Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/14/2017 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Chris Gholson

    Gold from the caliche

    I forgot to post up this find I made last month. I was working a new spot that actually didn’t look very promising at all. None of the classical indicators were there, no red dirt, no quartz, no nothing really, other than plain gray dirt. However down below this hillside I could see where the old-timers had dug around and stacked a few rocks. I figured they had gotten a sniff of gold, so I decided to swing around for a while. I hit a few boot tacks on the surface, then I heard a low, mellow sound. I dug away about eight inches of dirt until I hit a hard caliche layer. The signal stayed in the hole, so I kept chipping away. It was slow going but eventually I found the source of the noise. It was a solid hunk of caliche that had no obvious signs of gold. I set it down on the ground and smacked it with a rock. The lump cracked open and revealed a beautiful yellow color inside! A few more hits with the rock and finally my prize was free. It ended up being a lovely nugget weighing 2.5 grams. This find was just a good reminder that even if you can’t see visible gold it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If something produces a solid ‘beep’ on the detector, it’s probably worth hanging onto for a closer look later…I was swinging the Minelab GPX 5000 fitted with the Nugget Finder 15” Evolution Coil. Happy hunting everyone!
  2. 7 points
    Chris Gholson

    Almost an Ounce!

    A friend and customer of mine over in California sent over this photo. He bought a Minelab GPX-5000 and has already found some beautiful gold. This awesome ¾-oz nugget is just one of his most recent finds. He said it was over two feet deep and found right next to someone else’s old dig hole. The area had obviously been detected before, but this lovely chunk had been overlooked, most likely because of its depth. This is a great plug for the Minelab brand. They are definitely pricey, but they get results! Congratulations to the lucky finder and thank you again for sharing with us! Keep up the good work...
  3. 6 points
    Chris Gholson

    Future Prospectors!

    I wanted to say thank you again to Acorn Montessori Schools here in Arizona for inviting me over yesterday to speak with their students about metal detecting and gold prospecting. The kids were an absolute pleasure and I really enjoyed the excitement in their eyes when they got to handle real gold nuggets. I was about their age when I first got exposed, so I am hoping this was just the first step in their journey to becoming future detectorists! Thank you again everyone – I’ll see you and your families out in the goldfields!
  4. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Back from eastern Canada!

    Hi Everyone, My family and I made it back home safe and sound. We had a wonderful time exploring eastern Canada, despite that awful heat wave. Our plan to escape the Arizona summer didn’t pan out quite as expected, and the region set new all-time highs during our visit. It was hot and humid, but we made the best of it and saw lots of amazing places as we passed through Toronto, Montreal and finally Quebec City. This was my first visit and I fell in love with all the historic sites and old “walled” cities. I day dreamed about the coins & relics that must have been hiding just beneath the soil around those old forts built by the French in the late 1600’s. I guess it gives an excuse to go back some day. Here are some really amazing minerals that we spotted in the Royal Ontario Museum. Also, these old cannons were posted around the perimeter of Quebec City. I was familiar with the longer barrel ones, but I had never seen the short, squat ones before. Does anyone know their purpose? I thought perhaps for close range defense, like a shotgun. For those that left messages and emails while I was away, I sure appreciate your patience. Your orders will ship out directly, and you will get replies by tomorrow, if you haven’t already. I hope you all are having a great summer season so far, I hope to have some nuggets to post as soon as it cools off a bit. Happy hunting!
  5. 5 points
    Chris Gholson

    Customer snags one..

    A customer & friend of mine over in California sent over these photos today. He wanted to show off his most recent find made with his GPX 5000 and new Nugget Finder 14x9” Evolution Coil. He said he measured out the hole as best he could, and it looked to be about 8” deep. Not too shabby of a dig for a nugget of this size…Congratulations to the finder; we sure appreciate you sharing with us. Bring that good luck down with you when you come see me this winter!
  6. 5 points

    Gold bug gold

    I had to go over to Monterey the end of march to help out my relations with moving some things back to Wyoming,but made time for a day trip on the way back home for a bit of detecting. just took the GB pro with me and managed to find a few small bits,all found hunting bedrock cracks and crevices . fortunately for me the weather was great and the snow melt was not to bad where i went.
  7. 5 points
    A few of the goodies I've been finding lately. Over 15 grams of gold and a whack of coins and a Rogers Brothers silver (more-than-likely plated) spoon. Found the gold while detecting bedrock with a new detector I was testing, with seven of the nuggets recovered underwater (that's way too much work!) The coins (oldest a 1916 large cent), including some silvers, came from an old home site; the building was demolished making way for a business, so I got permission to detect the site. All the best, Lanny
  8. 4 points
    Chris Gholson

    Awesome EQUINOX find!

    A customer of mine over in California just sent me these photos of an incredible discovery he just made using the new Minelab Equinox 800. According to him, he was working a heavy trashed site. He said the place was covered with iron, tin, and just about everything else imaginable. Despite the junk, the machine locked onto a nice high tone and when he dug down, out comes this beautiful black powder flask from the early 1800’s! What’s even more amazing is that this was only the second time he had ever swung the detector! This great find Alan; I really thank you for sharing it. Hopefully there are still more treasures waiting for you beneath that junk, keep up the good work my friend!...The first photo shows it right out of the ground, and the second is after a cleaning and being straightened out.
  9. 4 points

    Should I have my GPX4000 modified?

    I have a 4500 bought about a year after it came out. Had issues with it after awhile and after a trips to Minelab for repair to no avail, sent to Woody, he found and repaired the problem and did a mod at the same time. Impressed how quiet it ran. A couple of years ago, sent in for the latest mod, adjustable front gain. Last year was tough on me prospecting, so hadn’t had a lot of chances to test. A friend who had his 5000 modded came down to Quartzsite and helped me set it up. Picked up a test ‘nugget’ at 16”. Last month at Dome Rock, at a get together, using a ‘tool’ Patrick designed, I planted a .5 gram piece of lead at 16”. My modded 4500 sounded off a couple of inches high, Bill Southern’s modded 3500 also sounded off well. A stock 5000 could not hear it. A famous detectorist from Las Vegas scrubbed his 7000 over the target and could barely hear it. Bottom line Woody’s mods work!
  10. 3 points
    Tom H

    Heavy rains in central AZ

    Here is a video someone took of Fain park.
  11. 3 points
    Chris Gholson

    Back from eastern Canada!

    I really appreciate all the info guys! I really liked how the city had left the old cannons & mortars in place. I was also impressed that no where did I see graffiti on any of them. Only thing better would have been if they left you fire one off into the lake for a small fee
  12. 3 points
    AZO Office Closed June 28th - July 10th, 2018 Hi Everyone, I wanted to let you all know that the AZO office will be closed from June 28th - July 10th. It has been an incredibly hectic year, so my family and I are taking a few days to go explore eastern Canada. I'm excited because it's an area I have never visited before, plus it will be nice to escape this desert heat for a while. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. All emails and phone calls will be promptly replied to upon my return. Until then, everyone stay safe out there & happy hunting!
  13. 3 points
    The family and I made it safe & sound to Canada and are having a blast! Mike you're right about this heat wave, its been really, really warm thus far. For us its not so much the heat, but rather the humidity thats getting us. Its a little rough, but we're making the best of it and its been a great excuse (at least for Maddie) to get ice cream ? We left Toronto this morning and took the train to Montreal. We will spend a few days here, them its off to Quebec...Here are a few pics that I snapped at the Royal Ontario Musuem. Their collections are wonderful, especially the minerals & fossils! I think I left a little bit of drool on the display cases, lol! Stay cool & safe out there everyone! P.S. That's a solid gold coin weighing 100 kilos!
  14. 3 points
    Chris Gholson


    I wanted to extend a special thank you to all the fellow dads out there. Raising a child is no easy task. The hours are long and the pay isn’t great, but it is by far the most important job on earth. Without your love, support and guidance the world would be a very different place. So on behalf of myself and all the other humans out there - thank you! Enjoy your day!
  15. 3 points

    Chris Gholson

    Just want to give Chris and Arizona Outback a public "Thank You" for going above and beyond to provide service for a fellow detectorist! Could not be more happy Job Well Done. This is just another reason why Arizona Outback is my go to outlet for detector supplies make it yours. Ben
  16. 3 points
    Hi Everyone, All this spam has me pulling out my hair. Ever since the upgrade we have seen a whole lot more of it. I am trying to figure this out, but to be honest, I'm a whole lot better with a detector than I am a computer! I have messed with some of the filters, so hopefully that will slow things down. I do apologize for the hassle. Hang in there, I can see some light at the end of the spam tunnel...
  17. 3 points
    Chris Gholson

    Great weekend for a hunt!

    This past weekend I was given permission to detect a fairly old private ranch here in Arizona. It seemed like the perfect test area for the new Minelab Equinox 800, so my buddy Dean and I loaded up the detectors and headed out. We spent nearly all our time searching the area around the original house, which had been torn down and replaced with a newer home in the 1950’s. As you can see in the photos below we found a ton of targets and managed to cover the top of a huge, old stump. The rancher was blown away and had no idea there was that much metal in the ground. We came up with lots of stuff, but what surprised me was the lack of coins. I mean, we did find a handful of Wheaties and a couple of silver Mercury dimes, but not as many as I would have thought. The only thing I can figure is that although the ranch had been in the family a long time, there had never been many people living there. Some of the coolest finds were several military buttons which we think may have been from WW2, old engraved lipstick tubes, harmonica reeds, and a concho off a saddle which had the ranch initials carved into it. The machines ran flawless in the high trash, and there is no doubt in my mind that there are more goodies to be had. Unfortunately we were getting into the area at the wrong time of the year. The weather was good during our trip, but the desert it is really supposed to be warming up. I imagine by the end of this month it will hit the 100 degree mark. We did pass a squished Mojave rattlesnake on the road, so definitely be cautious out there; they are on the move! If anyone can shed some light on the military buttons it would be appreciated. Happy hunting everyone!
  18. 2 points
    Father's Day Contest – Win over $500! In celebration of Father’s Day, we have a great new competition to announce for all the wonderful Dads out there! To support our Minelab fathers, we want to hear about your family experiences detecting. You could win a USD $500 Minelab voucher and backpack filled with Minelab accessories! Customers may enter here: https://www.minelab.com/father-s-day-competition-2018 This competition is open to USA, Canada and UK residents and starts June 12th, 2018 and ends on June 26th, 2018. Terms and conditions apply. Good luck to all!
  19. 2 points
    It was an incredible long weekend! All of the gold to the left side of the coin (a dime) was found with the Gold Racer. The gold to the right, was found with the Gold Bug Pro and the Minelab 5000. (I can't underestimate the value of a one-two punch with a high-quality VLF followed up with the technology of a supreme PI! This is a shot of the last pieces I found with the Gold Racer, all found while hunting hunting whispers after previously sweeping the bedrock with the same small sniper coil, and all of the finds combined on the left side of the pan were found with the Racer while using the little sniper coil. I will say that the small sniper coil is not good for any depth (and that's not what it's designed for), but it's super-hot on shallow gold, especially the small stuff (that is why I bought it); moreover, it loves to sound off on the chunky stuff too! Some of the bigger stuff found that day. (Raw, uncleaned gold, pictures shot while in the field, looks much prettier now all cleaned-up.)So, the story will have to follow when I find the time as this is a busy gold getting opportunity now that the weather's nice, but it was an incredible weekend hunt with lots of nuggets recovered, but perhaps the best (as far as the little sniper coil for the Gold Racer goes), I was able to capture well over thirty grams of small gold. The Gold Racer has turned out to be a sound investment indeed as has the little coil. (The detector has paid for itself many times already, and the little coil paid for itself in the first hour.)All the best,Lanny
  20. 2 points
    Memorial Day is a time to honor, reflect, and remember those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for the country. We thank those brave men and women who gave their lives while serving in the US armed forces – we will never forget you… Interesting Fact: Memorial Day and its traditions may have ancient roots. While the first commemorative Memorial Day events weren’t held in the United States until the late 19th century, the practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans held annual days of remembrance for loved ones (including soldiers) each year, festooning their graves with flowers and holding public festivals and feasts in their honor. In Athens, public funerals for fallen soldiers were held after each battle, with the remains of the dead on display for public mourning before a funeral procession took them to their internment in the Kerameikos, one of the city’s most prestigious cemeteries. One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War—a speech that some have compared in tone to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
  21. 2 points
    I agree 100%, you're a great writer! Thanks for sharing your finds with us and the good info.
  22. 2 points
    Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink . . . (I apologize in advance for the length of this post. You super-pros will want to skip the first part of the story as it's written for the rookies.)Last Saturday was an interesting day indeed.The weather certainly was interesting. Mother Nature truly had dealt a mixed hand of cards: one minute the weather was sunny and warm; then it would cloud up and get cranky; the sky would darken like the face of some angry ancient god; heavy clouds, pregnant with the promise of rain would swirl overhead, releasing giant drops of icy water and sticky wet snow; then the wind would fill its lungs and blow a mighty series of gusts to clear the sky yet again. Spring, the season that imitates all other seasons, but imitates them only briefly; spring, the season that is the great imposter and yet the great bringer of hoped for change.As the weather cleared, I broke out my detecting gear. I'd packed the Gold Bug Pro and the Makro Gold Racer for the day; however, before I could head to the spot I'd chosen, I was approached by a young rookie that noticed what I was up to, and he wanted me to show him how to run a metal detector. He'd bought one for himself, but that day he was out without it, and he wondered if I could give him a few tips on what to do to set up a detector and how to go about finding gold.So, I set up the Gold Bug Pro for him, showed him how to ensure the coil wire connection was tight at the box to avoid falsing, how to secure the coil wire above the coil so it wouldn't false either, and how to ensure the connections on the coil rods were snug. Then I spent some time showing him how to ground balance. I spent a while on that subject with him so he understood how to do it properly, how to check to ensure there were no targets under the coil where he wanted to ground balance, some quick tips on EMI, etc. I gave him tips on keeping the coil level on his sweeps to avoid rising on the ends of the sweeps, how to overlap his sweeps for better coverage, how to keep the coil as close to the ground as possible to maximize detecting and target response, how to pinpoint by moving the coil 90 degrees to the original target response, and I also showed him how to do the coil "wiggle" to get the nose of the coil in the sweet zone for target recovery. Furthermore, I showed him how to properly set the threshold and sensitivity, how to adjust for EMI, and I walked him through the all-important aspect of investigating any slight break in the threshold as most of my targets are initially detected in that manner. As well, I instructed him on how to use a scoop, how to sift and sort a target in the scoop properly while using the coil to verify that the target was still in the scoop and how to use the coil to isolate the target by dropping material onto the coil. I also talked to him about the advantages of using a plastic pan for capturing multiple targets for later speed panning. In addition, I gave him my telescoping aluminum rod with the super-magnet on the end, and I went over the advantages of using it first, if he hit on a shallow signal, to quickly check if the target was ferrous or not.I turned him loose on the road and he soon had a signal. So, I went over everything with him again as he started on his target recovery, and he quickly had the target out of the hole. Well, it was a nail, not one from the 1800's, but a modern nail; regardless, he was a quick study, so I let him keep the detector to work the road for a bit, and he soon recovered several shavings of track and bucket steel.Because he was doing things exactly the way I'd instructed him to do, I was impressed (Lots of people I've tried to help learn to detect in the past have either misunderstood or ignored many of the tips I've given them, but not this guy: he was dialed-in and there to learn! It was easy to see his keen desire passion.). I watched him for a bit more, and he was ground balancing properly, using good sweep technique, slowing when he got a response, checking 90 degrees to the original signal, using the scoop properly for target recovery, and he'd really caught on how to use my extendable super-magnet-wand to eliminate shallow, ferrous targets.In fact, he was doing so well, that I invited him to check some bedrock. He soon had several more signals, all ferrous, but he was really doing great. So I said to him, "This section with the hump, the small area completely surrounded by water is virgin. Have at it." So, he went to detecting, and I went to setting up my Gold Racer. He'd call me over every once in a while to check some strange signals he was getting (hot rocks and cold rocks, so I instructed him on their various target ID aspects), and then he'd tear into detecting again. I fired up the Gold Racer and started checking a spot where an old crevice had once bottomed out.The rookie gave a shout and came a running! Now, as I've stated in other posts, "You can't make this stuff up!", he had his hand tightly closed around something, and that something was a nugget that was close to a gram in weight!! Well, I'll tell the world, he was some excited for sure. And, who wouldn't be! Rookie luck? Did he have a natural knack for it? Good questions, but regardless, he'd done it on his first outing ever. Quite remarkable actually, even if you factor in that I'd put him into a target rich environment, still remarkable as I've put others into similar settings in the past, and they've flown right over the nuggets and left disappointed.Do you think he's going to get out and give his detector a good run first chance he gets? Well, wild horses won't be able to stop him I'd say, because he had that dreamy look in his eye as he left, and all of us that chase the gold know what that look does to a person; it keeps the fires lit!I detected that little hump, with water, water everywhere, and got no gold. (I did however wade out into a couple of feet of water just beyond the hump and recover another small nugget.) So, the rookie got the only nugget in residence on that hump, but my day was just beginning.The spot I was working could best be described as small bedrock islands, water, water everywhere (and as it says in The Rime of The Ancient Mariner), Nor any drop to drink! (I certainly would never drink any of that standing water, so that's why I always pack a bunch along in my five-gallon multi-purpose mining bucket.Those plastic buckets are such handy items for toting all manner of prospecting items to a site!)Well, I carefully waded through a couple of feet of icy water and hit a bedrock rise. I slowly started working the bedrock with the Gold Racer. I soon had a soft signal that sounded like small gold. Just to be sure, I worked that spot carefully with the wand, but no ferrous. Then I took my small pick and scraped the surface, and sure enough, there was some clay riding on top. More scraping revealed some little rounded stones, iron-stained sand, and small bits of ironstone. I swept the spot again, and still the same soft, yet sweet tone. I then worked out material from all of the little cracks and crevices, tossed the material into my plastic pan, then swept the spot again. Still a soft tone, but not as loud, so more scraping with the pick and checking with the detector's coil until the area was completely silent.By this time, I had quite a collection of material in the pan. So, I waded into a deeper spot and panned it out. Well, lots of golden goodies in the pan were peeking out of the super-heavies, and as you can tell from the previous pictures, lots of small stuff, but pretty nonetheless. (Please remember that the purpose of the last two outings has been to deliberately target areas that I've either already swept with the Gold Bug Pro or to check virgin areas just to see what the Gold Racer can find.)To make a long story short, I kept at it for several hours while working those little bedrock islands, and I had many similar encounters with soft signals (with some of them broad in nature [some had great concentrations of fine gold!]) that had me doing lots of pick work to worry material from the bedrock until the detector went silent over the areas the Gold Racer had so expertly sniffed out. As I was about ready to pack up, I looked out at the water and noticed a boulder, about the size of a laundry basket, and thought, "What the heck, why not try to wade out to it if the water's not too deep?" So, I did.Well, the water was getting deep fast, and the tops of my boots just held the deluge at bay. Very careful not to swamp my boots, I slid the coil of the Gold Racer around the boulder, and eeep! I had a solid tone, not a quiet signal like all of the others from earlier. Well, immediately the brain thinks ferrous, but the meter said gold. So, I wanded (hit it with my super-magnet wand [making up my own word?]) the area, no ferrous! Tiptoeing around the boulder to keep my feet dry, I started to work the signal underwater. (I've posted about the frustrating nature of trying to capture underwater targets before, and this outing was no exception.) However, after multiple failures, I finally had the target in the scoop along with a whack of clay and broken bedrock.I tiptoed back to shallower water, then hit the bedrock rise where I'd left my pan. I threw the material into the pan, worked the clay and bedrock material until it cooperated, then panned it down. Bam! A sassy nugget was revealed. A 3.5 gram little beauty! A keeper for sure, no catch-and-release with that one.I packed everything up and hiked or waded back to where I'd left my snacks and water. After a refreshing break, and because the sun was beginning to head west behind the mountain peaks, I broke down the Gold Racer and packed it away. I loaded my tools back into one of my buckets but noticed that my wand was missing! What the?!?Well, the last place I'd used it was way back where I'd found the nugget, so I fired up the Bug Pro and headed back across the bedrock wetlands to find my wand. On the way, I kept the Gold Bug Pro lit, and I let it sniff around underwater every time I had to wade. Three small nuggets later, I hit the bedrock rise adjacent to where I'd found the 3.5 gram nugget. There was my wand, right where I'd put it down when I'd panned out the contents from the scoop.Now, I find it curious how on a return trip to the exact same place I've already detected, the brain sharpens the eye's focus somehow and the eye notices details I've missed the first time around. This time was no exception.There was a small ledge, just above the water's edge, that held some iron-stained gravel and dark material. I couldn't remember having seen it on the first visit, but this time a switch had flipped for sure, and the old brain was screaming, "Run a coil over that spot you dummy!"So, I did, and EEEP!! Now, the Bug Pro really yells (unlike the Gold Racer) when it sinks its teeth into a meaty signal, and I'll tell you what, it surely had my attention. I scraped off all of the loose material, no target in the scoop, but I threw it in the pan just in case. I scanned again, and EEEP! Now, here was a bit of an enigma, wrapped in a bit of a mystery to boot. I was staring at solid black bedrock. So, just for the heck of it, I ran the wand over the spot, but no friends.After I'd swept the area again and the meter was pinning close to 60, I carefully went to work with the pick and broke out some material. I grabbed it with my hand to put it in the pan, and the weight was more than the small amount of material should have been. A very black 4.7 gram nugget was resting in my palm.As for the material I'd tossed into my pan, there was good flake gold in it. I swept the edge of the bedrock and was rewarded with some nice soft signals, so I broke more bedrock until it went quiet, and then I panned it out: more pickers and flake gold, a nice catch.Well, darkness was not becoming my old friend, especially as I had to wade to get out, so I abandoned my workings and headed back to the truck.What a great day! (For me and the rookie.)All the best,Lanny
  23. 2 points
    Yes, fortunately the spam is slowing fading away. I would agree that most of those users registered some time ago and only managed to sneak through when the new upgrade took effect. I've been banning and deleting them like crazy, so with any luck they will be a thing of the past by the end of the month. Thanks again to everyone for your help and support.
  24. 2 points
    It’s just not possible. I clearly remember last summer. It was hot. The mosquitoes were thickly pursuing their bloodthirsty ways. To make things worse, there was no wind. Nonetheless, my partner and I were driving from the crest of a thickly timbered peak in the Rocky Mountains down to shoot some nuggets on a highly fractured sheet of ancient bedrock. The mother rock was newly exposed, and it was resting on a bench well above the river, situated at the base of some old hydraulic workings. But, we were a bit sluggish in our determination to detect that ground, as we knew of the ferocious nature of the bugs, and of the hot, sticky, windless nature of the afternoon. Nevertheless, we were obliquely determined to work that piece of ground, as it had been mined earlier in the summer, but it was now open to detecting as the miners were finished cleaning up the area, and they’d given us permission to snoop around for stray nuggets. We were cautiously optimistic, as the large-scale placer operation had recovered some nice gold from that section of paydirt. In fact, I remembered earlier in the summer when I’d visited those same workings and the miners were shut down, doing some welding and fabrication repairs on their wash-plant. In spite of the fact that I was on my way to detect some old workings, I stopped to say hello and see how their season was going. After a friendly conversation, they invited me to have a peek in the sluice boxes. Well, there was bright gold clearly visible at the top of the three large sluices—lots of sassy gram and sub-gram nuggets were winking at me as they tanned in the warm sunshine, nestled in two of the boxes that were set up for coarse gold. As I scanned those boxes, the gold got smaller as it proceeded down-slope, until there was no longer any visible gold below the top third of the boxes. The other sluice was set up for fine gold, and at the end of it, the contents had been funneled into a large centrifuge, designed to spin out the finer stuff. But, I’m wandering off topic, as usual, and I need to get back to my detecting story. To continue, we were bouncing along in the 4X4 over the unsorted gravel covering the roadbed, descending the slope at a moderate pace. As we bumped along the rough mountain route (I can still hear the picks, shovels, and pry-bars clanging loudly, their metallic voices complaining from the bed of the truck box), we saw that a large trailer was parked off to the side of the main road on a bit of a flat,somewhat down-slope from us, positioned beside some old workings. Being the curious types that we are, we pulled off the main road and went over to see who this new miner was. Well, it turned out to be an eager rookie that was on a bit of a vacation. He was new to the adventure of chasing the gold, and he’d been working over some abandoned bedrock for nearly a week. He was very friendly, and right motivated to show us his gold. He pulled out a small vial, and it held some flake gold and several small crystalline pieces of the noble metal. He’d recovered his treasures while working an old site where the ground was mined by hand in the 1860’s. It was a bench deposit, and he was lugging his dirt in 20-litre pails down the mountainside to his truck, putting them in his truck to transfer them to the stream for processing. It was hard labor without the prison sentence! He’d become his own jailer. Moreover, he’d pretty much earned convict wages in his endeavor to boot. (But, hey--I’ve been there more than once myself.) Well, he asked us a few questions and wondered what we were up to. We told him where we were heading, and that we were going to do some detecting. He asked to see our machines, and we were both packing that day. We had our Minelab 5000’s with us. He said he’d read up on those machines, and he wondered if they could really find gold all that well. Now, he had with him a little low-end machine that he’d been fooling around with on some cap-rock, and he’d got some signals out of the layer of cemented material. He asked me if I’d check it out with my machine. So, I fired up the 5000, with the little Joey attached, and I scanned his workings. The detector identified the signals as hotrocks--no doubt. That’s what was creating the racket for sure. However, above where he was working, I spotted a ledge where someone had gone along the bottom of some old workings, cutting back about eight inches into the base of those tailings, extending along the perimeter for about fifteen feet. (This is a common technique. A nugget shooter will find an old area that slumps onto bedrock, remove the overburden while cutting down to the bedrock, and then cut back into the hill, or deposit, hoping to find some gold that was missed anciently, or to find gold that’s since slumped down from higher up, trapping itself on the bedrock.) I decided that I’d hop up there and give the area a scan, as a lot of material had been disturbed while cutting the ledge. Well, after maybe a minute of swinging, I got a nice, soft signal. I called to the Cheechako and told him I had a signal that sounded good—definitely not a hotrock--and it was non-magnetic to boot. I worked out where the signal was coming from, captured it in the scoop, and ran the works over the coil. There was a nice, sharp signal in the scoop. I shook out portions until only a small bit of dirt remained that was surrounding the signal. I carefully shook that tiny portion onto the coil and heard the plop and ensuing growl of snarling metal as it contacted the coil. I pushed the material around on the coil until I’d isolated the piece generating the signal. As I picked it up, I was pretty sure by its weight that it was gold, but it was covered in gray clay. Moreover, I had the rookie hold out his hand, and I dropped it in his palm. Well, he really thought we were messing with him—it wasn’t a gold color, and after all, anyone could see that it was an ugly gray. So, I took it back, used a little saliva (the prospector’s ever-ready cleaning solution) for polish, and rubbed that clay layer off. Well, a nice, sassy nugget was winking back at me. Now, that Cheechako’s jaw dropped so fast it just about hit the toes of his boots. But he sure believed it was gold when I put it in his bottle and told him to take it home! He absolutely couldn’t believe I’d given it to him, or that it was so much bigger than anything he'd found, or that I’d found a nugget that fast. And, to be very honest, I couldn’t believe it either. I mean since when do you break out your detector and then find a nugget on cue? Well, maybe you do it all the time, but not me. I usually have to invest a ton of time digging worthless trash before I hit a nugget. But in this case, I didn’t dig a single piece of trash, and the only good target dug was that little nugget. There’s no way things like that happen to me, well there’s no way it’s ever happened before, that’s for sure. All the best, Lanny
  25. 2 points
    To the Rookies; Well, it's time to discuss, and possibly bust, the myth that the Chinese miners got it all. I'm not sure how many times I've been detecting an area cleaned by the Chinese (sheets of bedrock rimmed with neat, hand-stacked walls of cobbles and larger rock) only to have someone shout out to me (I detect with headphones) in some like manner or another, "Hey! Don't you know you're working an area the Chinese already mined out? You're wasting your time--they got it all. They were very meticulous those Chinese were. . . ." Of course, those aren't their exact words, but they're mighty close, because those types of comments have been directed my way far too many times, by far too many people, and they've been uttered by well-meaning, but clearly, uninformed, individuals. Why do I say this is so when so many authors echo the same words? Well, let's just take a minute and turn back the hands of time and look at what went on. Most of you are probably aware that the Chinese were often not allowed to hold claims at the beginning of the gold rushes (racial prejudice was rife in society at the time). They were most often relegated to menial jobs in the camps, unless they were working for a wealthy Tong that had purchased some good ground, and then, once again, they were basically working as indentured laborers until their contract with the Tong was up--if that ever came to pass. So, most of the Chinese had to wait patiently until there was another gold strike somewhere else. Why? Well, the vast majority of the other miners were "shallow diggin's" miners. They'd rush in to an area, work down maybe six feet or so to get to bedrock, work it in a fast and furious manner to get the obvious concentrations of gold (often doing a very sloppy or haphazard job of cleaning the bedrock), and once they'd retrieved the "easy" gold (I've since learned by my own work that there is very rarely ever any such thing as "easy" gold!), they were ready to bolt to the next rush that was announced. Therefore, when they abandoned their "worked out" claims, the Chinese then had opportunities to buy or claim the ground that was abandoned or ground that was in the process of being abandoned. Were the Chinese meticulous miners? Well, some of them were exceptionally so, without a doubt. I've seen their workings, and examined their techniques. They even used tar on the end of specially cut, thin little sticks to get way down into stingy, narrow crevices to pull out the reluctant, obstinate contents of those clever gold traps. As well, they designed steel and iron crevicing tools of a most ingenious nature. Moreover, they often used wire brushes to scrub the bedrock to get the gold that was trapped in the dirt and clay, clinging to the irregularities of the mother rock. (These bits of wire brush are a genuine nuisance when you're detecting.) Furthermore, they often broke the bedrock down to a greater depth, past where the original miners had done so. Well, if the foregoing is the case, what's the point of working ground the Chinese worked? In one word--technology. No matter how carefully they eye-balled a particular patch of bedrock, they couldn't see inside the rock, nor could they envision a cemented crevice that was the exact same color and consistency as the mother rock. I guess where I'm going with this is that no matter how good the old-time technology was, today's technology can find gold that even the Chinese missed. I'm going to repeat that again in order to bust the myth: No matter how good the old-time technology was, today's technology can find gold that even the Chinese missed. To wander in to the realm of metaphors for a moment, it's like today's electronic technology is a that of the finely tuned nose of a blood-hound being compared to the nose of a mutt (old school Chinese methods that were admittedly, very, very good). Both canine's olfactory organs are infinitely more highly tuned than the nose of some other inferior creature, like that of the mongrel miner in a rush, but the blood-hound's nose will always beat the nose of the mutt (the old technology), simply because it's more refined, and is especially designed for the modern purpose. So, if you're in an area and you see those very tell-tale signs of Chinese diggin's (extremely well-ordered, hand-stacked walls of rock), take your shiny new detector and get in there! I've found gold far too many times in Chinese workings with my detectors not to detect where the Chinese worked. I've even found crevices (working with hand tools while gathering dirt for panning) that they missed. To understand how those oriental masters may have missed gold with their old-time technology--understand human nature first and foremost. W For instance, were all of those miners of days gone by completely motivated day in and day out? Absolutely not! Were they always healthy? Were all of them happy to be there? Of course not. Were any of them lazy? We are talking about human nature here, aren't we? I think you get the picture. Now, to move to a different point, I find--proportionally--more nuggets in areas that were worked by regular miners that were in a rush. This is a given. But, I've found some beautiful sassy nuggets in "worked-out" Chinese diggin's, and I've done it far too often to not at least give the areas they worked an honest effort. Now, go find some gold in some hammered Chinese area and put a huge smile on your face. All the best to all of you, and a Happy New Year, Lanny (And yes, I'm still working on my book, since so many of you continue to kindly ask.)