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Chris Gholson

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Everything posted by Chris Gholson

  1. Vance, Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, from AZO and the rest of the forum gang!
  2. Welcome back to for the forum Montana Bob Dansie, glad to see your computer is running smoothly. Excellent point you bring up about the coil cable wire. It is amazing that something this simple can have such an impact on the detector’s performance. When I first started detecting I had no clue how to wrap the cable – you should have seen my machine, there were loops and windings going everywhere! After a week or so out in the field I quickly realized how easily those loose windings at the bottom became snagged on brush and tree branches, and how a signal was produced each time the wire was jiggled. Each time the loose windings got snagged they would cut across the coil’s detection pattern causing a false signal – what a pain. Eventually I decided to try stringing the coil cable straight along the lower shaft using tape or Velcro to hold it in place, and then start my windings higher up on the shaft above the knuckle. What a difference! It not only got rid of those false signals, but I also noticed that the machine seemed to become more sensitive. Was this a coincidence or was I just imagining things? With the coil cable strung straight from the bottom up I was consistently picking up smaller and deeper targets than before. Here’s what I think was happening. Anytime wire is spun into a loop and voltage is applied a type of coil will be made. By winding my cable in this way I was essentially building a “mini coil”. My thoughts are that the main search coil and the “mini coil” located directly above it on the lower shaft may have been interfering with one another, causing a loss in sensitivity. I don’t know for sure if this is the case, but it’s a theory. What do you guys think? Great tip Bob, too bad I hadn’t read your post 8 years ago! Chris
  3. Chris Gholson

    How's this for a nice nugget!

    I think I'm in love! (with the nugget that is ) Well done Peter, and thanks for sharing that golden beauty with us JP.
  4. Hi Bob, It just so happens that I have a picture of it in the ol' archives. Not a very good one mind you, but hey it was the late 1860's! See that big lump in front of the lady kneeling? That boulder was almost solid gold weighing in excess of 2,000 ounces!
  5. Okay, drum roll....... Here she is, the new Minelab GP 3000!
  6. Hi Everyone, What’s the current situation with the GP 3000? A question I asked Mr. Kym Rowett (President Minelab USA) a few hours ago when I rang the Las Vegas office. Information is still a bit sketchy at the moment, but Kym was definitely able to confirm the existence of the detector and provide some insight on what we can expect to see. Here’s what he had to say: According to Kym, the GP 3000 will available in the United States sometime in May 2003, and will carry a suggested retail price of $3,495.00. Some of the changes will include the addition of a data port, also known as SmartPoint. This connection will enable technicians to test each unit before it leaves the factory, thereby bringing about a higher level of quality control. The 2-piece lower shaft currently used on the GP Extreme will change to a single, or 1-piece shaft on the 3000 version. It has been said that the monoloop coils will perform slightly better in mineralized soils on the 3000, ground balancing will be smoother, and that operators should see an improvement in the target signal response. The 6V “fanny pack” battery harness could also see some changes. The metallic blue color of the control box will remain the same, but the logos and control labels will differ. The hard plastic, military style case and the 18” coil now provided with the GP Extreme will not be included with the 3000. It will be supplied with a single 11” coil (I believe a DD configuration). Whether the new GP 3000 is a major breakthrough and or a substantial improvement over the current Extreme, remains to be seen. I have not personally used this machine as of yet, however I am hoping to conduct a field test sometime within the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on any new findings. Chris
  7. Chris Gholson

    The Outback is Here!

    Hey Guys, If you enjoyed the picture above, you're going to love it from this perspective. Check out that monster next to a full size Garrett metal detector! Don, I think I had read that the casino paid around $1,000,000.00 for the nugget - not a bad day on the goldfields...
  8. Chris Gholson

    The Outback is Here!

    If you are offended by graphic images, such as the one shown below, you will want to avoid a subscription at all costs! The legendary 730-ounce "Hand of Faith" found near Wedderburn in 1980 in Victoria's Golden Triangle by Kevin Hillier. It is believed to be the largest gold nugget discovered in recent times with a metal detector. Picture taken from an article in G,G &T.
  9. Chris Gholson

    The Outback is Here!

    Covershot from an issue of Gold, Gem & Treasure Magazine
  10. Chris Gholson

    Great Atricle Chris!

    Hey Bob, Glad to hear you enjoyed my article in the newest issue of the GPAA magazine. It's a wonderful publication for those into panning, dredging, high banking and other various methods of placering, but wouldn't it be great if there was a magazine dedicated almost entirely to nugget hunting? Imagine a publication that contained page after page of beautiful big nuggets, gold-bearing specimens, and heaps of articles written by experienced prospectors on metal detecting! Perhaps there is I wasn't going to make the announcement until early next week, but in light of your post, I have decided to go ahead and let her rip! Look for more information coming sometime tonight on the forum... Chris
  11. Chris Gholson

    My latest AZ Trip

    Michael, Congrats on those new AZ nuggets, they sure are lovely! I think Rich Hill puts out some of the best looking gold in the state, and the purity is not bad either. Seeing the Gila Monster was another stroke of luck. In all my years of tromping the desert I have only ever encountered about 6-7 of them. They are a rare and impressive creature. If memory serves me right, besides the Mexican Beaded, the Gila is the only other poisonous lizard in North America. Unlike a snake which injects its' venom, the GM chews on its' victims allowing the toxins in its mouth (usually from bacteria) to seep into the wound. They are usually perfectly harmless unless someone decides to try and grab hold of them - if so, watch out! I talked with one guy down at AZ Game & Fish that had been bitten and he said the pain was excruciating! Anyway, good going again on the finds. By the way, Montana Bob is really pumped about his new computer Chris
  12. Another view of the All-Metal pick with hand for scale
  13. Hi Everyone, Sorry about the confusion over the mystery pick mentioned in the latest GPAA magazine, you are not missing anything on the website, it has not been added as of yet. It will be an oversized “SUPER” pick made for carrying on the shoulder; it is modeled after the same ones we use while hunting in Australia. They are currently in the works, and with a little luck should be available sometime near the tail end of this month. I will post the information and a picture just as soon as my welder finishes them up. Hey Stan, good idea you had about placing the magnet beneath the rubber capping, simple and effective. Usually I just stick mine to the top part of the spade, which works great, but after digging around through a black sand filled gully it emerges looking more like a hairy “Chia Pet” than a pick! The other pick Stan mentioned is a new AZO design. I wanted something “friendly” enough to be used for general detecting, but at the same time something rugged and durable enough to stand the test of time. After going through several prototypes, my father, my uncle and myself finally came up with this. It is made entirely of lightweight metal, with a wide spade on one end, and a double-plated reinforced tip on the other. The pick measures 16.5 inches in length, the spade is right at 4 inches, and the overall length of the head is 12 inches. The blunt end has been intentionally angled to help when digging deeper holes. In all, it weighs in around 4 lbs., so it is portable enough to still be worn on the hip from a carpenter’s hammer holder. The price is $44.95. I will also have more information about this guy coming on the website shortly. In the meantime, if anyone is interested drop me an email.
  14. Hey Stan, No, I didn't have the chance to use the solar charger. The version I tested also had the hand crank adapter just in case the battery ran out of steam in the field. I would think the solar panel would make a great addition, but I'm not entirely sure if you can use it while the unit is in operation. I'd shoot the folks at Century Mining off a quick email, they are very friendly and always willing to help out with any questions... Chris
  15. Hi Gang, In the past few days I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time in the field with two of our AZO forum members. The first was Steve Hutton who joined my father and I for a detecting lesson on the goldfields last Thursday. Steve is fairly new to prospecting, but it was obvious from his enthusiasm and the twinkle in his eye that he has a real passion for it. He would like to spend more time going after the yellow metal, but in his line of work free time is often hard to come to by, especially now. His official title is Chief in Command at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Steve oversees 5,800 men and ensures that all operations run smoothly at the base. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and will be making another visit to this region in the very near future. Have a safe trip Steve, and please come home safely – we still have a lot of detecting to do! The other gentleman was forum member Aaron Fogle. Aaron resides in far eastern Arizona and makes his living working as a professional hunting outfitter, guiding in parties on horseback in search of big game. His specialties include elk, bear and mountain lion. Aaron drove all the way from the White Mountains (roughly a 4 ½ hour trip) to pick up his new GP Extreme and spend the day nugget shooting with us in the southeastern flank of the Bradshaw’s, and what a day it was. Maybe it was the nice weather, or maybe the planets were aligned or something, who knows, but it seemed as if every creature in the whole Sonoran Desert was working overtime today. Snakes, lizards, you pick it and it was there; and if I had a nickel for every grasshopper that jumped on me I would probably be in a lounge chair somewhere in the Bahamas sipping on a Pina Colada! It was the strangest thing, just as we were standing around the vehicles talking about which desert critters to keep an eye out for, a breeze picked up and an eerie sound filled the air. At first I thought it was the wind howling through the scrub, but this sounded more like a buzz and it seemed to be getting closer. A few seconds later and we knew that it wasn’t the wind at all, but rather a massive swarm of bees! The 1000’s of little bodies making up the dark cloud missed us by about 15 feet and were humming along at what appeared to be no less than 20 mph. If they had accidentally slammed into us it would have been a major problem. They don’t look especially dangerous, but believe me, they are a real threat. I have had enough close encounters with these guys to last me a dozen lifetimes. Once while at Rich Hill I went behind an outcropping of rock to answer the call of Nature when a whole slew of them came pouring out of a crevice in the boulders. That is one of the only experiences I’ve had where I have been scared and embarrassed at the same time, awfully hard to outrun an angry mob with your drawers wrapped around your ankles. The buggers caught me with my pants down – literally! Almost all bees in central AZ are now classified as Africanized, or Killer Bees. They don’t appear any different than ordinary honeybees but are much more aggressive when it comes to defending their hive. They only sting once then die, but once an attack starts it can last for hours. They are found in gullies, stumps, tree hollows, and around old buildings. If you encounter a hive while out prospecting – get out of there immediately! If attacked, cover your head and run for cover. Once the attack of the invertebrates had passed, we finished our discussions and released the new machine from the box and into its’ proper form. The cooler weather was a welcome change and the three of us wasted no time in getting over to the patch. Steve dropped down with the 18” coil to a stretch of deeper ground, Aaron jumped up higher with the 11” coil to work the shallower areas where the old-timers had had a sniff, and myself, well I went for a walk with the 14”. Surely if there were patches down this far there had to be more further up the canyon (at least I hoped). I managed to thoroughly soak my boots in the river and nearly put my eye out on a Palo Verde branch, but by the time it was all said and done the “death march” had proved to be worth it. There on the other bank above the present day river was another run of iron-stained gravels. A closer look revealed that I wasn’t the only one that had found the area interesting. Coyote holes, rock stacking and tailings; all tell tale signs that the old-timers had considered it good enough to work. A half-hour into it and I had 4 bullets, a shotgun shell, some wire and a sweet sounding target beside a dry-wash pile. Beneath the rocks, about 2 ½ inches down into the rusty soil, I plucked out a smooth 2.3-gram nugget. The nugget had eluded the original miners simply because they had used that particular piece of ground as a place to dump their tailings. I spent another hour or so shooting around, but that was it - a one hit wonder! No bonanza, but at least I had not crossed the Amazon in vain. I wandered my way back to find Aaron and Steve still going strong. They had accumulated a small collection of trash, but alas, nothing resembling the noble metal. We didn’t need a wheelbarrow to haul away our finds, but it had been another enjoyable and eventful day on the Arizona goldfields. Aaron was in no hurry to make the long drive again and decided to “pitch camp” for the night, so there’s no telling what he may turn up tomorrow. He did promise that if he hit any big ‘uns he would post a picture on the forum - lets keep our fingers crossed for him. Thank you again for the business, and thanks for sharing the incredible video footage of that 150+ pound mountain lion. After seeing that, it makes me all the more grateful that gold doesn’t bite back Aaron F. and Steve G. getting suited up for a day of detecting
  16. Chris G. and Steve H. pose for a quick snapshot last Thursday in the Bradshaw Mountains
  17. Close up view of my 2.3 gram treasure
  18. Aaron digs out his first target with the new GP
  19. A shot of the hole from which the 2.3 grammer was pulled.
  20. Hi Stan, This sounds like it is going to be a serious expedition, I'm sure that with the amount of hours you put in there will be some nice gold coming out of the ground. Give me a holler before you head out, I am hoping to be able to sneak away from the office to meet you for a day or two. The Gold Magics are a great setup for sampling and cleaning up concentrates. I field tested one of their models for Lost Treasure magazine in the March 2003 issue. At first I wasn't convinced by the manufacturer's claims, but after playing around at home and using one out in the field I found that they really can recover gold in both a wet or dry environment. Actually the fine gold recovery from the dry material was a real surprise. I am pretty sure you will be able to process more dirt with a drywasher than the Magic, but if the gully you are working is a fair hike from the main road it may be easier to pack something like this in, rather than trying to lug around a washer, hose, blower motor, gas can, tools, etc. In any case, here is the article of mine that was published in Lost Treasure: Lost Treasure Field Test Gold Magic 12-10 (Chris Gholson, March 2003) Synonymous with wealth, struggle and hardship, the gold pan has become an enduring symbol of the early prospector. No one knows for sure when panning first evolved, however we do know it spans back into antiquity as the practice of recovering precious metals from stream gravels is depicted on Egyptian monuments dating as far back as 2900 BC! This simple, yet remarkably effective device was as revolutionary to early placer mining as barbwire was to the ranching industry. In fact, its’ original design was so good that few thought the pan could ever be drastically improved upon. Well, after nearly 4,000 years the engineers at Century Mining did just that! First created in 1989, the original Gold Magic (GM) has since undergone many modifications and improvements, ultimately becoming one of the most effective and reliable gold recovery systems on the market today. Weighing in at 10 pounds, the 12-10 spiral gold machine is Century Mining’s top-of-the-line model and is crafted from heavy-duty plastic and stainless steel. Its’ small size and low weight enable it to be packed into just about any location. The GM is so portable it can easily fit in the trunk of a vehicle, on a backpack, quad rack, or just about anywhere else you can imagine. One of the most impressive features of the GM is its’ ability to process material either wet or dry. By this I mean, it can be used to recover gold in an active water channel such as a creek or stream, or it can be used in the middle of an arid desert, and best of all it doesn’t require any cumbersome hoses or motors. You can even use it right at home if you prefer to pack out your material instead of processing it in the field. There are two main components to the GM; these are the spiral pan and the control box. The spiral pan contains the center cup and is the device used for separating gold from worthless overburden. The control box houses the 12V rechargeable battery, gear motor and battery charger. The supplied battery will power the unit for approximately 16 hours on a single charge. When the juice begins to run low the GM has a built in charger, making it possible to plug into 110V AC socket with an extension cord. Persons that enjoy venturing into the backcountry and don’t want to hassle with recharging batteries will appreciate the added versatility of the 12-10. Simply insert the provided crank, switch the drive belt, and the GM converts to a manually operated machine - no power required other than your own muscle. If hand cranking isn’t your cup of tea, consider investing in the optional solar panel and get all the free power you want courtesy of the sun. The 12-10 is already pre-wired for the panel, so no major alterations or messy soldering is required. The GM was designed to process material through three stages of classification and separation. The first stage takes place in the outer edges of the pan, which contains 69 different agitation knobs. This is the classification and separation stage. Since the GM is self-classifying, most of the lighter sands and gravels are dumped out of the pan just by their own volume. Heavier materials, like gold particles, are carried behind the riffle from the nine o’clock to the three o’clock position, where gravity spills it across the agitator knobs. As the gold moves up on the spiral riffle it is further classified and concentrated – this is the second stage. The final stage takes place in the patented removable center concentration cup. Any gold that was present in the material is caught behind the top edge of the riffle and is carried up to and deposited in the concentration cup. The gold being heavier will stay in the cup while the lighter material will eventually be worked out. Ultimately, the gold goes to the back of the cup and will remain there until the operator removes it. The theory is simple and it works incredibly well. Field Test I was anxious to get out in the hills with my new GM, but knew it was important to first familiarize myself with its’ operation and make sure everything was working properly. I also thought it would be a good idea to conduct a preliminary test on some dry material - and I had the perfect dirt for the job! For years I’ve had a 5-gallon bucket of dredge concentrates sitting in a dusty corner of my garage. The material inside was absolutely loaded with fine gold, but because the particles were so tiny, it was nearly impossible to separate them from the black sand by hand. I always wanted to recover the gold, but never had the time nor the patience to do so. “Would the GM really be able to pull out the gold from the dry concentrates?” was the question I was about to have answered. Half of an hour later the bucket had been emptied. During this time I had periodically shut down the unit, removed the material from the center cup, and dumped it into a standard gold pan. I restrained myself from peeking at the contents until the entire bucket had been worked – I guess I just enjoy surprises! When I sent that first wave of water swishing across the material my mouth dropped! Starring up at me from the top left corner of the pan was a shiny tail of fine gold about ¼” wide by 4” long. This was impressive, not because of how big the gold was, but because of how small it was. If the 12-10 could work this well using the dry method, I could only imagine how well would it perform in a wet environment! Before moving on, let me offer a few tips on using this device in a dry environment. When working dry, be sure to feed the pan a little slower than usual to ensure that all gold particles are properly agitated to the bottom of the riffles. If the pan is feed too quickly, or the material being processed is damp or moist, a loss in recovery will occur. For best results, the material being worked should be as dry as possible. Also keep in mind that when operating in a dry, low humidity climate the pan will develop static electricity. This static electricity will cause sand and flour gold to adhere to the surface of the pan. If you notice material clinging to the pan, sweep it off with a brush and save for later processing. Now that I had seen the 12-10 in action, I was ready to test it out in the remote goldfields of southern Arizona. The Patagonia placers of Santa Cruz County are situated approximately 150 miles southeast of Phoenix not far from the Mexican border. Although silver production was of more importance than gold in this region, many of the gulches draining the east flank of the Patagonia Mountains have nevertheless produced a fair amount of placer. The tricky part was going to be finding it. After passing through town I cut off on the first dirt road I spotted heading south into the mountains. The track led me deeper and deeper into the heart of the Coronado National Forest, crossing some of the most beautiful country in Arizona. I wound through thick tracts of manzanita scrub, across open grass filled prairies, and straight through the old ghost town of Harshaw. Once I spotted an abandoned mine and heard the sound of running water I knew I had found the perfect place. The spot I chose was a bubbling creek about 2’ deep by 8’ wide. All the indicators were there, and I was sure hoping this creek would be kind enough to give up some gold after my long drive. Since I was unable to find any exposed bedrock in the creek bed itself, I decided I would have a better shot by gathering from the sides of the banks where the bedrock was shallow. My trusty shovel and I dug straight into a juicy bedrock crack and quickly liberated it of its’ gravel content. Once my bucket had been filled I was off to the creek to let the 12-10 work its’ “magic”! I sent the GM into motion and began feeding the material into the pan at the 3-4 o’clock position. After about 15 minutes had passed I felt a quick inspection was in order. Amazingly, the cup was barren. There was plenty of black sand and even a small piece of birdshot, but no gold! I nearly dumped out the bucket and went to gather another sample, but something told me to go ahead and polish off what I had. I finished it off and reluctantly took one more peek into the center cup. Something shone through the darkly colored sand – it was gold! No nuggets, I’m sorry to say, but there were several nice pickers. I ran a few more buckets and by the end of the day my little creek yielded a bit less than 2 grams of gold. When processing wet, it is important to set the spiral pan at approximately a 45º angle to the water level and deep enough so that the water reaches to at least the center of the pan. If you are working in a creek or river with a strong current, turn the pan to face downstream. If you notice the center cup begins filling with excessive gravel and black sands, gently flush the area with a small amount of water. If any gold was accidentally washed out during the process – don’t panic! Any of the displaced metal will fall back into the rotating spiral pan and will eventually be returned back to the center cup. Summary The field test had been a success. Not only did I find gold, but I also proved to myself that the manufacturer’s claims were not merely a bunch of hype – the GM can really recover gold in both a dry and wet environment. This machine is quick, quiet and with only one switch, incredibly easy to operate. I cannot imagine why anyone could not become an expert class GM operator in less than an hour. While the 12-10 is by no means a large-scale production unit designed for moving yards and yards of material, it is an extremely useful tool for recreational prospecting, placer sampling and in the cleaning up of concentrates. The unit is so portable you can drag it into virtually any gold-bearing location with ease, and be up and running within a matter of minutes. The GM comes with just about everything you need to go prospecting, but there are a few additional tools I would recommend taking along with you on an outing, such as a shovel, pick, plastic scoop, 5-gallon bucket, crevicing tool and a standard gold pan. The pan is simply used to check the material recovered in the concentration cup during final clean up. I would also suggest you purchase a 1/4” or larger classifier from your local prospecting shop to prescreen the material being worked. You can skip this step if you like, however by keeping the larger-sized rocks out of the mix you will not only extend the life of the spiral pan, but will also speed up processing time immensely. The 12-10 is packed in a single container, which also doubles as a portable panning tub, and includes all hardware, instructional video and manual, gold vial and warranty card. The GM is warranted for one year against defect in materials and workmanship. If you’re interested in gold prospecting, but cannot afford to wait around another 4,000 years to see what else comes along, I strongly suggest looking into the 12-10. Its’ simple, hassle-free operation, low maintenance, ability to work either wet or dry, and retail price of only $399.00 make the GM one of the best all around panning machines on the market. This is an excellent piece of equipment for recreational mining, not to mention it’s a lot of fun! For more information on this, and other Gold Magic products, contact the factory at Century Mining Equipment, P.O. Box 2773, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, 1-800-458-8889, or visit them on the web at www.goldmagic.com. Remember to tell them you read about it in Lost Treasure!
  21. Chris Gholson

    Damp Dilemma

    Hi Jonathan, A million and one uses for a detector search coil Hope the rain lets up soon - we're dying for some new finds pictures! Below is a map showing the general location Jonathan is detecting in Australia. In the heart of the Golden Triangle - big gold country!
  22. My answers to the coil survey: Q1. Mono Q2. 75% Q3. My choices for general prospecting and hunting deeper gold are the 18" Minelab mono and the 14" mono Coiltek. For chasing up small gold on exposed bedrock it is the 8" Minelab mono or the 5x10" Coiltek mono. Chris
  23. Here’s some more information for the coin & relic seekers on Minelab’s new Explorer II Specifications Length Unextended = 43 inches Length Extended = 55 inches Shipping Weight = 3lb 7oz (1700g) Coil = 10.5 inches DD waterproof Audio Inputs = Internal speaker and headphones Transmission = Full Band Spectrum (FBS) 28 frequencies Ground Rejection = Ground compensation – advanced digital filtering Discrimination = Smartfind 2D Discrimination Visual Display = 64 x 128 pixel LCD control panel Batteries = 12V Alkaline User Functions (Software) Custom Selection Discrimination = Yes Saved Discrimination Patterns = 6 Learn Function (accept/reject) = Yes Edit Function Targets = Yes Auto Noise Cancel = Yes Manual Noise Cancel = Yes Response = Normal, Audio 1, 2, 3 Recovery = Selectable (Fast & Deep) Optional Accessories Coils = 8 inch DD coil, coil covers Battery = 1600 or 1800 mAH NiMh sealed battery pack Charger = Car charger, Mains charger Carry Bags = Control box cover, protective carry bag Warranty = Full 2 year parts and labor Suggested Retail Price = $1,395.00
  24. Hi Everyone, Quartzsite Dale had asked me about my largest nugget from Arizona in a previous post, so I decided to jot down the story. Okay, here goes… I hit the 4.5-ounce nugget in the winter of 1998 while on a four day outing to Rich Hill, Arizona. I was working my way down a steep bank with an SD 2100 when I picked up this ripper of a signal. The topsoil had already been disturbed so I assumed it was going to be a piece of rubbish. I went ahead and scratched away about 3 inches of dirt and out rolls a ¼ ouncer! At this point I was pretty psyched and gave the rest of the bank a quick sweep hoping to land another one near the surface. No more signals jumped out at me so I wandered away onto what I thought were greener pastures. Thirty minutes later I had done a big loop and found myself starring at the bank once again. Now I was coming at it from the bottom up. As I swung across the iron stained dirt I picked up a faint disturbance in the threshold, not really a signal but more of a wavering sound. The soil here was really mineralized so I initially dismissed it as ground noise and walked away. Then I made another turn and came across that spot from a diagonal – there was the disturbance again. Using the side of my boot I kicked away about an inch of the loose dirt and rechecked it with the detector. “Not much of a change in pitch, this is probably just a pocket of noisy ground,” I thought. Not wanting to take a gamble I went ahead and used my pick to remove another 3 inches of material. Wow did that make a difference; the signal was definitely getting louder. Down I went, breaking through the loose soil on top until finally hitting a thick layer of reddish-orange clay. As I jammed the coil into the hole my headphones about vibrated off my ears – what a screamer! Another shot with the pick and a huge chunk of clay, about the size of a bowling ball, rolled out into the heap. The hole was dead silent, but the lump of clay was giving an overload. I quickly snatched it up and broke it in two. When I broke one of the halves in two again I saw the unforgettable glint of gold. “Oh my God, this thing has got to be 15 ounces or better!” I screamed. It is a little embarrassing, but I will go ahead and admit it now, I actually got so excited that I fell down off the bank! Even if I had really injured myself I still don’t think I would have felt any pain, I was that pumped up. Well, that nugget didn’t turn out to be 15 ounces, but it was without a doubt, the loveliest 4 ½ ounces of butter yellow Rich Hill gold I had ever seen. The nugget was buried at a depth of about 15 inches and it was found with, get this, an 8” monoloop! I know; I would have not believed it either had I not dug it out of the ground myself. Normally you would not expect to hit a target this deep with such a small coil, but there were a few things working in my favor that day. First of all it had a great “detectable” shape to it. The nugget was fairly flat with a considerable amount of surface area. I am not a physicist or an electronics whiz, but from what I understand the more surface area an object has the more eddy currents it can set up, which enables detection. Had the nugget been round like a ball things may have turned out differently and it might still be sitting there in that bank. Another plus was the fact that it had been raining earlier that morning. I am of the belief that moisture in the soil helps to increase its’ conductivity, possibly allowing objects to be detected deeper than if they were in dry soil. I have hammered patches when the ground is bone dry only to come back and find more targets after a monsoon shower when the ground was wet. Was it the moisture, or were those targets just overlooked? Who knows, but it’s a theory. The third and final thing was the lack of external interference. That particular day was especially quiet. No planes, no lightning strikes, no nothing – just a dead calm. The detector was really humming along beautifully; I could even turn the coil on edge without a peep. Too bad we don’t get more of those kinds of days in Arizona. Well there you have it, the story of my 4 ½ ouncer. Probably more information than you wanted, but hey, I got on a roll! It is a lovely bit of gold, and is still the largest nugget I have ever found in the AZ deserts. Maybe I will put a bail on it one day to wear around my neck, like my friend Ardie “Goldfinger” Jones says, it would be a great beginning to a Mr. T starter set! Chris
  25. Chris Gholson

    New Release...MINELAB 3000

    Hi Ron, Nothing very specific yet, but I am working on it. I will post it on the forum just as soon as I get all the details. If you get a chance, give me a call sometime early next week... Chris