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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/20/2019 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    Chris Gholson

    Back from Mexico!

    Hi everyone, My family I just got back into the country this week from a wonderful trip down into Mexico. I had visited the country before, but this was my first trip deep into the interior. The primary spots we explored were Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, both of which are in the mountainous country to the NW of Mexico City. The traveling went fairly smooth except they lost our luggage, so we had to stay in the same clothes for three days, but eventually it found its way back to us. Both places had stunning old homes, cathedrals and cobble stone streets. Everyone I looked there seemed to be history. The Spaniards arrived in the region in 1522, led by a guy named Cristóbal de Olid. A few years later another Spaniard named Nuño Beltran de Guzmán led a force of 300 soldiers and a native army of more than 10,000 into the area. Countless indigenous peoples were killed and many communities in the region destroyed, but in the end the Purépecha were defeated and the area came under Spanish control. In 1552, Captain Juan de Jaso discovered rich silver deposits in the mountains surrounding Guanajuato and subsequently established Real de Minas (The Royal Mines). This discovery led to the rapid settlement of the region throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. There were so many people milling about and we encountered just about every sort of street vendor you could imagine. We found that the cheapest and best tasting food came from the stands and not the restaurants. I have no idea what half the stuff I ate was, but it tasted great! We met up with a local rancher and did a full day trail ride through the hills. We also zip-lined across the canyons and rented to quads to explore the countryside away from the city. It was an absolute blast! The people were super friendly and I never felt as if we in danger; even though I was walking the allies with two blond haired girls. Going off what the media says, I half expected to be abducted by a cartel, but this simply wasn’t the case. It was safe and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. If you are looking for an adventure for yourself or your family, a trip to this part of Mexico is certainly worth consideration. Here are a couple of photos from our trip…
  2. 13 points
    Chris Gholson

    Gorgeous multi-oz gold nugget!

    A friend & customer just sent over these photos of a stunning gold/quartz specimen that he found while metal detecting in Arizona. He located it with a MINELAB GPX-4500 at a depth of 14+ inches. Including the rock, it weighs in at 2.87-ounces. What a stunning find, thank you so much for sharing with us!
  3. 10 points
    Chris Gholson

    Backyard Surprise!

    I thought I’d share this funny story with you guys. The other day I went out to water my garden. I have several hoses around the yard that I have hooked up on old wheels. This works really well and keeps the hose up off the ground and out of the way. The only downside; I discovered it makes a great hiding place. As I reached for the hose something looked wrong and instinctively I jerked my hand away. The hose was looking at me; only it wasn’t a hose, but a four foot Bull snake! He had wrapped himself around it and blended in perfectly. Man, you want to talk about getting the blood pumping! Luckily not a rattler, but he sure gave me a scare…Be safe out there everyone, these critters are definitely on the move.
  4. 10 points
    Chris Gholson

    Another for the bottle

    I got a chance to swing the Minelab GPX this past weekend. While walking down a very tiny and narrow wash, I picked up a faint signal. Because of its location I assumed it was trash, but once I got down about 6”, I knew this target had a chance. Once out of the hole I was pleasantly surprised to see a shiny one grammer peeking out from the dirt in my hand! Not a huge find, but it’s always a good day when I come home with new gold in the bottle. It was found using the Nugget Finder 15” Evolution Coil which is officially one of my all-time favorite coils. P.S. The snakes are definitely on the move. Although I didn’t see any, I did see plenty of their tracks crisscrossing the sand. Be sure to wear your chaps and be safe out there everyone!
  5. 9 points
    Chris Gholson

    Not your average bullet casing!

    Hey Matt, That’s a shame to hear you guys were hassled, and I agree that it’s sneaky to question the minor before the adult. Kudos to your son, he sounds like a smart kid. Laws like this are so foolish. There’s nothing wrong about wanting to preserve and protect our historical sites for future generations. They are our heritage and a testament to those that came before us, and deserving of our respect. I get that, but what I don’t get is the people they target; like you and your son. The real threat in my opinion are the vandals armed with spray paint and hundreds of rounds of ammo. I can’t even tell you how many old stone cabins and adobe structures I have run across over the years that are tagged with all sorts of graffiti and filled with more holes than Swiss cheese. These people are the real danger to our antiquities, not the guy out in the field digging a few shallow holes with his detector. The current mindset here in the US seems to be, “It’s better to let those relics rust away into oblivion versus someone actually digging them up and preserving in a private collection.” I think if our laws were closer to those over in Europe we would see a lot more cool artifacts showing up in our museums…
  6. 7 points
    Chris Gholson

    Not your average bullet casing!

    I came across these photos this morning and couldn’t remember if I had shared them or not. A friend & customer up in Oregon was detecting along when he dug up this old .45-75 rifle cartridge. He almost tossed it into the bushes, but noticed there was something wrapped around it. A closer inspection revealed that a piece of cork had been shoved into the open end and a wire was wrapped around to keep it secure. He decided to take it apart and find out what was inside. What happened next is something many of us dream about, but for him it actually happened. He pulled out the cork and watched in shock as nugget after nugget rolled out! The cartridge had been converted into a makeshift gold poke for an old-time miner. The five small nuggets inside didn’t add up to a lot of weight, but what an amazing piece of pioneer history. Incredible find, thank you for sharing with us!
  7. 7 points
    Every spring I head over to the local preschools to teach the kids about metal detecting and panning for gold. The kids love it because they have a free pass to play in the dirt, and I love it because I get to skip work for the day! I held the class last week and we all had a blast. They learned to use a detector, pan for gold, identify various rocks, and they even got to crack open geodes. It is a bit of work to organize, but seeing the expressions on their face after finding a piece of “gold” always makes it worth it! Here are a few photos of our future prospectors in action.
  8. 7 points
    Chris Gholson

    Surprise gift - thank you!

    A good friend of mine surprised me this past weekend with a really cool gift. Check out what he found while poking around an abandoned hard rock mine in California. It is a 2 lb. can of calcium carbide made by Union Carbide. Even better, the can is still intact and full! He thought it would make a great addition to my growing collection of mining memorabilia, and it does. Thanks again Craig!
  9. 6 points
    Chris Gholson

    Still turning it up!

    A friend that I hadn’t heard from in a long while called out of the blue the other day. It was good to hear his voice and to see that he is still out there cleaning out the desert of all that heavy metal! Here is a photo he sent over of some really rough nuggets that he found with his original Nugget Finder Coil. This coil has to date back to at least 2005-06, and it’s still chugging along! Congratulations amigo - you are a gold magnet!
  10. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Backyard Surprise!

    I had heard that they will actually eat a Rattler, but wasn't sure if it was true. I'm glad to know that it's not just a rumor. He is welcome to stay and keep eating! Now that I live closer to town I don't see half the rattlers that I used to when I was living on top of the Bradshaw Mountains. There were heaps of them up there, especially the Arizona Blacks. This is one of my favorite rattler photos. I spotted him in the driveway just as I was leaving the house and he gave me this classic pose...Can't say I really miss seeing them.
  11. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Forever grateful on Memorial Day

    To those who courageously gave their lives, and to those who bravely fight today - THANK YOU!
  12. 5 points
    dick ward

    El Camino del Diablo

    Hi Frank, No not there now, I haven’t been there for a long time. My first time in the area was prospecting with my grandfather in 1957. The last time was in the late 1970’s. There is gold down there, on both sides, of the border. Not much water ‘tho so take your BIGGEST canteen.
  13. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Mexican EVO Gold

    I sold a Nugget Finder 17x13” EVO Coil to a prospector down in Mexico and asked if he would mind sending me photos of his finds. Well the other day I got a message with these pics and a note saying, “La major bobina para mi GPX 5000 gracias amigos!” Which I think translates roughly to: Thank you, this is my favorite coil…Here are a few golden finds from his first outing with the new coil.
  14. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Happy prospector - new finds!

    I received this photo a while back from a good friend and customer over in California. These are some of his recent metal detecting finds using the Minelab GPX 5000. Total weight is a bit over 22-grams! Beautiful gold; thanks for sharing with us!
  15. 4 points
    Mothwrlode mike

    The Equinox Finds gold alright!

    My summer season consists of a lot of VLF detecting at some old tertiary channels with quiet ground and exposed bedrock. I’ve been using a Gold Bug 2 with a 6” coil for years and found thousands of nugglets with it for quite a few ounces. It decided to crap out on me and I thought it was time for a change after seeing a Gold Monster squeeze out some good gold from old ground. After researching I decided to go with an Equinox 800 I picked up from Chris. I can say it exceeded expectations with the 6” coil. I only had an hour to spend at an old patch that was hammered with GPZs and Gold Bugs and Gold Monsters. FIRST SWING popped out a gold bug caliber speck. In a half hour 4 more popped out and I decided to give it a try at a cabin site where I found some great relics and bottles and an 1872 seated dime and 1911 nickel. It was a wooded cabin with foundation intact and long period of occupation so the trash density is as high as you’d expect. I’ve hit it hard with an XP Deus but thought this 6” coil might have an advantage. The ground is incredibly hot, as in hot with a GPX and GPZ, it drove the Deus nuts and definitely was a chore with the Equinox but with patience I was able to get new and impressive targets. The cabin was built on gold ground and sure enough a foot away from where the nickel was found I picked up the biggest flake in the photo. It’s a flake at only 1.8 grains. I don’t know how this thing picked it up. I also picked up a handful of birdshot lead and small copper sheet scraps amidst everything in the heart of the site. Needless to say this thing rocks. And yes it can find gold as well as a gold dedicated machine. It’s the first dual purpose machine I’ve ever seen that can perform at the top of the spectrum with both. No coins or relics this day but I only had a half hour to look and it found incredible targets in the most difficult of sites. I think it could excel on half dimes and $1 gold coins if they’re around. So many of my patches have cabin or town sites around them and now I don’t have to hike in two machines or spend the full day with only one. Can’t wait to see what more time will produce with this thing.
  16. 4 points
    Chris Gholson

    Getting closer to the source

    I was digging through my albums and I came across these photos from a friend of mine here in Arizona. He bought one of the Nugget Finder 8x6” Sadie coils and wanted to show off some of his finds. What’s interesting is this area he is detecting is not really known for specimen gold. Most everything found there has been well worn and no attached host rock. I’m hopeful that he’s near the source and the next group of photos will be of his truck bed loaded with gold-bearing quartz! Thanks again for the pics!
  17. 3 points
    Chris Gholson

    Happy Independence Day!!!

    Happy Independence Day!!! In observance of the upcoming holiday, the AZO office will be closed July 4-5th, 2019. We will reopen Monday the 8th. Wishing you all a safe & fun filled weekend! We are the Land of the Free We are the home of the Brave Let’s pay tribute to our brave American Heroes on this day and forever – God Bless America!
  18. 3 points
    dick ward

    Backyard Surprise!

    A thank you to everyone for posting the pictures. Give a look but give them their space. This old Arizona guy lets them alone but I won’t share a camp with um.
  19. 3 points

    Backyard Surprise!

    Here's one that I "could-have" stepped right on had I not recognized it curled up laying within an old deteriorated cow pie recession. It also had almost blended in with it's surroundings. It had actually been asleep when I walked up on it from behind. I didn't bother it; went on up a way detecting, and then returned about an hour or so, and it was still there, and still asleep!!!! I thought it was dead, as I was looking right at it face to face. So I got a long stick and had to pry it out of it's (comfortable) hole. It just slithered away into the brush, and i headed home. Gary
  20. 3 points

    Mining Claim Fees Going Up Again!

    The BLM just raised mining claim location fees to $40. They also raised the annual maintenance fees to $165. That $165 applies to every 20 acres on a placer claim. These new fees take effect on September 1, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. If you have already paid your maintenance fees for the upcoming mining year you will still need to pony up the extra $10 per claim/20 acres. The BLM is saying they will send you a notice if you owe more than you have already paid. If they don't you still need to pay so I wouldn't be waiting around for that letter in the mail, just be prepared to pay up before September 1. This will give you an idea of how much the annual base maintenance fees per claim/size will be now. 0-20 acre placer millsite, tunnel site or lode claim = $165 20-40 acre placer claim = $330 40-60 acre placer claim = $495 60-80 acre placer claim = $660 80-100 acre placer claim = $825 100-120 acre placer claim = $990 120-140 acre placer claim = $1155 140-160 acre placer claim = $1320 If you have 10 or fewer claims you may be eligible for the small miner's waiver. The fees are the same for the annual small miner filing $15 per claim no matter what size it is as long as you complete $100 worth of work on each claim. You can read the notice announcing these new fees in today's Federal Register.
  21. 3 points

    Not your average bullet casing!

    Exactly Chris! They hammer on the good people that just want to enjoy the history of the peice. My boys love finding the old relics and rusty stuff. It goes in our yard, or on display in the house where all of our friends and family can admire them. We have several conversations a year over them like " I wonder what the person was like that used this, or if this relic could talk, what would we learn". To me that is preserving our history, and people get to enjoy it and talk about it and even touch something that they may have never seen before. In my eyes, its ours, not the BLMs or Forest Services.
  22. 3 points
    Chris Gholson

    Jim Straight passes away.

    I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jim Straight. When it came to electronic gold prospecting, he was truly one of the greats. Jim saw the entire evolution of the metal detector starting with the BFO and progressing all the way to the modern PI. His work experience included being a prolific author, working for Kennecott Copper & Eagle Picher, a school teacher, the Army Corp of Engineers, and as a mining consultant. He was such an amazing guy who was so full of knowledge and always willing to share it. I was extremely lucky and got to spend a lot of time with Jim as a young man in my 20’s. Some of my best memories are of us bumping along a dirt road in his old pickup while he talked geology. We got to prospect all over the Mojave Desert and even up into Osceola district. I will always cherish our time spent out in the goldfields and the many lessons he taught me about mining. You will be missed my friend…RIP
  23. 3 points
    Yahoo i just gave Chris my debit card for the purchase of the that smoking deal on the never used GPX5000 in the classifieds. I have to say Chris has great service and is great to work with. I also picked up a 12” nugget finder round Evo for it. For the really fine gold here. I don’t think I ever had so good of a purchase as I have had with Chris. Great guy very knowledgeable and friendly. What a pleasure. Thank you Chris for all you do, and going the extra mile. CH Perdue
  24. 3 points
    Chris Gholson

    Customers strike first gold!

    I had a chance to spend some time out in the field the other day with some wonderful people. Cliff, Danny and Don all bought detectors from me and came out to Arizona to get some personal training. The weather has really made a turn for the better here in central AZ. We had bright blue skies, temps in the high 70’s and all the flowers were in bloom. It was a beautiful day to be out looking for gold! Cliff has been metal detecting for nearly forty years. He has hunted for coins & relics all over the eastern US, but had never looked for gold before. Finding a real gold nugget was on his bucket list and I was happy to be there when it happened. He purchased the Minelab Equinox 800 so he could do some prospecting, but also still chase relics when he got home. The ground where he dug his gold was dark red with scattered ironstones. We had to turn down the sensitivity a touch to keep it stable, but it still had no trouble picking up a half-grammer with the stock 11” coil. Danny and Don are cattle ranchers from Utah who were struck by gold fever. They wanted to get the very best, so they opted for the Minelab GPZ 7000’s. They were amazed at how complicated the machine looked, but was in reality really easy to operate. By lunch time they were locating and recovering targets all on their own. One of the targets took us what felt like ages to get out of the ground, but that effort was rewarded with a shiny yellow nugget! It was under a gram, but finding gold with a new machine the first day out is always cause for celebration. I really enjoyed our time out in the field, and I want to thank you all again for the business. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon; in the meantime – keep that coil to the soil!
  25. 2 points

    Backyard Surprise!

    I think King snakes will go after Rattlesnakes also. That bull snake is beautiful.