nuggethunting

Do you remember finding your first "one ounce" gold nugget?

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Hello All,

   Since the late 90's I have been metal detecting the Rich Hill/Stanton Goldfields.  I always heard of big nuggets from this area, so figured I would give up on some of the other locations such as the Bradshaw's, Vulture, San Domingo and other districts where I was finding smaller gold.  My goal at the time was just to find a one ounce gold nugget, which was not easy to do.  I knew guys that had 20-30 years detecting experience, but never found a solid one ouncer.  I was determined, so figured I would concentrate where the potential was the highest for larger gold.  

Historically, Rich Hill and the Weaver Mining District was know for large gold nuggets up to Potato size.  I seen many pictures in magazines, old reports and such that proved they were there, but not knowing much about the area to start was a challenge.  One major advantage I had back then was the price of gold was much lower, so the amount of non-patented mineral claims was minimal.  You could practically go most places back then and you wouldn't see a soul, let alone any mineral claim signs.  Places I worked back then that were open to claim are now heavily claimed and off limits. I guess if I knew anything about filing claims and the rising price of gold, I could have locked down a huge portion of that Mountain and probably sold them for a real fortune today.  

That all being said, I spent many months tromping around digging a few nuggets here and there along with handfuls of trash.  I started to second guess if this really was the spot for large gold, maybe most of it was long gone.  I had a lot of faith in the detector I was using, which was a Minelab Pulse Induction detector.  I knew it had the ability to punch down deep, still find smaller gold to some degree, but the major factor was it's ability to work in highly mineralized ground.  The Rich Hill placers are laced with iron stone, basalts and very mineralized red soils/clays, making it very difficult for a VLF metal detector to work effectively.  

I guess luck at some point fell into my hands, as I met an older gentleman that had a nugget patch map, which was being passed around for $50.  The guy was somewhat struggling, so I worked a deal to make him more maps (photocopies) to waive the $50 he was asking.  He agreed, so I got a hold of one of the original $50 Nugget Patch maps for free!  The map was still pretty vague as I didn't know the area real well and I wasn't the one that discovered the patches.  It took me some time wondering around in a few of them to say I really found the true patch location.  

I did pick up a few pieces of gold in most of the ones I worked.  One evening I got a very weak single not far from finding a nugget that was around 2 Dwt's about 8 inches deep.  I dug down a few inches and rechecked the location.  The target increased in audio, so I figured it was another nugget around 1-2 Dwt's.  After digging another 6 inches or so, I figured the target was probably out of the hole.  I checked the pile of material I removed from the hole, no signal there .... so I rechecked the hole and the signal was booming.  After digging down around 14-inches I got the signal out of the hole and it was a beautiful slug of gold!  I jumped up in pure excitement, "I DID IT," my first one ounce gold nugget.  I wish someone was there to share the excitement with, but I figured since it was nearly dark I better get the hell out of there.  I was trying to guess the weight, but figured it was an easy 1+ ounce gold nugget due to the weight in my hand.  

One the way home, I was so excited I called just about everyone I knew.  I even called my old-time detecting partner, Chris Gholson.  I told him I finally got the one ounce gold nugget from Rich Hill.  If I remember correctly, I took the piece over to his house not long after the find.  We dropped it on the scale and I seen his look ...... I said "What?"  I knew something was up, and he finally said, "Dude, it's 19.8 Dwt's!"  You have to be kidding me, all that hard work, excitement and that damn nugget was 0.2 Dwt's from a true one ounce gold nugget.  

Chris told me later, you can't claim you found a one ouncer until you really found a "true one ounce gold nugget."  It was kind of like, you were close Rob, but no cigar for you.  I think I lost sleep that night knowing I really thought I had a one ouncer, but I was just shy (just my luck).  

Well, the moral of the story is to not give up.  I set a goal to find a one ouncer, so that was what I was going to do, even if it took me my entire nugget shooting career to do it.  Not too much longer, in a spot I found myself, I was finding a bunch of these 1/4, 1/2 and 1 Dwt gold nuggets.  I figured it was another "Pennyweight" patch, but finally after digging down about 16-inch I unearthed a nice, solid 1.5 ounce gold nugget.  

Enjoy nugget shooting, it's a great hobby.  The gold is just a bonus in my opinion.  The thrill of finding something, exercise and to clear the mind from stress is what I like about it.  You never know, that next target you dig just might be that one ouncer!  

Wishing you all the best of success.  My next goal has been to find a solid, one pound (12 troy ounces) gold nugget.  Heck, I know it's a huge goal to achieve, many never make the one ounce mark.  

Picture of the first solid, one ounce gold nugget I found.  finallyoneounce1.jpg.c9c5897d6f2f45962d92b474860802d0.jpg

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Come on Rob...who forgets that! :)
Pizza nugget. 3/4 mile up the wash after digging oodles of ironstone (I was still new to detecting) I get a signal that sounds like a 49 Ford hood. Dug down about 8 inches and OMG!!!! There is was and I was on my knees thanking God for it!  Pizza nugget was 1.25 oz.

Got a lot more out of that wash. Second bigger ones are .452 oz and .623 oz.

Total out of that wash so far is 4.6 oz.

That was a once in a lifetime wash for sure and I have great memories of the many times ive been up it.

DSC03683.JPG

Edited by oldies1955
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Sure do, that's it in my avatar. Wasn't mine to keep, but I was the finder. Still looking for my "official" first one ouncer. Later...Jim P.

Edited by Jim P.
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Hey Guys,

  Tom - That was one heck of wash you found there.  Thanks for showing it to me many years ago.  I think you will find another wash, just as good, so keep searching (then call me .... LOL). 

Jim P. - Tell Dennis to give that damn piece up!  Yep, you sure did find it and it was a surprise from that spot as we dug many small ones from that are prior to that piece. 

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Hi Rob, thanks to the GPZ I bought from you I've gotten much closer to finding my first 1oz nugget. A couple of weeks ago I found a .64 oz nugget, and a legit 3/4 oz nugget.  I thought I had finally broken that barrier, till I got home and weighed them. I detect in an area not known for producing large gold. Guess I need to take your advice and head to those areas.

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Hey Bsumbdy,

   Congrats on the success you have had so far, sounds like you're very close to getting that one ouncer. 

You know over the last 20 years, I seen guys for forever without finding a decent one, then some newbies with their first detector whack a ounce plus on the first day.  Go figure ...... I guess it just comes down to being where the large nuggets are, being within detector range and maybe a bit of luck. 

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4 hours ago, nuggethunting said:

Hey Bsumbdy,

   Congrats on the success you have had so far, sounds like you're very close to getting that one ouncer. 

You know over the last 20 years, I seen guys for forever without finding a decent one, then some newbies with their first detector whack a ounce plus on the first day.  Go figure ...... I guess it just comes down to being where the large nuggets are, being within detector range and maybe a bit of luck. 

I think it also has to do with us starting to over think where to detect. I remember when I first started I didnt know what to look for or where to detect, So I just went out and started pounding washes.

  Started to get over some gold and kind of tied a certain geology together with it.  It helped.
But, I think my greatest advantage is anymore I dont care what the ground looks like. (to a certain extent)  I still go over it and guess what, im getting nuggets out of the volcanics and some areas that are just not right for gold.

We dont know what happened mubzillion years ago, if gravels that had gold were overlaid on top of volcanics or what.

So...........I pretty much beep it all :)

Plus, your chances are greater the more ground you cover, got to get out to find it.
Tom H.

 

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20 hours ago, bsumbdy said:

Hi Rob, thanks to the GPZ I bought from you I've gotten much closer to finding my first 1oz nugget. A couple of weeks ago I found a .64 oz nugget, and a legit 3/4 oz nugget.  I thought I had finally broken that barrier, till I got home and weighed them. I detect in an area not known for producing large gold. Guess I need to take your advice and head to those areas.

Those pieces I got came from an area not known for big gold either :)
Tom H.

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21 hours ago, oldies1955 said:

I think it also has to do with us starting to over think where to detect. I remember when I first started I didnt know what to look for or where to detect, So I just went out and started pounding washes.

  Started to get over some gold and kind of tied a certain geology together with it.  It helped.
But, I think my greatest advantage is anymore I dont care what the ground looks like. (to a certain extent)  I still go over it and guess what, im getting nuggets out of the volcanics and some areas that are just not right for gold.

We dont know what happened mubzillion years ago, if gravels that had gold were overlaid on top of volcanics or what.

So...........I pretty much beep it all :)

Plus, your chances are greater the more ground you cover, got to get out to find it.
Tom H.

 

This is 100% correct. 

My first 1 ounce nugget was actually a 2 ounce nugget in my avatar. Found by just systematically pounding a known gold-bearing area over several weekends where I was finding smaller nuggets here and there. I found it within about 20 minutes of detecting, picking up where I left off about 20 feet from where I found a little dinker the weekend before. It was a fairly loud target on my GPZ, thought it was just a bullet casing. It was right after a good rain tho so maybe that had something to do with finding it (always seem to have luck after a rain).

Now that I've been detecting more I'd like to think that I'd have still found it but it wasn't in a great "looking" area. The only indication was a couple old potholes nearby. Can't overthink things so much all the time. 

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Now that the picture space has been freed up, here are us my (getting closer to my first ounce) nugget 3/4 oz,  lol

Chris

Hopefully this is the year!!!

20170402_190613.jpg

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7 hours ago, bsumbdy said:

Now that the picture space has been freed up, here are us my (getting closer to my first ounce) nugget 3/4 oz,  lol 

 

Chris

Hopefully this is the year!!!

20170402_190613.jpg

YOWSAH!!!!>>>>>>>>>>>> Thats a nice one :)  Hematite and all. Way to go on that find.

Nice one to flop around in your hand and play with. :)

Tom H.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 6:04 PM, oldies1955 said:

Those pieces I got came from an area not known for big gold either :)
Tom H.

Seems like whenever I hear that the area is only known for small gold, a 1+ ouncer is found.  Awesome.  I found my first 4.5 oz specimen (2oz gold by specific gravity) about a year ago with my smallest coil.  (hope that counts)   I was so excited digging it up that I sat on a cactus.  So ... yeah... I still remember the pain and joy all wrapped into one.

P.S. thanks for the great pic, Tom :)  Your camera took far better pictures of it than mine.

nugget1_from tom.jpg

Edited by andyy
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Yes I do remember. The only trouble was that I had loan one of my Minelab nugget detector to a friend and he found it with my detector.

Now this may not count but I do remember that day.

Chuck

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Yes, I found my first one with my good old SD2100 and 14" E fiberglass Nugget Finder coil...I was walking up a wash that I had discovered on Google Earth and was moving fast because the upper area of the wash looked really good...I was swinging my coil in big wide stupid moves, trying to mimic what the books say never to do because I was anxious to get up to the narrow part of the wash... All of a sudden I got a pretty good target about two feet up the bank...It stopped me in my tracks and I backed up, slowed down and started scrubbing the ground ... Wow, I thought I'd found a beer can setting under the edge of a big boulder...It had rained recently and the dirt under the boulder was red mud...I started digging with my scoop and quickly had whatever it was in the scoop and my detector was screaming like a banshee...When I dumped it into my hand I felt the weight...I was sure it was gold and started washing it under my Camelback hose...Boom Shaka Laka!!! Big Nugget!  Ended up being 1.1 OZT...I also found a couple more up the wash the same day and now have worked that wash to death for nearly 14 years and found a bunch more... The cool thing about that wash is that most targets are (or used to be) gold...And, best of all, this wash is so remote that I have never seen evidence of anyone else in the gold bearing part of it ... A redheaded guy did follow me in years ago but jumped above me and I'm sure he got nothing...Cheers, Unc

 

1OZDec27030001.jpg

OneOzt0013.jpg

OneOzt0009.jpg

Edited by Uncle Ron
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6 hours ago, andyy said:

Seems like whenever I hear that the area is only known for small gold, a 1+ ouncer is found.  Awesome.  I found my first 4.5 oz specimen (2oz gold by specific gravity) about a year ago with my smallest coil.  (hope that counts)   I was so excited digging it up that I sat on a cactus.  So ... yeah... I still remember the pain and joy all wrapped into one.

P.S. thanks for the great pic, Tom :)  Your camera took far better pictures of it than mine.

nugget1_from tom.jpg

Andy.............that hunk was awesome just to look at and hold.  :) You knocked it out of the ball park on that one. Its a Beaut.

Id sit on cactus all day to find one like that.

Tom H.

 

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4 hours ago, Uncle Ron said:

Yes, I found my first one with my good old SD2100 and 14" E fiberglass Nugget Finder coil...I was walking up a wash that I had discovered on Google Earth and was moving fast because the upper area of the wash looked really good...I was swinging my coil in big wide stupid moves, trying to mimic what the books say never to do because I was anxious to get up to the narrow part of the wash... All of a sudden I got a pretty good target about two feet up the bank...It stopped me in my tracks and I backed up, slowed down and started scrubbing the ground ... Wow, I thought I'd found a beer can setting under the edge of a big boulder...It had rained recently and the dirt under the boulder was red mud...I started digging with my scoop and quickly had whatever it was in the scoop and my detector was screaming like a banshee...When I dumped it into my hand I felt the weight...I was sure it was gold and started washing it under my Camelback hose...Boom Shaka Laka!!! Big Nugget!  Ended up being 1.1 OZT...I also found a couple more up the wash the same day and now have worked that wash to death for nearly 14 years and found a bunch more... The cool thing about that wash is that most targets are (or used to be) gold...And, best of all, this wash is so remote that I have never seen evidence of anyone else in the gold bearing part of it ... A redheaded guy did follow me in years ago but jumped above me and I'm sure he got nothing...Cheers, Unc

 

1OZDec27030001.jpg

OneOzt0013.jpg

OneOzt0009.jpg

Great story Ron :)

Thats a nice slug!   WOW!
Tom H.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Uncle Ron said:

...I was swinging my coil in big wide stupid moves, trying to mimic what the books say never to do because I was anxious to get up to the narrow part of the wash...

Uncle Ron - that quote pretty much sums up how I found mine.  Stupidly waving a Sadie coil because I was crossing washes to get to my target wash.  Then a booming trash signal (which I never pass up) turned out to be a pay day.

Tom - Always love meeting up with you and gang.  Need to do it more often when it cools off.

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Hey Andy and Uncle Ron,

   Thanks for sharing the great 1+ ounce pieces you found.  Just goes to show, there are handfuls of guys & Gals finding them.  You just need to get out there and spend some time swinging.  

Congrats to all you. :D

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I remember my first find was a scrap metal and thin can. Then I start digging deep into metal detecting

Most beginners start in their hobby by searching all types of metals that they can find. At the start, you may find a wide variety of stuff such as old coins, rings, pendants, pieces of bracelets, etc. Also, more often you will pick up trash metals such as nails, bottle caps, chains, bolts, among many others. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find a gold nugget. You will actually gain experience and skill in metal detection by starting out on a variety of metals.

If you’re planning to learn about metal detection in your spare time, more so as a hobby, then you may want to get the entry-level metal detectors. You certainly don’t need fully featured devices just yet. It shouldn’t be an issue on what brand you should get. More so, it’s perfectly fine if you get an affordable metal detector to get you started.

Edited by MidnightWhale
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This was my first gold found with my detector. These pictures really don't do it justice. I have not ever done a specific gravity test but the gold appears on both sides.  

100_9745.JPG

100_9746.JPG

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9 hours ago, fishing8046 said:

This was my first gold found with my detector. These pictures really don't do it justice. I have not ever done a specific gravity test but the gold appears on both sides.  

100_9745.JPG

100_9746.JPG

Pretty cool Bob,

That's strange to see gold form that area in white quartz I've always seen gold in the red quartz? Makes you wonder where at in the mountains it came from? Temps are dialing back we should meet up in Greaterville or the SV area sometime.

DP

Edited by desertpilot
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Desert Pilot. You can always take a ohm meter and see if it connects from side to side :)
Nice Quartz/gold find. WTG
Tom H.

 

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