Tyndrum, Scotland, hope you enjoy :D
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