Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Outstanding AZ Specimen!
I had a customer that bought a detector a while back stop by my office this morning. When he came in I noticed he was carrying a large, leather pouch. He also had a big smile, and after he opened the bag I knew why. Inside was one of the prettiest Arizona specimens I have seen in a long time. The entire piece weighed in at over 7-ounces and was covered in gold. We didn’t have time to do an SG test, but I would estimate that there was approx.. 4-ounces of metal in the rock. It was a gorgeous piece, and I want to thank him again for bringing it by and letting me photograph it…Have a great weekend everyone!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Pharaoh's golden smile
I found this photo online last night and I thought you guys might enjoy. Check out this amazing use of gold in ancient dentistry. According to the story this was the skull of a pharaoh, which dated to approx.. 2,500 BC! The work is so intricate it boggles my mind that it was accomplished so long ago. I don’t think I would ever want to detect a skull, but in this case I might make an exception Have a great weekend everyone!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Old patch gives up more nuggets!
I was able to get out this past weekend for some detecting. I decided to revisit an old patch of mine here in Arizona that had given me at least 40 nuggets over the years. It was a good spot, but I had pounded it to death. My last visit with the GPX-4500 only produced three targets for me; all of which were bullets. I didn’t have much hope this trip, but I figured if I beat the brush and swung nice and slow, I should be able to squeak out a few more targets.
Well, I got targets all right, and luckily a majority of them were yellow. The sensitivity of GPZ 7000 absolutely blows me away! I found myself scratching out tiny flakes of gold in the dirt around my old holes! I couldn’t believe it, but by the end of the day I had accumulated a nice handful of little gold. I hit 17 pieces for a total weight of 3.5-grams. I was happy that my trustee GPX didn’t pass over any nuggets of size, but it definitely proved that the technology inside the 7000 allows it to see gold in mineralized ground that other machines simply can’t.
Here are a few photos of the gold, along with one that I believe are the remains of a good-sized snake. The only portion missing was the head; kinda neat.
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Gorgeous AZ Specimen!
This beautiful quartz/gold specimen was found by a customer of mine that dropped by last week to pick up a new detector. He found it while metal detecting near the LDMA Camp of Stanton, AZ. This piece tipped the scales at over 7-ounces, with an estimated gold content of approx. 4-ounces! This picture is low quality, but it’s still easy to see what an attractive piece it is.
I wanted to thank this prospector not only for the business, but for allowing me to share with you all here. Thanks again - keep it up!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Pushing an Ounce!
A good friend of mine over in California sent me these photos of a beautiful nugget he just dug. This chunk weighs in at 16.3 dwt or 25-grams, which is almost 1-ounce!!!
What an amazing surprise signal! He was using the Minelab GPX 5000 outfitted with the Nugget Finder 14x9” EVO coil. Congratulations to the lucky finder on this great piece of gold. Thank you for letting me share. Have a great weekend everyone!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Digging up History
The weather has cooled off recently here in Arizona, so my buddy Dean and I headed out to hunt some coins & relics. We found an interesting spot alongside a creek where there must have been a decent size camp back in the 30’s. There were no structures, but we found heaps of old grommets, so there must have been rows of tents. The trash was incredibly thick, but we did manage to squeak out a few goodies they left behind. My best finds were a pocket watch, a few Wheaties, and some old spoons. I am hoping that $20 gold coin is still out there waiting for me to come along! Have a great weekend everyone!
All found with the Minelab CTX 3030 and Minelab E-Trac.
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Quick Morning Hunt
Because of this crazy heat wave we are having in the Southwest, I haven’t been out to hunt any gold. But I did get out early the other morning for a quick swing with my CTX 3030. I dug a heap of targets and two turned out to be keepers. One was a Wheat Cent and the other a silver 1942 Mercury dime….Hopefully the cooler temps are right around the corner. In the meantime, stay safe out there everyone!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Some Fun Au Facts
Here are a few fun facts about our favorite precious metal. If anyone has more, please feel free to add. Have a great weekend everyone!
One ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire more than 40 miles long! Gold can be worked into a layer measuring 1 millionth of an inch. Did you know that one (1) gram of gold contains 305,760,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of gold! Did you know that one (1) ounce of pure gold contains 9,510,200,000,000,000,000,000 gold atoms! 250,000,000 atoms of gold placed side-by-side would make a line approximately one inch long! The average gold content in the earth’s crustal rocks is about 0.005 parts per million (ppm) and in seawater at about 0.000012 ppm. The total amount of gold ever mined is approximately 3.8 billion ounces. More than half of that has been mined since 1850. If all the gold mined over the last 6,000 years were gathered and melted down, it would form a cube with sides of no more than 20 yards. Gold is completely recyclable. In fact, nearly all of the gold found during the past 6,000 years is still in use. Think about it, the gold in your wedding band or watch could have been mined by the ancient Egyptians, plundered from the Incas, or panned out by one of the original 49’ers - you never know! Gold is a good conductor of electricity and is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. Gold’s most important use is in computers, weaponry and aerospace. It is used where consistent, reliable performance under all conditions is essential. The electronics industry has tried to find substitute metals and alloys, but gold’s exceptional resistance to corrosion and tarnish is still unequaled. This durability accounts for the almost perfect condition of coins and artifacts fashioned from it thousands of years ago.
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Surprise target - look in the hole!
I was able to get out this past weekend with my buddy Dean for a morning of coin/relic hunting. It’s still so hot here in Arizona that you have to get out there super early, otherwise by noon you are cooking! We got in a couple solid hours of detecting and came up with a few cool finds.
The metal cap gun was buried about 8” deep and almost gave me a heart attack! As I was down in the hole sweeping away dirt with my fingers the outline of a trigger guard appeared. Then, I swept a bit more aside and saw a handle. My adrenaline was pumping, I had found a pistol!!! (or at least I thought). Once out of the hole I quickly realized what it was. Not the outlaw gun I had initially thought, but still a pretty cool find. This one was made by Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, PA which was incorporated in 1894. This gun was not that old, but I am thinking perhaps the late 1940’s.
The other interesting discoveries were the two metal pieces on the left side of the photo. These are Tent Slips, or a Tensioner. They are typically made of brass and were an integral part of setting up camps in the wilderness. From what I see online and it looks like they were patented in the 1880’s and used by the military, railroad builders, miners, etc. I also found a tiny silver buckle, a 1941 Wheatie, two harmonica reeds, and the back to a pocket watch. All found with the CTX 3030 and 11” coil.
I hope all of you are well and surviving the summertime heat - stay safe out there!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Past 20 Years - One of my Most Amazing Finds!
This is one of those stories I would have never believed, had it not happened to me. I have been metal detecting for over 20 years and I can honestly say this is one of my biggest surprise finds ever!
It started early one Saturday morning in July. I decided to brave the Arizona heat and go check out a place I had spotted on Google Earth. What I saw on the screen sure looked like the remains of several old buildings. Was this an early homestead, an abandoned ranch, or maybe something from the days of the railroad? I had no clue who had lived there, but I sure hoped they had left behind some silver coins or cool relics for me to find.
The road getting in was dirt, but I didn't need 4WD and I easily found the spot. Sure enough, there were two crumbling foundations from what were likely small houses. Based on the look of the concrete and the trash lying about, I dated the site to roughly the 1930's. All of the usual rusty garbage was there, and unfortunately so was a layer of modern day junk. It was obvious from the stone fire rings and countless shell casings, that this was a popular hunt camp.
I decided to start in what I dubbed the "parking lot". It was a nice flat area in front of the foundations that looked the most likely to hide coins. I fired up my Minelab CTX 3030 and went to work. Even with a low level of discrimination, the machine was blanking out virtually everywhere. I knew I would miss targets, but I figured I would try to cherry pick the most obvious signals first.
About ten minutes into it, I get a mixed-up sound beside a bush. As I swept the coil, the threshold blanked out, then gave a clipped high tone. The target ID came up as 12-40. I envisioned a silver coin near the surface surrounded by garbage. Using the side of pick I scrapped away about two inches of the loamy soil. The target moved immediately, which I didn't consider a good sign. I sifted through the dirt until I found the source of the signal; a smooth, heavy slug of metal. It was gray to brassy in color, and was covered in dark spots, almost as if it had been burned. I rubbed off some of the grime and noticed its' surface was pitted and deeply scratched. I assumed it was a molten blob of lead or brass and slid it into my pocket. I continued my day, never giving a second thought to the weird lump of metal.
My new spot didn't turn out to be the relic bonanza I had hoped for. I found a handful of old buttons and a few clasps, but not a single coin. When I got home later that evening I was disappointed to tell my wife and daughter that I hadn't found anything good. As I emptied out my pockets onto the table, my daughter asked, "What's this?" holding up the mystery metal blob.
"No clue." I replied.
She wandered over to the sink and held it under the water. "It almost looks like gold."
"Yeah right," I scoffed.
"No I'm serious!" she replied.
I took it from her outstretched hand and held it up to the light...she was right. I got into the cabinet and took down my digital scale. I dropped it on and the scale responded 14.8-grams. I hefted it a few times in my hand. God, this thing was dense! It was a convincing color and weight, but that was impossible! The nearest gold country was over 50 miles away! Unable to accept the evidence that was piling up, I went back to the cabinet, this time for my 30X light scope.
"Do you think it could be?" she asked.
"Ha ha, I wish! How cool would that be!?" I grinned as I lowered my eye to the scope. I adjusted the focus and literally couldn't believe what I saw below. It was gold - solid gold! I looked closer, down into the bright yellow crevices and could see sugary crystals of quartz and patches of limonite. This was, without a shadow of a doubt, a genuine, authentic gold nugget!
I have had many incredible finds over the past twenty years. Some have been nuggets much larger than this, but this is the first time I have ever struck native gold while hunting for coins! It makes no sense at all, but there you have it. A half-ouncer, found with the CTX 3030 in the middle of a parking lot surrounded by broken beer bottles and spent cartridges. Definitely one of the most bizarre, and amazing surprises of my life.
P.S. The pics show before and after cleaning in a mild acid.
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Nice handful of old coins from a new spot
My buddy Dean and I headed out this week to go explore some new country. It’s still too hot down in the desert to look for gold, so we went scouting for some coin & relic spots. Our hiking paid off when we stumbled onto the remains of an old rock house hidden in a canyon. The house looked to be from the late 1800’s, but based on the mixture of trash, it was apparent that it may have been inhabited up unto the 1940s.
There was a ton of metallic junk everywhere, so it was really slow going. I picked my way through what seemed like hundreds of targets, until a nice high tone caught my attention. It ended up being a silver dime; our first coin of the day! After that the goodies started to come a little quicker. Unfortunately by 1:00 the clouds rolled in and the rain started to fall. We finished off the morning with: two silver Rosie’s, a couple of Wheat cents, a Buffalo nickel, and a beautiful 1945 Mercury dime. I was swinging the Minelab CTX 3030, and he used the Deus. It was a fun spot that should hopefully produce a few more good finds in the future. Happy hunting everyone - enjoy the weekend!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Hot weekend relic hunt
I hope everyone here had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday weekend! It was so hot down in the desert I decided to head for the higher elevation to do some detecting with my Minelab CTX 3030. Years ago while hiking out of a canyon I spotted a place where it looked like someone may have had a small campsite. There weren’t many clues, only a couple rusty cans and a few bits of scattered broken glass, so it definitely wasn’t a permanent camp. Because it was such a tight area it didn’t take long to hunt out. I came up with a collection of nails, two harmonica reeds, and the best find was this 1902 Liberty Nickel. Often called V nickels, these coins were minted from 1883-1912 and are about 75% copper…I hope all of you are out there swinging and staying safe - happy hunting!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Beautiful 1-oz Specimen!
I thought you guys would enjoy seeing this gorgeous gold & quartz specimen a friend of mine found not long ago with the GPZ 7000 he bought from me. He recovered many more from the spot, but to me this was one of the prettier pieces. A big congratulations to this lucky finder, please send me more photos!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Hitting an old patch with the GPZ!
I was able to get out into the desert a while back to hit one of my old patches with the Minelab GPZ 7000. This was a spot I had done really well over the years with the GPX machines and taken a lot of nuggets from. Most of the pieces were less than 3 grams, but a few were in the ¼ and ½ oz. range. I knew it would be a great spot for the 7000 because all the easy, obvious targets were gone, and I thought most all the trash would be too…at least that’s what I thought.
Within five minutes I picked up my first nugget. I use the term nugget loosely because it probably only weighed 0.1g. I kept spiraling around the hillside and was blown away by how many small bits of trash were still left. Some of the wire fragments that sounded off on the GPZ blew me away; I could barely see them in my hand! I even found a target in one of my old dig holes.
Most of what I pulled from the old patch was trash, but I did walk away with 18 nuggets for a grand total of about 6-grams. Not too shabby. The GPZ is a heavy machine, and to be honest I still prefer the “feel” of my GPX, especially when putting in long days. However, if you don’t mind digging lots of holes chasing small targets, the 7000 will pull even the tiniest nuggets at amazing depths. I was totally impressed...Now only if they can get the electronics of a 7000 inside an Equinox housing! Happy hunting everyone – stay safe!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Customer's GPZ finds!
Here is a great testimonial I just got from a very happy customer. He picked up the Minelab GPZ 7000 a while back and is off to an amazing start! I sure appreciate the feedback and the great photos. Keep up the good work!
“Hi Chris, been out with the 7000 four times now. 6 grams the first trip, nothing the 2nd trip, found the quartz/gold specimen on the 3rd trip, and 5 grams on the last trip. Been real happy with the 7000, finding more gold than ever before!”
Mike C... reacted to smithsgold in Farm chores and Gold : Return to the Feather
Farm Chores and Gold : Return to the Feather
With all the crazy stuff happening right now I feed the farm animal's and head to the Feather River to find piece of mind and Gold.
I'm Social Distancing to the River !!!! No lines no media no drama no BS Just me and a few fishermen enjoying nature on the River.
Farm chores and Gold : Return to the Feather
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Nice chunky piece! Almost a 1/2 oz.
This amazing find comes from another great friend and customer. He recently scored this beautiful 10-grammer with his Minelab GPZ 7000 here in Arizona. From the short video clip he also sent, the hole looked at least about 20” deep, maybe more. What a gorgeous nugget – well done!!!
I wanted to personally thank everyone that has been sending me photos of their recent finds. Not only do I love seeing this stuff, I know our forum & social media followers do too! Please keep them coming!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Friend scores a new Nugget Patch!!!
This beautiful spread of nuggets was found recently by a good friend of mine here in the southwest. He said that the entire patch fit inside a 200 square-foot oval piece of ground. Everything was found with his Minelab GPZ 7000. The nuggets all appear to be fairly rough with some attached host rock. What amazes me is the variation in color amongst the gold. Some nuggets appear more orangish suggesting copper, while the others look to have more silver in them. It makes me wonder if everything came from the same vein, or if perhaps there were several different stringers that all combined to form the patch. Either way this is a heck of a nice haul and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy!
He asked to remain anonymous, so I won’t say much other than he is a true inspiration. He is dealing with some major health issues that would have had most folks bed ridden and depressed. Instead he is out there digging holes in the desert making the most out of each day. He is an amazing guy whom I’m proud to call a friend. As the Ozzies would say, “Good on ya mate!”
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in First day out with the GPZ 7000
A customer and friend that just bought a new Minelab GPZ 7000 from me was nice enough to send over the photos below. His first day out he scored seven nuggets for a total weight of approx. 6-grams! A pocketful of gold with a new unit is always worth celebrating.
Congratulations to this prospector on a great first run. Thank you again for the business and for sharing your finds - keep up the good work!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Treasures from up North
Last month one of my customers and friends came down from Montana for a visit and to try his luck on the Arizona goldfields. He had done plenty of metal detecting back home with his Minelab Equinox 800, and found plenty of gold, just none of it in the form of nuggets. He brought just a small portion of his impressive collection of finds from the parks, ballfields, and old home sites. He had found some beautiful rings and some cool old coins, like an 1887 silver Morgan…He let me snap a few photos so I could share with you all. Thanks again Gary!
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and 2020 is off to a great start!
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Their First Gold! Another successful class
This past weekend I hosted one of my metal detecting classes here in Arizona and got to meet some really great people. A few of the folks had to cancel due to sickness, so our group ended up being smaller than originally planned. Daniel and his wife Jeanette were from New Mexico, and Gary and his wife Janice were from Montana. The weather has been really wet, cold & unpredictable for the past week, but we got lucky on Saturday. We had cloud cover, but the rain stayed away, so it was the perfect day to be out prospecting.
We had a wide range of machines out there including an SDC 2300, Equinox 800, GP3500, and an AT Gold. The area we hunted was heavily mineralized and there was no shortage of hot ironstones. It was a challenging spot to work, but like I told them, the worse the ground is, the better the gold usually is. After tuning and tweaking the detectors everyone got the hang of it and in no time targets were starting to come in.
Gary was the first in the group to score. He recovered a nice 0.5-grammer from some really noisy red dirt with his Equinox. Now Gary has found many coins and rings, but this was his first gold nugget, so it was extra special. This got everyone excited and it wasn’t long before I saw Daniel digging at the base of a prickly pear cactus. I walked over as he was recovering the target and his eyes lit up when he looked in his hand and said, “It’s a piece of gold!” This was also his first nugget!
I decide to wander down the hill to a tiny little gully. There was some exposed bedrock so I decided to swing through. I only made about six passes before getting a signal. I was pleasantly surprised when I dug down about 4” and popped out a lovely half gram nugget down in a crack!
We finished off the day with 3 out of 5 people getting gold, so all in all it was a successful hunt! I really enjoyed myself and I want to thank everyone again for making the drive out to join me. This was a highly motivated group and I know that more gold awaits them in the future. I hope to see you all soon!
P.S. There have been a few people here that have contacted me about these classes, and I will be hosting more this winter. My next class will be in January and I will be sure to post the date(s) here if anyone is interested.
Mike C... reacted to Chris Gholson in Great Outing with Big Bug Mining District
I had a great time this past Saturday hanging out with one of my favorite Arizona prospecting clubs; the Big Bug Mining District. The club invited me to come and speak on the topic of metal detecting, and check out the newest mining claims that they staked. We had a good turnout of members, despite the chilly and muddy conditions. I was happy to see many familiar faces, along with quite a few new ones. After spending some time covering the basics of detecting most everyone scattered to go find the $1 coins that had been hidden on the claims, which were redeemable for real nuggets.
This was my second time speaking to the club and I enjoyed it just as much. They are a wonderful group of folks and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a small, personal club located in the central AZ region. For more information visit their website at: www.bigbugminingdistrict.com. Thank you again Owen, Kurt, Gail and the rest of the gang for the invite, I had a great time! See you all again soon!