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Found 196 results

  1. I got up early this morning and tried to sneak out to a local beach but I was stopped. My 2.4 year old son came out and I just couldn't leave. Most mornings lately we've just headed to the park to feed the squirrels. He has gotten good at feeding them by hand either a walnut or a peanut. Today the tides were right and we were 'marine layered in' with a light mist so it was time to drive to Huntington Beach. That is about a 40 minute drive in light traffic so off we went. This was my second trip with him to this beach since the lockdown was over. The first time I found just a few coins but less than $1 in change. This time we went past the little playground and on to the beach. I let my son determine the direction. He headed north. It was a great day for him because it was a large, flat beach at low tide and he could run. That he did and I was swinging behind him. We went up into the dry sand and those were my first targets, just a couple of pieces of foil. After 45 minutes I had nothing! We went out on the wet sand and did a little bit of learning of the alphabet. I got a few letters in and we sang 'ABC' before he was off to the south. We were going to go in that direction when he saw a little kid in the distance and off he went back toward 'ABC'. I lagged behind and saw the other little guy was with his parents but about that moment I heard a little signal near the 'ABC' and I dug it. It was my first wet sand signal. Meanwhile my son had found a play buddy. It turned out this little guy was younger but his dad was an older guy like me out with his first and only son. 😀 They both had a good time for 20 minutes or so before the parents had to go. This picture looks back towards the south and the Huntington Beach Pier and back to 'ABC' where I found the target. As I got back near the location I found it I put it down on the sand and took these two pictures. It is just a little cross/crucifix that is 3g and .417/10k. I didn't find any other wet sand targets. Sometimes you have to forget all the knowledge and all the clues and just let someone else lead. It doesn't have to get any better than this. Mitchel
  2. So the other day my neighbor told me she lost part of her rosary when she was walking her dog. It was a multitude of events where her phone rang, kids ran out and the dog kind of pulled off enough that when she took her hand out of her pocket fast, it broke and flew across the grass near the sidewalk. She was able to find most of it but could not find the a piece that had a little cross on it with part of the chain and beads. This rosary really meant a lot to her. My neighbors know that I metal detect for gold but they did not ask me at first and tried themselves to find it, even going to point of borrowing a metal detector from their relatives. When they came back empty handed and I saw them in the driveway they told me the story. I said you should have just asked me, I would love to help! Plus for me I thought that this would be like leveling up in metal detecting skill set. I only hunt for jewelry when I go to FL to visit my folks, so I only get in maybe a few weeks of that. Plus I rarely detect in the parks, I just don't like all the people. So I wanted to know if I could really do this. So I asked her to show me some of the other parts of her rosary so I could get hear what the signal sounded like, what kind of ID number would show up, and how much sensitivity to use since it should be a surface find (it was only lost for a couple of days). Well I knew this was going to be a challenge cause the little cross came up around 15 and the chain was ferrous, I think it was a -4 all on the Equinox. I was not sure if the cross and the chain were still connected. Well when I got to the area she lost it, there was so much trash and EMI plus I could not discriminate because I was not sure if they were still connected or not, but i persevered. Knowing that I would not have to dig, helped eliminate a lot of targets too. Anyways it only took me about 20 mins and I found it! The cross was still connected to the chain, and when the signal came up it was a double blip of those exact numbers! I looked down and there it was. She was so excited and thankful and I was just as excited for her and knowing that I could do it! It was an absolute great feeling to help her out, I felt on top of the world at that moment. I would even say I felt a bigger high finding that for her vs when I find a nugget! Anyways here the pic.
  3. Finished up my road trip today on a good note. Started the trip up in the Texas panhandle where I did quite well at an old park. Dug lots of silver, wheats, couple of rings and a couple of tokens. I've been doing a little relic hunting in southern New Mexico the last couple of days at a 1850s fort site. Manage to put the coil over three good buttons, some percussion caps, fired mini balls and some buck n ball lead. My detectors of choice were the Minelab CTX 3030 and the Minelab Equinox 800. I used the CTX primarily for coin shooting and the Equinox for relic hunting. Second picture is from hunting in Texas. I'll be headed back first thing in the morning to Central Texas to unwind and get ready for another work week, thanks for looking.
  4. Got a good deal on vacation package to Mexico this week so brought my new Nox 800 to use on beach and ocean. This would be my 1st time using the Nox on either beach or in water. Day 1 - initially tried to use the Nox fully submerged in 5ft of water in fairly calm to slightly wavy water. I only lasted 30 minutes before giving up. Lesson learned: * Definitely need to invest in water proof headphones. I thought with mask/snorkel and my head under water I would be able to hear (had volume set to max at 25). I could hear no sounds. * poor visibility also made it challenging - changed to hunting the beach (beach mode 1) and spent maybe 2 hours max on dry fine coral sand. I’ve only used the Nox before a few times on a lake beach with lots of black sand. * great detector! Stable. Was a pleasure to use. * Was able to find the tiniest pieces of foil or random metal size of match head several inches down with sensitive dumbed down to 18-19 * I played around with settings and for me on this beach (1-4” fine white sugar sand on top then hard compact almost concrete like sand/dirt underneath) I liked the lower sensitivity because I wanted to limit picking up targets that were deeper down in the hard layer that I wasn’t going to dig. Sensitive I kept between 18-22 , recovery speed at 5. found a potential gold earring ( have to get home and test it) and some other kind of jewelry think that looks like silver with diamonds (probably aluminum with zirconium). Pics attached of finds (minus the abundance of foil type things I found). Beach is eerily empty for some reason 👀🤔 Will go out again and post any worthy pictures of Day 2 finds tomorrow
  5. Well, I made it out to the tailings piles yesterday for a couple of hours. I didn't find any gold, but I am convinced there is some out there. There is a LOT of trash, and it was extremely challenging for a beginning detectorist. I found a ball peen hammer head, and some iron hanger/bracket thingy. I also found my first bona fide "hot rock". I really thought I had a nugget, as the Nox was singing with a solid 1 on the VDI. However, the little pointy rock below was the culprit. I also found the larger rock just laying on the surface. It doesn't register any kind of signal, but it is really, REALLY heavy, and looks like it has, to my untrained eye, a lot of iron in it. Any ideas? I'm starting to understand the coin and relic aspect of detecting, but I am completely clueless on the gold front. Should I dig all the signals that don't obviously show as ferrous when in all metal mode? Think I'm gonna need to take some lessons! Gerry, I think I'll be calling you when I finally get back to Idaho.
  6. So... I'm out at the park this morning, detecting around one of the older trees. Using the Vanquish 440, 'cause I'm being casual, and I like the "turn on and go" aspect of it, when I get a strong, but bouncy signal in the 28 - 34 range. So I pinpoint and start digging, and very close to the surface, I find a big rectangular piece of foil inside of an athletic sock. First I think, Oooooo! Someone stashed some cash! I start peeling the foil and discover it is a cell phone. I think to myself, well this isn't something someone lost, this was purposefully put here. Then I think, why would someone do this?! To hide SOMETHING! I think the foil was an attempt to block any cell signal. So I stopped peeling the foil, and put it in a plastic baggie. I'll take it to the police tomorrow. I wish it had been cash...
  7. Hello We head out most weekends for a little adventure whether it be prospecting, detecting, offroading or ??? Video attached sharing some of our experiences. Thanks and looking forward to seeing some of you in the field!!!! Will also post some cool photos later, from our last trip, found some cool old sluice boxes etc and equipment on the rivers edge.
  8. I got out for a couple hrs yesterday with forum member Beatup's brother. It's summer in Sunny Yuma, approaching 100 degrees around 9:00am so we started right at sunup. We were 30 minutes into a desert wash that had produced good gold for him this past winter. We split up at the first junction of washes I went left, he went right. I had taken about 10 steps and froze mid-stride as an 18" DiamondBack rattler slithered through my legs from behind me. He paid me no mind, and gathered himself up under a jumble of rocks 10 ft away. He never rattled, hissed or made any aggressive motion, early morning temps around 70 degrees. All I can figure is he was under a small boulder and as I passed he decided we were heading in the same direction, the gravel wash being his own territory. The fact that he was decidedly moving on his way and didn't stop and rattle probably saved me a pair of underwear. As dear old Fred Mason would say, "don't kill them, you're the trespasser" and I rarely do. I have snake chaps, but generally have excuses not to wear them, oh well. The good news, I found a 1.5 gram piece and brother of Beatup found a whopping 5 grammer. As old Sgt Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues used to say "remember, let's be careful out there".
  9. I was sitting out the "Rona" virus and hunkered down near Quartzsite in my toy hauler trailer earlier in the month. I wasn't really hitting the detecting very hard, mostly exploring an area unfamiliar to me. I found a couple small bits, ran into a "tiger" rattlesnake (very unique coloration) and a Gila Monster during my travels. I've hunted the desert southwest most of my life and only seen 3 Gila Monsters, ever. Nasty acting creature, hissing and making half hearted charges. Black mouth and flicking tongue are pretty convincing to keep your social distance. Then disaster with the Rokon and a reminder of the laws of gravity and old age. The culprit, a steep rutted road with a big rock on a banked turn. I considered changing to a lower gear for engine braking, but nah, I can do this in high gear. About halfway down I was reminded of that physics thing, something about "objects in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an opposing motion". The steep downhill put me in motion, unable to make the banked turn, the rock, it turns out is an opposing motion. I landed hard on my left side, my left leg under the 250 lb Rokon with a perfect sized rut to bang center of my thigh. Man that hurt, I'm going on 3 weeks now still hobbling around on a sore leg. As most of you know from my other Misadventures, this isn't my first crash so the die was cast. My girlfriend had been interested in getting a RZR so she could accompany me on my explorations and we had looked a couple used ones. When she saw my injuries this time, that clinched it. Even my 27 yr old son was making that clucking sound and head shaking. 'You're going to really get hurt one of these days, Dad'! So, we got serious and searched Craiglist in both AZ and S.CA. We found a nice, lightly used RZR 900 2 seater, with all the stuff, doors, roof rack, bead lock wheels and tires etc. More than I wanted to spend, but considering I might get a few more good years out of this 65 yr old body, probably well worth it. So, if any of you young bucks are interested in my Rokon, it's for sale. I'll post it over on the For Sale section for a full description.
  10. I think at some point I've already inquired about this question but it never hurts to ask again. May years ago, on the original Tesoro forum, the one linked on the Tesoro site there was two guy that traveled around and hunted old home sites. These two guy would travel to the upper eastern states and some of there finds were just amazing. Its always funny they would post their stories on a Tesoro site while they used the Minelab Explorer on all their trips. I hate to say I've looked through many archive sites and have yet to find even one of the stories. These two guys could write some of the most captivating detecting stories I've ever read. Just wondering if any of the ole timers here might remember these two guys and their hunting adventures.
  11. According to the Mayo Clinic you should shoot for 30 minutes of moderate detecting everyday to loose weight and maintain fitness. Sounds simple enough right? So I decided to get some detecting exercise a couple of days ago. My first spot was a new farm field that was plowed up about a year ago. I instantly got into a lot of coal, and thought this is not going to be fun. After about an hour I hit on a beat up mason jar lid. next came a 32 cal. cartridge case. Another hour and more coal I found a nice mangled spoon. Ten more feet and I got 1/2 of a spoon or fork. I was thinking my god there has to be something good in this field. That's when I found a harness buckle with leather just laying on the surface ( OK maybe I'm in a better place in the field) NOPE, Two minutes later I found a what I thought was an early 80"s binaca breath spray container which brought back fond memories of my youth. (drive in movies, awkward moments with the opposite sex, ect.) But it turns out it was Bovine mastitis spray made by Schering Co. As a rule of thumb PLEASE do not use mastitis spray as breath a freshener!!!!!! Next trip out was a place close to home. I decide to swap coils and hunt with the 9 inch to focus on gold jewlery. After digging 2 dozen pull tabs, and I knew they were. I decided I was smart enough to discern the signals, so I stopped the insanity. During my 4 hour hunt I found $1.97 in clad ranging from the 1970's to the 2000's. My first good target was a brass buckle (not gold) Next was a Ford car key (not gold) Next was a very creepy face/head thing that kinda frightened me. (not gold) And last but not least was a small motorcycle in pretty good shape, For being a plastic /metal import. Looks like it's in fair running condition And I would be willing to trade it for a CTX-3030. Any interested parties please do not PM me. (I forgot, it wasn't gold). Tomorrow I'm just going to Have a beer and a bourbon and give my wife a smooch!!! (And I will not be using the mastitis spray.) Maybe next time I'll find the GOLD!!! Seriously, I hope all members and family of this forum are doing well and Staying safe.
  12. In South Australia we are really limited to public accessible fossicking areas. We have two areas open to the public at Echunga: Chapel Hill & Jupiter Creek Diggings, and another area which is the old Gumeracha Goldfields. The area available to the public is now a pine plantation, so access is via a permit available from ForestrySA. So when 90% of the old diggings has had pines planted on top of it, unfortunately a lot of the old gold workings such as shallow diggings, test pits, shafts, wash piles etc are simply no longer visible, so it does present a challenge of knowing where to look, but there are also some positives: 1. Old pines give you nice shade during summer, and 2. When they harvest, the ground gets churned up from all the machinery. With all this extra time I've had on my hands, I've had time to sort through a lot of footage and found many videos from my visits to the forest, with hopefully some valuable info to others. Part 2 will be up later today.
  13. After sheltering in place for over a week, my son and I escaped to the desert to refine our social distancing. Instead of playing with settings on the 7000, I decided to work on my personal hunting technique concentrating on swing speed, 'range of motion' as JP calls it, coil control and listening for faint, vague changes in a steady threshold. My son took off to hike while I clambered down a boulder strewn and treacherous hillside with all my gear. I tuned up at the bottom and began to slowly cover ground I had already gone over in a previous post. Almost immediately I got what sounded like a small EMI tone-change in the threshold. But as I made my first boot scrape I saw my son waving from the top of the hillside and motioning for me to come up. I took off my headphones and heard him calling to me to come and help him. Now I am advancing in years and that hill is not for sissy's but he was insistent. A few minutes later I stood beside him out of breath and slightly put out, but when he pointed at a near-by prospect hole and said "can you help me get him out?" I was honored that he had asked me to come and help. Somehow a desert tortoise had fallen into the excavation. My son clambered down, lifted him out and handed him to me. We put him in the shade for awhile to let him calm down after being lifted and carried around. After awhile, refreshed and emboldened, he took off, snacking on Spring flowers and grass shoots as he went. My son continued his hike as I made my way back down through the rocks and resumed my hunting. My first faint change in the threshold produced a flake so small that, if it didn't go off on the detector, I would not have believed it was gold, it looked more like a slice of silica, but it was gold. (0.01g). The next flake was beside a basalt rock and I made out the signal in the midst of the sound the basalt was making. That's where swing speed (slow), and coil control makes the difference between finding a bit of gold or passing it up and moving on. Anyway, all in all, 5 stupidly small flakes - but all of them were found because I had decided to focus on what I was doing rather than what the detector was doing. Best to everyone in this strangest of times.
  14. All of us travel to and fro to find gold. Sometimes we find it and sometimes we don't. If we are 'lucky' and look around us on the way to the goldfields we are surrounded by beautiful nature and geology. One of my most surprising trips was taking Hwy 93 north out of Las Vegas, Nevada towards Ely, Nevada. I was headed to the total eclipse in Wyoming. There was quite a lot of water and wetlands around the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge which was a great surprise. I'm wondering what are the great drives that other prospectors feel are their favorites. This could become a long thread or possibly a separate forum because it could include the drive, campsites, side trips and the like. I'm always reminded of JW's posting of his gold sites in New Zealand (makes me want to go) which are so scenic and I saw many vistas in Australia that still pop into my mind. We all have 'hidden' off road trips and areas all over the world. Let's see how the editor lets this one go. Mitchel
  15. On Thursday I went out on my 3rd trip with my 15x10 X-Coil to well pounded patches in Southern California. All of these places have been completely trashed. I've only found gold in one of the areas but others have. I did some thinking and testing at my first stop of the morning about dawn and decided to settle down the sensitivity. Thursday I switched to difficult and something close to Lunk and Coiltek's settings but the sensitivity at 15. This helped me maintain a smooth threshold even with our hotrocks and mineralizations. I've been poking it under bushes I could never get under before and going very slow and finding tiny bits of wire and bullets missed by Monsters, 2300s and 14s but I can't show any gold for my efforts yet. It was more fun on Thursday than the previous two trips where I felt anxious and frustrated. About the middle of the day I noticed a tire on my 4Runner was low. I couldn't trust going up higher into the mountains so I switched to a spot where a friend had Monstered and found some tiny surface nuggets so I thought I'd give it a try. I was finding trash so that was a good sign. Most of the bbs were long gone. I just kept poking around. I heard a deep signal (iffy) under a bush and was scrapping and digging and the signal brightened up a bit. I was near a little road but I was going down into compressed rock and the signal is getting better. After I'm down past the normal trash I decided to video this hole. As you could tell I was hopeful. I don't know how that cartridge got down that deep but it is only the 3 time I remember something like that happening. One time was in Australia and the other time was in Gold Basin. Better luck next time.
  16. Golden Grams of Goodness: Part 1 November is not usually a time of year that I get to chase the gold, as by the time November rolls around the ground usually requires some dynamite or some equally powerful force to break through the frost to get to the gold. However, this year has been a year of exceptions. In September, we had early snow and frost with well below seasonal temperatures that carried into October, and that doesn't happen very often as usually the weather is rather mild. However, after the early blast of Arctic bad temper, the weather shook itself out until the first week of November with temperatures soaring above average, so this allowed the chance to engage in some gold sleuthing when normally I'd be reduced to only dreaming of chasing the gold. I have two sons, and the eldest loves to chase the gold, while the other will chase the gold given the opportunity, but he doesn't have the same level of passion. Me eldest was with me on this trip, and he was with me on our epic gold adventure when we truly slew an army of nuggets early in the summer (I have yet to post that story), so he was eager to have a chance to hone his detecting and sniping skills. The area we dropped into to work was full of bedrock pinnacles. These pinnacles were formed of an iron-hard bedrock, so hard that the big equipment had negligible effect. In fact, smoke was pouring off the bucket teeth and blades of the excavators as they tried to outmuscle the mother rock. As a result, there was a section of ground about the size of two school buses parked side-by-side, but slightly longer. Looking down into the excavation, there were three pools of standing water as well as a small stream of clear seepage water running diagonally across the northern, more elevated end of the bedrock. The southern end was where the largest pool of water was, and the eastern side of the excavation had a culvert that was collecting the water from the stream to then divert it through a long series of interconnected culverts to a sump where a six-inch diesel-powered pump was working night and day to keep that sump cleared. Over the entire area of exposed bedrock, there were many buried, small gutters with high, then lower humps, and throughout the area, there were those dark pinnacles of super-hard bedrock, some of them rising up almost four feet, resulting in an area that could not be cleaned out properly by the modern miners with their big equipment. The area was perfect for detector and sniping work, making it a perfect area for us to tackle. To be continued . . . All the best, Lanny
  17. Most of you do not know the history of metal detecting and my family. We go back to the early 1970's, my dad, uncle, 1 cousin and I all were pretty avid TH'ers back then. In the 80's and 90's we took it to a new level and started concentrating more on older sites and doing research. Our old coin finds were better with a few Barbers and Seated Liberty silvers. The gold coin had still eluded us for all those yrs. We knew it was just a matter of time. Anyway about 20 yrs ago, my little brother started getting serious with detectors and making some nice finds. It was about 20 years ago when the McMullen clan broke the gold coin barrier (it was me) with an 1852 $2.50 piece found in OR. Then about 10 years ago on 4th of July I was greedy and hit another (my 2nd) GC of the clan. My relatives and family started getting a little jealous and well deserving. Especially my little brother who happened to be on that trip with me when I hit #2, It was a 1902 $5 found here in Idaho. Well last week I was with my brother in OR and his Equinox put a smile on his face in more ways than 1. Not only did he find a gold coin, but also a Barber and Seated Liberty Half. Me, I managed to find a clad dime, which is the 1st modern coin that I know of to come from this site. He does not do much with forums, but did say I could mention them and share the pics. I wanted to let him have his glory and then after a few days I'd share. Here is his 1839 $5, 1907 Barber Half and 1877 Seated Half. And you know what? I honestly was a little jealous for about a minute and then I realize his tears were real. I then became the proud big brother of another gold coin find for the McMullen clan. I'm so proud of this guy for continuing to go and just keeps on swinging. Now that I think back, it was meant to be and I was able to be there and share the precious moment with him.
  18. Well today I had the rare chance to get out for a sort time and do some hunting. Just as I was walking out the door my wife tells me to take the dog with me. This is a small dog who is hyper as a butterfly in a wind tunnel. All the way to the ball field I wanted to try Rusty was being very good the whole time, and I am thinking that just maybe he was going to be good. When we arrived at the ball field he stayed close to me as I retrieved the old Tracker IV out of the trunk. I started to head to the field and he takes off like a rocket. I let him run for just a couple of minutes while I got the detector ready to start swinging. I called him over and to my surprise he came running back, and I am thinking that he is finally going to be good. I start walking in the direction that I had been wanting to search and get a wonderful tone sounding in my ears. I start digging my hole and look to see where Rusty is and he is on the other side of the field. I call him back again, tell him to sit, and start digging again. I pull out a dime (1967) try to show Rusty what I found and to my surprise he's gone again. Once again I look for the darn dog, and now this time he is on the opposite side of the field, so I call him again and he comes back. Fill in the hole and stand up. Now where is that dog? Yep he is on the other side of the field again and it wasn't 20 seconds since I last saw him. This time when he gets back I really scold him and I thought he got the message. Nope he didn't, just as I have another target to dig, so I stick my sod cutter i the ground to mark the spot to dig. I get Rusty to come back to me and we start walking back to the car so maybe I can find a leash for him. I look down at him and in his mouth is my sod cutter. Yep he pulled it out of the ground and carried it back to the car. I put him in the car with the windows half way down and walk about 30 feet away from the car and hit another good sounding tone, another dime about 6 inches deep. This one was a 1983, but in usable condition, nothing special about it just dirty and slightly tarnished. Within another 6 feet a really good sound that I had to dig, but it came out to be a Falstaff beer bottle cap. By this time Rusty is crying so bad I let him out and he really tried to stay by me until I found another target which turned out to be a soda can. Needless to say it was a very short hunt as I gave up after only 25 minutes. Lesson of this story is that never listen to the wife and never take the dog again. The old tracker does find good targets and junk so you never know just what will show up. Bounty Hunter Tracker IV metal detector Bounty Hunter Tracker IV Owner's Manual
  19. Some of you may be wondering if I made it back from Arizona. I did and I'll tell you a bit about it. I left here last Tuesday night at 11 PM (midnight in Arizona) for the 300 mile 5 plus hour trip. As it turned out I was heading to a place where Chet had been the week before. I have a friend who is staying there for the season. It is also near the area where I've found my two largest nuggets so why not go exploring with the 15x10 X-Coil. So that's what I did. I got there after a couple of stops for a total trip time of about 7 hours because the last 10 miles is on a road I can only go 15 miles an hour. We didn't head to the club claims but a couple of other washes away. The bullets, wire and trash were similar to what Chet found but Chet documented his finds much better than I did. I was using Chet's settings part of the time, Lunk's settings part of the time and some others. Many of them seem to work. I was very keen this trip to get that smooth threshold on some occasions and listen to the noises jump around it. I'm a bit out of super prospecting shape but I didn't want to hit the tops only or the bottoms of the washes so I went for benches and sides. The 15x10 let me do this more easily than the other two coils I have. While I use a bungee and hipstick many times I was holding the detector freely as I did for a month or so with my 3030. I have no complaints with its ergodynamics of letting me nose point and get under bushes. The two of us hunted hard for 2/3rds the day trying to take advantage of some pointy fingers and research but came up short. I suggested that we go find something in the meteorite patch before it got dark and that is what we did. We went on the north side of the railroad tracks and hunted for irons. This is the first place I went to hunt for meteorites with the Zed 14 when it was new. I spent a day there on my way back to LA but I only had about 1.5 hours now so we had to get out there quickly. My friend is new to the Zed and hadn't ever found a meteorite so we walked to some well pounded patinas a little less than a mile from the parking area. The strewn field for the irons is 4-5 square miles but we were at the nearest edge. It wasn't long before I had my first. I think it is the .13 gram meteorite. These are never very deep and some are really sunbakers but you just can't see them. But, they really sing when you swing over them. My friend could hear it with his 14 when I laid it down for him so he knew what to listen for now. It was not long before he bent down and using his scoops and magnet he had his first Franconia Iron. This was also his first meteorite. That's a good memory. He went on his way and I went my way for the next hour. I didn't find any big ones as they can get over 1-2 g but I know I had gone over the same areas with the 14 because I could see my previous scrapes from years before. I was now getting good results with the coil but I had limited time. We ended about dark. I had 8 irons and my friend had 3. After this experience we decided to go to Gold Basin where there is gold and meteorites! I spent the night near the noisy 40 Freeway and we were off the next morning to Gold Basin. This was the first time for my friend so we did a bit of a 'sightseeing' tour around to the club claims and then went to a patch where I've found about 30 nuggets in the past. As a matter of fact it was the place where I found my only 19" gold. This place has been gone over with everything out there and we were not successful with this trip. (I had sworn I'd never go back there the last time ... haha) We went by a club claim and talked to a couple of dry washers and they were doing ok. They were also detecting as they went and said they had found some pretty nice nuggets totaling several grams so we decided to go swing down away from them. Once again the X-Coil was a pleasure to walk around at cruising speed. I got down in the bottom of one wash and got a really good sound that I knew wasn't surface trash and down about 4 inches was this little 7g meteorite. This was not ideal meteorite territory but I thought I might find others but that was not the case either. When I walked up out of the wash I looked over a mile or so and saw Jason's place and there was a truck there. I had shared some PMs with him about his theft and I had just missed him on a previous trip with Chet so I wanted to go introduce myself. I'll have to tell you he doesn't know me or know what I drive so when we went up to his trailer we were on video! haha When I told him who I was he was relieved and we had a good chat about the basin, X-Coils and the scavengers that live out there. The next day we tried to follow up on some of Jason's geological suggestions and it ended up being a lot of interesting driving but no gold. Once again at the end of the day I targeted an area where I've found a lot of meteorites in the past but it was not to be. I left for Santa Monica about dark. My way home is through Las Vegas. Once on the other side I go opposite the normal Friday rush to Vegas but I'll tell you it was much less this past Friday. I think it is the virus. My trip ended about 1 AM. I've been back recovering and reflecting. There is a lot of gold still left in Gold Basin but you need friends and geologic knowledge to find it now. It is very difficult to get lucky but that can happen if you have enough time and you just set out to go areas where you have not been before. It really is an area where good gold is found with the first detector as much as the best detector.
  20. Its been a while since I’ve posted anything as I’ve been away up north and when I got back to the island I was evicted from my house (rental).. The sewage tank had collapsed and my house been declared uninhabitable as a health hazard.. Crap way to start the year (pun intended).. Nonetheless, this morning’s coin-shooting expedition at Radical Bay made up for it, at least it’s put me in a much better mood.. I found $65 and 4 cents (‘old’ Australian coins 1 and 2 cent pieces).. Plus a $25 casino chip (it’s got a metal centre), a tungsten carbine wedding ring (worth between $250 - $300 online), some other pieces of jewellery and a hash pipe.. Whilst this bay was once a popular camping spot it has become isolated since January when we had over 260mm of rain in 5 hours which has washed away the access road.. I don’t think anyone has ever been there with a metal detector.. The first thing I noticed was the huge amount of rubbish metal in the ground with no end of bottle tops, ring pulls and old cans.. So much so that I decided only to dig for gold coins ($1 and $2) and 50 cent pieces, leaving all the other silver coins behind for my next trip.. I concentrated on the camping areas along the bay set amongst the vine and palm trees as the beach itself was yielding very little.. As I said this little haul has restored my faith in this wonderful world, all it needed was to let lose my Foxy Noxy..
  21. Hello everyone I'd like to document my expeditions this year. This will be my first season of being an "Electronic Prospector". I've studied most of the summer and am ready to go. I still need to learn more about Geology but I'm hoping this will come with time in the field. I look forward to posting my adventures/expeditions with you all 🙂 --Garik
  22. Hi all, been pretty busy lately, and what started out as a really slow year ended up being pretty good prospecting wise. The first half of the year was very slow, only able to scratch a few nuggets out of some old patches. Not much luck looking for new areas. A few buddies and I decided to meet up in the middle of the summer in Gold Basin. Dave, Steve, and a couple of other Chris' . They were out there since Friday evening, but because of work I couldn't get out till Saturday afternoon. Dave was meeting us on Sunday. I made the drive out from Vegas, and when I got there I tried reach the guys, but no luck. Cell service can be spotty out there, and the must have been out detecting. I figured I might as well get started on my own till I was able to reach them. I ended up in an area where I had found a nice gold quartz specimen years ago, and figured I might grid the area to see if I could come up with a few scraps. It was found 3/4 the way up a tiny drainage where nothing else was found (by me anyway) I detectected the drainage top to bottom with no luck, so I decided to hit the hillside. About 7 or 8 feet from where I found that specie I jammed the coil under a creosote bush and got a strong signal over a large area. It wasn't a distinct signal like a nugget, so I kind of thought I was some mineralization but decided to dig anyway. There was only about 5 or 6 inches of overburden, so I scraped that off, and now the signal was sounding much more like a target, but still over a 2 sq ft area. I carry a rock hammer in my pack so I used that to tear up the bedrock. I got down about a foot total and now the signal was screaming. One more attempt with the hammer, and now I have signals in the tailings. I pick up a piece of quartz and put it over the coil...bingo!! I found my first pocket. I actually found the source. I kept working on my hole, still pulling gold out, and still getting strong signals in the bedrock. I was finally able to reach the other guys and dropped them a pin so they could meet up with me. Everyone got some specimens out of my tailings. Over the next several weeks I brought home several buckets of ore. I kept at it till there was no more signal in the ground with my GPZ. The next step was to crush and pan...geeze that is tedious work when you dont have a proper rock crusher. It took several more weeks to process the ore. thanks the pocket ended up being around 4oz!!! And a big to 1515Art and his contest I got to use my kiln to make my first gold bar. Took me a while to figure out how to use the electric kiln, it does take a few hours to reach proper temps, but works great!! added to the nuggets I found, it was a 5z year! I still have some ore to crush and a nice speci I may just keep. But definitely learned a lot. I'm going to be looking for more pockets. 2020 has been a pretty good year so far as well. Cheers, Chris
  23. Back from our Mexico gold hunt and wanted to share a few photos and my story. Every day I swung my 7000 I found gold nuggets. 60+ pieces weighing over 41 grams. (picture of gold and shovel is to show size comparison as some pics make the gold look bigger) So there is good gold to be found, but you don’t fill your pockets as we all dream. The locals who hunt there all use 7000’s and they are really good. They only miss the faintest of signals or the occasional boomer off the beaten path. Me being a 6’ 2” 230 lb guy is hard to get into the cactus bushes to find virgin ground. In fact I only found 1 small patch of undetected ground that held gold and over 9 grams came from that patch. The local Mexican folks have no issues getting into the thickets and I could see their dig holes in them. I give them credit for their desire and determination. Cactus, the guardian angels of the MX gold is everywhere. With over 600+ species alone in Mexico, I was amazed to see and able to get pricked by (it seemed all 600+ kinds) many. Some of them are masters at growing in the funniest of shapes and statues. I was amazed and giggled many times while trying to find a landmark for return. Best to use your GPS on the 7000 (thanks Luck for showing me) as it is really pretty easy. I learned quickly, most of my clothing including the Merrell Hikers were no match for the variety of pokers. I took 3 different pairs of boots and the all leather, heavy duty uncomfortable ones were the least effected from the pricks. I took a pair of shorts and T-shirts for hotter days but could not wear them. Long sleeve shirt and thick pants were a must. Found out on my 1st day there getting on my knees or anywhere on the ground was dangerous and I ended up buying a thick pair of knee pads. I managed 3 small pickers in one spot at the bottom of this wash. This looks like a cactus nugget right? I think I'll polish it and give it to my wife. Lunk was all eagle eyes and found some rare pottery shards probably from a water transport jug. There are desert tortoise to be found (more rare than gold) We were even rewarded seeing the ancient grinding pads, two of them, called an arrastra and were used to grind ore. Their desert is more beautiful than I expected and also has a much greater degree of mountains to climb that what I imagined. Another interesting part of the trip seeing the antique ways of prospects (100 to 200+ yr old dry wash piles) and their claim corner markers. Lunk always looks so serious. Notice he wore snake guards. I asked him about them and he said the snakes were not bad this time of year. He did not tell me to bring some for the attacking cacti and all their brothers. My coolest find of the trip was actually not gold at all but a copper type coin that looks to be hammered, made (very thin and off center struck) and has some words and symbols. I’ve been updated with identification as an early MX ¼ reale coin from 1830’s. The 2 nuggets and coin were all in one small area together. I also spotted (on the run) a small buck deer. A few days before, I found a big daddy antler. The last day in MX was me on the beach enjoying the Gulf of California (on the MX side). The very next day was me in snow as I was heading back to Idaho. So the total driven miles on my truck for the trip was over 2800. I lived in the back of the truck with the camper shell and the 40 degree nights was no issues for cold. Used my small compact Jetboil burner to heat water for cooking/bathing. The warm upper 70’s and lower 80 degree temps in days allowed for my canned and or packaged meals to be heated by placing them on my dash in the truck. Plenty of gold is still in MX., but the reality of it is, the gravy is gone. You’ll work you butt off finding it and most pieces you find are sub ½ grammers. It reminds me somewhat of Rye Patch, NV in a way as most folks won’t find any and those who do usually only find a few each day. The really big ones for the most part have already been found, but popping an occasional 1/4 oz’er+ is still possible. My own biggest piece of gold for the trip was only 4.9 grams, but I did see one find that was a multi ouncer 3 to 4 oz. Was the trip worth it and did my gold finds pay expenses? I’m all about adventure and as long as my body holds up I’ll go most anywhere with a metal detector at least once. Checking spot gold today shows $1580 oz. so that equates to just over $50 a gram. Take $50 a gram X 41 grams of nuggets = $2000. My cost for the trip with insurance, fees, all food and drinks was $1800. But with me, just like my travels to Australia, it is more about the “just go do it” adventure, than it is the finds or value of. Hopefully everyone enjoys the pics and story.
  24. I wrote this up awhile back for Kellyco's website but never posted it here for some reason. After posting the story of the Flung Ring return, I thought, why not post this story on the forum since it was one of the most personally meaningful returns of my metal detecting life. Although the returned item was not all that valuable in monetary terms, it was priceless to the lady who lost it and became even more priceless to Mary and me as we put it back in her hands. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My wife Mary and I were spending a nice day at Daytona Beach Pier this past summer..she for painting and me for detecting. While I was hunting the beach, Mary struck up a conversation with a lady she met there. The lady was very pleasant and told her that she and her boyfriend were homeless and lived in a makeshift tent right on the beach. She said the local police leave them alone as they routinely clean up the beach of litter and don’t bother anyone. As the conversation continued, she told Mary that she had lost a sterling silver charm the day before and although she and her boyfriend searched for hours, they failed to find it. The small charm was the head of a kitty with red “ruby” stones on its head and black eyes. The little charm was extremely meaningful to her and likely one of the most valuable items she owned. Mary told her of my metal detecting and asked if she would like me to try and find it. The lady was overjoyed at the prospect but said she didn’t hold out much hope of ever getting her little kitty back. Mary brought me over to the area where the lady said she thought it was lost and I began the grid search. About 10 minutes later I got that familiar exciting high tone of silver. In my scoop was a little kitty’s head with red “ruby” stones and black eyes! When I brought it to her, she began to tear up, thanked me profusely and asked if she could hug me. She called over to her boyfriend who was busy making little items out of palm fronds he sold to tourists. The smile on her face and the tear in her eye was absolutely the best reward Mary and I could have ever hoped for that day. ~The Challenge: Big Beach; Little Coil; Tiny Targets~ ~"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"~ Leonardo da Vinci ~Pre-determined settings serve only to get you in the ballpark. It’s up to you to pick the best seat~
  25. I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Many more details and pictures later in this thread plus the settings I used so do follow along ! Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
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