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Found 68 results

  1. Hi guys, I am going to start off with going back a few weekends when Mrs JW & I headed over to the West Coast to catch up with my mate. The weather was looking like being absolutely mint, which for the West Coast is a bit of a rarity. We took the jet boat of course as the rivers & scenery are stunning when the weather gods are smiling. I finished work at lunch time to get the boat sorted & to give us time to get there before dark. We encountered a bit of snow on the road heading over the pass from Otago to Westland but on getting to the coast it was just stunning. The next morning my mates mate wanted me to give him a hand with going out in his boat to pull up his crayfish (lobster) pots & to rebait them & chuck them back. I was there mostly just to make another person on board so he could legally take more crays. We did quite well. Yum. After that it was off to the river. Above pic looking up river & below, looking down back to the coast. Deer prints on the beach Grounded...Bummer. But how stunning is the scenery? And we were the only souls there. Sorry guys, Something has popped up & I have to bail. Will continue.......stay tuned. JW
  2. Had an outing with a good friend to a Local creek yesterday. We dug a huge hole and moved some big boulders and found the 1.3g right at the start of the process. Diligent detecting elsewhere in the creek produced the other two. The 1.7g was right at the start of a crevice that seems to run under a virgin bank... Might dig that out some time but there are some fridge size boulders in the way. Cheers for the fun day out buddy.
  3. With yesterday being fathers day I went down to my claim with my dad. Targeted the same spot as last time where I got 3.2g in an hour. This time we spent almost 4hrs and did a huge amount of digging but only managed to find 1.2g. Including a little specimen, which is a bit more rare for that area.Such is life, golden day out with dad though.
  4. Hi guys and girls, My wife is due to give birth to our second child next weekend so I thought I'd squeeze in a quick trip up to the local gold field to find some gold. We'd had a fresh dusting of snow on the higher hills the day before and so my very pregnant wife, daughter and mother in law decided to tag along to try and find some snow. We drove up to the same spot I last went to on our claim with my 2yo daughter. I was dropped off at the creek and the ladies continued on up the hill for a snow/picnic adventure. We arranged to meet back at the road in 1.5hrs time. The spot I chose has a 1.5m high gravel/clay Bank resting on bedrock. Flooding has exposed the bedrock at the base and on our last trip we were successful in finding gold by removing the remaining material off the bedrock and detecting the nooks and crannies. This time I applied the same method and soon found my first piece of perhaps 0.3g. There were some very large worms in some of the gravely clay which were very impressive! Some almost half a meter long! So I managed to get 6 pieces for one hours digging and detecting. The largest was 1.6g and the total weight was 3.2g. A perfect quick mission before baby arrives. Alas the ladies didn't find any snow. Cheers
  5. KiwiJW and I had a busy weekend, he'd just flown to Christchurch (The South Islands biggest city) to pick up his new Toyota Landcruiser or as I call it the monster truck and he had to drive it back down to Queenstown to pick up his caravan to tow it up to Christchurch to swap it over for his new Caravan. I went on the journey up to swap it over, it's about a 6 hour drive each way through some stunning countryside and a very nice drive. We were going to spend the night up there but decided it's best to take the drive up and back in one day so then we had the next day free for some gold detecting! Great idea! John now has two big new toys to enjoy, the Monster truck tows a caravan like it's not even there ? The spot we decided to detect is a place John had taken me on my first ever successful day detecting for Gold, I had tried to go back there a couple of times and got lost trying to find it. I was sure there was more gold there but it's in a difficult to find place in wild bush. My last attempt at finding the place I only just got out of the bush before dark and I had no light with me, I almost had to stay the night. John found the spot with ease and off we went detecting. He was using his Gold Monster 1000 and I used the Equinox 800 with 6" coil. There is a lesson in this post for Equinox users on finding tiny gold. The thing I like about this location is being as remote as it is there is no junk except that left behind by the old gold miners, and that junk doesn't bother me at all. Shotgun pellets are my enemy and fortunately these aren't a problem in this spot. If you get a good target in this spot, it's more than likely going to be gold, although my first target was mostly reading VDI 1, 2 on the Nox but jumping regularly down to -7, -8 then back up to 1, 2, a bit of an all over the place reading. It was down in a crack in the bedrock and I spent about half an hour smashing away at the bedrock to get it out, I wasn't sure what to do so asked JW who said just keep smashing away and he came over to help, we eventually got it out, much faster with JW's help and it turned out to be a tiny little bit of metal, possibly lead or zinc or something, but tiny. How it got so far down in the bedrock I don't know. This was my only junk find of the day. Next up was another target, this one was constantly in the -5 , -6 range but I knew this spot had small gold and I also knew there was virtually no junk here, the only targets in this location I ignore is ones that go a solid -8, -9 on the VDI's which is what the hot rocks in the area do, rocks bigger than a car or even a house can show a -8, -9 over the entire rock surface in this area, anything else could possibly and likely is gold. This little scraped out area to the left of my coil is where this target was located, in this photo I'd done a scrape to get to the bedrock to improve the signal before recovering the target. You'll see we are high up on a creek side, probably about 50 meters (164 feet) above the creek. Gold can be in the most unlikely places. That edge there has a big drop down to the creek and it's just rock with a thin later of soil and some grass growth of it. Now that I'd done my scrape with about 5cm of soil the target ID had improved drastically from the -5, -6 it was getting to a very repeatable 1, 2, I knew this was unlikely to be a shot gun pellet here so I was confident I had my first bit of gold. I scraped the leftover soil into my scoop and narrowed it down and here is the little sucker. You'll see the little spec in the middle of the scoop. and here it is next to the EQX06 on the coil. All 0.011 grams of it. John was digging away with his GM1000 beeping like mad and he was digging for quite a while in one spot so I knew he was on the gold. I figured I'd go explore further away and leave this area for him and passed a number of old rock piles and an old shovel head. The new location paid off and I quickly got another signal bouncing between -6 and -3 and knew it was going to be gold again If you look closely once I'd cleared the leaf litter away there was a crack in the bedrock, still detecting as -5 or so but I knew it was gold It's almost identical to the last piece and the same weight I next walked up to the cliff edge again where it drops off to the creek and started detecting the rock along the drop off, It wasn't even 10 minutes and I had another hit, again in the -6 to -3 range never once flicking into the positive numbers but my confidence was high it was also gold until there appeared to be two targets. It was in a crevice in the rock again but seeing there seemed to be two targets right near each other I was worried it was a hot rock spot. I cleared away the leaf litter and recovered the targets from the crevice, still never once reporting positive Target ID numbers Out popped this nugget, my biggest so far. Next to the EQX06 again as usual And now to recover the second target. Still stuck in the negative numbers on VDI due to the crevice not letting me get the coil close enough to get accurate ID's Another little tiddler ? The consistent thing happening was all nuggets were coming up in the negative VDI numbers until I was able to get the coil very close to them, you can't rely on positive numbers like the usual 1 and 2 VDI's on this tiny gold. Anything -7 or higher can be small gold. I experimented and checked out -8 and -9 targets but they always ended up just being rock, even small portions of a large rock were coming up as hot rock at -8 and -9 but the -7 and up numbers were consistently gold. For those wondering my settings were Gold 1, sensitivity 25 (max), Horse shoe pressed for all metal mode, I had manually ground balanced although in this location there was extremely mild soils. The other thing I had changed was the iron bias, I'd set that at 0. Detecting around more I got another hit, this one was on more flat ground and was coming up the usual 1 and 2 on the VDIs Another little tiddler. I was confident now I had learnt the secret to the Nox and small gold. Never ignore those negative numbers. I was lucky in this location there was next to no junk so it made this lesson easy, in other locations this method could lead to digging tonnes of junk. I went back to John's area to show him my finds and he was still at this same spot digging away in the same hole he was in when I left. We were both sitting on 5 nuggets each although his were bigger! It's extremely rare for me to have as many nuggets as John with his mighty GPZ, near impossible so I had a chance to beat him this time I just had to find one more!!! I was going to walk back to my spot and keep trying in that area but I walked past a nice crevice, I checked it and nothing, no signal at all but I knew the Nox coil can't get down in crevices well which later I learnt isn't exactly correct, it's coil edges just aren't sensitive all the way around like a concentric coil so I started clearing out the crevice, I got a large part of the dirt and leaf litter out of it and checked it again and I had a hit, another -4 to 1 signal bouncing around a lot. Here's my winner! I knew I had gold. John hollered out what's all that noise, I said I'm onto something I had cleaned out the crevice pretty good and had a signal in there somewhere but It had me stumped, it wasn't in the crevice, it was in the rock itself in the crevice next to it which seemed to come to an end. I smashed away at the rock and a big chunk broke off and inside it was some really fine plant roots from the little bit of grass that you'll see in the broken off bit of rock below.. The coil is sitting in the first cleaned out crevice, the gold wasn't in this one, it was in the one below, that big bit of rock with grass on it was the one I broke out. The grass roots were where the bit of gold was to be found. This piece of gold was deep, at least 3 inches, I am shocked I was able to detect it, I thought it was going to be pretty big as it was one of my best signals of the day and it was deeper than anything else I'd detected, but no, it was tiny. The embarrassing thing about this recovery is I sat the piece on my coil in my usual spot next to the EQX06 branding and stood up to get my phone out of my pocket to take the photo and knocked the detector over, the gold went flying. John heard me say something, I don't recall what I said but I sure was angry! It took me a good 15 minutes or more to recover the bit again, I was thinking it had fallen down in the crevice deeper than it was before and with the Nox coil not being overly sensitive around the edges I was struggling to find it, I had no target signal at all anywhere, I wasn't even sure it dropped in the crevice. I now see why people talk favorably about concentric coils with their sensitive edges. John pointed out I should have tried to use the tip of the coil rather than the sides, that's it's sensitive spot so I wasted a lot of time as it didn't cross my mind to try the tip/tail of the coil and used the sides, silly mistake on my part, the tip of the Equinox coil is indeed very sensitive. I just gradually cleaned all the soil out of the crevice with my fingers and scoop and eventually found the nugget. And my total for the day I also found a tiny spec in my gold jar, it must have broken off one of the "bigger" ones so if I was desperate and JW got 6 also I'd have a secret number 7 to win the day The Equinox can easily find Gold you would only ever expect to find with a gold pan. The little spec is on the scales, too small to give a reading, but I'm 100% certain it's gold and it was a new jar, I'd never used it before. The Equinox is an absolutely crazy sensitive machine to small gold, It's hard to believe how well it can do on the tiny stuff. I'm sure Multi IQ is the secret. Next we were off to KFC for dinner and back to JW's for a nap ready for another day prospecting We did a lot of exploring new places on this day, had a look around gold areas I'd never been to before and John was giving me a good history lesson of local gold mining. John took me to this old this trommel he knew about so I could see one on our exploring, we weren't detecting here, just having a look around at the old mining history of the area. We were thinking of using this to start up our own Kiwi Gold Rush show, John named the trommel Mini Me, and if you look closely you'll see our shiny new digger in the background. Jw next to "mini me" We went to a new location I'd never been to before later in the day detecting, I ended up with a skunk using the Equinox at this spot getting just an insane number of shotgun pellets and 22 shells as the gold just seemed to be too deep for a VLF. JW showed me how it's done with his GPZ, doing extremely well with it of course but that's his story. All I will say is the GPZ is an amazing machine, in fact it's insane how well it works and the tiny gold it can find at massive depth is just mental, I continue to be amazed how good the GPZ 7000 is, one day I will swing one.... one day.... as long as it doesn't lead to a divorce ?
  6. KiwiJW, Mrs JW and I went on a bit of an unusual mission over the weekend. The NZ Minelab dealer contacted me last week saying he has a mission should I choose to accept it, He knew someone who bought a nice house with a gold mine as it's backyard, she wanted to know if there was still gold to be found on it as she would buy a detector for a bit of fun. She wasn't overly serious about making anything out of it, just liked the idea of knowing if gold was there as it would be a novelty to send visitors out with a detector. She said we could keep anything we find if we managed to find anything, I was hoping for an old Chinese coin. JW had been to the area before although I don't think he had great success but with this being a private property gold mine that was quite well hidden perhaps nobody had hit it before. Not to mention it was completely covered in scrub, over the past two years since buying it she had been clearing it only leaving the good stuff, amazing job for one very determined woman. The Chinese miners planted out a range of plum trees, tobacco plants, briar rose for their tea and who knows what else. They also planted these cool little plants they used for toilet paper, it's a shame I didn't get a photo of one. Nice big soft thick cushy furry leaves, probably better than real toilet paper. It was tempting to test some out. John brought his Caravan along, all the comforts of home We were able to park it up right next to the Gold mine. Coffees ready to roll. The mine was huge, daunting to work out where to start so I relied more on JW as he has much more of an idea about this sort of thing, so we jumped on our VLF's, JW on his Monster and me on the Nox. I left the 11" coil on to give me more ground coverage in such a massive area. JW manned up and used the 5" GM coil, not daunted at all ? It just keep going and going and going, imagine having that as your backyard. I'd love it. We tried and tried to find gold, but nothing.... JW found an old penny, but promptly lost it again It was old sluiced workings and there was still a lot of the old equipment laying around, pipes and bits of the sluice gun. The main part of the gun looked to be a feature in her town now. We went for dinner at the local pub that night with the lady that owns the mine and her neighbours who were very interested in trying to find gold. Mrs JW fired up the Jukebox, in turn JW shook his booty to the tunes which the entire pub couldn't help but notice much to my and Mr's JW's amusement. When it was time to leave we went up and paid the bill and the publican asked where we were from and turns out he lived near me for 30 or so years and moved up to that area to run a trommel and a couple of diggers. He did quite well but messed up with paperwork so had to end the mining so he bought the pub instead. He informed us the area only had tiny flour gold so our detectors were useless. JW already suspected this. I really thought we'd get something so armed with our new information JW decided it's time to go back to basics to avoid a skunk. She had a pond with a cool little hut in the gold mine too, turns out the hut also came from my town, she got it delivered. Very weird set of circumstances. JW tried a few pans, no luck, then he tried out some of the dirt rabbits left after digging their holes, and what do you know, he got gold! He got 1 tiny little flake ? The water was near freezing! He tackled another pan of rabbit hole soil and got another couple of bits then handed over the pan to me, I got 5 bits on my first pan of rabbit dirt, then another few bits on my second pan, including a big one.......... for this location. We called it quits and did a tour of the local area and it's mining history and found this old mini bucket dredge. Then a snow storm started to kick in so we made our way home, weekend over.... an enjoyable experience and I learnt quite a bit.
  7. 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
  8. So my new Whites 24k arrived this morning finally after some issues with New Zealand post "before I begin I must give a big shout out to the guys at sneedens who are brokers for customs etc they made everything very simple for me... Right back to the detecter.. I wasn't sure what to expect as there is very little information out there bar the odd person and dealers pushing it. As I've owned many detectors over the years minelab grew on me as my favorite mainly because they were simply superior to the rest. Anyway I wiped up a unboxing video I then moved on to do some playing just with air tests and tho they are just that air tests I was pretty dam gobsmacked to say the least as it was pouring down out side icouldn't venture out to do some ground tests but from the air tests it's got the monster for depth The rain finally gave up this arvo so I grabed some gold ranging from non registering to 1.68 gm and in between. And set out for a spot close to me that was one of the big gold rush areas , now I'd taken the gm1000 here before and it was quite chatty in the upper sensitivity regions as the gm1000 is generally. Now once there I had a play with the 24k just with settings etc and to my surprise the ground there registered 90 on the ground balance to hot as hell was no wonder the gm1000 struggeled here but I was running the 24k max sens 10 vsat lowest it goes and the threshold was rock stable I was using locked ground balance and I do have to say that both the ground grab and xgb was incredibly quick to balance. No the ground is full of black sand so it did kill the depth on targets but not as much as I thought and I could still get the 0.00 non registering bit even with a layer ground on top . But I have already found a quirk with this machine that's a positive if you put it in xgb but run it with a negative ground balance of about - 2 for 30 seconds or so then lock it change it to positive 2 and then manual ground grab the machine goes as quiet as a church mouse with just the threshold hum no hot rock or ground feed back only targets make any noise.. But it hit every target clean and at good depth that 6 inch round is impressive but I can't wait for the 4x6 early next month... Now I also found the threshold as almost to stable for the sensitivity as I said I started on max and was stable as with bit of ground noise that I was able to get rid of as mentioned above. Now when I turned the sensitivity down to 7 I gained depth.. Lol yes gained I think on 10 it was geting over loaded by the black sand abit even tho my threshold was rock solid I gave up playing with my gold targets and went for we hunt knowing people use it for sighting in rifles there and I managed to pick out lead fragment one after the other as I went along.. Also worth noting there is Zero and I mean zero coil noise you can bash it scrape it knock it on things and not a peep... its going to be a learning curve to learn its qurkes but so far I have to say it beats the monster in just about every aspect apart from the monster being able to be custom made on broom stick or bush branch lol..
  9. Admin Note: split from existing thread here Hi mate just stumbled across this post I'm in the market for new vlf having had the monster1k gb2 nox800 here in nz the monster eats the gb2 for breakfast on depth size etc and I had to sell as got stuck with alot of Bill's and I've been tossing up between the older gmt and 24k or go back to a monster... what I didnt like about the monster was lack of functions even tho it does its job well I'm a seasoned user and like to tinker ... how do you find the 24k compared to the older gmt ... both in how small will either detect I'm guessing the 24k will or should pick up alot smaller gold ...and qill the 24 on right settings pick up same small stuff as the monster ? I was regurly finding almost sand size bits that wouldnt register on scale ..even tho thwy were pointless to find and sometimes anoying was nice to know I could find them ... any eedbal would be great ... Also do you know if the older goldmaster 4x6 coil is compatible with the 24k I'd love a small coil like that on one I loved the gb2 small coil for bedrock hunting over the small round
  10. So today I thought it was about time I took my 2.5 year old daughter out to my gold claim. The claim is in reasonably rugged country with steep slopes and dense vegetation. Most of the gold is found as small nuggets on or near bedrock. There was one spot I could think of that was within 100m of the road where a river bank had been washed out and bedrock was exposed. That said I knew I'd have to cut a bit of a track through the vegetation to get the little girl through. We got to our location after a bit of a scramble down a short but steep slope with the aid of a rope. Was a bit of a performance with a backpack on my back and carrying my daughter. I set her up on a grassy bank next to where I'd be digging and surrounded her with snacks with which to entertain herself. As luck would have it I managed to uncover three small nuggets by clearing the gravels off the bedrock and detecting it. After about an hour she'd had enough and we clamberd back to my car. Needless to say, I'm very proud that she's now big and patient enough to take gold hunting! Oh, we got 0.8g total. However in this case the memories (at least for me) are priceless.
  11. Thought I'd do we show and tell these are from summer 2018 mainly bedrock hunting in upper creek heads .. using my gpx4500 and goldmonster 1000 all the fines in the left container were from the monster apart from a couple that were gpx or nox800 the two in the centre are 1.7 and 1.6 grams still yet to break the 2 gram yet hopfuly this year .. I'll be pulling alot of you tube videos up if you want to follow my channel its nugget hunter new zealand ... I have a modded gpx4500 but I also modded the shaft to a 3 piece gold big 2 shaft it makes it very portable and easy to carry into hills
  12. JW asked me last night if I was keen to go back to my hot rock skunk spot for another go, I knew he'd do well there so I wanted to go to see the action, I didn't have too much faith in myself but I was determined to at least break the skunk. I arrived at JW's and he had a gift waiting for me, a Minelab melon warmer, perfect timing right before winter kicks in, maybe it's my lucky beanie. We've gone to this spot the past couple of weekends, JW has been absolutely killing it at this spot with his X-coils getting double digit gold every time. I had been skunked both previous times but this time was different, I was determined to break the skunk, the past two skunks were getting to me so I was going to find gold and gold I found, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain't bad... It's a nice spot, I enjoy being there wandering around The grass growth was bad, consistent with this year at every spot we go, it's been a bit wetter than usual That little plant in the bottom left of the photo is lethal, it doesn't look dangerous but it will stab you to death with its sharp spikes. I found out the hard way. I started off using my GPX but the hot rocks were driving me mad, as you probably remember from my last two posts about this area I'm really struggling with this area and it's green hot rocks. On the GPX they come up such nice signals, especially when they're underground, surface ones are simple to deal with. The smaller they are the more annoying they are. I quickly got sick of digging hotrocks so swapped over to my Equinox. The Equinox although is just as bothered by the hot rocks can at least tell you they're hotrocks with the -8 and -9 on the VDI's. I prefer to use my Equinox in all metal mode, I don't like how if you notch out numbers it just nulls the audio but you hear broken audio from any overlap in the VDI's that cross to another number. Here is a video of the Equinox on this ground with no discrimination - I'll put better quality videos up later, Googles taking forever to process them. I put up with all metal mode for a while but gave up and notched out -9 and -8, not long after that I found my first bit of gold. A nice 6 to 7 on the VDI's Not too shabby, It was quite deep too, I didn't bother to work out the depth but I'd say about 7", a decent weight too You'll notice on all my dig holes in this post I clear the surface around them, that's to get rid of as many hot rocks as possible as they can disturb the signal and effect the VDI's That was it for me for some time, I spent the next couple of hours detecting around and found very little, the good thing about this spot is its relatively junk free, there are just bucket loads of hot rocks to make up for the missing junk ? JW walked past on his way to another spot and I asked how he's going, I think at this point he was at 6 or more, I can't remember exactly but I wasn't surprised, it's the x-coil factor.... Lately my best gold has come from the most unlikely places, so what's exactly where I went to explore next. My GPX was behaving nicely, I'm not overly certain what people consider a smooth running GPX is but this is mine in sensitive extra with gain of 15 and audio in boost, the signals it's getting are the hot rocks. Going over ground and finding a small underground hotrock Going over my .3 of a gram nugget I just found, I throw it in an about 6" deep dig hole from someone else. I gave up on the GPX again due to the hot rocks and lack of discrimination and went back to the Nox with 11" coil. I was in Gold 2 with sensitivity 25, all else defaults but -8 and -9 discriminated out. JW wandered past as he was going back to get lunch, I'd already had mine so he said you may as well stay detecting, it's lucky he said that as I was about to give up on this spot but decided I'd stay a bit longer. Soon after I had a solid 15 on the VDI's, never changed.. absolutely solid. I thought maybe I had an old coin or something but no, it was my biggest piece of gold ever!!!!! Look at that lump! You'll note I got my Carrot out for this one, I thought it was an old coin so I used my Carrot to locate it, which it did a quick job of. Down 3/4 of the depth of my carrot. Oh yea! my biggest ever! 1.208 grams ? A few foot away I got another nice signal, a very repeatable 5 on the VDI's this time Only about 2-3 inches down A very good day to me, but no match for JW and his X-coils! ? Some may wonder why I used the 11" coil on the Equinox and not the 6" when prospecting.... to me there is not that much difference, the 11" will find tiny gold, I wanted the ground coverage and the extra depth as I've seen from JW's experience the gold at this spot tends to be deeper. The 11" isn't that far behind the 6" in sensitivity to tiny gold.
  13. Hi guys, After my Anzac day post, which most of you probably saw before Steve took it down as it was non gold related, you will have an under standing of what Anzac day is all about for us Kiwi's & Aussies. After a morning of remembrance I decided to head out to a little local spot of mine just down the road to try the 15 x 14 X coil on an old area that had dried up for me with the Zed. I thought this would be a perfect test for this coil. It also involved taking the E-mountain bike. There was a good area of schist bedrock with little growth but more than what should have been there & more than I had ever seen there before. So I slowly got into my stride. There were power lines not far away & they were giving me a bit of grief. Even a dusting of snow on the hills in the back ground. Something these coils do not like. But I persevered with it listening intently among the noise for a different signal "noise". It came pretty quickly on the outside edge of a schist bedrock drop off. I had never got a signal here before with any of my other detectors. It ended up being very deep into the schist. Having to smash into it. The detector & coil is sitting on the top of the bedrock & I smashed out down into the shoulder of that corner down to forming that lower ledge when the signal had finally moved. .44 of a gram Going very slowly over this bedrock it wasn't too long before I had another faint little signal. This proved quite difficult to locate as you will see where I have smashed into the schist between the coil & the pick. Until I got into that crevice & that was where the signal was coming from.. Small bit of gold .14 of a gram First piece was in that schist face in the foreground & that 2nd bit where the detector is sitting. I then went on to the edge of a schist bedrock drop off into deeper ground. Got a nice signal that had me taking out a fair bit of loamy top soil. MMMm....maybe not. But then I got into a couple of crevices & the signal was down in there. Signal ended up being in that deeper crevice next to the coil. A .75 gram piece. Nice bit of character. Looks like a little elephant with out a trunk, or something. That was it apart from detecting & tree root, & breaking my swing arm in the process.? I called it quits at that. I was happy with that considering I had got nothing off here on numerous other occasions with the Zed. Loving this 15 x14 X coil. It speaks my language. GOLD ? I have yet to be skunked with it on 7 outings with it. That is telling me something. Cheers Good luck out there JW ?
  14. 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.
  15. I've been stuck at home the past few days, my car decided to break down for the first time in it's life, the starter motor died and it seems I also have a fuel pump problem which is getting repaired soon, the starter motor is fixed so I'm mobile again as of late today. Seeing I've been stuck at home time has been spent doing work around the house rather than anything exciting however today something unusual happened. The big power lines that come from the windmills behind my house that power the surrounding area were shut down for about 2 hours with them diverting power from another area I guess as we didn't lose power but the lines were disconnected. The reason for this is the old wooden power lines they have passing over the river are no longer suitable and they've upgraded to lines that span over the river rather than having a pole in the water. I had a couple of hours around my property with no interference from the power lines nearby and I was stuck at home bored, a win win situation. It's a pain in the rear in some ways as my outlook from the house now has big power lines in it that didn't exist before but these things happen. This is a photo of my back fence with a helicopter dragging the lines across the river which is behind the willow trees you see just below the helicopter. All action down there at the moment with cranes and helicopters buzzing around all day long. It was amazing to watch the helicopter flying along unwinding the wire between the poles. The old power lines are to the left of the photo and there are about 15 windmills up on the hills you see in the background that power the area. The little fence in the middle is to stop my dog getting in the back area as it used to have some pet sheep in there like all kiwi's have, they're now in the freezer. ? This is a photo of the river, unfortunately according to history, and my attempt with my sluice there is no gold in it ? This photo was taken around my neck of the woods and KiwiJW lives up in among those snow capped peaks up that way. The other direction further south is the bottom of the country and has a cloud that never seems to leave and rains all the time, next stop, Antartica ? I covered my entire back area with the Nox 800 and 11" coil in Park 1 with sensitivity 25 and all defaults and popped up two old 5 cent coins, pretty happy with that as I've hammered my yard over the past year with my detectors practicing how to use them but I've never been able to crank it up to 25 due to the power lines, usually sitting on about 21 sensitivity. One is from 1998 and the other 1999 but they're very different colours from corrosion which is a bit odd. I gave up on the Nox after finding no more and was going to go get the Gold Bug Pro as I'm enjoying using it lately with the Detech Ultimate coil, it is a really good combination on coins but as my last good find was the silver coin in my backyard using the Garrett Euroace I picked it up, that and the fact it still had batteries in it where the Gold Bug didn't. The Gold Bug doesn't care about the power lines at all and I can run it in maximum sensitivity in my yard anyway so perhaps it was a good idea to use the Euroace as I usually have to run it 2 bars off maximum when near the power lines. The power was still not running through the lines so the Euroace ran at maximum sensitivity with no false signals so I went over the area again, the area between the two fences you see in the photo but it extends 50 meters by 25 meters (164x82 feet). I got a signal I'd never noticed before with any other detector including the Nox I'd just used in this area. It was repeatable and giving a pretty solid target identifiaction on the Euroace, only moving between 2 notches. I dug and recovered a coin, about 35 cm's deep (13.7 inches) and thought wow, what's a semi modern 10 cent doing down that deep and threw it in my pocket and kept detecting. Nothing else exciting turned up so I went to get the T2 to give it a turn but by the time I moved the batteries over from the Euroace to the T2 the power was back on so I didn't get to give it a chance. When I came inside and cleaned up the coins I noticed the 10 cent coin wasn't all it appeared, it's an old 1967 One Shilling also having 10 written on it as it was produced in the year that NZ transitioned to decimal currency. I've never seen one before, well before my time.... This is the normal older style 10 cent I'd find, note it no longer has One Shilling written on it Here is a short video the reserve bank of NZ did in the year this coin was produced to inform people of the change over, it has my One Shilling/10 cent in it Also a news story about the change-over https://nzhistory.govt.nz/nz-adopts-decimal-currency Sure, it's probably not the most valuable find but I'd never seen one before and it's the fact I was able to find it in a completely hunted out area because of a power outage, It's worth using power outages to your advantage if you ever encounter one. Some research on the coin says this about it, " Over the years a few things have happened in this coin series. The coin catalog reports that many of the 1967-dated coins were melted in 2006, and this sends their price up a little bit over other dates. " It's still of little value to them, but to me it's priceless, afterall I found it. ? The Garrett Euroace with Nel Tornado coil proved again it's a deep detecting combination. It's the second time now it's found a coin my other detectors have missed. I don't know enough about the technical side of it but I think the low 8.25khz frequency and 12x13" Nel Tornado coil size is the secret to it's depth. This is a review of the Nel Tornado on the Euroace which I tend to agree with pretty much everything he says, it's a great coil https://www.detectorreviews.co.uk/nel-tornado-garrett-coil-review/
  16. 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.
  17. Here is a nice story I stumbled across today about some volunteers finding a guys lost wedding ring out in the ocean near an Island off the coastline of NZ. A team of metal detectorists have described the "absolute buzz" of managing the near-impossible task of finding a lost ring in the middle of Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. Auckland man Eddie Hayman was on a boat celebrating a friend's wedding off Waiheke Island on February 16, when he went for a swim and his wedding band came off in the water. Unable to find it himself, he searched online in a desperate attempt to find a way to retrieve it. https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/110822835/wedding-ring-lost-off-aucklands-waiheke-island-found-by-diving-metal-detectorists Looks like a CTX 3030 and Excalibur II were used for the task judging by the photos on the little video clip on the article.
  18. I woke up Sunday all motivated to find some gold, I’d been looking forward to a prospecting outing with KiwiJW for some time, he’s been a very big mentor to me and has answered every question I’ve had with a very detailed and easy to understand answer, which is fantastic as I’m very much a beginner, but an eager one at that. I sent John a TXT message asking if he wanted to go on a hunt, I was pleased to see he replied with a YES. We arranged to meet at a location to give it a shot, John recommended I put the 5” coil on my GM1000 for the task at hand, I’ve barely used my 5” as I always thought I’d have more chance with the bigger coil. He decided to use his GB2 so we were both on a different detector. Both our Equinox’s stayed in the cars as the big coil was no good for the task at hand, come on Minelab, we want the 6” coil now!!!, and while you’re at it, make it with a solid base cover please. We had some serious terrain to get through before we got to the location where we started to detect, as we headed down to the area the rocks were covered in moss and I took quite a nasty fall, landed flat on my back and winded myself, not a great start to the day but up I get and off we go, after all, we are on a mission. John gave me a rundown on what to do and how to do it and off we went detecting in the creek, I tried to stay on the opposite side of the creek to John so I didn’t get in his way, not long after we arrived we were walking along the creek, detecting in the areas John indicated would give us the best chance, and I could hear John’s GB2 making noises that even sounded good to me and very much like my Gold Bug Pro sounds. He had what appeared to be a target, I ran across with my GM1000 and tried to find the target that he was getting… nothing, not a signal at all on the GM1000 in Auto+, he hit the area a few more times with his pick and said now try it, still nothing, I changed to manual 10 and there it goes, sounding off on the target with a good positive reading on the indicator. I now really understood why John told me I should be using the 5” coil, the smaller the better for this job and why he mostly uses manual 10 if the location allows it. He kept digging for some time, so long I went back to my detecting thinking it can’t be anything as he’s been on it about 10 minutes chunking away the rock and still got nothing. How wrong I was, all the sudden I hear John yell out, got one! So I ran back over and it was massive, the biggest nugget I’ve ever seen in person, it was big, but very thin weighing in at 1.52 grams. We guessed the nugget was up on its side which is why the Monster struggled in Auto+ as I was swinging directly over the top of the area with the coil flat, where as he was able to use his tiny little 6.5” elliptical coil on his GB2 to really get down into the crack so he was hitting on the target sideways, the likely orientation of the nugget, I didn’t know to do this at the time. Being the beginner trying to follow all the rules of detecting I suggested he check the hole again, and bang, straight away, another target, I stayed around to watch the retrieval of this one, and tested it prior to retrieval on the Monster and was giving a good full bars on the indicator. Up comes John’s second nugget shortly after. John's nuggets, look at the size of that thing! Now I was really getting motivated, I kept my Monster on Auto+ as there was a bit of instability around his GB2 with it on manual 10. We walked along a bit and John said, That spot over there looks good and explained why, so off I went and virtually straight away, I had a good signal so I dig for a bit and found nothing, and moved on to an area next to it, John came over with his GB2 and I said I had a good signal but couldn’t find anything, he got his pick out and scraped away some of the gravel and said, try again. I did, and managed to narrow down where the target was, scooped up the gravel into my scoop and waved it over my 5” coil and bang, it’s in the scoop. John talked me through narrowing down where it is in my scoop and after a few minutes my first nugget of the day and the biggest I’d ever found by a long shot. We rechecked the area and nothing so continued on. At this point I had a smile on my face like the Joker that couldn’t be removed. My first nugget of the day After climbing over a few waterfalls while John was giving me further instruction of where to look I found another signal in some schist, there wasn’t even a crack in it, this was a solid bit of schist in the creek but it was giving a good signal, normally I would just walk away thinking some sort of false alarm, he instructed me to hit it with my pick and break it up a bit, and I did, shortly after a nugget was visible in the rock, retrieved it, rechecked the area, still had my perfect full positive signal, smashed some more rock out, another nugget, and again, this process went 6 times! I got 6 nuggets out of this bit of rock! Unfortunately the 6th nugget which was only tiny was washed away during retrieval by the fast flowing creek and I just couldn’t find it after that. My schist glory hole! We walked along a bit further and decided it’s time to try out another nearby area as this was more an educational journey for me so we decided to take the high country goat track back to avoid having to walk the creek again, this possibly turned into a harder walk than the creek itself but it was an adventure! I managed to lose my scoop during this walk back to the cars. My Nuggets from the first creek My nuggets in the Vial, John's directly on the car bonnet, his was bigger so harder to lose We arrived at the next creek and found an apple tree so had a snack and then walked up the creek doing a bit of detecting, then John said, there is plenty of old mining workings up that hill there, want to go up? I of course said yes so we climbed up. I was amazed at what I saw, there was water races, and piles and piles of rocks and various workings, even old rock structures they had made, this looked like it went on for many KM’s along the creek side high up in the hills. John said now there is all that bedrock here, let’s go detect that and pointed out what I needed to look for. He specifically said target the cracks in the bedrock as gold gets stuck in them so that’s exactly what I did. I found a further two nuggets right near each other in cracks in the bedrock. There wasn’t many targets up there in the small amount of time we were searching and it was getting late. John just found some junk unfortunately. I feel a bit bad as John spent so much time helping me he didn’t get that much time detecting to find targets himself but he did get BY FAR the biggest nugget of the day and another decent size one so that’s some consolation, by weight our day was very similar. We headed back down and John knew a shortcut to get back to the cars so we took it and it worked out well, we were back in no time, the walk back was also very educational for me. John pointing out various old timer workings and explaining it all, I learnt a huge amount on this adventure and I am very thankful to John for taking me along and sharing his wealth of knowledge on the area’s gold mining and metal detecting techniques. I feel like now I can actually metal detect for gold, and do it with some success. The Gold Monster 1000 is a perfect beginner’s machine, and as it seems great for the experts too. Regretfully I had to take off home at this point as my 7yr old daughter was waiting up past her bed time for me to get home so she could see if I found anything while I was out with the guy who she sees in all the forum photos finding gold all the time and wonders why daddy can’t do it! She’s quite the keen little prospector too. My wife and daughter were shocked when I showed up rattling my vial with 8 nuggets in it, weighing in at a mighty 2.167 grams. I just had the time of my life! If you look closely in the vial there is actually 9 in there, I'm wondering if the tiny one is the one I thought I lost as I don't know where it came from A huge thank you to John (KiwiJW) for a wonderful educational and successful day out! Freshy washed nuggets, ready for weigh in!
  19. Over Christmas/New Year I took off with my wife and daughter in my Caravan which I got imported from the UK for an adventure and to pick up the Caravan from Christchurch where the ships come in... for me it was a good chance to use my metal detectors. I took along the Equinox 800, Gold Bug Pro, T2 on the first trip to Christchurch, a 7 hour drive from home. My caravan, home away from home for my metal detecting adventures from now on I've already done a post on a big part of the trip in this thread here as I bought the Ultimate coil for my GBP for beach detecting to take on this trip. These were the coins found on that first part of the trip, nothing too special, mostly on the beaches around Christchurch Then I went to KiwiJW's area around Queenstown for the New Years period, they have a great fireworks show there and I was keen to detect the beach afterwards as it gets thousands of people on it for the show. I went at 4am the next morning to detect the beach but in my haste to leave the Caravan while half asleep I picked up my Gold Monster and threw it in the car somehow thinking it was my Equinox 800. When I arrived at the beach I realized I had the wrong detector with me. Fortunately I had my T2 buried under some blankets in the car as I brought it along for my wife to use if she did any detecting, there was no way I was going to go back to the Caravan and get the Nox as I had a small window of opportunity before people started arriving and sitting all over the beach to watch the sunrise, it seems to be on a bucket list of a lot of tourists. My wife has decided the T2 isn't for her anymore and wants to only ever use the Gold Bug Pro with the Ultimate coil due to it's insanely accurate Target ID's, it's a great combination. I had to dumb down to the T2 to about 50% gain on the beach area as there is a lot of EMI around there but I did pretty well with it, finding coins that I had missed on various occasions using my Nox. I am certain I'd been over these places with the Nox, the beach isn't exactly big, it's long but only about 10 to 20 meters wide. I was very pleased with the performance of the T2 with Mars Tiger coil, it found coins the Nox missed, maybe they were too scratchy/random of a signal to dig on the Nox, maybe I mistook them for junk with it's smaller VDI range, or maybe the T2 just saw them better on the day, who knows... the crowds of people arrived about 5.30am as expected to watch the sunrise from the lakefront.... I was hoping they wouldn't being New Years day, sleeping off the booze but they were appeared on mass. While in the area I also threw in my sluice in my favorite creek with my Dad, we went halves in the gold as we ran it for two days, we got about half a gram each. I've tried my Dad on metal detecting, he just doesn't have the knack for it, and he broke his leg badly a couple of years ago so his leg is full of metal right down near his ankle, not ideal for detecting as it sets off the detector all the time. He seems to enjoy sluicing though, if I ever ask he always wants to come along and it's fun doing it with him. He's almost died twice now in the past few years, once from a big heart attack and then once from an infection which took over his body from the leg breaks surgery so it's nice to spend time with him doing something we both like doing. Once I got home again after that trip I had to drive back up to Christchurch for a warranty repair on my Caravan as it had a window leak which they fixed up for me. This trip we had more time so I did a lot more detecting, I also took along my GPX 4500 as on the first trip I was at a beach where my VLF's just couldn't work, too much black sand. The GPX worked a treat here in the black sand where the VLF's struggled badly, I did find a few coins on this beach with it but nothing exceptional. I quickly got sick of digging beer bottle tops as the GPX had poor discrimination using my 11" DD coil compared to using my VLF's... I got tired of digging junk all the time so I gave up. I was pleased however that I was at least able to use the GPX here and it worked well, just a shame about the bottle tops. We left Christchurch after two days there and getting the Caravan repair done to go to Dunedin, another large city in South Island terms for the remainder of the trip, I wanted to give the beaches there a go as well. I also detected some parks in Dunedin and did better at them than the beaches. The beaches were nice but very desolate of people... even on hot days nobody was around to drop their stuff for me to find ? The footprints on this beach are mine from walking back and forward with my Gold Bug Pro, they're the only footprints on the beach and this is the main *popular* beach in the city. Only a few minutes drive from the city center. I found a few coins here, nothing exceptional as just so few people use the beach I guess nothing much gets lost. Puzzled why it was empty all the time. Nice weather, the water was warm enough for a swim, crystal clear water, nice sand... amazed it was always empty. I had better luck in the parks at Dunedin with some quite good coin finds. I also found a religious thing which is strange as it's very similar to one I found on another trip in Queenstown. These two photos are the more odd finds I had over the entire XMAS period, two American coins, a Canadian coin, a Fiji coin and the usual NZ old coins and an Aussie coin. The religious things are down the bottom, the one with NEW is the one I found this trip. I didn't clean off the old penny coins as I'm not sure the best way to go about it with them being so old. The other coins cleaned up pretty good. I cleaned up the 1876 penny as it has had someone attempt to put a hole in it to make a neck pendant by the looks of it so I assumed it's value if any was already gone so I went and cleaned it up, it came up nice for such an old coin. The second oldest coin was a 1936 US one cent. The other coin a lot of you will recognize is a 1966 US 1/4 dollar, looks in good condition although there is a lot of wear on it. It's not unusual to find foreign coins in NZ, we get almost the entire countries population in tourists each year. When I dug the Canadian dollar I was a bit confused as it's Target ID on the GBP was all over the place yet without looking too hard I just put this dirty looking NZ $2 coin into my pocket, I didn't know at the time it was a Canadian dollar. I just assumed it was something else in the hole causing the Target ID to go wild. I also found a lot of the more common NZ and Aussie coins, this is a photo of some of them, my wife put the lot of them in my metal detecting coin collection before I got a photo of them so I've only got a few of them that I got a photo of that weren't mixed in with the others. Turned out a pretty fun break and a good learning experience. I enjoy using my GBP with Ultimate coil as it's so light and has really good Target ID's, the Nox serves me well also but I was pleased the T2 came through with the goods on New Years day finding coins I've missed with the Nox. The GPX ran perfectly in the black sand proving to me how well it really cancels out bad ground. I don't really have a favorite detector anymore, I like them all, they're a nice little family ?
  20. I've been away doing some beach detecting and had a pretty good run on my Gold Bug Pro so I thought I'd better give that back to my wife to use and start using my Nox. We went to the next beach along the coast, only about 20 minutes drive into the next inlet from the first beach where my detectors were getting coins easily 20cm deep, often deeper without a glitch then on this new beach the sand looked different, it was darker in colour. I fired up the Nox and tried to ground balance and it ground balanced to 0, if I ran it in horse shoe mode I was constantly getting -8 and -9 over and over again on every single swing like a machine gun. I assumed this is the black sand style beach that VLF detectors just can't work on? After trying every mode from Park 1 to Gold 2 I found it ran most stable in Beach 2 with the sensitivity down to about 15. This is what the sand looked like, I didn't end up trying the GBP here as I forgot to bring it on this outing, but the Nox with multi would likely be the better choice for this black sand type stuff anyway The beach looked like it was at some point volcanic, this to me looked like Lava, I might be wrong. There was rocks of it that looked like they were flowing down to the water That's my daughter there playing with my sand scoop seeing I wasn't needing it. Unfortunately though due to the black sand I was virtually unable to detect, I found a bottle cap on the surface with the Nox and as a test I buried it at about 5cm, no luck, didn't see it at all, dug it up and put it on the surface and covered it in a tiny layer of sand and it picked it up with a really messed up scratchy signal with VDI's all over the place. I did however manage to find a single coin, right down near the water where for some reason the black sand wasn't as hindering and the detector felt like it was working slightly better but still had almost no depth. I don't know what the coin is yet, it's too corroded to work it out. Is there anything I could have done to make the Nox usable here? Or is this strictly the domain of a PI machine?
  21. 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 ?
  22. Last Thursday/Friday we had some very consistent rain. Two days & two nights of pretty heavy rain. That is very unusual for the Queenstown area. It didnt seem that cold but when it cleared snow was low down in the hills. This from our front door. Still a bit cloudy. By late afternoon it had stopped raining so I decided to get out for a local detect. I ended up going back to the last little spot where I got 3 bits for .76 of a gram . With the wet ground I liked my chances of getting more off the same ground. I E-Biked in there & there was snow on the tops. This looking across to a lateral glacial moraine that has been cut through by that trickle of water over time. This trickle is usually dry & only flows with snow melt or heavy rain. Looking in the opposite direction more snow on the tops & schist bedrock in the foreground that has had gold in it. Despite my confidence the signals were not coming. I finally got a signal over some bedrock that I had detected the time before & had got nothing. This time it was a definite signal. The damp ground had brought it to life. Hacking into the schist bedrock & peeling it out before the signal finally had moved. It still took a bit to isolate it & get it in my hand. But gold it was. .22 of a gram. But that was it. Oh well....at least I beat the skunk. The next day Mrs JW was keen to go out somewhere. She had twisted her ankle badly & has been two weeks on crutches. She was sick of being cooped up inside & not able to get around very easily. She wanted a change of scenery & was content to just head off up into the hills. Even if it still meant just sitting in my truck. So off we went. I hadn't been detecting over this way for quite a while & the last two months has been lambing time so I had not really even considered it. I called in to see the farmer & to ask which paddocks to keep out of. He said the lambs were far enough advanced & I could go anywhere. So that was good. I was amazed to see how much snow they had over this way up in the hills. He told me that they had had 58mm of rain in the last two days. That is close to two & a half inches. The grass had gone mental so that wasn't going to be too good for my detecting. Good for the farmer though as this time of the year it can be pretty dry. I decided to go higher up in the hills where hopefully the grass growth hadn't gone too crazy. I got over to Doug's Gully, as l call it, & dropped down into it. Mrs JW had no phone signal down in the gully so I drove up to the top of the spur for her. Meant I had to walk back down. A few days earlier that snow in the background was all gone. Oh well.....down to the gully & the old turned over gully floor piles. I have detected this gully countless times with all my gold detectors & I usually always still come away with some gold. Albeit small bits these days. What would today hold? I was backing the wet conditions & damp ground to really help me out here. I took down the Zed & the GB2. I still have a soft spot for the GB2. It has found me numerous small bits down there but so to has the Gold Monster. But I chose the GB2 today. In fact I started with the GB2 as I wasn't feeling very confident with the Zed. On getting down to the gully floor & in all the times I have been down here I have never ever seen any water in this gully. Let alone any flowing water. There is a first time for everything. 5 minutes into it I had my very first signal. Could have been a shogun pellet. But it wasn't .03 of a gram. 10 feet away another signal. Purple flowers are wild thyme bush flowers. It is that time of the year. Another small bit of gold. Looking up the gully & the old turned over piles. Looking down gully I decided to detect down the gully. Nothing for an hour & a half but shot gun pellets. I worked my way back up to the Zed with no more gold to show. So I swapped over to the Zed & retired the GB2. It had saved a skunk any way. I wasnt too long in getting a nice mellow signal with the Zed. The photo doesn't do justice to the depth of the dig but it was a bit of gold. I was just detecting the old timer piles as I have done countless times before. The damp conditions were certainly giving me an edge today. Another signal. This looking up the gully & over a few of the old piles. Another bit of the good stuff. But small. .03 of a gram with the Zed & its 14" coil. I was on fire. The signals & gold kept coming off these piles And the signals kept coming As did the gold Looking down gully. The back filled hole to the right of the GB2 was the last piece. This the next piece & ended up being my last before heading out. All up 7 pieces for just .89 of a gram. 2 for the GB2 & 5 for the mighty Zed. The damp conditions helping me out again. The next day was my E-Bike mission with Simon of which you have had that story from Simon, Phrunt. These are the two bits that I ended up with. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  23. 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
  24. Warning: Pull up a comfy chair and grab a coffee! We decided being school holidays we would take our daughter for a camping trip, up to near KiwiJW's house at my summer sluicing area. The main reason for the trip was it's coming to the end of ski season and the camping location is only a short drive to the two ski fields we had a season pass to access. I packed my Equinox 800 with both coils, T2 with Mars Tiger and GPX 4500 with NF Evo 14x9 for the trip anticipating a lot of metal detecting opportunities. The first week was very busy skiing, we had perfect weather with the only rainfall I can remember happened overnight one night which caused a dump of about 12 inches of fresh snow over the ski fields so we can hardly complain about that. After the snow storm the Avalanche risk went up significantly and due to all the extra snow they extended the ski season another couple of weeks. This was a bit disappointing but good at the same time as I was waiting for the ski fields to close as I've had good luck finding coins under the lifts last season. Considerable avalanche risk, we did see the leftovers of an avalanche the next morning but I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo. It could be one the ski field caused as they bomb the hillside overnight sometimes if they think there is a big risk. My wife didn't really like all the extra snow the morning after the overnight dump as they hadn't yet groomed it so the ski field was a bit wild. However by the next day it was all back to it's usual self. I went metal detecting most nights to the beach front of the lake. I was digging up a lot of coins, mostly modern coins but a few really old NZ coins and a number of foreign coins, mostly American and British coins but some odd looking coins that I suspect are Asian. A couple of American coins and a British pound, I ended up finding a few pounds as they came up the same VDI numbers as NZ Gold Coins. Some old NZ coins. I got quite a few of these, most of them come from where the water meets the land on the lake, whereas most other coins were always further up on the beach. Some more unusual coins and an old 1810 necklace bit of bling. It's some religious thing about Mary. The ring I suspect is just junk and that was my first Australian gold coin of many more to come. The funny shaped coin is an old Queenstown Gondola Coin. I don't know much about it or why they have coins. One of the many American dimes I found. I was fortunate enough to find 5 rings on the trip, one of which is a Lord of the Rings gold ring which appears to be worth quite a bit of money, it weighs 15 grams and after doing my research it appears to be the 14k gold ring as it weighs approx 15 grams. They don't put gold hallmarks on the rings unless the purchaser requests it to keep it authentic to the movie. Also it has the engraving on the inside and outside which costs more, it seems it's possibly worth $2,654 NZD https://www.jenshansen.co.nz/collections/movie-rings/products/yellow-gold-elvish-love-ring This was the nights take when I found the Gold Ring I called it early after finding the ring to go back to my Poptop Caravan to tell my wife of my find. This started to get her and my daughter interested in trying detecting so the next day we hit the lakefront in a quiet area where no people were during the daytime It was only about 30 minutes after my wife took this photo my daughter decided to take her Go-Find 40 onto the rocks in the background, neither of us were paying attention as my wife was on my T2 and I was on the Nox detecting around and she took a tumble and landed in the water, the Go-Find was submerged but she quickly turned it off and ran over and said what happened. I was pleased she turned it off quickly and had no idea how she knew to even do that but I took the batteries out of it and we jumped in the car with it hanging out the car window to dry it out, then we went back to the Caravan and put it in a plastic bag with about a kilo of rice in it and left it overnight. By morning I was game to try turn it on so I put in the batteries and fired it up, worked a treat, no issues at all. The next day after skiing my wife wanted to try metal detecting again so we went to another quiet section of the lakefront, these were the finds that day I like the coin with the dude with the glasses, no idea what country it is but I know if I wore glasses and was going to be put on a coin I'd be throwing on some contact lenses ? My wife got a couple of NZ gold coins with the T2 and also the little silver ring that's a bit buckled up, I straightened it up as good as I could as it was worse than that originally. I found the dolphin ring with the Equinox, it came up solid numbers which was a surprise as I'm sure at some point I'd seen a video of someone finding a similar ring which was a bit wild on the numbers due to the two dolphins and the way they join. My daughter never did find anything with the Go-Find but that's no surprise, it's hard to use a detector without VDI numbers in a place that has so many bottle tops and pull tabs as you spend all your time digging them. This was my next night detect on the lakefront, I got quite a lot of older coins that night as I'd already mostly cleaned up that area other nights of the modern gold coins. The view from the lakefront where most detecting took place. I found two cell phones on the night detects, one I didn't get a photo of as my daughter claimed it for a toy but it was an I-Phone 5 with a smashed screen, it works fine but wants a password to get into it. The other phone is a Chinese android phone and also works fine although it also has a broken screen. Both phones were buried in the lakefront gravel. I ended up finding 4 sets of keys but didn't bother with photos of junk. One of the two ski fields finally closed as they didn't have enough staff to stay open with a majority of the staff being from overseas and they had already booked flights to the Northern hemisphere for working at the Ski fields there. The snow was getting pretty thin on the lower part of the mountain where the beginners area is also which would have forced the close. We drove on up and all three of us gave detecting on the beginners magic carpet area a go. We picked this area as beginners fall over the most and are most likely to lose coins falling over ? My daughter lost interest pretty quick and ended up reading books on her kindle most of the day. The Equinox was getting some gold coins at stupid depths, I wasn't able to get photos as my phone was flat and charging isn't easy when you are in an unpowered camping area and your Caravans battery goes flat, mainly because I forgot to charge it before we left so it just had charge leftover from last summer. I am sure I was digging gold coins in snow at about 45 cm sometimes, way deeper than I can get in air tests, I can't understand why this happened, the Nox just liked the snow and ice. Here was the take from the day, the $10 note was just sitting there in some melting snow. We then went up for another ski for our final day at the other ski field which extended another week, no doubt using some staff from the one that closed as they're both owned by the same company. This is how it looked first thing in the morning, pretty neat with the clouds below. The drive back down later in the day was just as nice, KiwiJW's house is just out of view to the left in this photo. I couldn't get a photo of his spot as a lump in the mountainside got in the way blocking the view of his area from where I parked. The next day was showing my daughter some gold mining history in the area by taking her to old chinese gold miners huts They are pretty cool to see, I detected for a bit in the area but the black sand was too much for the Equinox and I had to block out VDI's -9 to 10 to get it running stable so gold was going to be out of the question, I think I only found one coin. It snowed a bit on us, but nothing too major on the ground, it all mostly landed up higher The next day was skiing again but JW sent me a message asking if we wanted to come over for a BBQ, my wife had a friend visiting so that seemed a great excuse for me to escape that and go visit JW so off I went, and to my surprise he had his Jet boat ready to go for a spin so off we went, really awesome fun, love the little thing, it goes like a rocket. We went for an hour or more but it was starting to get dark so we had to head back, the water was so clear even in the really deep bits you could see the bottom perfectly. I took too long to decide to get a video so it was starting to get dark when I took it. Another day came and a rainbow formed over the area where JW's taken me before to find some nuggets so I went off with the Nox and 6" to try find more nuggets high up in the workings above the creek. This is my favourite sluicing creek where we parked up our Caravan I ended up never finding the workings and got myself quite lost in the dense bush above the creek, it was starting to get dark and I was hoping to make it out before dark. I eventually found my way down to the creek and got myself out of there. I did find lots of old stacked rocks and detected around them but had no luck on the gold. Another day came and another message from JW asking if we wanted to pop in for a BBQ, this was the last day of our trip and my Dad's Birthday so the BBQ was once again out which is unfortunate but I did manage to get to visit as the ski field had to close as the road up to it had far too much ice from a big freeze overnight. My daughter was very upset as she misses the last day of skiing for the season so my wife took her 10 pin bowling and to a movie as an alternative source of fun while I visited JW. The weather cleared up about midday so we went detecting with JW on his Zed and me on my 4500, JW managed to score 7 bits and I continued my skunk getting nothing. I was really struggling with hot rocks in this location digging about 50 of the damn things, they gave me a good signal so I kept digging them, some of them tiny, the size of a small nugget. I was getting annoyed at the things and couldn't work out how to ground balance them out. I guess I have to learn the different sound they make on the GPX over gold as at my ability level I just have to dig everything. Our total finds from the trip, a majority with the Equinox but my wife managed about $10 of it with the T2. I promised my daughter earlier in the trip she could keep all the gold coins I found expecting to find about $20, I was wrong, We ended up finding just under $150 in modern coinage so she bought herself a tablet with the money, big smiles!!! Disclaimer : This post is probably full of errors and the days all mixed up, I'll fix it when I get time, still unpacking and sorted stuff out from the trip
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