[AZ] Hello, new prospector here

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 Hello everyone, My name is Garik and I'd like to introduce myself. I'm pretty new to all this still and would like to become a prospector.

  I'm 45, live in Queen Creek. I'm also a Life member of the RRPC. I started this adventure back in May of this year. I've been too two club claim sites back in late May (Hayden, Bumble Bee). Didn't go so well. I got too excited of wanting to scan everything at once and overwhelmed myself with too much excitement :). I wasn't focused at all. I also wasn't correctly prepared because using Google maps isn't the correct way to plan for an adventure. I learned a lot that day.

   I got my very first Metal Detector for Christmas 2018 which was the Equinox 800 with an additional 6" coil. I love this machine so much i'm now a Minelab Fan. In fact i like "Minelab" so much i have just recently purchased a GM1000 and a GPX-5000 with an additional 8" commander mono (from Rob of course :)). Oh and that GPX-5000 box, wow! I have't opened it yet, i swear holding it feels like i'm holding the "Ark of the Covenant" lol. I might melt if i open it...Indiana Jones?

I'm primarily focused on the GPX-5000. There's a lot more to learn than learning lets say the GM1000. I also have a lot to learn about Geology, I purchased a few books so now its time to read them and study the internet more.

I'm planning to start my adventure(s) in September (18th) once the temperature drops below 100F.

I'm happy to be here, thank you everyone :)

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Hey Garikfox,

   Welcome to the forums.  Thanks for all the business and I'm sure you will have a blast in the goldfields.  You are in good hands here, so continue to ask questions and post anything you wish.  

Looking forward to seeing your first gold nugget find post here!  

Rob Allison

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Welcome, and congratulations on some well chosen purchases. But wait a minute, and slow down......slow way down. You got gold fever and haven't even found your 1st nugget yet, lol. So slow down and take a deep breath. you're in for a long, often frustrating, but possibly rewarding ride with this fabulous hobby. 

First I would like to suggest you pick one detector to start with, the GM1000. Only because you need to learn each detectors capabilities like the back of your hand. The GM1000 is certainly going to be the easiest to figure out and get proficient with. Start by studying the manual to the point of memorizing it. Then get out and use it. Even if it is just in your yard. Push buttons and get familiar and just keep finding and digging targets no matter what they may be. Listen to what the detector is telling you, check back with the manual and certainly get on Rob's forum and ask questions. 

I know it's hotter than gee wiz right now, so practice in the yard early if you can. Get used to digging and pinpointing targets and refining your technic. Try different settings so you are familiar with what different settings do. Get to where you start trying to identify targets by tone or numerical readout before you dig them up. This capability will come to you when proficient. 

If you can peel away for a couple days, try taking a road trip up by Prescott and hit Lynx Creek. Lynx is in Prescott National Forest, much cooler, although it can still be hot, it is a good place to familiarize with your detector with a chance of finding a nugget. It is an open public area anyone can prospect. You can get maps and info from PNF website. Take a gold pan and crevicing tools with you as well. Detect on exposed and shallow bedrock. When you find lead targets in cervices in the bedrock, and believe me you will find lead in many crevices in that bedrock, clean out those crevices and put the material into the pan then pan it out. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you may find. You may even find some pickers or nuggets this way, you never know. This technic helped me realize I wasn't quite there yet and helped me to slow down some more and focus more on dialing in detector and really listening carefully to the detector. Oh by the way, when you find silver colored chunks in your pan that is gold with mercury on it. Have 2 snuffer bottles and try to keep the mercury coated gold separate from the yellow. Once you get farther along in this hobby you will learn how to remove the mercury but you don't want to get it on your yellow gold if you can prevent such from happening. 

Ok, so when you get back to RRP claims, I suggest you start where you think other people have ben working. Only to see if you can find something that was missed by somebody else.....nobody ever gets it all. If that doesn't work try to think outside the box and explore other areas of the claims. My 1st nugget came from the very edge of a claim boundary mostly untouched by other prospectors. I find it to be common for many people to continue hitting the same small area of most claims. Study the maps and get to know the whole claim for your best chance at success on these often hammered claims. 

Washes concentrate gold and are usually the best place to start. Dry washes with exposed bedrock, as well as shallow bedrock give you the best chance of finding a nugget, especially with your 2 VLF's. Don't overlook exposed bedrock up out of the wash where gold might have been deposited long ago when the wash ran higher and different than today. Most of all listen carefully and investigate any slight hiccup you hear by scraping. Gold targets usually start out as being a very subtle often hard to hear signal. There are hot rocks that will sound off as well. Keep them for further examination until you become more familiar with what they are. They can always be smashed and panned or examined with a loop to determine if there might be something of value in them. Also check with a magnet as some are high in magnetite. These hot rocks as we call them usually just look like another rock and are just different enough in mineralization to give a signal. You'll learn to identify them fairly fast and just toss or kick them out of the way and move on. However any time you get a signal from any quartz rock you have likely got some kind of specimen so keep that for further scrutiny. 

So I write book reports, oh well my bad, lol. Give you guys something to do on a hot summer night, lol. Hope some of this helps. Dennis

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Thank you very much Dennis, excellent information.

So the big washes don't usually contain gold because there bedrock is so deep and covered with sediment. Does this sound correct?

It's just the little washes from the pediment going into the bigger washes is what i need to be searching, does this sound right?

From what i'm also understanding i scan with the metal detector on the little washes and the bedrock that sticks out on top of the pediment. All bedrock should be scanned no matter where it is?

So if i'm also understanding most placer gold in AZ is found on Pediments, but in reality the pediments are huge and cant really be seen? than the bedrock sticks up threw the pediments?

Than when a nugget is found you can follow up the pediment to search for the "brothers" of the first nugget. Does this sound correct?

Can you show me a picture of a crevice tool?


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Well......yes and no. Any wash can carry gold, large or small. Remember, gold is where you find it. Just because bedrock is deep doesn't mean there isn't gold there. Your detector can only go so deep. Of course the VLF's can't go as deep as the GPX, especially with larger coils. 

There is no set rule with gold. It can literally be anywhere. It isn't always on bedrock. I'm just suggesting that starting out as you are that exposed bedrock in a wash should be your best opportunity to start finding gold. When just starting out you need to level the playing field some and have something to focus on. If you just hike all over the hills you might find gold, but it will likely take much longer. Gold will concentrate in washes so it is a great area to get started and begin the process of learning this hobby. 

Not all bedrock is created equal. Bedrock at the bottom of a creek or river is what stops gold from progressing downwards. The type that does this is loaded with all kinds of cracks and crevices. Smooth water worn hard bedrock won't likely catch or stop gold from traveling farther down stream. Bedrock on the side or top of a mountain that hasn't had some type of water flow running over it at some point in time, isn't likely to hold gold just because it is bedrock. Water and erosion move heavy materials like gold. Gravity makes heavies go down slope with water flow or erosion. What makes heavies stop is something solid like bedrock.

This hobby takes time to learn. We all keep learning every time we go out. I didn't make any reference to pediment in my post above. Take what I wrote for what it is. I don't type in code with hidden meanings. What I wrote is exactly what I meant, nothing more or less. No need to over think, just KISS...keep it simple stupid. I'm not trying to insult, just a term that applies very well to metal detecting for gold. 

So get proficient with your detectors, one at a time, and look where gold has been found before. Spend as much time as possible with boots on the ground and learn as you go. When you need to ask questions, this forum is a great place for answers. 

Just search crevice tool on any prospecting supply. Some guys just use an old screw driver. Anything to scrape and dig around in crevices will likely work. Dennis

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Hey Guys,

   Dennis - Thanks for your great help to a a new forum member and electronic gold prospector.  

Garik - As Dennis stated, gold can really be about anywhere.  The easiest and most logical place would be to search the washes if you know they are shallow and contain some exposed bedrock.  Thousands of years of errosion would make them the easiest place to find a nugget.  That being said, this is also the location where all the rubbish and old-timers have probably worked, if it was rich enough.  Keep in mind, the gold was coming from somewhere, probably some small quartz vein that is long eroded away and left potentially some gold on a hillside, slope, bench and some make it to the wash.  

I think the best patches to be found are the ones that most prospectors never search for.  It's easy to run up and down washes, cherry picking the gold off of bedrock, but the big patch "could" be hiding on the hillside that has pounds of gold.  

Hope this helps a bit,


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Thanks Rob. I appreciate the information, thanks guys. Im very excited to start my prospecting season. Im heading out on my first day September 18th. (RRPC-hayden, map 23)

On a side note!

I ordered a Nugget Finder 14x9 and a Detech 15″ Ultimate Spiral DD 

I should be set for life now, lol :)

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Impressive advice Dennis! You should definitely listen to his advice as he has been finding good gold with a detector for many years.

In my opinion in you want success you need to do what successful detectorist do. Do what has been proven to work and do not over think and try to re invent the wheel.. Find a mentor who has what you're looking for.. or buy multiple lessens from a real expert ( an expert has found many thousands of nuggets not just a couple over the years) good luck

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