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Found 154 results

  1. Been going back and forth to the new place in Las Vegas setting up all the little things that need to be done to move in and flying back and forth on frontier’s Special rates sometimes for as little as $15 one way the only catch is you can only take a little personal bag with you on the airplane. Got tired of renting a car and not having any prospecting gear so I loaded up the Jeep and drove it down for a longer stay and a planned first hunt. Friday had everything ready and my Jeep fully loaded for an early start in the morning, that evening I headed out the front door no shoes or shirt to check the mail box and in the dark missed the edge of the front step rolled my foot and did a summersault down the front steps praying I was going to be able to walk when this was over as I watched the world spin around me out of control. When I came to a stop laying there foot throbbing I summoned up the courage to raise up and put weight on the injured limb, painful but I could hobble, I downed a few Alive and met friends for dinner at an all you can eat seafood buffet my foot still hurting but slowly improving. Next morning after warming up and more Pills I’m limping but feeling like things are worth a try and head out the door for the little over 2 hour drive to gold basin, Arizona from my house. By the time I got there after a few stops and marking my claim borders on the gps my hunt started around 7:30AM navigating the wash with my hurt foot a challenge and my detector kept signaling on my metal free Keene boots? Turns out the pair I’d grabbed and threw in the Jeep I’d used pulling up carpet puttin in a new wood floor and both shoes had a dozen or more staples stuck in the bottom, without pliers I got all but one tiny piece out of the bottom of my shoes the little staple end stuck in the bottom of the shoe on my hurt foot interfering every time I forgot it was there. Learning a new place I learned where not to hunt but I felt good about my detector small targets were slamming and I’m sure I’d have heard the gold if I’d been over any by around 2 in the afternoon my left knee was hurting as much as my right foot from taking up the slack walking uneven terrain and standing up from digging that I decided to call it a day and I’d accomplished my goal of some exercise and finding the place to hunt. As I was directing the 7000 around the area I kept 3 rocks that hit hard on the gpz, the two smaller very magnetic the larger magnetic but less than the little ones. The smallest roughly 130g on a little analog food scale the larger around 230g and the large stone (?) somewhere between 5 and 10#’s I’d guess for both pieces found several feet apart from each other. looking at other examples on the web they seem to hit the correct marks, any thoughts? Just earth rock or did I get lucky?
  2. Time flew by up at the cabin and on my little claim this season. I continued to clear, detect, and drywash the decomposed granite bench areas. Here’s a nice clean out from one drywash session: I also reworked the sides of some oldtimer Diggings, filling in their ditch as I go....lots of work here for little return lol! Found some nice nuggies when I uncovered some crevices in a different bedrock...biggest piece was almost .6gram, decent size for up here: A highlight of the summer was having my nephew’s boys visit. They learned drywashing, running the concentrates through the recirculating sluice, then how to pan. Each ended up with a couple grams(hmmm....maybe a little “salt” in those concentrates lol): AND the season ended on a positive note! Found a nice handful in this small scraping from a new spot....definitely will setup the drywasher here next year! Ended up with just shy of 12 grams total up here for the season....not much gold, but tons of fun and memories! 🙂
  3. Hello everyone I'd like to document my expeditions this year. This will be my first season of being an "Electronic Prospector". I've studied most of the summer and am ready to go. I still need to learn more about Geology but I'm hoping this will come with time in the field. I look forward to posting my adventures/expeditions with you all 🙂 --Garik
  4. Enjoyed the question and answer about Steve Herschbach with Dick Stout and a lot of great stories past and present. I liked the one about Goose Lake and Elderberry Park in 1972. Check it out at: https://stoutstandards.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/a-qa-with-detectorist-prospector-steve-herschbach/
  5. It was time for another Rye Patch trip. It was a group outing this time and I had invited Chet. He was already there when I showed up out in the field about 3 on Wednesday afternoon. It was an 8.5 hour drive and I had added a couple of hours onto it getting checked in to my cabin but I was there! Chet had not found anything so he said I'll follow you. We got set up and he said he would catch up on some things and it was near the end of the day so I headed up. Before I got up too far my first target gave me that nice, warm sound. Even with the little sleep I had I thought it was a good target. I scraped and it didn't move and down a bit farther it didn't come out of the hole and then down about 7" I had it in the scoop. I sometimes overestimate so I put on my 7000 navigation that it was 1 gram but later not to be. It is just .72g. It is the nugget on the top left on the scale. I looked around the area and saw old dig holes so I knew I had to stay. I circled and gridded in the late afternoon sun and I got another signal. This one was a little deeper at 8". The size slightly larger at .75g. That was it for awhile until another repeatable signal. I don't remember the exact depth but I think 5" and I didn't really know if it was gold. It is and it is .11g! I didn't have my phone with me but that was it. I was beat and so was Chet so we took the 35 minute ride back to camp. Overnight it was pretty cold at 17-19 so I left the lid on my coolers open in my car and outside. When I got up the drinks had frozen in both of them but we were off for the same location. This time Chet hit the area where I found those three nuggets. I walked up the hill as I had intended. We didn't move the cars all day. Chet was working the little bowl and I was up on the sides of the big gully and anything else that looked promising. I heard a promising signal in a little dry, side run and it had shale type rock around but the signal would go away when I scraped and scratched. I was into some harder rock and it stayed and stayed and then I blasted it with my pick and it was out. It is the nugget in the middle. A solid 1.5 g nugget! I didn't have my phone with me as it was affecting my detector. Down in the distance I could see Chet working his 17" X Coil very slowly over and over the area from the day before. He had been digging some deep holes. When I made it down to him he said he had found one down about 10" that I didn't get. He also found another smaller one. In addition he had dug some really deep holes where some type of metal pieces had sounded off for him. It was a good day. I had a nice nugget and he had a couple. Friday we started at a different location but soon I wanted to get back to 'the area' but a bit higher. We both walked a long ways checking piles, pushes and holes. I was heading back up the hill and hear that nice sound again. This was only 4 inches or so and out came a nice flatter nugget (.84g). When I looked around I saw someone's recent filled in dig hole but they didn't get this nugget. The trash was hiding it! Things die out in the desert but not like they do in Australia! Australia is one big kangaroo graveyard! Here is the total for this trip. (I didn't find anything with a half day Saturday.) If I add in the two nuggets from my last trip then I have about 1/4 oz of Rye Patch gold. Thanks Chet for the companionship and the stories. You have some really great ones about gold, jobs, life and I wish others could hear them. Mitchel
  6. I'm on another trip to Northern Nevada. This time I had a change in plans and came a day early for a meeting and to hear Chris Ralph speak at the Comstock Gold Prospectors Club. I had a chance to detect a local park. I found a few coins and a half ounce, 10K gold ring that fits me. Those are the facts. How I got here is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey use to say. The rest of the story begins yesterday about 2:30 AM I left Santa Monica for northern California and some claims I've been on several times. I really haven't found a lot of gold there but I know others tha have so I was on my way. This was not one of my focused trips as it turns out. I knew I was going to a meeting in Reno on Tuesday night but I had already delayed my departure by a day. My hotel room was booked and I was going to stay a night in the 4Runner. When I was going through Sacramento my GPS was going haywire and I couldn't tell the route that saved the most time so I went up to Auburn and got on the 49. Anyone will tell you that is a long and winding route to Sierra City. Many will not go that way if pulling a trailer or have a high camper. My 4Runner has a peculiar problem with the front stability sensors. I've not been able to determine what makes one or the other of the wheels 'grab' in the turns sometimes but it does. This trip was very bad for that problem. It made me constantly aware on the turns and made driving difficult. That I can take. I've done it before but this time they were working on the road. I got to a point where there was a stoppage for about half an hour. When I finally got to the claim I wanted to detect it was after noon. I was beat but I wanted to follow the plan. I detected for a couple of hours in one spot and then a couple of hours in another spot and my mind said I'm done. Only trash to find. While I was detecting in the perfect weather I noticed a Cal Fire truck had gone past me a couple of times. On my way out of the forest I noticed a logging crew had left with plenty of daylight left. Off in the distance I could see something like a cloud over the mountains. After looking at it a bit I determined it was probably a fire and over 20 miles downwind from me but it got me thinking. Did I really want to spend the night in the forest? No. I drove to Graeagle and added a night to my hotel stay and headed off the 60 miles to Reno/Sparks. On the way there was another 25 minute delay for road work on Hwy 70. I had never been this was to Reno before but it could be a good way if you are pulling a trailer. I think Fred goes this way off of the 395. The day is getting long and tiring after 500 plus miles and I finally make it to the Motel 6. I choose this so I can walk my stuff into the room and charge it and other things. They assured me I was on the ground floor and then they said it is down the walkway! What? I want to park in front of my door. Well, I couldn't. I almost went back to the desk to cancel but I found a parking place in one of those 'questionable Motel 6's' but I was here. The room was ok but the heater doesn't have a working fan. I went to find a Safeway and it is 9 miles away. I'm fairly irritated ... I get in the room, eat, watch until I fall asleep. I sleep and sleep until 9AM. I sleep a bit more and hang around the room. Where to go and what to do? Nothing grabbed me. It was just time to recharge my batteries. So now I determine I'll visit a park. Which one? I had looked at some parks last night and had ideas so I put one in the phone and headed out about 1PM feeling a bit like I had wasted a day. The park was close but the streets are confusing. I passed by a sign ... Fisherman's Park ... that wasn't where I was going. I had given thought to detecting the river and remembered some stories of a big flood in Reno many years ago that threw everything into the Truckee River. I tried to turn around but everything is near the freeways and no turns. I could have just gone on to my park on my phone but I was 'pulled back' to the river park. After several turnarounds I made it back. As soon as I got there I could see all the tents. This park and part of the river is loaded with what we would call the 'homeless' but in fact this is their home. There were many fires burning and shopping carts are everywhere. Their camps follow the river bottom. I guess this time of year the chance for a flood is small. Above some of these tents was a bike path and on one side of the bike path was a grassy area and then a slope with some trees and a fence. I went back to my car and got the detector and headed for that slope. It had little grass and I thought I'd get a feel for the ground. If I had to go on to the next park I would. My first target was the little lock. It was a scratchy sound but in the 18-20 range. (I just realized as I'm writing this I used Beach 1 with the 11 inch coil for the full hour!) I moved up to the tree line and saw a sunbaker quarter. Around it was a bit of a spill and I kept working this area for several minutes using the pointer for very shallow coins. Nothing was coming up wheat or silver. It was all too new. After a bit of time I moved down closer to the river but was unwilling to work the area because a tent guy and his little black dog were near. I'd been there about an hour and it was time to go. On my way out I thought I would hit the grassy area. I got a couple of tops and caps that were just under the grass but not deep. Then I got another penny sound (19-20) but it didn't look too deep. I had been skipping some of these like I do at the beach in favor of finding and digging higher numbers but this one was a digger. I used the pointer to find it and the knife to lift it a bit and then I saw it was round like a penny but had a hole. No way ... a RING! It had some weight but I had my gloves on and couldn't tell. I rubbed the front and it took some of the dark dirt off of it and looked golden. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the sides and it was tarnished. No way could it be gold and then I saw some bluegreen color. It must be copper I said to myself. That is why it has the penny sound. I didn't have my glasses with me they were a few hundred yards away in the car. I headed back to get them and I said let me take the pictures. I did that and then went back to the car. When I got there I did some rubbing and couldn't see any marks in the usual places. The tarnish was also not coming off so I said ... no gold. But then I spotted a mark. It says 10K! What a reward for a long trip. It reminds me of a 10K Masonic ring I found in Tonopah but that is another story ...
  7. This in many ways is a repeat of my 2018 UK Adventure except two weeks this time instead of three. The 2018 thread is loaded with details and very many local photos that I will not repeat here. Go to the link for the "full tour" with location and travel details. I booked the trip last year as is pretty much mandatory for the Colchester trips. There are only a limited number of trips available in the spring and fall and with so many people returning every year you really have to plan ahead. Mindy had a 10 day opening so I jumped on that as a week is just not enough in my opinion. With the benefit of last years trip experience I was able to weed my suitcase down to 40 lbs including two complete Equinox with 15" coils. Had it about perfect except for a couple shirts I never did wear. I was packed well in advance, and had great connections, so was looking forward to a relaxed trip. I had an afternoon flight out of Reno connecting in Chicago with an overnight to London. Perfect for me to sleep away a lot of the 10 hour overseas portion, and arriving in London in the morning. The plane was half boarded when they announced boarding would halt while they evaluated a flight advisory just in from Chicago. Massive thunderstorms, all flights in delayed for three hours - just enough to miss my connection! I have to give American Airlines credit, they automatically booked me into another flight just two hours later than the original connection, still arriving in London plenty early. We land at Chicago and the plane taxis forever. Finally the pilot announces the gate is blocked and he has driven past it twice. I'm looking at my watch thinking "this is going to be close!" Luckily the gates were close together, but I literally got off the one flight and walked onto the other. I was pretty sure my bag was not going to make it. Well, the flight was fine but less seat space than any overseas flight I have had yet. Price was great though so oh well. I can't say I was shocked to find my bag had been left behind in Chicago as did prove to be the case. Still, all we were doing was booking into a hotel next to the airport before heading out next day, so I hoped my bag would follow on the next flight. No such luck, so next day on the first hunt in the afternoon I was in my travel clothes and on a field with a borrowed Equinox. Thanks Tim! Luckily in a group of seven people somebody always has spares; just as I always travel with a spare, so do others. My very first target that I dug was a full British Crown, I believe a 1937 George VI. Not that old but a large coin and 50% silver. I made some other finds but was hampered a bit wandering around in corn stalk stubble in street shoes. Can't complain though... I was happy to be in England and out detecting! 12th-14th century St Mary the Virgin's Church, Little Bromley Again, American Airlines came through in the end. They actually delivered my bag that afternoon the 99 miles to Colchester (their limit is 100 miles) at no charge. So it really was just a minor snafu of no consequence, mainly due to good weather and a spare machine being available. We had a really great group, four guys and three gals including Mindy. Mindy cooks in each evening except for one pub night out. There was also an optional museum tour for one day later in the trip. I wanted to wait and see how my finds were doing before deciding about that. Weather for the first part of the trip was the best I'd ever seen in England, about 70F each day. It made for really pleasant field hunting. I was as always hoping for a gold coin, with anything else accidental by catch. I was making nice coin and relic finds, including a couple hammered silver coins. A few days into the trip, good buddy Tim, he of the gold ingot from last year, was nearby when he scored his second Celtic 1/4 stater ever, a real beauty. Not minutes later Mindy found here first ever Saxon sceat, a small rare coin that was one of her last "bucket list" items. Lots of smiles and high emotion in the group that day! This may not seem real but the fact is I come very close to liking somebody else making a great find as making one myself. I was right there, got to see the finds right out of the ground, and shared in that "great find high". It's one of the best things about hunting with a group in my opinion. I may never find a Celtic gold coin, but I have been right there when it happened several times now, and that really is about as good for me. Tim and Mindy's finds - Celtic quarter stater and Saxon silver sceat A few days later we were hunting a field right across the road from a small town. I was getting some nice buttons and 1800's coins but nothing spectacular. Late in the day I got another typical button signal of about 17 on the Equinox. I proceeded to dig but the hole was getting deeper and wider with no button found. One of the things I like about the 15” coil is I can pinpoint fairly well with the tip or heel of the coil, and nosing around in the hole revealed the target was deeper and larger. At over a foot the target was squealing, and I was sure it was a large iron target or possibly even an aluminum can. There have been times and places where I have kicked the dirt back in the hole and moved on from such targets, but not in England where you never know what might turn up. I was however getting near the plow line now, the point below which the ground turns rock hard and where due to the rules we have to stop digging. I worked round the center of the target and gave a last scoop, and there sitting in the bottom of the hole was a large green item that tumbled out of the shovel full of dirt. I’m no expert at this kind of stuff, but it looked like a Bronze Age ax head to me. This was not something that I had ever expected to find and so my brain was not really processing it. I wandered over to my buddy Tim who was nearby and asked “is this what I think it is?” I swear he almost fell over, realizing the import of the find more than I had, and assured me I had found an excellent condition Bronze Age ax. Better yet, it appeared to be intact, as many of these that are found have been broken. The final verdict was that my find is a Bronze Age palstave, a predecessor to the modern ax. A palstave is a development of the flat ax, where the shaped sides are cast rather than hammered. My particular find has been identified as a Bronze Age (circa 1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase. In other words about 3500 years old, and about as old as anything that can possibly be found with a metal detector! I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would ever find anything so ancient while metal detecting, and the fact this ax is intact and in good condition makes it the find of a lifetime, and that is no exaggeration. I have always been looking for that gold coin, but after all the gold I have found in my life and now with this I am officially saying "good enough". Anything I ever find from here on out in my detecting career is just gravy, my detecting bucket list is complete. Bronze Age (c.1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase (photo of Steve by Tim Blank with permission) This trip was extra good because everyone in the group was making some really great finds, many in excess of what they were hoping for. After many years detecting these huge fields are far from hunted out, with many of the best finds coming from fields that have been hunted well over a decade. Still new ground does come online regularly, and those fields add a little extra fun in the form of the unknown, especially as regards possible horde finds. There was one set of new fields that another group had found a lot of Roman stuff, including a really nice Roman silver coin and some good condition bronze coins. The trip was over half over and our weather had turned rainy. Not too bad really, just passing storms, with two hours of solid rain the worst I saw. Still, this limits some of the hunting as some fields with a lot of clay content get really nasty. After my ax find I had four days of mostly newer 1700s and 1800s coins and various widgets, but sort of a four day dry spell. So Tim and I passed on the museum tour and braved the rains instead since time was now running short. That plan paid off for me in a couple more hammered silver coins, bring my total for the trip to four. The hammered silver are kind of the standard prized find on these trips, rare but not so rare that most everyone has a good shot at some. Most date from 1200 to the 1600's after which milled silver coins replaced them. I found them off in one corner of the field and as the day wore on decided to head back to the area where all the Roman stuff had been found. There were many footprints but lots of gaps and so I hunted in the gaps. The day was almost over when I got a strong signal and dug up an odd looking lump. At first I had no idea what it was, but suddenly as I cleaned it a head and shoulders resolved into view. I had what appears to be a small bronze Roman bust! There is no real way to date the find, but it definitely looks like a Roman noble of some sort, and was found in the middle of a lot of other Roman finds so it is 90% certain to be around a couple thousand years old, maybe 100 AD going by the coin finds. I am in some ways more pleased by this find than the ax head for some reason. It’s almost like I am talking to that old Roman. I wonder who lost it and what it was. Decorative? A child’s toy? There was a Roman barracks in the area so military related somehow? It is just a great find and I am not aware of anything like it being found by the club before. Small bronze Roman bust found by Steve As noted I was running the Minelab Equinox with 15" coil the whole trip. In retrospect I wish I had brought steveg's new rod with counterbalance as my upper back would have thanked me for it the first three days, but it was a bit too long for my suitcase. Since everyone always wants to know, I basically used the same settings this year as last year with one minor tweak. Last year I ran Recovery Speed 5 and this year lowered that to 4. I normally run with nothing rejected, full tones, but have the Horseshoe button set up to reject 6 and under. This eliminates small stuff, maybe even small silver cut coins, but anything round will still ring up. Target ID 1-6 gets all manner of really tiny stuff almost always small lead or brass fragments. Stuff that’s also slow to recover. So as I say I normally hunt wide open and dig it all, but if time is limited or I am just tired of tiny stuff I hit the Horseshoe Button to go to “Cherry Pick Mode”. Park 1 Frequency Multi Noise Cancel 0 (adjust as needed) Ground Balance Manual, 0 Volume Adjust 20 (adjust as needed) Tone Volume 12, 25, 25, 25, 25 (Steve 4, 25, 25, 25, 25) Threshold Level 0 Threshold Pitch 4 Target Tone 5 (Steve 50) Tone Pitch 1, 6, 12, 18, 25 Reject –9 to 1 and Accept 2 to 40 (Steve Reject -9 to 6 and Accept 7 to 40) Tone Break 0, 10, 20, 30 Recovery Speed 5 (Steve 4) Iron Bias 6 Sensitivity 20 (Steve 22 to 25) Backlight Off Just a really great time with great people and some fabulous finds. I will post a complete set of pictures at some later date when I get the export listing, but for now here are a couple of my favorite hammered silvers from the trip to wrap up this report. Submitted to Minelab for the Find of the Month contest so we will see if I get lucky there also.
  8. Well we finally got thru obligatory rehab work, and we dryblowing work. Drove the backhoe to the next area and decided to scrape a little while we were there... Glory be!!! 10grams right off. Most were in the dirt above the cap. Did a repeat the second day with 16grams? Got most of the gear ready to go... piddling today...enjoyed Sunday with a couple of mates. Getting my camper all ready to go bush... I repaired some tears and old loose seams yesterday with a Speedy Stitcher... handy tool to have if you ever have to sew canvas....works like a charm Built a new battery/propane housing frame on the tongue so I can boondock with 2 propane and 2 deep cycle batteries on hand. Also got a Yagi antenna from Trent that should give me Internet... that will be crazy out where I’m going... I already took the water trailer with 250 gallons down day before yesterday. Hopefully this area will keep producing well for us. Picture of me below shows how I love dryblowing.
  9. After 20 years of hunting in southern NM, it's time for a new adventure in Central Texas. I met up with a couple of fellow hunters, Jimmy from NM and Phil from Az for one last relic hunt. It was a pleasure to meet Phil(Bergie), he is one on the nicest guys you'd want to meet and hunt with. Jimmy and I have been hunting together for the last 5 years and I couldn't have asked for a better friend and hunting partner. Turned out to be a great day to hunt, the weather was perfect and the targets were plenty. Everyone scored some nice buttons and relics, I couldn't have asked for a better way to close out my hunting days here in the southwest. I did manage to find a couple of my favorites buttons, a Dragoon and a Kepi along with the usual pre-civil war relics, bullets, percussion caps, epaulette piece and some small buck and ball lead. Jimmy unfortunately had to head out a bit early to tend to some family stuff. I'm sure he and Phil will post their finds later. The last picture is what I found after Jimmy headed home, the copper coin is from the mid 1800's, it's a Mexican copper 1/4 reale, we have found 8-9 at this location. My settings Park - 1 Sens - 24 F2 - 0 Recovery - 3 2- tones No disc Tone break set from -9 to +8 Thanks for looking!!
  10. This gold prospecting and metal detecting story takes us all the way back to the beginning - my beginning that is. I was fortunate enough to be born in the Territory of Alaska in 1957. Alaska was still very much on the frontier back in those days. My father was a farm boy from the midwest who headed for Alaska in the early 50's with not much more than an old pickup truck. He worked as a longshoreman offloading ships in Seward, Alaska for a time. He decided to get some education and earned his way through college in Fairbanks, Alaska by driving steampipe for the fleet of gold dredges that were still working there. He spent some time in Seldovia, Alaska working the "slime line" in a fish cannery. He met my mom in Seldovia, the two got married, and finally settled in Anchorage, Alaska. I came along in 1957. My father had taken a job as a surveyor but money was tight in the early years. I was raised on wild game and garden grown vegetables, and as soon as I was old enough to handle it, I was walking a trapline every winter with my father. Dad was a hard worker however, and Alaska was having one of its many booms at the time - the construction of the oil and gas fields in Lower Cook Inlet. This was the Swanson River oilfield, discovered the year I was born. The state was prospering and my father along with it as a surveyor on the new Swanson Field. He got the bug for flying early on, and by the time I became a teenager he finally got his dream plane at the time - a Piper Super Cub, the classic Alaska Bush airplane. Super Cubs equipped with oversize "tundra tires" can land just about anywhere you can find about 300 - 400 feet of open ground. A great little airplane and the one I ended up flying to get my own pilot's license. Super Cub N1769P parked on knoll in Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska It was in this same timeframe that dad got me hooked on gold prospecting. In 1972 I saw an ad in a magazine "Find Lost Treasure" and had acquired my first metal detector, a White's Coinmaster 4. This must have got discussions going about gold, and my father did have some knowledge on the subject having worked around the gold mines in Fairbanks. He took me to a little creek south of Anchorage, Bertha Creek, and I found my very first flakes of gold! By the ripe old age of 14 gold fever was in the air, I had my first metal detector, and already wanted a gold dredge. My first dredge, a 3" Keene with no floatation, was on the way to me in 1973. Keep in mind that the price of gold had only recently been deregulated from the old fixed price of $35 per ounce. In 1972 it was around $60 per ounce, and in 1973 made it to just over $100 per ounce. The money was not my motivation at all. I already just loved finding gold, and the connection to the prospectors of old and the historical quest for gold were more compelling than any dream of striking it rich. I just wanted to find gold! My first metal detector and first gold dredge (my 3502 had the older aluminum header box & a power jet) A young man with a new detector, new gold dredge, gold fever, and a father willing to fly him anywhere in Alaska on adventure. How great is that? Now there was only one problem - where to go? There was no internet then, so it boiled down to libraries and research. In short order I discovered the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) bulletin series and the number one Alaska title of the series, Placer Deposits of Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 1374 by Edward H. Cobb. This one book and the references contained in it became my prospecting guide to Alaska. My desired target? Remote locations with large gold nuggets! I read the book and certain places just jumped out at me. One was the Iditarod area and places like Ganes Creek and Moore Creek - tales told elsewhere. This paragraph of page 114 caught my eye: "Placer mining in the Chisana district, first of creek gravels and later of bench and old channel deposits of Bonanza and Little Eldorado Creeks, has always been on a small scale with simple equipment. The remoteness of the area, shortages of water on some streams, and the small extent of the deposits all prevented the development of large operations. There has been little activity since World War II; the last reported mining was a two-man nonfloat operation in 1965." Wow, that alone sounds pretty good. Nothing really about the gold however. The secret to the Placer Deposits series is not so much the books themselves, though they are great for getting ideas, like I did. The key is to use the references listed and in this case the main one is The Chisana-White River District, Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 630 (1916) by Stephen Reid Capps. It turns out I had stumbled over the location of the last actual gold rush in Alaska in 1913. It was a small rush and did not last long, but it did mark the end of an era. The world was on the brink of war and the age of gold rushes was soon to be history. The history of the area is covered in the report starting on page 89. It is fascinating reading, but it was this note on page 105 that really sealed the deal: "The gold is bright, coarse, and smoothly worn. The largest nugget found has a value of over $130, and pieces weighing a quarter of an ounce or over make up about 5 per cent of the total gold recovered. The gold is said to assay $16.67 an ounce." Gold nuggets a quarter ounce or larger make up five percent of the gold? And that $130 nugget at $16.67 an ounce? Somewhere over seven ounces. That's all I needed to know. Very remote, worked by simple means, and large gold - I wanted to go to Chisana in general and Bonanza Creek in particular. Even the creek names scream gold - Bonanza Creek, Big Eldorado Creek, Little Eldorado Creek, Coarse Money Creek, and Gold Run. Now all we had to do was get there. But when I said remote, I meant remote. Chisana is practically in Canada 250 air miles from Anchorage. To be continued..... Chisana, Alaska location map
  11. I began this Rye Patch trip on Thursday morning about 2 AM. It was time to go meet Dig It and see how he was doing there. This time it was a normal trip without the burning satellite re-entry I saw on one trip before. I was treated with a full moon on my way up 395, 6, 95 and I80. We met up without a problem and I headed out to places where I wanted to look and some places where I had found nuggets in the past. I'd say at least half of my trips to Rye Patch get me on a nugget and the other half don't. This is my first trip up here since Australia so I'm wondering what I gained from all that swinging. Anyway, it was good to meet up with Ken, have a chat about his escapades and try to help him understand what little I know about Rye Patch. We parted and I expected to see him again the next day. I have a bit of an open schedule and he warned me that it was going to be warmer than we planned. I went on to near the burn barrel and spent one of those glorious nights of sleep I get after doing an all nighter. I had no sleep the previous night and I can stretch out in the 4Runner and enjoy a night of no city or neighbor noise! Planes are constantly landing at LAX and if they are from Asia they fly over Santa Monica. No planes at Rye Patch. haha I went to bed at dark, watching the sunset out the front and watching the moon rise in the back! I captured the sunrise the next morning. Rye Patch is full. I've been here many times when all of that area was dry. It was a nice, clear, cool morning. Time to get going. I headed in a direction to take advantage of the morning. Before I got to my spot I had my first target of the day. I dug around and in the early light with my sunglasses on and dirt on the target I thought it was lead. There's lots of trash in the area as I found out later. I looked and looked and finally gave it a mouth wash and I saw the color! Yeeee haaaa ... a nice nugget. I've cleaned it up by soaking it in vinegar. I don't know the weight yet. I'll edit this post when I find out. I think it is my best Rye Patch nugget. Lucky Friday the 13th full moon nugget. I gridded that area for half the day and only found trash. I don't think I would have that nugget now if it had been in the reverse order. I found the clue early and gridded. If I would have found trash, trash, trash without a clue I probably would have moved on. I discovered a couple of things while looking for more in that area but they will be put into another post. It is my only nugget of the 3 days so far but I'm seeing some new to me patches. More travel tomorrow while the temperature is up. Mitchel
  12. Went to San Francisco and met my friend Joe. Next day we have been invited by Wes Dering to detect on one of his claims in the Iowa Hill area. On the way we stopped at Citrus Hills visiting Larry at Big Valley Metal detectors who let me try different headphones with my SDC2300. I settled for the Sunray Pro Gold which felt most comfortable and best sounding to me. Thank’s Larry it was a real pleasure to meet you! From there we went to meet Wes. He sold a very nice light and rugged pick to me before which he mailed to my friend’s house. Meeting him he showed us around the claim and off we went with lots of big dreams. I have to say that I come from Germany and have never found a square nail before. So I was wishing to find one square nail and lots of Gold. It seems like the Good Lord listened to just one part….I found a bunch of square nails but no Gold. I was lucky to assist Wes unearthing 3 nice nuggets from the same hole. He was using the GPZ7000 I was running my SDC2300. Putting 1 nugget (approx 2 grams) back in the hole and running the machines over there wasn’t any signal to be heard from the SDC but the 7000 sounded off real nice. Big difference between those 2 machines. Big difference in price also! Wes suggested to run the SDC in sensitivity 4 instead of 2 as the signals are more distinct. The machine kept stable so I ran it in 4. We had a great day and lots of fun. I was using my Equinox 800 as well. Gold 1 setting / Iron to 0 / swing speed 6-7 / sensitivity around 18-20 / nothing out -9-8-7 / ground tracking / small coil it was stable, ground balanced well but did not find gold either. Bits and pieces of lead and wire, 22 casings and square nails. With both machines I found some insane small stuff. Next day we went to a claim on the N Yuba and camped out for some days. Panning some nice flakes, snorkeling looking for crevices, using the vacuum cleaner on the bedrock and metal detector. My total take from panning is 1.2 grams. I finally found a good signal in bedrock. That had to be Gold – finally!!!!! Breaking the bedrock a small piece of very thin wire came to daylight…..grrrrrrr!!!!!! However it got in there???? Going to some other places finding many items including an old tobacco can (I was hoping for some gold coins or nuggets inside but there weren’t any) but no Gold. Second last day I finally got lucky. My SDC2300 rang up on two little pieces. They looked just like rock but weren’t magnetic. Checking them with my Equinox 800 in Gold 1 the smaller piece showed a clean +1 the bigger piece a +2. I did not believe it was Gold but took them home. Being at home now I checked them under the microscope and they are specimen containing Gold. Finally!!! yeah yeah yeah!!!! It is really sick how small of a gold these machines picked up. On my last day we went to Roaring Camp (if you haven’t been there you are missing something) where I panned a little bit of Gold from the day pile (just 10 pans or so) and found a .38 bullet which sounded off real nice with my SDC2300 – no nuggets (they are there for sure). I would like to thank my friend Joe who made all this possible, Larry from Big Valley Metal Detectors, Wes Dering for a very nice pick, a great day on his claim and some nice gold he gave to me as a present to take home, Gregg and Mike, Kim from Roaring Camp, Steve Herschbach for his advice how to run the Equinox on hot ground and some nice folks who’s names I forgot who made it possible to prospect on the N Yuba and Kanaka creek. One of the best pieces of Equipment I invested in is my 2 liter water bladder for my backpack (Camel bag) but for the next rip I will get me a 3 liter. 2 liters is just not enough fluid for a whole day in +100 F. Folks, don’t get dehydrated this is a very serious issue.
  13. New story thread.... Leaving for OZ around May 4th this year-- Can't reveal the details because it is super secret this year.... But hope to be upload some better video this year--- I have been searching for the simplest way to use a camera while in the field... I haven't found any yet that are that simple, most ways i have tried become so time consuming that they interfere with my fun and relaxation!!! ANd my TAsk mAster dont like it when i am ... "fkn around!" If he sees too many videos or pictures he will scold me... Maybe a selfie, "follow me" cheapie drone----- I could hang a piece of bait meat on it for the flies while it is hovering near me,,,LOLOL This is Jan 20th and I will be traveling to LA on Feb 3rd ..for my last 3 months of "work" Carry on !
  14. There is a lot of meat in this article! https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/outdoors/a20066497/shawn-ryan-ground-truth-gold-rush/
  15. All of us travel to and fro to find gold. Sometimes we find it and sometimes we don't. If we are 'lucky' and look around us on the way to the goldfields we are surrounded by beautiful nature and geology. One of my most surprising trips was taking Hwy 93 north out of Las Vegas, Nevada towards Ely, Nevada. I was headed to the total eclipse in Wyoming. There was quite a lot of water and wetlands around the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge which was a great surprise. I'm wondering what are the great drives that other prospectors feel are their favorites. This could become a long thread or possibly a separate forum because it could include the drive, campsites, side trips and the like. I'm always reminded of JW's posting of his gold sites in New Zealand (makes me want to go) which are so scenic and I saw many vistas in Australia that still pop into my mind. We all have 'hidden' off road trips and areas all over the world. Let's see how the editor lets this one go. Mitchel
  16. Hi Folks, I've been on the road detecting Fairbanks/Richards district then on to Jack Wade & 40 mile area AK. and like I have said Watch out Nevada here I come.... Doctors said I shouldn't sit & watch football & drink adult beverages all winter so here I am on my way to Northern Nevada & I would like to hook up with anyone that's detecting. Have toy hauler & 6x6 and all the right tools. I am in Oregon right now trying to slow my roll, 112 @ my friends in Nevada so gonna BLM Campground for a couple weeks in Oregon unless someone says lets go. Otherwise will be working my way south as temps come down a bit, AC works in camper but not outside... Haha !!!! So will be bck. on site reading the news & stories again & posting some good summer finds, lets detect, Gold / Relics / Coins just want to swing a detector...….
  17. I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Many more details and pictures later in this thread plus the settings I used so do follow along ! Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  18. I've returned from my second detecting trip to England and what a trip it was!! I was lucky enough to be staying in the same barn as Steve Herschbach!! The first day on the fields are a half day usually. After the 2 hour ride from London to the "barn" where we will be staying for the next seven days. The "barns" are actual barns that have been renovated into vacation rental units. We unload all of our luggage from the van, find our sleeping spot for the week, dig out all of our gear, assemble everything, jump back in the van, and head out to the first field! My best find that afternoon was a hammered copper Rose farthing. They are commonly dated 1636. (Look for the pattern here). And the usual buttons and lead. So that was a good start. Day 2: Our first full day. A cool, slightly foggy, just perfect! The day wasn't real eventful for me. We hunted two different farms. At the end of the day my better finds were 5 farthings and a wiped out copper token, plus some buttons and lead. The farthings were late 1700s-1800s. Here at home in the States, to find those 5 coins would be a day to talk about for months. It was funny for me while I was over there, knowing with so much history the possibilities make my hopes and expectations exhilarating! You truly never know what will pop up next. It could be 10 years old or 2000 years old! There were multiple milled, and hammered silver coins found and some neat relics dug throughout the day by the other team members. Day 3: Things started to pick up for me a little on day 3. We came across a late Georgian/Victorian home site members of the team started popping some milled coins. Coppers and silvers. If I remember correctly one member found 3 or 4 silver 3 pence coins in that same field. A little silver 3 pence was one of the coins I was hoping to get while I was there, but it wasn't meant to be this trip. Shortly before lunch I switched fields and got onto my first bit of English silver for the trip! An 1844 Vicky 4 pence in nice condition. So after lunch I was headed back to the field were I got my 4P and we had to walk past a 1700? mansion to get back to where I wanted to be. So I slowed down and detected in front of the mansion along the way and got my first hammered silver for this trip! A nice "full" penny. Turned out to be a 1279 Edward I ! That was the highlight for my day three. But I did find plenty of buttons and lead too. Day 4: This day was one of those roller coaster type hunting days. The morning was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead. Until while hunting near a 13th century church and villa when I popped a nice little cut quarter hammered silver and less than 10 mins later another hammered silver coin fragment. Kinda bang bang! We broke for a short lunch break and went our separate ways and as I was walking into a field through a tractor path I got a nice high tone. But real erratic at the same time. One you would figure to be either a coin or part of a beer can. But when I pinpointed the target it was a nice small tight pinpoint I figured I better dig it. Boy am I glad I did! Turned out to be a 1908 Edwardian decorated silver mount! Turns out it was in a place they usually park the van! The rest of my days finds consisted of the usual trash plus some buttons and lead. Day 5: Today was another one of those days that I was digging lots of targets like buttons and lead... But not one coin all morning till around lunch. After lunch I decided to stay on that field determined to find one of my wish coins a "Bullhead". A King George III silver. And with the coins being found in the area one was definitely a possibly. Lo and behold it happened! A melted bulkhead six pence. Even though it was melted almost to the point of unrecognition I could make out a G III and a reeded edge. Mission accomplished! The only other "wishlist" coin I really had on my mind on my way over was a Roman silver coin. Not really expecting to ever find one. We all carried radios every day, and as a good find was made, we would put it out over the radio. Ron gave the 15 min count down to the end of the days hunt over the radio so we all started to swing back towards the van. Walking pretty fast, with 8 minutes left, I got a signal figured I had time to pop one more. Boom! A Roman silver coin! It has a bad "horn crust" on it that needs to be "cooked" off so it can be properly identified. Early id's put it in the 4th century! I'm really looking forward to seeing that coin cleaned up! Day 6: The group split up in the morning between some rougher ground and some land that was nice and smooth. I went to the smoother field with a few other hunters. First hole out of the van 20 feet away I nabbed a hammie fragment! After that the first half of the day was pretty uneventful for me other than some buttons and lead of course. It was a enormous field. It has been hunted a lot over the years from what I understand. The lack of targets for me proved it. But it wasn't a total waste. You just have to walk over the stuff. With a half hour walk back to the van and only about 45 mins left to hunt I spun around and within or 3 or 4 swings later I got a loud high tone! As I was pinpointing I looked down and laying right on top of the ground was a complete silver thimble!! Sweet end to a pretty slow day. Day 7: The day I dread. The last day. You know not only is it your last day of detecting heaven and the inevitable time you'll power down for the last time of your trip, plus the last day is usually cut a little short. That's so we have time to get back to the barn and get all of your finds from the week cleaned, bagged, catalogued, and photographed if you want to see them again before they leave your life for the next few months. To optimize our hunt time we decided to hunt some nearby land. Even though it's also the land that the club has had lasted the longest! Even after all those years there were many great finds found on it this season! The week before we came a gold coin and a beautiful Celtic gold "votive offering" were found on it! I walked across the road from that field to a field that was surrounding a 16th century two story mansion. After a half hour or so of slowly working around the old mansion I dug a small piece of a hammered silver coin. That coin put me in a tie for 1st place for the weekly "Hammy competition". So I slowed down hoping to get another one to take the lead and hopefully win the competition. It was 10:10 a.m. when I got the loudest, jumpiest, most obnoxious signal of my trip. Not being too far from a tractor entrance into that field I figured it was a beer can or a grease tube but I figured I'd dig it up and get it out of there anyways. I missed the target on the first scoop. Moved a shovel blade to the left, stepped it in and kicked the back of the shovel and pushed the dirt forward and a big yellow ..... egg looking thing rolled out to my left. As I looked at it half my brain said to myself " what is that?" And the other half of my brain was saying "HOLY .....!!!!! That looks like gold!!" When I bent over to pick it up and I was lifting it off the ground the weight of it made it fall out of my hand! That's when I knew it was definitely a big piece of gold!!! After Ron came over to shoot some video and take some photos I strapped back on all my gear took 2 steps and 3 swings and got a solid 19 TID on the Equinox 800. I told myself after just finding that thing I don't care what this is, I'm digging it up. One scoop, and I pushed the shovel forward and a 11.2 gram ancient solid gold ring was laying there looking at me!! I about started to hyperventilate!! I quickly got Ron's attention again and he came over to shoot more video and more photos. I can only imagine this will be the most amazing thing I will ever find! It's been over a week since I found it and I still can't stop picturing those two artifacts rolling out of the dirt in my head...... Thanks for lookin' & HH
  19. Between the bad experience with the X-Coil and our general inability to learn the geology of WA gold finding, we've run up the white flag. Frankly, without the help of Paul and Trent we really wouldn't have made it this far. Most people have no real appreciation for how vast and roadless it is out here in WA. When you pop into a market in a tiny town of 600 and they have on offer Kangaroo tail by the kilo, you've really reached the limits of habitation. On the day we met Dave, we drove over 300k and saw 4 other vehicles and a bunch of dead roo's on the side of the road. There are dry water courses that are marked for the depth during severe rain. All Ute's have snorkel intakes and some raised exhaust tailpipes. Otherwise there's no water except in towns and the flies are inescapable. I can't imagine how we would have survived without the gazebo and insect net panels, especially for cooking or relaxing. It is an adventure and I can't say I would be satisfied if I hadn't given it an honest try. I'd always wonder what might have been. We'll be packing up camp Yank tomorrow then a flight out of Perth on Wed. I'll be happy to get home, but that 110 degrees in sunny Yuma is going to be a drag. While I've been away we got a new family member, a bouncing baby "GoldenDoodle" coincidently named "Aussie" in my absence. I'll have my work cut out for me with dog training for awhile. Talking with Trent he suggests I fall on my sword with Minelab and send them the whole unadulterated mess and ask for help. Perhaps they'll view it as an intellectual challenge or chalk it off as a Yank not smart enough to leave well enough alone. Either way, all I've got right now is a poorly designed boat anchor or an odd conversation piece We'll see. We'll catch you on the other side of the world next week.
  20. Condor and his trip/notes was the inspiration of my post. He too realized the easy gold is gone, but we go for the Adventure too. Thanks Condor for sparking my old memories. At least you can say.."I did it". Spring 2006 three buddies/I decided it was time to quit talking about it and just do "Australia" with a detector for gold. With many details left out, but a quick overview. Yes I made it home (America) and am alive. The venomous snakes, iguanas (4 foot poisonous lizard), attacking kangaroos, wild goats and monster sized spiders/centipedes could not stand up against the rancid ripe odor of an un-bathed light skinned Yankee running across the dehydrated desert flats with detector in hand. I just returned from an enjoyable 1st time trip to Western Australia and the richly red iron soils of the Outback areas of known golden fields Kalgoorlie/Leanora. Even though I caught some serious plane crud on the 16 hour flight from LAX to Sydney, AU. and it lasted hard the 1st week and a half before I got a little better...I still managed to have fun. The Outback is one of a beautiful and secluded primitive place this mother earth allows us to play with many sites, sounds and wonders to gather and ponder in the mind. I would love to return some day, but would do things a little more different and be set up for gold hunting more for the serious BUSH and not be seen for a week at a time. Most areas we detected had been hunted really hard (just like here in the US such as Rye Patch, NV.) and we would find the crumbs that others missed do to their lack of detector knowledge and skill. We did manage to find an occasional small site that was off the beaten path and get a few nuggets. The Minelab GP-3500 with a Commander 15” MONO elliptical coil ran flawlessly and found most of my nuggets. In fact all 4 of us were using GP-3500’s and were amazed at how well they ran in the much heard of highly mineralized Australian soil. I did manage to find 4 small patches that produced the majority of my gold.. In no way do I base the success of this trip on recovered gold, but as usual, I hoped for and expected more. Of the 4 detectorists (including myself), we found approx 110 nuggets and one 5 oz specimen. I managed 62 of those nuggets and the specimen. To give you a weight total, we had a combined wt of approx. 4 ounces and then the 5 ounce specimen. Of the 4 ounces of gold nuggets we all found, my total wt was just over 64 grams (2 ounces) for the 62 nuggets, so you get an idea of the size with an average of my nuggets being around 1 gram each. The largest nugget (not including the specimen) was 3.9 gram and there were 2 of those found. Yes I was hoping for a few larger nuggets and even expected that we each could find a 1/4 oz'er but that never happened. Does that mean the trip was a bust? Most certainly not and I assure you, it was an amazing trip that I'll fondly remember for the rest of my life. Moral of the story to add to Condors trip. Over 10+ years ago, 4 good American nugget hunters with the newest detector technologies did not find what we had expected and hoped for in the gold category. 4 of us Americans did something most dream about but never do and we'll remember the Australian Outback...and those girls wearing pasties, for the rest of our lives. I always wondered if there was a nugget under one of those pasties? Maybe go back some day to check. Thanks for caring. Gerry in Idaho Gerry's Detectors www.gerrysdetectors.com
  21. JOIN ME WITH YOUR OFF ROAD VEHICLE ??? Making convoy of 2-3 vehicles will be much better & saver than solo Let's shake this Yukon & Northwest Territories FOR A BIGGER NUGGETS : CREEKS , HILL , ANY SUSPICION PLACE WITH TOUGH ACCESS ? Not looking for panning gold in my case I can’t get my expenses anyway with panning gold ? So Im playing Bingo here It is going to be a lot of nuggets or I will have unforgettable memories for life which is ok Im getting ready from now. It is going to be risky & dangerous expedition , rethink twice before YES I’m coming There is the plan for gold nuggets & meteorites in undiscovered areas far a way from City’s 1-2 Off road reliable vehicle ( installed winch will be nice) Firearms – Mandatory !!! good caliber will 45-70 many grizzles are there too ? You’ll need to carry at least 10 jerry cans of gas or Diesel (200 Liters) + full tank of gas So we do not have to waste time in looking for gas stations Satellite phone- it is up to you & gps if you have one would be better Metal detector – gpx will be best or whatever you have Leaving my place in Ontario on May 10th 2020 to Yukon. It will be around 10 days driving to Yukon so We can meet somewhere in Yukon My trip will be 4 months long , if you guys want to get success then you have to stay long time And get the risk too ! I know it is expensive expedition but you never know what you can find There is priority – No ones have it done before , why ? money, time, risk , work and so on That’s why the chance is big Otherwise you are spending money and wasting time for nothing (2-3 weeks not enough ) If you have $$ to burn & if you are crazy enough then Welcome ?
  22. I'm late getting out week 4, but unfortunately there wasn't much to report. We've had wind, then some wind & rain, then some really fine days. We lost a day here and there between weather, then the meeting with Dave on the X-Coil. We had 2 long days at the very southern end of the lease and did a great deal of exploring. We found a few crumbs. Dennis actually found 12 nuggets that weighed a total of 1.2 grams. It was enough to keep us busy and always thinking we were one coil swing away from a really good strike. We just couldn't get that coil over the big stuff. I'm using our backup GPX5000 with the 14X9 Coiltek Elite coil while I'm waiting for my Patch Lead to be completed. I was amazed at how quiet that machine can be. I cranked up the RX and cranked down the Stabilizer just so I could hear some noise. I found 3 tiny crumbs, 1 of them in one of my own boot scrapes from last week. Clearly, the 5000 can find tiny gold. My Patch Lead is delayed for another week, apparently one of the 5-pin connecter screws twisted off during reassembly. I'm satisfied I'm not missing much if anything with the 5000, but I really want to get that 17" X-Coil in motion. We're making our move to a new lease tomorrow so we've got a full day of packing and hauling Camp Yank. The flies remain a constant distraction during midday. I bring out the bug hood the minute one dive bombs my eyes or nose. They are persistent little buggers, Dennis is a lot more tolerant. Paul made it back safe and sound. He's chomping at the bit to get some of this $1400 an oz gold out of the ground. Their backhoe is up and running again, so good things should start happening soon for their team. Sorry for the short and relatively uneventful report. Maybe next week, it's all about the possibilities not the probabilities that keeps us swinging those detectors.
  23. Been back from wintering in Florida for over a month, and the weather finally got nice so headed to northern Nevada to meet up with some friends and nugget hunt. I got there a day before the others, so took off on the quad to look for new spots. Love the freedom the atv gives me out there, and the scenery is great! I explored some higher ravines and washes, and actually got a nice little .68g nugget a couple inches down at the edge of a wash. Unfortunately, after quite a few hours hitting the area pretty hard, that was the lone piece. We looked for new patches about 60-70% of the next week, and hit a couple old ones the rest of the time. Lots of skunked days. I did get 3 more pieces at a pounded patch, and another while detecting an alluvial fan off the mountains for the first time....Chet got one there too, but the gold was so scattered and random...no patches to be found. While wandering around I noticed this little guy....he wasn’t shy at all, jumped from rock to bush, and waited patiently for me to turn my phone on to get his pic. Here’s my take for the trip....much smaller than usual for my Nevada outings. Very tough hunting, but a great time anyway. Enjoyed some delicious meals with the guys(Tom is an incredible camp chef!), Chet had repaired and souped up my dry washer over the winter so it’s ready for action up at the cabin, and George found some amazing crystals and gave me a couple cool ones. Brian even made a cameo appearance, and as usual found some nice gold in a short time! So the sun sets on another detecting adventure....can’t wait for the next one!
  24. Golden Grams of Goodness: Part 1 November is not usually a time of year that I get to chase the gold, as by the time November rolls around the ground usually requires some dynamite or some equally powerful force to break through the frost to get to the gold. However, this year has been a year of exceptions. In September, we had early snow and frost with well below seasonal temperatures that carried into October, and that doesn't happen very often as usually the weather is rather mild. However, after the early blast of Arctic bad temper, the weather shook itself out until the first week of November with temperatures soaring above average, so this allowed the chance to engage in some gold sleuthing when normally I'd be reduced to only dreaming of chasing the gold. I have two sons, and the eldest loves to chase the gold, while the other will chase the gold given the opportunity, but he doesn't have the same level of passion. Me eldest was with me on this trip, and he was with me on our epic gold adventure when we truly slew an army of nuggets early in the summer (I have yet to post that story), so he was eager to have a chance to hone his detecting and sniping skills. The area we dropped into to work was full of bedrock pinnacles. These pinnacles were formed of an iron-hard bedrock, so hard that the big equipment had negligible effect. In fact, smoke was pouring off the bucket teeth and blades of the excavators as they tried to outmuscle the mother rock. As a result, there was a section of ground about the size of two school buses parked side-by-side, but slightly longer. Looking down into the excavation, there were three pools of standing water as well as a small stream of clear seepage water running diagonally across the northern, more elevated end of the bedrock. The southern end was where the largest pool of water was, and the eastern side of the excavation had a culvert that was collecting the water from the stream to then divert it through a long series of interconnected culverts to a sump where a six-inch diesel-powered pump was working night and day to keep that sump cleared. Over the entire area of exposed bedrock, there were many buried, small gutters with high, then lower humps, and throughout the area, there were those dark pinnacles of super-hard bedrock, some of them rising up almost four feet, resulting in an area that could not be cleaned out properly by the modern miners with their big equipment. The area was perfect for detector and sniping work, making it a perfect area for us to tackle. To be continued . . . All the best, Lanny
  25. Week 3 started off a little slow. It rained for 2 days, then a day of sun, then a 3rd day of rain. You just can't drive the Aussie tracks when they're wet. The camp held up well in the rain, no significant leaks. Fortunately, I brought audio books and a Kindle so we kept entertained. All the clouds put our power grid to the test. We had to use Paul's generator a couple times to top off the battery. I'm including a photo of our power grid, looks like a soup sandwich. We're running about 200 watts of flexible solar panels into a 100amp hr Li-Ion battery. With full sun running only the outback refrigerator, our battery stays fully charged. At night with charging our equipment we drop about 1/4 of battery capacity. We should have thought more about charging compatibility, as it stands we need 110AC for the laptop and 2way radios, cigarette lighter plugs for lights and USB for phones and GPS. What a mess trying to keep it all functioning. I had to rewire our cigarette lighter outlet bank, the wires fried somewhere along the line. I'm ordering a backup tonight. We took the time to go into town and do laundry and take hot showers at the Caravan Park. I ran my clothes through twice, I think the Aussie red dirt may be permanent on some of my stuff. We've been out doing real prospecting looking for new patches along the "line of strike". We've been off the beaten path and as a precaution punch in the GPS coordinates of the truck. Like Daniel Boone, I've never been lost, though a might bewildered a few times. Just when I think I'm in unexplored territory, I find and old timer's campsite or dry-blower tailngs where he sampled the same zone. Our only luck has been a few crumbs off old dry-blower zones. Modern mechanized prospectors have often run a dozer over the old timer's tailings and scraped things to bedrock. If there is some of original caprock left, we have a better chance of finding something. Paul has been off on a frolic of his own. We don't expect to see him for another week, in the meantime Trent sold the caravan Paul was using. Paul is homeless, I hope he doesn't repo his pop-up trailer that we're using. Trent is thinking about moving our half of Camp Yank about 60k to the south to detect a new area said to have good gold. It will be a challenge dividing up the campsite necessities and we'll miss nightly entertainment of Paul's crazy stories. Sunset from Downunder. That's all for now.
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