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Chris Gholson

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Everything posted by Chris Gholson

  1. Michael, Just wanted to inform you that your prize nugget for the runner-up in AZO's "I Want that Damn Specie" 2003 competition has arrived in the US. It was found by our own Jonathan Porter on the Clermont goldfields of Central Queensland, Australia. It is a beautiful piece; smooth and the shine is enough to blind you in the sun! It will be heading towards California within the next few days. Thank you for contributing, and a big thanks to Jonathan for another generous donation. This is the certificate of authenticity that will accompany your new nugget -enjoy!
  2. Chris Gholson

    Jay's New Specimen

    Hi Bob, The quartz-gold specimens (including the one above) were all found in central Arizona not far from the old mining town of Stanton. This area is known collectively as "Rich Hill." It was the single richest placer gold strike in the entire state. When the first miners arrived on the scene they simply walked around picking up nuggets off the exposed bedrock and wedged between the granite boulders - a true bonanza! It is one of my favorite goldfields. Some geologist friends and I got together and wrote a 250 page book on the subject, complete with the history, satellite maps, color nugget section, and information about modern day discoveries with metal detectors. If anyone is interested, the book is in Products, under the Books & Videos page. The detector & coil combo Jay uses is an original Minelab SD 2100 fitted with either an 18" or 14" coil. I am not sure which headphones he is currently using. Here is a view from the southeast looking northward towards Rich Hill, you can almost smell the gold
  3. Hi Everyone, A friend stopped by the other day to show me some of the discoveries he's made lately in the Arizona deserts. The bulging pouch he dumped out on the table was filled with quartz float, all of which was laced with the precious yellow metal. His finds ranged from a few grams all the way up to a huge 5 lb. quartz boulder Keep up the great work Jay! Shown below is one of the prettier pieces in the collection.
  4. Hi Gang, Okay, here's something hot off the press for all coin and relic hunters. I have just been notified that Minelab will be releasing a second generation Explorer very shortly. I will keep everyone updated as I learn more, in the meantime here is some basic information along with a photo of the unit: NEW Faster and more efficient 2nd Generation Explorer II Software featuring: Dual Co-ordinate Ferrous and Conductivity Digital Display Now the user can discriminate targets in the digital screen, using two sets of numbers: Ferrous Content & Conductivity. In the digital display mode both the ferrous content and the conductivity are displayed in a 0 - 31 range, which can give you over 1000 pre-programmed target signatures. For example, very common pennies will give different readouts for different years. This will be duplicated across a whole range of targets. Now, with the Explorer II, not only will you be able to predict the type of coin underneath the coil but you might be able to guess the date of the coin! That means 50% more useable information for the user AND, it is also possible to work in Digital Mode all the time if you choose without ever having to look at the cursor location. The 2-Number Display System coupled with the 28 Tone ID can give the user all the valuable information needed about any target. Enhanced Threshold and Audio Optimizer The Threshold setting range has now been increased. The setting now is from 0 to 40... giving you a much finer sounding threshold and a much more flexible manual control over the audio output level. This combination of a finer threshold and increased control of the audio output has eliminated the danger of operating too quietly and perhaps missing small finds! The Explorer II features the following advancements: NEW- Lightweight, super strength Carbon Fiber lower shaft NEW- High impact resistant Armrest NEW- Available Longer Life NiMH Rechargable Battery System NEW- Coil Yoke NEW- Rear mounted, all-metal detector stand NEW- Industry standard 1/4 inch headphone jack NEW- Custom-built headphones by KOSS, the World's leading headphone manufacturer. Enhanced Depth Indicator Thanks to the Explorer II's 2nd Generation Software, the Depth Indicator response is now much quicker and more responsive- Again, giving you the best information FASTER!
  5. Chris Gholson

    New Minelab Machine!!!

    Hi Vance, The coil cable wire is strung internally. It runs from the coil up through the shaft and into the control box. A cool feature that helps prevent it from getting snagged on tree branches, brush and all the other goodies that like to grab a guy while he is out detecting...
  6. Hi David, The biggest nugget I have ever found? Well, that would have to be the lovely paperweight shown below. At 3 inches deep and weighing in at 45,000 pounds it gave off a pretty good signal! As a matter of fact, I had a jeweler friend of mine put an attractive bail on it so that I could wear it around my neck. It was a nice find, but I tell you I have spent a fortune in chiropractor bills! Okay, maybe it wasn’t 45,000 but closer to 45 pounds. All right it was actually 4.5 ounces found in 1998 on the Arizona goldfields. I have hit heaps of quartz-gold specimens with more in it than this, but this is the largest solid slug I have taken in the US with a detector.
  7. Chris Gholson

    Stan the Man's New GP

    Way to go Stan!!! Only your second trip out with the GP and you are already banging out nuggets - I think we have unleashed a monster I know exactly what you mean about the hot rocks. When I first switched over from a VLF to a PI machine I thought there was something wrong. I would swing the coil over rocks that would normally scream, but nothing happened. I eventually realized that the detector wasn't broken, it was just immune to about 85% of the hot rocks that plagued my old machine! I am really excited for you, let's hope those finds just keeping getting bigger and bigger as the days go on... Chris
  8. Hi Everyone, Friday morning could not come soon enough. Even though I have been going out nugget shooting religiously for the past 8 years I still manage to get butterflies in my stomach each night before a big hunt. Stan (also known as Stan the Man) had rung me the day before about picking up his new GP Extreme. We made our plans; my father and I would meet him for a day of detecting in Arizona’s historic Bradshaw Mountains. Once on the goldfields we all chatted for a moment getting to know one another, discussed the history and geology of the area, where nuggets had been picked up before, and all the usual gold talk. There was a place across the way hidden in the brush that had given up a few nuggets to us in the past. It was big enough for 3 men to work and best of all it had not seen much GP traffic. It was definitely worth a look, and if we weren’t able to find anything yellow in an hour or two we would just move on to another patch further up the track. When the shiny black & metallic blue beast had been fully assembled we set off in search of our prey. A short hike and five minutes later we were standing smack dab on the patch. Beneath the water worn cobbles, quartz fragments and ironstone was the reddest layer of dirt this side of Mars – almost juicy enough to eat! My father began to hit some of the banks while I gave the proud new owner a run down on the GP’s operation. Stan was quick to learn and didn’t require much instruction. He had already done a considerable amount of detecting with the VLF machines over the years and had accumulated himself a nice collection of nuggets from the San Domingo District. We had just about finished up when my father called out to us from across the ridge, “Hey, I think I’ve got something here if you guys want to come over and have a look.” Now when my father says something like this he usually has good reason, so the two of us went scrambling over to where he was standing. He already had a hole going about 4 inches deep in amongst a cluster of hot rocks. “Have a listen to this, “ he said pulling off the headphones and probing the tip of the coil down into the hole. EERRR! a loud high-pitched sound rang out from the KOSS headphones. Something was definitely there, but was it a nugget or a big lump of noisy ironstone? Only one way to find out! THUD! - the pick sunk deeper into the blood red soil. Five inches, six inches, seven came and went, then finally at over 8 inches we slammed into a thick layer of clay sitting atop the decomposed schist bedrock. This was a good sign, not much other than lead or gold manages to work itself this deeply, and if it was a nugget it was surely an ancient one. A quick check of the hole revealed that the target had been moved into the pile. A single pass with the GP and the now screaming object was pinpointed. My father grabbed a handful of the loose material and waved it across the coil – whatever it was it was in his hand. “You know, I feel something heavy in here.” Stan and I just looked at each other; the excitement was building. Doing his very best to savor the moment, my father slowly sifted through the soil. His eyes lit up, “Whew baby – check out that little beauty!” A solid flat nugget shaped exactly like a sock lay proudly in his open palm. I can tell you, there was a lot of whooping, hollering and high-fiving going on after that. The nugget weighed in at 7 grams – almost ¼ ounce. It was a good find, especially since it was his first target of the day. That was enough for Stan and I. We jumped to our feet, grabbed the detectors and went to work like a well-oiled machine. The three of us spent the remainder of the afternoon scanning the hillsides around the discovery digging a few pieces of old-timer rubbish and kicking a mountain of hot rocks. I unearthed a nugget weighing in at 0.6 of a gram under a boulder, but as luck would have it, no more large bits. The outing had been a success. The weather was spectacular, Stan the Man picked up his brand new GP, we had a few laughs and saw some really nice gold come out of the ground. What a way to spend the day Below is a picture of Stan and my father Steve moments after the ¼ oz. nugget was discovered.
  9. Hi Dale, Welcome to the AZO forum - glad to have you aboard! I field tested the Golden Hawk for Minelab several years back when it made its' debut here in the US. It is a great machine, kind of similar in appearance to an SD only using VLF technology. The GH offers best performance in areas of light ground mineralization and where objects are not likely to be more than 8-10 inches in depth. I had good luck with it in several Arizona washes where the bedrock was exposed. As far as depth penetration and ability to handle severe ground mineralization, hot rocks, etc., it would be difficult for the GH (or any other VLF machine) to compete with the SD or GP series machines. The PI units were designed for the sole purpose of finding deep nuggets in nasty soil. When the SD 2000 first came out some of my friends in Western Australia raced back to the old patches they had pounded with their VLFs and had a picnic. One guy in particular, told me that for the first few months he averaged between 3-10 ounces per day! If the areas you hunt are shallow (less than 5" to bedrock) and are fairly clean of hot rocks, I would keep at it with the VLF. However, if you would like to chase larger nuggets at depth or work spots loaded with iron-bearing minerals, the PI machines sure do make it nice! I would recommend you talk with other detectorists in the Quartzsite area and on this forum. There are a lot of experienced hunters that post here, I'm sure they would be happy to share their thoughts with you. Best of luck with all your prospecting... Chris Here's a photo of some nuggets my girlfriend and I pulled from the southern end of the Dome Rocks during a weekend outing last season with the GPs.
  10. Chris Gholson

    Stan the Man's New GP

    Another shot of Steve Gholson and his new best friend
  11. Chris Gholson

    Stan the Man's New GP

    Stan the Man at work in the Bradshaw's with his new GP!
  12. Chris Gholson

    Stan the Man's New GP

    Here's a close up of Steve's 1/4 ouncer with the hole in the background
  13. Hi Gang, What a beautiful day it was here in Arizona today; a slight cloud cover and just enough of a breeze to keep a guy comfy. It was much to pleasant to stay indoors, so I loaded up the detector and drywasher and made a run for the hills. I’ve had a tiny gully in the back of my mind for the past few weeks, but with all the recent rainfall it has been much to wet to work. I figured that it had to be pretty well dried out by now and if there ever was a time to fire up the drywasher it was today. After an hour or so drive I finally arrived at the gully. I unpacked my gear and then came the really fun part – carrying everything down the steep banks! It took me 3 trips, an armful of scratches and several close falls, but I eventually managed to get everything in place. Normally most of my prospecting is done solely with a detector, however I will occasionally break out the drywasher if I feel a particular area has good potential for lots of “picker” sized gold. This gully had already yielded about 17 nuggets with a detector on the exposed bedrock and I was fairly confident that the deeper pockets of gravel and sand were hiding some golden treasures. I began clearing the larger rocks by hand then started in with a pick and shovel. The soil was a smidge wetter than I had hoped, but not enough to drastically impede recovery. After breaking up a 4 foot long stretch of the gully I gave the blower motor a tug and my homemade drywasher began to hum away. I had run about three 5-gallon buckets of material when a weird noise started coming from the riffle box. It was a high pitch squeal, then a loud thud, and finally the box ceased to shake. Flipping back the buckles I removed the top of the box and immediately saw the problem – the fan and counterweight had broken loose. Great! I had plenty of screwdrivers, hammers, rope, and everything else under the sun, but not a single wrench to fit that bolt Well, that was the end of that. Since the drywasher was out of commission I decided to make the best of it and try my luck with the GP. Within 2-3 swipes of the coil I nailed a nice little nugget in the hole I had just dug. Actually, another inch or two deeper and it would have gone through the drywasher. Aside from that nugget the rest of the hole was barren, so I started up another one a bit further down the gully. The gravel here was much deeper than up above; this was not going to be a quick project. The abundant rocks and thick brush slowed the work, but after 2 hours of sweat, blood and tears another juicy section of the gully had been exposed. I switched on the power and made a few passes – nothing. I made a few more swipes with the coil, but still nothing. “Please don’t let this be the only spot in the entire gully without a piece of gold,” I thought. By now I had ran about 75% of the hole without hitting a single target. Then I came to a spot where the bedrock gradient dipped down. I closed my eyes and slowly slid the coil across it. What I heard was a rather loud and distorted signal, almost like that of wire. I only had to scrape away a tiny amount of dirt before I saw what was making the noise. It was a shiny nugget weighing around 1 gram. When I rechecked the hole there was another target. It was a second nugget. Recheck again, and another nugget. Then another and another! There were a total of 5 nuggets wedged in the same bedrock crack, which explains the unusual signal. The deep crack along with the abrupt change in gradient had formed the perfect natural nugget trap. It was a lot of work, but at least I had not gotten skunked. As for the small amount of concentrates I got from the material I was able to run; only three-pinhead size flakes. Looks like the drywasher breaking down was lucky after all. Here's a photo of today's six nuggets - total weight 2.5 grams
  14. Hey Michael, I was wondering how your prospecting trip to AZ turned out. Bob Dansie mentioned you two had a bit of luck, how about some details from the expedition?
  15. Here's a picture of the homemade wooden drywasher I use. Aside from todays' little episode, it has been a great little unit. Light weight, easy to setup - ideal for a one man operation.
  16. Hi Michael, So glad to hear you enjoyed your detecting trip to Arizona. You picked a great time of the year to make a visit, and not to mention you are going home quite a few grams heavier! Bob Dansie is a great guy, teacher and guide, I knew you guys would hit it off nicely. Be sure to let me know when you are coming back out in the fall. I would agree with Stan on the mystery picture - looks like San Domingo country to me Chris
  17. Chris Gholson

    April Fools Day

    Joe, No, I didn't dish out any jokes today, but I got my fair share from YOU! Get this, Joe calls me this morning sounding all depressed. I asked him what the problem was and he told me that the new area we have been eyeing for the past 3-4 weeks had just been cleaned out. Apparently his parents had gotten into it with their SD 2100's and had a picnic! Within an hour the duo picked up 11 nuggets, each of them weighing no less than 1 or 2 grams. I couldn't believe it, we had missed out on the little wash by only a few days - what luck. Then he tells me to check my email to see a picture of the gold all spread out on their coil. After getting off the phone I fired up the Net and reluctantly opened the email. I was expecting to see a beautiful spread of nuggets, but instead all I saw was the pic below. The whole thing was a fraud, they never even touched the wash. You got me there Cactus, but don't worry a little something may be coming your way shortly
  18. Chris Gholson

    Jonathan's Nugget jewelry

    Hey Stan, I am expecting the shipment of Jonathan's jewelry in approx. 2-3 weeks. I will have an assortment of nugget pendants, ear rings, bracelts, and a few rings. I will contact you and post some pictures just as soon as it arrives. In the meantime, here's a snapshot of the man himself hard at work
  19. Stan, I've got a GP here with your name on it - and it's just dying to get out in the hills! I am having an early summer special and will work you a great deal. Give me a buzz this week for the details
  20. Hi David, Trying to give you the exact number of ounces I find a year is difficult, as there are many variables involved. Some years are really good, and you can hit upon a new patch early in the season and snag a quick 10-15 ounces. Other times it can be rather poor, and you spend months looking over new ground for next to nothing. I spend a big majority of the winter season working in Arizona and southern California, then when the temp hits 100 F, my father and I shove off for Western Australia. If the goldfields weren't as kind to us here in USA as we would have liked, we can usually make up for the difference by spending a few months out bush. Generally speaking, if I spent around 3 days a week detecting, an average season in AZ and CA would produce anywhere from 10-25 ounces. Keeping in mind that in the southwest we only get approx. 6 months of really good hunting weather, from then on it's much too hot. The best my father and I have ever done in Australia was a hair over 2 pounds for a 6 week trip. Prescott is a beautiful place to both live and detect. If you move up there I'm sure you will have no trouble finding yourself a bit of Bradshaw gold Here is a photo of some of the gold I have found within the last 2-3 years with a detector. The nugget in the center of the scale weighs approx. 4.5 ounces. A big chunk of these nuggets were found with the GP. Chris Gholson
  21. Chris Gholson

    Selling Gold

    Hi Everyone, Here is another picture of the custom jewelry Jonathan makes from the nuggets he finds. Everything is done by hand at his home in Quensland, or in between detecting while out bush. He does beautiful work, actually I own a few of his pieces myself. If anyone is interested, I will be recieving a parcel within the next 2-3 weeks.
  22. Stan, That's some nice looking gold, I'd say you are doing well. Especially out of the San Domingo, that can be a challenging area for anyone. Well done, thanks for sharing your finds!!! Chris
  23. Chris Gholson

    Finally Leaving.

    Jonathan, I can tell you one thing for sure; you are going to be sorely missed around here I'm sure everyone will want to keep updated on your adventures through the Outback and any new gold discoveries, so I will do my very best to keep everyone up to speed. I plan on posting a map on the forum from time to time showing your current location in Australia and the direction in which you are heading. I will also share any correspondence that you are unable to post yourself from the bush. Maybe we'll call it AZO's "Tracking Jonathan Porter" program When the Arizona desert hits about 120 F and I am stuck beneath an air conditioner I'll be thinking of you in that beautiful weather with your pockets laden full of nuggets - humm, wonder how quickly I could book a ticket Have a safe and profitable trip; we will be eagerly awaiting your return... Your mate, Chris
  24. Correction: View the other entries by clicking on page 2
  25. Fred, Thanks a million for the wonderful comments, glad to hear you are enjoying and learning from the posts on this forum. This type of feedback means a lot to us Here is the winning "I Want that Damn Specie" entry submitted by Peter Smith of Australia. You can view the other entries, including Michael's, by clicking on page (1), then scroll down to about mid way on the page. "Hi Jonathan and folks, Well where the heck do I start? Enhance mode gives the GP user versatility plus. I mainly use DD coils on fairly moderate-noisy ground types which would be 80% plus of the ground I hunt. Using the GP coupled with my 19" all terrain DD I have been able to do away with half of my coil collection. I have found that the 19"dd in Enhance and Sensitive mode will blow away the standard 11"dd and 14"dd on small gold. In all but the very hottest ground it remains super stable! Time after time I could hit old patches with this combo and get 10g plus of small pieces for only an hour or 2's easy work. Using the same coil in variable but deeper ground I prefer the Normal settings for deep punching. The only reason I need switch to a small coil these days is when the vegetation is dense. Also when searching new ground with this combo I quite often use Enhance setting as the broader more distinct (mono like) signal enables me to sweep the coil nice and quick. The ability to cover ground fast together with the smoother threshold of the Enhance setting makes for far less mental faitigue on those long lonely walks! Enhance really flattens out the threshold which is one good reason you should try it with true mono coils as well. Now for a real good tip I found with Enhance, ps. don't tell anyone Using the 19" and 24"dd as I do in most cases, I am quite often stopping and checking small faint murmers in the threshold, especially in some ground types. I have been able to greatly reduce the amount of "scratching" I do on these faint noises by switching to Enhance. I am not saying it is 100% accurate in all ground types, but I tell you it has never failed me yet, as I have checked the results time after time. When getting a faint noise with the bigger DD's I then switch to Enhance. Rebalance the coil next to the noise but not over it. The swing accross the noise. Still there? All is good. Now balance the coil (still in Enhance) right over the noise. You will find the noise to the left side of the coil to a degree, depending on its depth if it is a nugget. Notice another thing at this stage. Ground balancing in Enhance is super accurate and easy. Once you have "balanced" onto the noise and fixed the ground balance, sweep back over the noise. If it dissappears altogether I have found in my testing it will be either a hot rock or a ground noise. Still there? Dig it! I have never been able to balance out a metal target using this method. You can also apply this method with the coil in Normal mode, however I found that I was able to get a better more accurate "balance" on the noise using Enhance mode. Also make sure when switching between all these modes with the GP that you remember to rebalance. In most cases the GP is pretty forgiving and you can easily overlook it but get into some bad ground and it will soon remind you! All the best out there, Peter." by Peter Smith