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Found 99 results

  1. Steve Herschbach

    The Chisana Story

    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
  2. Ok NursePaul touched down in OZ, picked him up on Saturday, but in his excitement to get over here he forgot his ports with clothes, Z, etc etc. no no regardless of what he says about Airlines, that`s my story and I`m going to stick to it. We are having a lot of trouble communicating, I don`t know what version of English you Yanks use but tis French to me for sure............ So here we are waiting for his gear coming via Pony Express-Cobb & Co and I`ve got the best excuse I`ve every had as to why I`m not finding gold.....................But the xxxx is good yes/no..............and we are sort working out sign language, although judging by the smoke coming out his ears I think we will switch to smoke signals...............
  3. A comment I made on Jins post recently reminded me of how easy it is to walk over good sized gold. We are all familiar with the horrible loud screams detectors make over big surface targets. Sometimes the cause is obvious, usually surface rubbish such as a visible piece of tin or squashed beer can. Occasionally, when walking paddocks (which I mostly do) it turns out to be something useful, such as a lost spanner or fuel cap from a tractor - I have even found a grease gun lying concealed in the grass. These items I always return to the grateful landowner. More commonly, however, it is something useless like an old horseshoe, worn out cultivator point and/or the sheared bolts which once held it to the plough tyne. After digging a number of these the temptation to keep walking (with ears still ringing) becomes ~almost~ irresistible. Back in the Minelab SD2200 days I had permission to work a large Victorian property located on the Tarnagulla granite pluton to the north of Dunolly. This had a number of unworked shallow Tertiary palaeochannels crossing it, on one of which I located a 7 oz patch. Mostly the gold was smallish and reasonably deep, but the same location was also littered with shallow shotgun shells. These were very loud and nearly drove me nuts, and in my frustration I ignored one outlier - - - Fast forward a number of years and, armed with later technology (GPX4000) I decided to check the patch once more and - - - WHUMP/SCREAM - - - greeted my ears over that same target. I kicked the dirt in annoyance - and then spotted the 70 grammer I had ignored years earlier: I had foolishly made the assumption that all the gold in that patch was deep and small, therefore loud shallow targets had to be junk - overlooking the possibility that something once deep could have been ploughed to the surface - - - I kept it to remind me of the old detecting maxim: "Dig your targets"
  4. RedDirtDigger

    2018 West Oz Pilbara Trip

    Two of us made the 5 day trip from eastern OZ to the Western Australian goldfields for a 8 week detecting trip.(armed with 7000,s and SDC) We targeted remoter spots that are not really on the radar. We invested in a pile of permits and researched lots of available ground spots. Lots of walking and lots of barren gullies and creeks...... but occasionally we found the odd gully or slope not touched by a detector that yielded some nice runs of gold. We went 50/50 with our finds, sharing is the way to get a bigger tally when 2 or 3 of you (of equal ability) spread out searching large areas. All up we shared 45 ounces between two of us. There are many ugly specimens not pictured and we will have a big crush and smelt day soon. Cheers RDD
  5. The River I spent several weeks in early July, panning and sluicing on the N. Fork of the American River. I've been going to the same 10 mile section of the river for over 20 yrs. That part of the river is designated Wild & Scenic, so no motorized equipment and no claims. It's one of the few places in CA gold country you can access a free flowing river without stepping on someone's gold claim. Access is not easy, although there a a number of trails up and down the river. They're all rugged, often steep and always overgrown with poison oak. I have often encountered "locals" who at various times attempt to eke out an existence by panning and sluicing the river. Generally friendly and sometimes willing to share local knowledge of the gold. When I meet them I make a point to brew up a big pot of spaghetti and feed all comers. Many years ago, I met a guy my age driving a new Jeep Cherokee. He was socially awkward, but I learned he was a software engineer from the Silicon Valley and had taken up gold prospecting on weekends. He was not very successful, so my 6 yr old son and I invited him to come dig in a hole we had started. He sluiced a few buckets and declared that was more gold than he had ever found. Skip ahead 10 years, I found him living in a tent on the banks of the river having spent 2 years pursuing the golden dream. He was eking out an existence and seemed to be perfectly happy. Imagine a 6 mile hike uphill, just to reach a paved road, hope for a ride to town to get supplies then repeat the process back down. Supplies are limited to what you can afford and carry on your back. The local mining supply store pays 80 percent of spot, for good clean gold. This guy still had the math and engineering brain so he could tell me exactly how much he was earning per hr, although he did not factor that it was in fact a 24 hr a day job, living on the river. Every now and then "flatlanders" discover the place and bring down a bunch of gear intending to strike it rich. They are soon disillusioned and I find their gear stashed in the woods. I've seen one sleeping bag stashed in the same spot for over 4 years, untouched. Buckets and digging tools get carried away by spring floods and I find them littered on gravel bars. Access There is an old mining road ,overgrown, heavily rutted, washed out and frequently blocked by blown down timber. It currently takes me about an hr to travel just over 3 miles down that road crawling in 4 wheel drive low locked in 1st gear. At one time you could drive to within 100 yds of the river. There was a fabulous camping spot under a massive oak, with a spring nearby. In their infinite wisdom, the BLM blocked the road about 1.5 miles from the old camping spot. They brought in some heavy equipment and dug tank traps to block all future traffic down the road. For many seasons I hiked the rest of the way down on a variety of trails. A few yrs ago, my son, then strapping teenager and I started hacking an ATV trail around the tank traps. We spent a few hrs a day for over a week cutting a new trail. It's passable by ATV to this day, but you really have to know the danger spots or slide right down the hill. I've winched my own ATV up that zone many times. More to come in Part II.....
  6. Edit: I chronicled this trip to Alaska first, and then told the story of my earlier 2013 Alaska Trip after the fact. I did well enough in 2013 I did not want to tip anyone off to what I was up to until I had a chance to return in 2014. Therefore this story got told first, as if the other had not happened. And then the years story was told at the link above. My history with the Fortymile Mining District of Alaska began in the 1970's and has continued off and on ever since. Last summer I spent considerable time in the area and have decided to return again this summer. Here is the basic plan. I leave Monday to drive from Reno to Alaska. I am stopping a day to visit family in Olympia then will continue to Anchorage, where I will pick up my brother Tom who is flying up from the Lower 48. Then we will backtrack to Chicken, Alaska and pitch a tent site at the Buzby's Chicken Gold Camp http://www.chickengold.com Main building at Chicken Creek Gold Camp Last year I mostly camped around but did spend a period of time at the Buzby's operation. When I was out and about I had to activate my satellite phone to stay in touch because there is no cell phone service in the Chicken area. The nearest cell phone access is a couple hours back along the road at Tok. There is WiFi access at several locations in Chicken however, one of them being at Chicken Gold Camp. The WiFi access is included in the price of staying there. I am getting a dry camp site for $14 a day (6 days get seventh day free) but it saves me $300 activating my satellite phone, and WiFi allows me to keep on the forum and stay in better touch with my wife than the sat phone. Bottom line not activating the sat phone ends up paying for nearly a month of staying at Chicken Gold Camp. Right now I am booked from June 15 until July 20 but may extend. Since I will have pretty much daily Internet access for the entire trip I am inviting you along via this thread to see how we are doing plus to perhaps answer questions for anyone planning to visit Alaska. The Internet access in Chicken is not the greatest even at its best, as the satellite dishes point straight at the horizon just trying to get a signal. That being the case plus I will be busy I will not be posting on other forums for the duration. If you know anyone who might be interested in following this point them this way. I will report in at least a couple times a week and probably more often as time allows or something interesting happens. My brother and I will be commuting to various locations from our base camp in Chicken, with a lot of attention paid to Jack Wade Creek about 20 minutes drive up the road. I have access to mining claims on this and other creeks in the area, but we will also spend considerable time on the public access area on the lower 2.5 miles of Jack Wade Creek. Visit this link for more information. This area is open to non-motorized mining and we will of course be metal detecting. I have detected on Jack Wade a lot, and I can tell you it is an exercise in hard work and patience. It is all tailing piles full of nails and bullets. The nuggets are very few and far between, with even a single nugget in a day a good days work. However, the nuggets are solid and can be large so can add up if you put in a lot of time. Or not as luck does have a bit to do with it. You could easily spend a week detecting Wade Creek and find nothing. So do not be surprised when I make lots of reports indicating nothing found on a given day. We fully expect that to be the case but hope we hope a month of detecting here and at other locations will pay off. I plan on relying mostly on my GPX 5000 but will also be using a Gold Bug Pro for trashy locations or for when I am tired from running the big gun and want to take it easy. I usually run my 18" mono coil on the GPX unless in steep terrain or brushy locations and dig everything. And that means a lot of digging! The Gold Bug Pro eliminates digging a lot of trash and is easy to handle in thick brush. My brother will mostly use my old GP 3000 he bought from me years ago. I am also bringing along the Garrett ATX kind of for backup and also to experiment around with. It also will be easier to use in brushy locations than the GPX. Finally, I hope to possibly have a new Minelab SDC 2300 get shipped to me somewhere along the way to use on some bedrock locations I know of that have been pretty well pounded to death. Chris Ralph will be arriving in Fairbanks on July 8th so I will drive in and pick him up. He will be staying with Tom and I until I return him to Fairbanks on July 21. High on the list is to visit with Dick Hammond (chickenminer) and other friends in the area. The road to Alaska is just another highway these days, with the only real issue being the lack of gas in northern Canada in the middle of the night. The pumps there still do not take credit cards so when the gas station closes you are stuck there until it opens in the morning. Do not try to get gas at Dot Lake at 2AM! I will drive to Olympia to spend a night and day with my mom (12 hours) then on to Dawson Creek/Fort St. John (16 hours), then to Whitehorse (15 hours), and then to Anchorage (12 hours). Four days driving, about $500 in gas for my Toyota 4-Runner. Pick up Tom and some supplies and then back to Chicken (about 8 hours). Anyway, you are all invited along at least via the internet to share in the adventure. You have any questions about Alaska in the process then fire away. This post has been promoted to an article
  7. I was actually over on the Sawtooth side, but most people recognize the Rye Patch. I consider myself a fairly rugged guy, but N NV in July is no place to be without some decent shelter from the afternoon sun and heat. A 10 X 10 Walmart quick shade seems to provide shade, but focus the radiant heat somehow making it hotter under the shade, if that makes sense. The afternoon breezes are hot and dry leaving my only thoughts to cold drinks. Cold beer was my last choice, Gatorade and water were the only solutions. I endured 2 days and found 1 tiny nugget with the Nox 800. I rode my Rokon and explored way up an old "ghost road" on the afternoon of the first day. With field glasses I saw a couple canyons that had exposed bedrock and I aimed to hike them the next morning while it was cool. N NV climate is a funny thing, I woke up to 61 degrees, but temps would climb to 90 by 11AM. As I was gathering my gear, I had one of those nagging premonitions. I suspect we have them all the time, but only remember the ones that come true. Nevertheless, I packed extra water and my Garmin Satellite Communication device. I was merrily riding up the ghost road enjoying the refreshing morning air when, bang. I felt the Rokon torque converter explode into the protective fiberglass shield. Fortunately, I was only half way to my destination. I carry tools and some spare parts, but no amount of duct tape was going to fix this problem. I pulled all the unnecessary stuff out of my pack and started walking back to my truck. It was all downhill, with a decent breeze so I made good time before the unbearable heat set in. I packed my truck and strapped down all my gear for some tricky 4 wheeling to get back up there to the Rokon. Turns out to be 4.7 rugged miles. I loaded the Rokon and decided to head for home in sunny Yuma where it was only 116 degrees. It could have been worse however; the Garmin device, in addition to the emergency SOS, has a feature where you can send free preselected messages to your family and friends. At the end of the message the device stamps your GPS coordinates so they know where you are. Since I do so much prospecting alone, I make this compromise so people worry less about me. For $30.00 a month service fee, it's cheap insurance and my family worry less. So, every night I send a preselected message of "Alive and Well" and they can plot my last location if something happens to me. Staying home where it's safe is not an option in my world.
  8. Abandoned Trails in Silver Country Introduction… Silver country represents a small part of a vast, heavily forested wilderness perched on the sprawling Precambrian Shield here in northeastern Ontario. Away from the small towns and villages, and widely scattered farms and rural homesteads, there exists a largely uninterrupted way of life in the more remote areas. There are uncounted miles of lonely country backroads, overgrown tracks leading to abandoned mining camps, innumerable rough timber lanes, and a virtually infinite tangle of winding trails that reach deeply into the distant forests. Nothing in my experience has been so completely companionable as the soft forest whisperings and the beckoning solitude that reigns over this ruggedly beautiful country. This is where my carefree days of autumn prospecting have been agreeably spent for many years. We returned again this year to unbounded, satisfying autumn days of kicking rocks, exploring and detector-prospecting adventures, followed by evenings spent evaluating silver ores while savoring hot coffee over blazing campfires. Irrespective of silver recoveries, the flaming autumn colors of the boreal forest are the real treasure of the season. They persist for only a few short weeks, reluctantly yielding to the autumnal yellows of the tamarack, birch, and aspen in sharp contrast to the deep conifer greens. Scenery as depicted below accentuates your enthusiasm to get into the field, and pretty much ensures that an autumn prospecting trip to silver country is a memorable experience. General Discussion… Unprecedented, persistently wet conditions eliminated any potential for a banner season, but nonetheless we did manage to find considerable worthwhile silver. In addition to an assortment of rich silver and associated minerals, my friend and occasional partner Sheldon Ward recovered a large, very high conductive native silver ore that we’ll take a closer look at shortly. Most of my quality silver finds were fairly small, although a specimen grade silver ore at five pounds was found during the final week of the trip, and frankly I felt very fortunate to get it. Larger material was recovered, for example a 24-pound highgrade silver ore from the same area, but these invariably were mixed ores co-dominated by cobalt and various arsenides, most notably niccolite as illustrated below. On a more positive note, we both found plentiful small silver generally ranging between one-half and ten ounces that added real weight to the orebag over the season’s duration. It is much easier to find small but rich, high character silver than is the case with larger material. Even so, specimen grade detectable silver in any size range is becoming increasingly difficult to find at many of the obvious, readily accessible sites nowadays. The photo below is a pretty fair representation of the overall quality, although anything below a half-oz was excluded from this shot… such are not terribly photogenic beside larger samples. Some rich ‘nuggety’ ores were HCl acid-bathed to free the silver from carbonate rock, and all samples were subjected to a rotary tool circular wire brush to remove surface residues, followed by a dish detergent wash and rinse. By way of a brief background explanation to readers unfamiliar with this prospecting application, we search for more valuable coin-size and larger pieces of silver. Natural native silver target ID is determined by physical and chemical factors such as silver purity, types of mineral inclusions, structure (for example, dendritic, plate, disseminate or particulate, sponge, nuggety or massive), size, shape, and the profile presented to the coil. Virtually all natural silver from this area will target ID from low foil up to a maximum of silver dime range. Only infrequently over the years have we found isolated, rare examples of our naturally occurring silver exceeding that range. The specimen depicted below is a commonplace example of silver typically recovered here. It isn’t terribly large or particularly handsome, but it is mostly comprised of native silver by weight. Its target ID is a bit elevated from the usual, but consider that even small changes to some of the more influential factors listed above can significantly alter target ID. I tend to pay minimal attention to it when evaluating samples. It was detected adjacent to an abandoned mining track that leads directly to a former mill site at the mining camp scene depicted above. No treatment required other than a leather glove rubdown followed by a soapy wash and rinse, in fact it looked quite presentable fresh out of the dirt. The darker material you see is heavily tarnished native silver that I intend to leave undisturbed. Ground conditions also play an important role in determining target ID, and refer to factors such as the strength of non-conductive magnetic susceptible iron minerals present, ground moisture content, proximity of adjacent targets, and disturbed ground. These factors sometimes contribute to good silver at depth producing a VLF target ID within the iron range. Probably the best photo example available to me is a specimen found a few years back at good depth in tough magnetic susceptible diabase. It produced a predominantly iron target ID on the Fisher F75. It was detected in a fairly low trash area, the signal was suspect, and it was checked with the groundgrab feature. In this instance, there was no ground phase reduction to more conductive values as would be anticipated over rusty iron or a positive hotrock, and so the target was dug. The general rule of thumb over questionable weaker signals, regardless of groundgrab results, is to remove some material to acquire a stronger signal and target ID readout before making a decision to continue digging in our difficult, hard-packed rocky substrates, or to move on. If there is the least doubt, we dig the target to learn what actually produced the signal. The specimen depicted below was found by eyesight while hiking along an old abandoned rail track. In the field our rock samples seem more attractive or valuable than they do once we return to camp, where we tend to view them far more critically. If they don’t look to have good specimen grade potential, my samples are either abandoned in an obvious place for others to find, or given away to visitors back at camp. But that’s just me, most hobbyists are more resourceful with unwanted samples, they’re refined by some, subjected to treatments, or slabbed, and ultimately sold. In any case, this rock didn’t terribly impress me and was placed with other discards on the picnic table. But nobody other than my wife seemed much interested in it, and that is how it came to be included here. In its original condition, it could only be described as nondescript, with very little showing on the surface prior to treatment. It did produce a broad solid PI signal, despite that the few surface indicators were non-conductive dark ruby silver pyrargyrite and to a much lesser extent what I suspect is the black silver sulfosalt stephanite. To see more, it was acid-washed to expose silver and associated minerals, cleaned-up with a rotary tool, followed by a dish detergent bath and clean water rinse. Both these minerals produce a good luster that makes them a bit more difficult to distinguish from native silver in a photo. But in reality it is easy to see the differences and do some simple tests to confirm if necessary. The acid treatment revealed that the sample does have a good showing of dendritic native silver, a timely reminder that metal detectors see what we initially can’t see inside rocks. Abandoned Trails, Minesite Tracks and Roadbeds… Abandoned, frequently overgrown trails, mining tracks, and roadbeds provide convenient routes to prime detecting sites that otherwise would be much more difficult to access. But the important thing is that most such routes were built with discarded mine tailings to considerable depth, and contain good silver more frequently than you might think possible. Some snake through the bush to more remote areas, but the vast majority of these now abandoned routes were built to service existing minesites at the time. They were used to transport discarded rock to the tailing disposal areas, and silver ores to storage buildings and to mill sites, and generally to service other mining camp requirements. We know from research and experience that silver was misgraded, inadvertently misplaced, or lost directly from spills to eventually reside on, within, or alongside these now abandoned trails and roadbeds. These mine tailings… frequently containing rich silver… were also used to build storage beds, minesite entrances, loading ramps, and as noted… routes to facilitate waste rock transport. All these offer excellent, obvious prospects to search with a suitable metal detector. The nugget below, with several other pieces, was found in the tailings adjacent to the abandoned track in the photo above. Some good weather following a horrendous week of persistent heavy rainfalls prompted me to head out late one afternoon for some casual detecting. I had sampled those tailings earlier in the season but nothing by way of thorough searching. And while the silver was generally small, it had been surprisingly good quality. So I was looking forward to a few relaxing hours of detecting… nothing ambitious that late in the day… just happy to get out of camp. That particular spot formerly housed silver storage beds, and was now replete with large rusty nails. I should have used a VLF unit, as things would have gone much more quickly. VLF motion all-metal detection depth in that moderate ferromagnetic substrate would pretty well match Infinium equipped with the 8” mono, with the further advantage of target ID and groundgrab features to assist with signal evaluation. If conductive pyrrhotite hotrocks had also been present, I would have switched over to my F75 or MXT to take advantage of target ID. But I stayed with the Infinium primarily because I enjoy using it. By comparison it is slow going, but that isn’t such a bad thing over potentially good ground. It silences what can be described as VLF ground noise, in addition to sizable non-conductive mafic hotrocks in this area. It also has some limited high conductive iron handling capability, for example elongated iron such as drillrods or rail spikes at depth that VLF units using iron discrimination modes misidentify with perfectly good signals and non-ferrous target ID readouts. More information on this subject can be found at… http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/topic,384975.0.html http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/topic,385640.0.html Nearly all the signals proved to be nails, plus one drillrod with a perpendicular profile to the coil. The silver below produced a low-high signal in zero discrimination and a good high-low signal in reverse discrimination (maximum available pulse delay setting) at maybe eight to ten inches depth. The exposed silver was unusually tarnished and the remainder partially embedded in carbonate rock. It was acid-bathed to free the silver, cleaned with a rotary tool silicon carbide bit and circular wire brush, followed by a detergent wash and rinse. While searching one such abandoned route with his Fisher F75 equipped with the stock 11” DD elliptical coil, Sheldon Ward found a large highgrade silver ore comprised of a thick calcite vein containing massive dendritic native silver. The vein material weighs about 25 lbs, and was attached to a mafic host rock. It generated a moderate but broad signal from several feet depth, requiring an hour of hard pick and shovel work to recover it. It possesses an unusually elevated target ID in the silver quarter range. After 30+ years searching this area recovering numerous silver ores and nuggets, I've seen only a small handful of silver produce a similar target ID. On site we obviously have the benefit of closely examining the vein material, but it’s more difficult for readers to evaluate the silver based on photos only. Outdoor photos do tend to make native silver look much like grey rock, and unfortunately this one is smudged with dirt. I’ve added an indoor photo from Sheldon that displays the vein material after it was separated from the host rock and cleaned. Sheldon if you happen to be reading along here, congratulations on your many superb silver and associated mineral recoveries over the past year. Nothing that your dedication and persistence achieves in the years to come will ever surprise me. WTG!!! Persistence Pays Dividends… Let’s wrap things up with a tale about the rock sample below. It was recovered at the edge of a tangled overgrown trail near a former millsite just a few years ago. Its recovery exemplifies that the more you work towards your objective of finding silver or gold, the more likely your probability of success will correspondingly improve. I’d been searching that particular area for two days without meaningful results while evaluating a newly purchased Garrett Infinium for this application. The second day had again been filled with digging hard-packed rocky substrates for iron junk, worthless or otherwise unwanted arsenides, and plenty of conductive pyrrhotite hotrocks. As the sun was reaching for the western horizon, I decided to make one final effort before heading elsewhere the following day. Methodically working along the old track towards the mill, lots of old diggings were plainly visible. But previous hunters had ignored an area with a scattering of large, flat rusty iron pieces and other miscellaneous modern trash. I moved quickly to clear it away, because daylight was fading fast beneath the dense forest canopy. My Infinium soon produced a surprisingly strong high-low signal that practically vanished in reverse discrimination… a promising indication of naturally occurring ores. I dug down a foot before my Propointer could locate the signal. Probability says that it could have been any number of possible targets altogether more likely than good silver. But fickle Lady Luck was more kindly disposed towards me that evening. The rich, finely dendritic piece depicted below was in my gloved hands just as twilight was stealing across that lonely abandoned trail in remote silver country. A Final Word… A special mention to my friend Dr. Jim Eckert. I hadn’t seen much of Jim recently, but happened across his trail late one overcast afternoon in the outback. I was about to hike into a site when this fellow came flying down the trail on a motorbike, and despite the riding helmet I recognized him. We had a good long chat about this and that… Later in the season, one bright sunny afternoon at the site of my short-lived testhole diggings, Jim stopped around to show me a recent specimen find comprised of native silver and crystalline stephanite. We talked mineralogy and other interests many hours until finally the sun was going down. These were highlights of the trip, and I want to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated having that companionable time together. Thanks to everyone for dropping by. We hope that you enjoy presentations about naturally occurring native silver, particularly since it is different from what many rockhunters normally encounter in their areas. All the very best with your prospecting adventures… perhaps one day it will be our good luck to meet you in the field…………………… Jim. Reposted July 2018 Detector Prospector “Rocks, Minerals & Gems”
  9. Well, it's with a certain wistfulness that I am about to spend my last night in Indian Harbour Beach, FL. This little island has been the closest thing to a "home" that I've had for the past 5 years. We towed our "big house" to Georgia a few days ago and got it all tucked in and safe from the Florida hurricanes. The "little house", our 27 ft toy hauler, is parked in our spot and all ready to go exploring for the season. There was a minor glitch with the Polaris as it wouldn't start when we took it in for new tires Thursday. Route 1 Motorsports says it's just the battery and I'm sure they will get it all straightened out for us before we leave Florida in a couple of weeks. I hunted "my" beach for probably the last time yesterday and had an awesome time with some old friends and some new ones. None of us found much except clad and lead sinkers, but Terry Shannon did say he found a 10K ring the day before....which Mrs. Shannon promptly confiscated. We'll be in New Smyrna Beach next winter, if we can get a spot reserved, so it will be fun learning to "read" a whole new set of beautiful Florida beaches. I've heard that they're not as sand-truck happy up there as they are here, so that will be a big plus. I do wish I'd had more time on my new Equinox before we left here, but at least I'll get in a couple more weeks of beach hunting at St. Lucie and Daytona before we leave Florida. Tomorrow I face the "downside" of this RV lifestyle, saying goodbye to some dear friends and knowing it will probably be the last time I'll ever see most of them. Those of you who also live this nomad life know how it is. You always say "we'll meet somewhere halfway in between for lunch next winter" and then you never do. At least with Facebook you can still stay in touch. So we're off to St Lucie in the morning, so ya'll please say a little prayer for safe travels, if you're so inclined. It is always greatly appreciated. On to the next big adventure! Ammie
  10. Tried out a new detector on Saturday:Due to some unavoidable delays, I finally made it out with my Makro Gold Racer on the weekend to see what it could do.I don't know about where you live, but winter here just didn't want to let go this year. I mean, we had one of the coldest, longest winters we've had in forever, and snow, snow, snow (we're about four feet over the average mountain snowpack at the higher elevations as I write), but Old Man Winter finally took a breather, and so I got a chance to head to the mountains to swing the coil again.The place I picked was one that didn't have a lot of exposed bedrock, just a small section really, with the rest of the ground covered with six to eight feet of overburden on top of the bedrock, and that's just too much overburden for the size of gold I commonly find.As for the weather that day, it was a true mixed bag. I mean this time of year, we can get all four seasons in one day! Saturday was no exception. It rained early in the morning, then the sun came out and it was nice and warm, then it clouded over, started to rain again, then turned to snow, then the wind blew a cold blast of air for about an hour, then the sky turned blue and the sun came out once more, the wind stopped, and the weather did its best spring imitation for the next three hours.I unlimbered the Gold Bug Pro first, and you can't make this stuff up, within three minutes, I'd found a three gram nugget, one my wife said looked sort of like a four-leaf clover. And, Nature indeed had made it look kind of like one. The nugget was sitting in some tough clay that held a lot of former river stones, so it seemed to me that it was likely what used to be the bottom of a crevice long ago, as the surrounding bedrock had been cut down at least a couple of feet by the former placer miners whose actions would have left the sort of deposit I've described.I kept working the exposed bedrock and any places I could find where bedrock had been tossed out in case some gold had ridden out with it. (I have found nuggets this way before.) I really took my time and went slow, because I wanted to be sure I'd cleaned the area before I broke out the Gold Racer so I'd have as accurate a comparison as I could. By the time I'd finished with the Fisher, I'd gathered another gram and a half of small stuff that I'd thrown in the bottle.My wife had wandered off, and I found her panning near the foot of channel wall, but she wasn't having much luck; however, she pointed out something to me that I'd have completely missed. To the north and east of where she'd been panning, there was a short section left of what had been a bedrock drain, and there were small sections of bedrock still exposed that the boulder clay hadn't reclaimed.Nevertheless, I headed back to the original bedrock I'd worked with the Gold Bug Pro, and I broke out the shiny new Makro Gold Racer. The ground balance worked flawlessly, and setting the sensitivity was a breeze. The ground was moderate to a little hot, so I didn't have to worry about adjusting the ISAT, and I was pretty familiar with the types of hot-rocks I'd likely find, so I knew most, if not all, of them by sight. I started by running the coil slowly over the areas I'd hit with the Bug Pro, and after a few sweeps, I had several quiet but distinct signals. When I dug down, the signals got louder. I called by wife over, and she took the dirt with the signals and panned them out. Neither one of us could believe the tiny gold in the pan! The Gold Racer really did deliver on finding small gold. However, the first bedrock area was not where I realized how good the Gold Racer could perform.Remember I mentioned the bedrock drain? I headed over to it with both detectors. First, I scanned the small exposed areas exceptionally carefully with the Bug Pro, and I got a few small pieces, then I ramped up the sensitivity on the machine as far as I could, fought the background chatter, and all in all, liberated about half a gram of gold from the bedrock. I swapped out the Bug Pro for the Gold Racer and covered the same areas again. Almost immediately I had a signal. I couldn't believe it, but the signal was clear, and I could see a previous dig mark where I'd nailed some small stuff with the Bug Pro, and the Racer was giving a crisp signal, quite unmistakable, right in the same dig hole! To make a long story short, three inches of bedrock later, a nice picker was in the bottle! This blew me away, as the Gold Racer had found the target while running nice and quiet, with the sensitivity not ramped up, yet the signal was very clear.I kept at the small sections of bedrock, and kept getting quiet, but clear, signals until I'd added another gram and a half of small gold to the vial. (Sometimes I'd get a break in the threshold too, but when I dug down, the signal either disappeared or it turned out to be a target. [Some heavy iron deposits in the bedrock did give a weak signal, but I soon learned that due to the broad nature of their signature exactly what they were.]) What this weekend's outing made me realize is that if I'd have given the Gold Racer a run the end of last summer, I'd have undoubtedly recovered a lot of small gold, and I do mean a lot, that the Bug Pro just couldn't see (this test was carried out with virtually the same coil sizes on both machines, elliptical shapes and DD's as well), and knowing now what I likely left behind last summer makes me a bit sad. (Out of six grams of gold for the Saturday, a gram and a half was fine stuff from the Gold Racer, and that's a pretty good added portion of gold recovery I'd say.) In fairness to the Gold Bug Pro, let me say this: I've found lots and lots of gold with that great little machine, and it's super easy to learn how to use making for a quick learning curve. In addition, I don't have an unkind word to say about the Fisher as it's paid for itself many, many times over, and I will continue to use it, and I'll continue to train others how to use it as well. Moreover, let me say that the Bug Pro doesn't run at nearly as high a kHz, so it's unfair to compare apples to oranges that way, but I wanted to see what I was leaving behind, that's all. So, I learned my lesson well on Saturday, and I gained a whole lot of respect for the little Gold Racer for how sensitive it is to small gold, how good it punches into the ground to find it, and how quietly it goes about its job of doing so. Furthermore, The Makro is a great little gold machine I can swing all day long, and I'm looking forward to really taking it for a long, dedicated run this summer to add more gold to the poke because it sure gets the job done in style! (How I wish some fine company would produce a light-weight gold-hungry pulse machine with excellent capabilities or that Minelab would find a way to lighten the technology package of their GPZ 7000. Wouldn't that be great?) (I'd like to thank Steve for pointing me in the direction of the Gold Racer, and I'd like to thank Dilek at Makro for her exceptional customer service.)All the best,Lanny
  11. Hi guys, Well as you probably know now, Phrunt (Simon) is the proud owner of a GPX 4500, & proud he is. Can't wipe the smile off his face. He has been gagging to get out in the hills for a spin with it. He ordered & got a little Coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono coil before the weekend as the two coils that came with his 4500 were both DD's. So Saturday morning my door bell was ringing at 7.10 am. Was supposed to be 7.30. He must have left home at about 6 am & didnt speed as the last weekend he got a speed camera fine. I was just having my breakfast & a coffee, so I made him a coffee as well. I had sorted out an external speaker for him since he is allergic to headphones. Coffee done & we were off. I took him back to the spot where he got his two bits with his Gold Monster as there are heaps of workings up there. It was a hell walk in & not one I look forward to. Only the one old pack track access in & out. The proud 4500 owner standing on the pack track. To the right of his left shoulder the track winds its way up & through that gorge & somewhere up in the clouds beyond the gorge is our destination. Around the corner & into the gorge. We stopped for a breather & a short detect on some very shallow bed rock & some small workings. I thought it might be good for Simon to have a play here with the joey mono & to get our breaths back. I went a wee bit further targeting a bit deeper ground. I had not used the Zed on this spot at all. But had done well with the Gold Monster on tiny gold. I got rigged up & started detecting & I saw Simon somewhat alarmed. He had charged his battery over night & it read 8 volts when he fired it up. He plugged the external speaker into it & all of a sudden the detector died. Down to flat battery & 1.9 volts. WTF.... I had given him another battery of mine incase his one didn't last the day. Tried that one & the exact same thing happened. We were both baffled. More so Simon as he had been playing with the detector over the last few days & all seemed fine. Got all the way up here & no go... He tried factory presets. Turned it off...back on....& just straight to flat battery...on both of them. Pulled the cable out tried plugging it in again. Still no joy. I said to turn the cable around & try. Still nothing. Nothing happening at all. I said we may as well have a coffee, I had brought a thermos, & then head back down to my place & re group & re think our plans. So we had a coffee & were just dumb struck as to what the problem may be. Hopefully not the detector. So after our coffee Simon tried once more & bingo 8 volts & up & running. Whew....game on. Thank goodness for that. Never missed a beat all day & all on the one battery. So we were both off detecting. Simon was getting signals but none were gold. But he was happy at the small stuff the joey was hitting on. Just had to walk over some gold. He was poking & proding in all the right places but the gold wasn't coming his way. Somehow we swapped around & I ended up trying the Zed over the shallow bedrock where I had done well with the GM 1000. Not thinking for A second that the Zed would get anything here. got a very faint signal. That little bit of a scrape between the coil & the scope & out popped this. I couldn't believe it nor could Simon as he combed over this bedrock with his GM 1000 last time up here & I would have gone over it with mine as well. It was down maybe a little bit out of reach of the GM. We did have a lot of rain the night before & I fared the weather would be crap for the whole weekend. But as I have said before & I will say it again, I believe the wet ground helps out in getting better depth & more sensitivity. Note the wetness on the coil. It didn't end there either. I got another signal that had me getting down into this hole in the schist. You will notice that crack dropping down the face of the schist to the bottom of the picture still packed with material. I got a small piece of gold out of that hole & there was another very faint signal coming from that vertical crack. I ended up scrapping that crack as much as I could with the pick but I couldn't get to the signal. I went up to my smoko bag & got out my pocket knife. Where was my screwdriver that I normally have in my backpack? Raked the crack out with the knife. A small piece of gold popped out . But it still wasn't over. It was just crazy. They kept coming Two bits from the one dig. There was a third but once I moved it I lost it & no high frequency VLF to sniff it out. That was my lot from the bedrock so I moved onto an old pile from the old timers where I had got a few bits with my 4500 & the NF 12 x 7. Couldn't believe it but I got a good signal with the Zed. There was a bit of depth to it in just a loamy soil & no bedrock. Well bugger me Before backfilling I got another very faint hit. And another tiny bit of gold. Simon in the meantime was still goldless but getting tiny bits of rubbish. Just has to swing it over some gold. We moved on. I had some more major workings to take him to & let him unleash himself on. Got him up there & left him to it. There was lots of very promising ground for the little coiltek joey mono. I headed back to a spot where I had got quite a few little bits in deeper ground & where Simon had got his two bits with his GM 1000 on our last trip in here. I had not finished detecting the area to my liking so wanted to finish it off. Long story short. I got nothing where I really thought I would. No matter how hard I tried. I headed to a most unlikely looking spot. On the top of a spur with deep loamy soil & no bedrock in sight. Found an old broken spade. An old timers riveted shovelhead. Got a signal that had junk written all over it. Signal out & no bedrock in sight. But gold it was. This pic is taken from the spur I was standing on & similar to that next spur over. Up high from the gully floor. Glacially pushed & deposited gold...has to be. No water worn rocks on this spur. There was higher up where Simon was detecting. I then got a good hit that was right on the edge of a bit of a drop off. Dug down onto it & again it was just this loamy soil. But it was getting deep. So I got the pointy end of my pick & drove into it. Crunch...the pick hit schist. I thought that if the signal carries down to that then I am in with a good chance of a better piece of gold....or not. The schist was to the right of the scoop but then the schist dropped away & I was back into the loamy soil & the signal in that. Again I drove the pick into the soil hoping to here the crunch of schist again. But no joy. Bugger...going to be rubbish. Then the signal was out. The best bit of the day.69 of a gram. I got three more small bits after that one . It was starting to get dark. I got a txt from Simon to say he had got none. I was surprised we had coverage in here. I replied but he wasn't getting all my txts. I was in a bit of a blind gully but I was telling him we needed to make a move. Luckily we had head lamps & we needed them. I got into a better spot & phoned him. Along he came & we were out of there. Pitch black by the time we got back to the wagon. We were both leg sore from that. I couldn't believe Simon got no gold. Later he told me he had not been digging the real faint ones. I said they are the most likely ones. He was just so used to the VLF's screaming out on shot gun pellets. Mrs JW had gone up north for a week so Simon stayed at my place that night & we had an attack on another spot the next day. We went in Simon's car & I left my phone in it so have no photos of that days mission. Simon did & he is going to take over a post on his day. So I will leave it over to him. My result that day was 5 small bits. So on the left of the coil is Saturdays finds & sundays on the right. total of just over 2 grams. Have I ever said how the Zed continues to blow me away on its small gold finding abilities?? Cheers & best of luck out there JW
  12. Last Saturday Phrunt (Simon) turned up at my place at 9am. I had the Zed all packed up & ready to go. Simons "new" GPX 4500 hadn't turned up in time so he was taking along his GM 1000 & Gold Bug Pro to compare the two. On our arrival at the car park area we were the only vehicle parked there. We had a bit of a hike to get to where I wanted to take him. We broke the hike up with a detect at some old workings that I hadn't been to for ages. I had never had a VLF over them & as there was a fair amount of shallow ground & sheet bedrock I thought it was as good a spot as any for Simon to swing his VLF's. I think he started off with the GM & was making a hell of a racket with signals every other step. Using no headphones & just the internal speaker, gezzzz your a noisy bugger I said to him... He was just getting shotgun pellet after shotgun pellet & no gold. I had been over this area quite few years ago with my GP 3000 & little Coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono & done pretty good. The wild thyme bushes had taken off & trying to swing the Zed's coil among them was impossible to get down to the ground. So I headed off to the side of the workings & targeted the sheet bed rock. I was walking up a small gutter covered in grass growth when I got a good hit. Turned out to be a fragment of tin from an old tin matchbox. Moved on a few feet & got another good solid hit. Thinking it was just going to be the same I was surprised when the signal lived on down through the gravels to the schist bedrock. scrapping the bed rock the signal finally moved. A sassy little bit of gold. Ye Ha .69 of a gram That was a loner though as no more came to light. Nothing for Simon either. So after maybe a couple of hours I made the call to carry on with our hike. After probably another hour of walking we came to the workings that I wanted to get stuck into. Well bugger me. On getting there there were two other chaps in there detecting. One with a Zed & the other with what Simon said was a GB2. They weren't overly talkative & were probably pissed off that we had come along. Bugger I said to Simon. We moved up the workings a bit & dropped our packs & detectors. I said to Simon, lets just go for a walk over to the next gully & have a look. Did this, came back to our gear & these other two had packed up & were heading off further up. They had ridden up here on Electric mountain bikes & they were gone in a flash. I had contemplated an Electric mountain bike a few years earlier but the price of them put me off. Seeing how easy they just rode off up the hill did impress me. So I am looking at them now 6.5 & up to 12 grand is pretty daunting though. Few ounces of gold there. Any way....they were gone so we jumped "their" spot. I then noticed another chap walking up the hill with a detector. Bloody hell I said to Simon....check that out. 5 of us up here detecting. Never have I come across so many. I don't normally see another soul. He walked right up this gully & I moved off detecting to avoid him but he bailed Simon up & must have gassed to Simon for an hour. Wasting valuable detecting time. Simon said he kept trying to get away from him but he just kept on going. He had a 4500 so I think Simon may have picked his brains a bit. So it wasnt all a waste of time. Mean while I was getting a few rubbish signals & no gold. When Simon finally got into some detecting he just picked up right where he left off...with shot gun pellets ever step. I finally got a faint mellow signal. It lived on down a bit, more so than pellets , I did get my share but nowhere near as many as Simon. It was a small bit of gold. .09 of a gram I walked up past Simon, who had been targeting old turned over throw out piles. In this pic he was swinging the Gold Bug Pro & still getting more than his share of pellets. You will see his GM to the right lying in the thyme bushes & my Zed hard center left. After taking the pic I headed to that pile of stones back this way from Simon. Left click once to enlarge the pic. Let it refocus & left click again & it will go full screen for better detail. I got a faint but definite signal. I called Simon over & marked the spot with a light boot scrape. Said to Simon to try there. He got a faint hit. I scraped at it until it had moved. Simon pinpointed it for me & it was a tiny shotgun pellet size piece of gold. .06 of a gram Unbelievable. But that was it. I went off elsewhere leaving Simon to explore around there. But I got nothing more. Dark wasn't far off & l wondered back down using Simons noisy racket from his continued shotgun pellet signals screaming out from his GM as my homing in pigeon to locate him . Told him we had better make a move as we had a bit of a walk to get back to the car. Got back just on pitch black. Wouldn't have wanted to have been any later. There was a bit of stumbling & lurching as it was towards the end. Unfortunately Simon got skunked on the gold but made a fortune in lead. Three for the Zed for not even 1 gram. Simon now has his 4500 & a new Coiltek 10 x 5 Joey mono coil is on its way to him. Look out this Saturday. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  13. Dukester

    Turkey And Toys

    Took my eight year old son out turkey hunting this morning and he scored big time on a nice Tom. Then we got permission to detect around the old barn thats there. Found these four old toy cars, a few clad coins and one wheat penny with my nox. It's been a good day. 😁
  14. No, this isn't about gold, but "made you look!" I'm not an introvert, but like many of you I've yet to work up the courage to ask permission on a cold call to hunt private property. So far I've stuck with public places: parks and schools. I've had quite a few contacts/coversations over the last couple years with people walking their dogs, bringing toddlers to the swingsets, etc. in the parks and on school grounds. Often if I see someone watching me I wave, or if close enough say 'hi'. In the least it takes away a bit of the awkwardness and shows I'm human, just like they. A couple things happened today on a 5 hour hunt (more on the results of that in a separate thread when I get the goodies photoed). 1) I was only about 20 minutes into my hunt with virtually nothing to show and digging a hole already 6+ inches (15 cm) deep and counting when I middle aged guy walks up and says "hope you're not hurting the sod". He wasn't angry or threatening, but certainly cautious and concerned. Before I had a chance to explain he noticed I had removed a plug of sod without damage and was collecting the rest of the dirt from the hole in a gold pan (my standard method). He said "so you put the plug back in last?" and then I told him how I conducted myself. He asked what I had found and I showed him a large-mouth bottle cap and a beavertail. (Turns out the target I was digging was an old Champion spark plug but I didn't have it out until after he left). Relieved, he introduced himself and put his hand out to shake. I reciprocated. Turns out he was a "friends of the parks" coordinator for the park I was hunting and told me of his exploits and frustrations dealing with the city council and city park officials. We shared some stories and after a few minutes he wished me success and was on his way. I was glad I was able to head off any potential confrontation -- who needs that?! 2) Near the end of my 5 hour hunt I was along the city sidewalk digging what turned out to be a Wheatie when a dog walker happened past. I said 'hi' and he asked what I had found; "a few pennies" was my answer (the truth). Then he volunteered the location of a baseball diamond from years past and when I inquired further about its location and age he said it was there in 1976 (apparently when he moved to the area) but couldn't remember when it had been covered/grown over. I'll do some internet viewing of aerial photos to get more detail and then get over there and start searching. I've read stories (here) about less than amicable confrontations that some have had. Those are inevitable and I'm sure I'll have one someday, but for the most part I suspect they are rare. Most people leave me alone, some are curious, and occasionally they want to talk longer than I do, but I've always been able to politely end the conversations and get back to my task. Both adults and kids have started dialogue but it's typically curiosity that initiates the questioning and I'm glad to educate them on what I'm doing. Familiarity defuses any possible concern and usually they are pleased or even excited (kids, anyway) that lost treasure can come out of the ground. It's not my land or theirs, but ours. I'm glad when both of us see things that way.
  15. I've professionally been with the Ringfinders since last May but have been finding people's lost jewelry by word of mouth like most of you for sometime. It seems that other MD'ers either like us Ringfinders or they hate us. I'm ok either way but one of the complaints is that we have an easy task in that we get told where the ring was lost and and anybody could find a ring like that blah, blah blah. I got a call last Sunday when i was out of town about a guy who'd lost his wedding ring somewhere in this general area. 1. Camping spot at Pt. Mugu State park 2. Knoll overlooking Neptunes Net in Malibu 3. Somewhere on the trail to Sandstone peak (tallest peak in Santa monica mountains at 3114 elevation) 4. On sandstone peak Since I was out of town another ringfinder checked the campsite but evidently declined to go any further. That's where I came in. I got to Neptunes net this morning and met my client who informed me that the place he possibly lost the ring was no inhabited by a homeless woman who had started a small fire and was chanting something. He explained that he was sitting where she was at and so I proceeded to check the area around her all the while she's sitting there chanting. She then looks up and accuses me of fornication as I'm using my pinpointer to probe the grass area and the rocks and asks me if i want to search her as well. Seeing as how my 15 year old dog had more teeth than she did I concluded our search there was over and he said to follow him to his next spot. Little did I know it was going to include climbing to the top of Sandstone peak. After a 45 minute hike and a 1,000 foot elevation gain we arrived at the top and I proceeded to scramble all over the area with my pinpointer (the Equinox was useless) looking in every crevice for where this ring may have fallen. The ring was nowhere to be found and we dejectedly decided to end the search and head back down the trail. Altogether my attempt at finding his ring took 2 hours of driving, 3 hours of hiking and looking and one crazy old homeless woman who accused me of having sex with the grass using my pinpointer. For my troubles I got $40 which helped put gas back in the tank. No ring was found today but I made two new friends and I'm going to try and help one of them get a teaching job in the future. We don't always find the ring and nobody seems to want to share about the ones they didn't find so I thought I would.
  16. I probably have about 20 or so hours on the machine right now. Been staying in Park 1 or Field 1. I like 5 tones and reactivity somewhere around 6-7. Iron Bias zero. Auto GB. The machine can smack high conductors in iron infested relic spots or in a trashy park...which is good and bad.... good for relic hunting but bad in parks because it sometimes makes me want to just go for the high conductors and I like looking for gold mostly. Yesterday I hit an old town site. Been there many times...Old coins are hard to come by but there are still lots of targets. The place dates back to the 1890's Found lots of targets but the best find was a 1909 Portola Festival medallion. Part of the fun of relic hunting is figuring out what the heck you got. In 1909 San Francisco threw a big party to celebrate the rebuilding of the city after the big earthquake of 1906. All it takes is one good find a day and I'm done so I was finished by 11am. I like to mix up my detecting between relic and jewelry hunting. Beaches are a little ways away so for convenience I hunt parks mostly and some schools if I can get in them. Today I hit a park that has produce only one gold ring and a vary small gold pendant in the past. I kept telling myself that I know there is more gold to be found. It's a lovely park with lots of trees and a baseball field. The best part was know body was there when I showed up at 8 am this morning. I began by hunting close to the tables, trees and a nice grassy knoll where lovers like to lay...got a junk ring right off the bat with pretty stones and I was getting lots of low conductors...a deep nickel here and there. Been over this area many times with my CTX. Lucky to find a really high conductor. The first time there I found a beautiful 1 ounce Sterling silver cross with 32 rocks in it. After about an hour of stealth hunting for a gold ring I head over to some small bleachers that sit behind the the baseball field. I've stayed away from the area (about 30 feet by 15 feet) due to all the trash the CTX it would become over whelmed. Today I just cranked the reactivity on the Nox up to 7 and jammed through the area FAST and was just picking out the higher conductors. It's amazing how fast this machine is.... I was having fun...had a junk ring and a pouch full of coins by the time I was done there. I was getting tired from all the digging so I decided to head out to the ball field where there are less targets lol...after about 20 min of the ball field I decide it's time to head home as it's now 10am and theres work to do... so start making my way toward the the truck. I'm now between 1st and second base about 15 feet from the infield and I get another 15 on the Equinox. Another pull tab I guess but you never know so I dig probably the 20th 15 of the morning. flip the small plug back and I see gold...and some yellow crap next to the gold...I'm blind so I put on my readers and immediately see a gold chain...YES! After carefully digging a wide margin it's out... a beautiful mens gold crucifix and chain. Attached to the chain is a small junk Oakland A's emblem with a playboy bunny and a yellow sticker. Immediately I wonder did the detector see the gold chain and crucifix or did it see the junk Oakland A's emblem. After I got home I found a clear spot on the grass and tested the chain with the emblem on it with both the Nox and the CTX. 12.18 on the CTX loud and clear...still a 15 loud and clear with the Nox. I cut off the junk brass emblem and re test...The neither the CTX or the Nox can hear the chain. It's invisible to both. The Nox picks up the crucifix but it's only a 4 on the screen. It will hit it solid about 5 inches above the ground. The CTX can barely pick up the crucifix 12.01 and you almost have to rub the coil over it. Next I take out my TDI pro...it hits it but to my surprise the Nox hits it as good or better. Next I test the Oakland A's emblem all by itself and the Nox hits it at a solid 15 so the only reason I found the gold chain is because of the Junk pendant! So the moral of the story is....dig it all! The crucifix, chain and clasps are all individually stamped 14k (Michael Anthony) and it's just shy of 18 grams...Been wanting one of these for a long time and it fits perfect. strick
  17. Hi guys, I packed the GM 1000, the EQ 800 & the mighty Zed into my truck & headed off for the day. Got to my chosen spot & was gobsmacked at the grass growth. Bugger. That was not looking very promising to get the coils down on to the ground. Had to have a rethink on location. Ended up that I was going to have to go for a long walk. Oh well...so be it. So I only took the Zed. After a big walk I got to a spot I had not been to for a few years & never with the Zed. Old timer turned over ground. Not gully diggings but up on the hillside a bit. The grass wasn't as much of a problem here but it was still quite lush & it was about as good as it was going to get for me. It was hard detecting.....well hard to get signals...... of the gold veriorty. First one was a faint little hit on top of one of the bald schist gravel throw out piles. Getting down in depth & the signal still there & sounding damn good. Then it was out. Bugger...a .22 bullet head. Had me going that one. Next signal was just a shallow scrape before it had moved. But it was a small bit of gold. Three feet away, another faint hit. Right down to the schist bed rock before it was out. A piece of gold. But that was going to be my lot. Nothing more on these old workings for me. Then the long walk back. Oh well. Didn't get skunked. Cheers. Best of luck out there JW
  18. I had a good hunt today -- best one yet, with the Equinox. I acquired permission late last fall to hunt a home built in 1904 in town, and have been there several times, with the CTX. During those hunts, I dug a couple of Barber dimes, a Merc, a Rosie, a number of wheats, a few tokens -- plus a few interesting relic-type items and some clad. However, finds had started to taper off, and so I hadn't returned in awhile. Today, armed with the Equinox, I wanted to see if I could pull out another keeper or two. My focus was actually on hoping to find a gold ring -- so my intent was to dig a variety of tones in the sub-nickel to pull-tab range. So, I arrived thinking "gold ring," and my very first target dig was this large men's SILVER ring (not gold, but I'll take it!) A short while later, this showed up (I'm almost sure I must have made a rookie mistake, as I think this was in the same plug as a Barber dime I recovered on an earlier hunt with the CTX -- OOPS)... A 1927-D Merc. Then, I got a rather odd, deep tone, but it sounded good enough to dig... These were in the same hole -- the first one on-edge, I believe, and then the second still in the wall of the plug. While recovering these two coins, the husband and wife who own the home happened to come over to see how I was doing. They got to see me recover the coins, one at a time. When I pulled the first one (1904), I could see it was the most beautiful Indian I'd ever dug, with a gorgeous verdigris pattern -- and also in exceptional condition. The homeowners were really excited to see me recover the coin, and when I told them what year it was, they said "wow, that's the year our house was built!" So, I knew at that point that the owners needed to have that one -- so I offered it up, which they hesitantly but excitedly accepted! They plan to frame/display it, as part of the history of the home! I then recovered the second -- and all three of us were shocked, as it was dated 1864 -- a Civil War-era Indian! After talking with the homeowners for a bit, I continued on. I dug another Indian Head (1900), sandwiched between two V-nickel digs (1897 and a "dateless" one). Finally, to end the day, I got a deep signal amongst some trashy lower tones, that I could coax a rather consistent low 20s ID from. I thought maybe it was another deep Indian Head, but the Indians I had dug were generally upper teens, so I was not sure on this one (especially hearing the other nearby trash/iron). So, I removed a deep plug, and sweeping the side of the plug, I could now hear a good high tone, with 25-26-27 ID numbers. SILVER numbers! From about 7" or so, I ended the day on a silver note! 1912-D Barber Dime! I was REALLY impressed with the Equinox on this hunt. I know for CERTAIN I passed over the hole with the two Indian Heads, as well as the 1900 Indian Head, and also the Barber Dime, with the CTX (because I carefully gridded the rather small area they were found in), and for whatever reason was not convinced to dig. I also missed the nickels, but that doesn't surprise me, as I still have a hard time with nickels on the CTX. NOT SO, with the Equinox. The ring was shallow, and a penny-type signal, so I probably just ignored it, thinking "shallow Memorial." Overall though, a very, very good hunt was facilitated by the Equinox, in an area I thought was "petering out" after being hunted multiple times with the CTX. Since 90 percent of the hunts I've taken with the Equinox have been to my local park that I've cleaned nearly "bare" over the past 7 years, and thus the good coin finds with the Equinox from there rather sparse, getting into a rhythm on this hunt with the machine and digging good targets repeatedly/consistently was a great confidence builder with the still-new-to-me machine. Thanks for reading! Steve
  19. Hi Guys, The weekend before Easter I invited Phrunt (Simon) on a bit of a high country Mountain gold detecting mission. He was keen as mustard despite me telling him it was at least a 1.25 hour uphill hike before we could start detecting. That didn't deter him so he arrived at my place & we headed off in my truck. He with his Gold Monster & me with my Gold Monster & the Zed. I just had the 5" coil on my GM & Simon had brought both the coils for his but starting off with the 5" as I had some very shallow bed rock for him to hit. After a bit of a drive, fording a river crossing & then an uphill grind on an old steep original pack track/wagon road that was formed in yesteryear, we got to where we had to park & start the 1.25 hour uphill hike. This is about the one hour mark looking up trail. The old original packtrack & only access in to these old workings. And this looking down trail We got to the first area of bedrock that I wanted to put Simon on to as I had got gold here before with my GM & thought there was every possibility that there was more. The ground was damp due to a recent snowfall we had had & the moisture had soaked deeply into the ground with the snow melt. I am always a firm believer in better depth penetration & sensitivity with detecting in moist ground conditions. I suggested he start at the bottom end I would go up to the top end & work my way down to him & meet him about half way. It took me a wee while to get my first very faint little signal. I had worked my way down towards Simon, who had not managed to get a positive hit yet. Right in the folds of the schist bedrock A tiny bit of gold. I managed two little bits in this location & as Simon had lucked out & we were out of bedrock to detect, I suggested me move on & up further. It had been a good little interlude after our initial grind up the hill. We had both caught our breaths so I took him on to some further bedrock after a bit more of a walk. Simon got into it & I went a bit further ahead onto some other exposed bedrock. I got a very faint hit. Scraped away at the schist. A tiny bit of gold. I then got another & Simon had still had no luck. I then opted to ditch the GM & crank up the Zed for the deeper ground. My first signal with the Zed was a fairly deepish dig but was just a small bit of rubbish. Simon had come on over to witness the dig & was surprised at how good a hit the signal was at the depth it was & the small size of the target. Despite it being rubbish. No further signals so I decided to work my way up to the top of a spur where I had snagged a little piece with the Zed the last time I was up here. I said to Simon that there was quite a bit of exposed bedrock in this area that may suit his GM. I showed him my little scrape from my last time up here where I got the piece of gold. I had been detecting in the conservative settings, sensitivity on about 4-6, that time & was now in the higher setting of 18 sensitivity & high yield/normal. With the damp ground I was hopeful of scoring more. Simon was detecting not very far away when I got a very faint, but to me, an unmistakable sweet hit. I said to Simon, Did you hear that? I turned the B&Z volume up more so he could hear it but it just distorted the signal. So I turned it back down & Simon came closer. There was a very faint warble in the threshold. It wasn't always there but Simon got wind of it. I knew what I had heard & I said to him, That is the unmistakable sound of gold. I guarantee 100% this will be gold. I hadn't even scraped or disturbed the ground. When I did the signal really livined up. I kept on scraping out the hole & I was then breaking into the solid schist bedrock & getting into a crevice. Simon pinpointed it with his GM as I was having trouble. That bald bit of ground top right was my old scrape from the time before. You may be able to make out the bit of gold on the coil. I think Simon was gobsmacked at the depth for smallish size of the gold. I think he was also gobsmacked at my 100% call of that signal being gold. Sometimes you just know. He then headed off to some bedrock that was just below where I had detected that bit. It looked very promising but still he wasn't getting anything positive. I then got another very faint but positive signal. Again I ended up in the schist bedrock smashing into a crevice. The shape of the gold just lent itself to be deep in the bottom of that crevice. I went & got Simon to show him before backfilling it. At this point we stopped for lunch. I said for Simon to put on his 10 x 6 coil to get better ground sweep & a bit more depth. After lunch & back into it I hit some rocky area that I thought was just slabs of schist the old timers had peeled up & dumped there. I got a good little signal & on digging down on it realised that it was bedrock. Out popped a little bit of gold. Scanned again before moving on & got another little hit & another bit of gold. Simon was getting a great introduction to the power & punch of the Zed. I then got on to a little mini patch. Getting piece after piece. I said for Simon to try over there & he started getting among it. Snagging two little bits with his GM. But that appeared to be it. I suggested we move on to another spot. More bedrock, but no joy for either of us. I hit a steep sided slope that was all alluvial gravels that the old timers had stopped sluicing away. It was fairly precarious detecting & I noticed that Simon had kept away from it. I managed two small bits in one dig that was on the very edge of a drop off. I worked my way around & all over this material, being very careful with my footing. I got a very faint signal that ended up having me dig quite deep. The picture doesn't do justice to how steep & narly to spot was. But it was gold After taking the two above pics I swung to my left & took this pic looking up the turned over gully workings. If you left click once on the pic & let it focus & then left click again it will go full screen if you want to see more detail of the gully workings. My last signal for the day came from a schist bedrock area that Simon had been over with his GM but got nothing. I got a good hit. It took a bit of work to get the target out. Biggest bit of the day. We had a fair hike ahead of us to get out of here & back to the truck so we decided to make a move as dark wasn't far off. I think we both felt the effects of the hike out as we got back to my truck. It was a welcome sight & just on dark. My result was 17 for the Zed at 3.45 grams. And four for my GM & the 5" coil for .16 of a gram . Simon got just the two bits with his GM but I was glad he didn't get skunked. He was happy to have got those & I think he enjoyed his day. If not so much the walk in & out. Cheers Best of luck out there JW
  20. This is a find (not a crime) of opportunity! Today I got a late start at the beach because of a number of chores but I wanted to make an appearance to see what the wind driven waves had done. I got there on an incoming tide about 2 hours after low tide. It has been a while since we have had conditions like these so better late than never. My previous hunt I had used a new pair of headphones but I felt more confident with the supplied phones so off I went. The last time out I had cleared my settings with the factory specs so now I was setting up Beach 1. That was very little change. Noise cancel, ground balance and check the sensitivity. Part of the beach had a cut and I was in the middle of that area. Many people were out even tho cool and in some wind. I headed for the waterline and pebbles and could tell the waves had not scoured out as much as I liked. I was getting a lot of nothing again but I could hear pretty good in all metal. My first hit was a corroded penny but you gotta dig. I think the next hit was the same 20-21 that a penny gets you. Now I had to make a choice. This is a beach I know well so I headed in a direction to the north where I have found rings in the past. After about 50 yards I decided to head south. (I was reminded by that feeling of a change when I had been hunting for sharks teeth in Venice, Florida in 1978. One morning I went to the right, felt I needed to go back to the left and in less than 100 feet I found a nearly perfect tooth about 4 inches long. It was my best find.) So, this time I went past where I had found the pennies and just behind a little girl standing in the shallow waves and I heard a 13/14. I know what 15s are in this area, nickels. There was no bottle cap chatter. I didn't have time to pump up and down on the target because waves were coming. I gave a scoop and missed the target so I went after it again. I could feel something on the edge of the scoop so I softened my dig in case I would 'hurt' the target. When the wave went out I flipped my scoop and I got a glimmer. I knew it was a chain but didn't know if it was stainless or what. With people around I reached down and picked up the object with some sand and stuck it in my pouch. I didn't need extra eyes at that point. There was time to check the area a bit before moving on, and on and on without many targets. On my way to another beach I rinsed off the chain and felt the weight and I was hopeful. This would be my best gold chain. My wife found a nice gold chain in 2015 so it was my time? I returned a half mile to where I found it and there were very few targets. Time to go back and get my glasses and see if it was real. When I got to the car and I got my glasses on I could see 14k ... yessss! This along with the other couple of gold rings would pay off my wife's 800! It was time to have a little fun. I put it around my son's neck and brought him in to Lu fixing dinner. She likes gold so it didn't take her very long to see it. haha We took a couple of photos with the king of the household and then I measured and weighed what I had found. It is 14k/20in/19.1g. It is my best gold chain to date. It could have been found with other detectors but maybe I wouldn't have been in that part of the surf with my 3030. Maybe another detector would be heavier and not as much fun as the 800 right now and I certainly would not walk out where I was with a wired headphone. The conditions were right. Wind waves are good for chains.
  21. Hi guys, On Saturday I asked Simon (through the forum) what he was doing Sunday & were you keen for another mission. I got no answer until 9pm Saturday night as he had gone Back to Coronet Peak ski field detecting coins under the ski lifts with his EQ 800. I think he said he got $16.50 & a silver ring. But yes he was keen for a mission on Sunday so it was arranged for him to come to my place & we would head off in my wagon. I told him to bring his EQ 800 as there was a lot of flat sheet bedrock & wide open spaces. Sunday arrived & I did a weather check on my chosen location. MMMMM... -1c during the day up on the hill top with possible snow & -6 that night. Oh...bugger. I checked a lower in altitude location & it was 9c during the day but with a 90% chance of rain. Another bugger but we went for it any way. The day turned out pretty good & no rain. Was coolish but I like that & dressed for it. Simon just went for it in shorts & bloody T shirt. I couldn't believe it. I told Simon to try full max sensitivity 25 & Multi IQ & leave the rest in factory pre set. If a bit ratty then try 40 Khz & if still ratty to knock down the sensitivity. Play around with full all metal or one push of the horse shoe button & it will knock out the negative number signals. He was able to run full max sensitivity & Multi IQ all day & he stuck with all metal. He soon learnt that shot gun pellets & tiny gold both read 1-2 & he got a pocket full of pellets & 5 bits of tiny gold. He had christened his EQ 800 on gold on his first days attempt. I had every bit of confidence that he would as I had done pretty well here in the past & knew there would be tiny gold that would suit the GM 1000 & the EQ 800. He left his GM 1000 in his backpack all day. I just took the Zed. Simon got the first bit of gold for the day & it took me a wee while to get my first little hit. I was running high yield/normal with sensitivity on 18. The signal was on the bottom edge of an old timers throw out pile from a little ditch in the bedrock they had dug down on. The signal lived on right down to solid bedrock. When it was finally out. .16 of a gram I then hopped across the little ditch they had dug out & was detecting the upper opposite bank of what looked like virgin material. I got a good hit. Ended up being my biggest bit of the day. .34 of a gram I got my share of shotgun pellets but Simon by far exceeded in that department. One double blip signal I got, which usually is a pellet, turned into a pellet size & shape piece of gold. .11 of a gram I then heard Simon had got his 5th piece just as I was digging a signal that was a .16 of a gram bit. I wandered over see Simons bit & showed him my bit. It was a while before I got another. One scrape & I was on the schist bedrock. Just to the left of the coil. The smallest of the day for me. .06 of a gram. Not long after this we called an end to the day. We both got 5 pieces each & Simon was off to a positive start on gold with his EQ 800. My total was just .86 of a gram. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  22. Just got back Not a lot of relics for me. Some round and minie balls but other then Twelfth GA flat buttons (some deep, old, and partial, others amongst thick iron) and some modern bullets and casings, I hit no period brass but plenty period lead and iron. I have confidence the Equinox would have pulled me a button if I had gotten my coil over one or two. So as a relic hunter...disappointment. I have a chance to redeem myself in a couple weeks. As a detector geek, it was a really good time. Some of the below is "repackaged" from abenson's thread, so if you are having Deja Vu... I wanted to start my own thread with all the info consolidated but also directly address some of abenson's issues based on what I observed, hence the repeat info. EMI, Ground Noise and Coil Noises: 1) Manual Noise Cancel helped on some occasions when Auto didn't pick the optimal channel IMO (a feature the 600 lacks). This was ESPECIALLY important here where you could have up to 25 - 50 GPX's within a few hundred feet. Only once or twice, though, was interference really bad such that I had to pause detecting. Never had to reduce sensitivity below 17 and tried to keep it around 20 and no higher than 22 (again, try to stay near the presets folks, they do appear to be optimal for most situations). 2) Did not use GB tracking (except in Gold Mode which has tracking on by default) but Auto GB'd frequently and found GB (in Field 2 mode) varied anywhere from 4 to 6 in some spots and between 44-56 in other spots. This variability could result in some adverse performance if you just went with the defalt GB setting or did not rebalance frequently. I also noticed a strange phenomenon when GB was set high (i.e., in the 40+ range) that the coil would false on impact with corn stalks or even if you just shook the coil in the air. This did not happen when GB was set close to zero. When I first experienced it I thought I had a loose coil connection or imminent coil failure until I cycled through the modes and noticed that it did not happen on all modes. I finally figured it out when I had re GB'd to a lower number and it went away. Will try tracking at the next mineralized site but did not want to "chance it" here. I have more confidence in it since using gold mode - one of the things I learned from gold mode. Also note that I did not really have a chance to actually gage mineralization because I never pulled out a detector with an Fe302 mineralization meter on it to correlate the GB readings to mineralization. 3) Very important to run the Equinox fast near its defaults on recovery speed. In this soil, 7 worked well on "ground noise" and sometimes 8. This is where the 600 maximum recovery speed limit might make a difference. I did not have a 600 to compare but I know I would not run Field 2 below its default of 7 which is higher than the max setting equivalent setting on the 600. I ran my Equinox 800 in mostly Field 2 and it was great. I used it all three days and only used the GPX for a few short hours in the morning of the third day. I forced myself to stick with it and while I did not score any Eagle buttons, did get some minie and round balls. One round ball was deep 9+ inches and ID'd clearly though the numbers wavered between 14 to 16 and you had to have the coil centered and wiggled to lock in the ID. I found one minie not deep but in highly mineralized and trashy ground under a tree root and the ID was very choppy as a result but dug and was rewarded. Iron tones (ground noise) abounded in the mineralized soil I set up two Field 2 programs. One I kept in the user profile which was basically the default Field 2 50 tones with Recovery at 7 (Very Important to note that this is slightly higher than default on the 600 which is limited to the 800 equivalent of a 6 setting max) and Iron Bias at 0. I used this program when in thick iron and wanted to be sure I did not inadvertently mask non-ferrous or to interrogate targets that gave off choppy high tones in my "main" Field 2 program (described below) to see if the high tone was falsing or wraparound (if the high tone increased in the presence of a ferrous tone then I could pretty much confirm it was an iron target and not a masked non-ferrous, this technique is not foolproof, however). The other I ran most of the time which was exactly the same but without much fear of masking in the open fields, I ran Iron Bias up to 6 to limit falsing on nail heads. I sill need to experiment with Iron Bias but I felt this set up well for how I was hunting. I also dialed in a little threshold. This enabled me to not be completely in the dark on iron if I chose to run discrimination. I made liberal use of the AM button either to flat out search in AM or to interrogate choppy high tones as describe above. Threshold kept me apprised of the iron situation full time regardless of the disc mode I used. In a thick bed of nails house site on the property, I experimented with Gold Mode and THAT was very interesting and promising. More on that later... Not a great DIV for me with respect to finds (and believe me there were plenty of great finds to be had, they were just concentrated in a few specific couple acre camp areas on 1500 acres of farmland), something I did not figure out soon enough, lol. However, it was a great opportunity to learn the detector as I put nearly 30 more hours on it and learned a hell of a lot. To be continued...
  23. 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!
  24. Hi guys, After my last successful little outing with the EQ 800 & scoring 12 tiny bits of gold. I was keen to go back with the EQ 800, GB2 & the Gold Monster, & do some comparisons. All being high frequency VLF detectors. The night I got the 12 bits with the EQ 800 I was walking back through the old workings to my truck, When I got a signal amongst some exposed schist. It was dark but I had a go at scraping & digging either side of the exposed schist. Signal was still there & looked like it was actually down in the more solid schist & not in a crevice either side of the protruding schist. I scraped at the schist & it was damn hard with no obvious "openings" to be able to get stuck into with the pick. I decided I would come back to it on another day & also bring the GB2 & the Gold monster. Late Saturday afternoon, after my visiting sister had gone back to Aussie, I asked Mrs JW if she wanted to come along & enjoy the beauty of the river & the surrounding old gold workings. They do have a beauty all of there own. It was a very pleasant evening & she decided to tag along. I carried her camp chair for her. Got Mrs JW all comfy & settled in. She had her magazine to read & she even brought along cheese & crackers. Not that I got any. Ok...she was all good. So I went to my little signal in the schist bedrock. You will notice how flat the ground is in that particular spot & I was able to get the 11" DD coil of the EQ 800 right on to the ground scuffing over it to get the signal. Due to our insanely mild ground I was maxed out in my settings & all three detectors easily got the signal. The dig holes either side of the schist was from the night I first got the signal but gave up on it. You will see in the schist where I actually had to chip into it to release the target. you may even be able to make it out in the scoop. If not.... How bloody small is that ???? I had to keep getting Mrs JW's phone to take photos as I left mine at home. So I didnt end up getting many pics. I decided to go back over the previous dug areas with the GM where I had got the 17 pieces of tiny gold with the EQ 800. There was a spot where I had got a signal the previos time with the EQ 800 that turned outto be a little iron stone. It was reading -8, -9 on the VDI so I wasn't surprised. For no reason I walked up to this bit & moved the GM's coil over the same ground. It was in a small channel between to raised bits of schist bedrock. I got a good signal with the GM. You will see the dig scrape beside that schist. It was down a good 4". This is a good example of the size & shape of the EQ's 11" DD coil not being able to get the sweet spot of the DD close enough to the ground to be able to get a hit due to the target being tight up against that raised schist bedrock. The size & shape of the GM's coil was able to get in between the schist bedrock & so make the hit. I didn't try the GB2 on it At 4" I dont think the GB2 would have got it. I will now never know. My comparison tests actually turned to custard as I just carried on with the GM. I ended up getting two other bits with the GM in my previous turned over ground with the EQ. Probably because I had brought them closer to the top. Mrs JW was making noises about heading home after a couple of hours. Damn. I did manage one more tiny bit with the GM before I relented to Mr's JW's pleas & called it quits. So the comparison didn't eventuate. Sorry. So just the 5 little tiddlers. Mostly with the GM. On Sunday we made more of a day of it & I was keen to swing the Zed to get some bigger bits. Yer right..... Amazed at how green the hills had become. It was hard detecting but finally got a double blip signal with the Zed. These of course usually turn into shot gun pellets & I ignore them....sometimes. This one...even though a double blip kind of sounded different & more mellow. We know what mellow can be. Oh yer...could still be lead. It was on the side of an old prospect pit throw out pile & was down a few inches & signal still there. I was thinking....cant be a shot gun pellet now....can it? Nice big deep prospect pits from the old timers. They wouldn't have done these for nothing. Note the bald spot on the back left prospect pit. That was the scene of my second signal. Back to this first signal. About the size of a shotgun pellet Maybe hence the double blip signal. So on to the second signal. Wasn't a double blip & it was down a good 4". Gold it was. I re scanned the hole before pushing the dirt back into it. I then scanned again after half pushing the dirt back in. BANG...another signal. So two bits from the one little dig on the left & the one on the right from the first dig. Was a while between drinks before the next positive signal. Digging down on it I was in to a beautiful dark top soil loam & thoughtno way is this going to be gold. Mr's JW hiding in the shadows on her bloody phone....or is she doing a cross word puzzle? Note the old turned over worked ground. Pile after pile. Well blow me down with a feather....it was gold. The biggest bit of the weekend But that was my lot. Got another bucket full of mushrooms though. Yum yum. So the five on the left from the GM & EQ 800 on saturday afternoon & the 4 for sundays effort with the Zed Not even one gram all up. Fiddle sticks. Better than a skunk though. I will take them. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  25. I got to take my father-in-law out detecting today to a place he's hunted before but for me it was first time out there. It was an abandoned farm house circa late 1800's and upon arrival I could only come up with one word to describe it. It was a "dump." There was trash everywhere and literally a complete inventory of every type of trash available in the modern world was on, in and under the dirt and weeds. A perfect place for me to try out with my trusty equinox I thought and I'll show everyone that I can pull silver out of thin air with this bad boy no matter the trash. After about 15 minutes I began to realize that my silver streak may be over as the targets sounded good but always came up as some form of non-ferrous trash. After an hour I had dug approximately 20 beer cans, 30-40 beer twist offs and a crap load of car parts. I soon was able to paint the picture that these good folks spent their days and nights drinking and working on their cars. Since they were out in the country and a 1/4 mile off the road a traditional trash can at the curb was out of the question and they just threw it wherever. After two hours we raised the white flag and decided to end the hunt. The equinox did surprisingly well even with all this as I found 7 memorials, one 1956 wheatie and a 1980 dime but alas no silver which leads me to my point. Sometimes there's not "there" there. Sometimes the only "silver" in a hunt is the silver lining ending to a day that you got to go metal detecting that hadn't gone as planned. Sometimes the 'there" is just the fact that you got to take your 80 year old father in-law out to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. I'm not trying to wax philosophical here but rather add some perspective. The equinox is great but it can't find what isn't there to be found. Sometimes a great looking place to hunt is a pile of trash and frustration. I'm kind of indifferent today as before we went out I said my goodbyes to a good friend whose time here on earth is numbered in hours, not days. Enjoy the time outside even if you don't score an awesome coin or relic and be sure to take someone along. Best Skate