First Gold Find


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I purchased a Mine Lab SD 2100 v2 from Rob in January and have been getting out with it about once a month to the gold country of California. Reading the forums have helped me get up to speed fairly quickly. I learned that to find gold I should go to where gold has been found in the past; dig all the targets especially at first to learn the different sounds that things like rusty nails and bullets make; and get a super magnet for your pick to speed up recovery and recognition of iron targets. I also joined the GPAA and United Prospectors clubs to get access to claims.

The place I ended finding my first natural gold with I got access to just by talking to people o until I met a guy who lives in a historical gold area and said I could hunt in his backyard. Turns out to have lots of rock piles and bedrock areas and lots and lots of square nails. Saturday, it took me about 6 hours of digging nails and other trash to find my first piece of gold. I hunted again in the evening and on Sunday morning with only more nails to show for the effort. Still, it was nice to get rid of the skunk this time around. I should also mention that I have had several metal detectors over the years including a Teknetics 8000 and a Mine Lab X-Terra 70. I bought the SD to help overcome the problem with hot rocks in the areas that I go to.

Madman

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That is a beauty, and you obviously paid your dues to find it. How did that feel? Nothing can put into words the feeling of finding that first one, or the second, or the 23rd or the 223rd.

Congratulations!

Doc

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Madman, I love the mindset and attitude using an older model Minelab detector. I know some areas in CA with high EMIs from cell towers etc. that just don't respond as well as the newer "Cadilac" GPX 4500. I've said all along "tune" yourself into the machine your using.....great post!

I love it from the stand point of digging all targets and going to areas where gold has been found in the past. From your very first post you gave others out there some great insight and knowledge!

Keep us "tuned-in", and nice gold! Oh and hey, those square nails are part of History.....hang on to them, they're not worthless!

Gary

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Madman, THAT's what nuggetshooting is all about...That's why they say gold detecting is the toughest of all metal detecting and requires the most skill and persistance....Congrats on a great job and very nice nugget...Looks like it might be over a quarter ounce...?....Cheers, Unc

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Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I have been lurking in the background for months waiting until I had something to share. I have the piece sitting in some white vinegar and salt (I think that method came from Grubstake).

Finding that first piece of gold didn't get me as excited as I thought it would probably because I was tired and was starting to get a cold. Still, you should have seen me digging the next hour or two on anything that even sounded close. I kept finding half to three quarter inch rusted nails that sounded almost but not quite like the gold. It would have a nice starting sound but then either stutter or have that high pitch rusty metal sound. I didn't weigh the piece since it has more than half quartz but it is considerably heavier than the .85 gram sample nugget I use to train my ear and set up the machine with.

I have attached two more photos since I always enjoy looking at the pictures everyone else posts. I use an old ice axe for a digging tool. This particular one has a wide adze (I know just like some women I have known) and a thin pick that is great for cleaning out cracks. I took this ice axe to Nepal twice in the 80's and it has saved my bacon a time or two and done extra duty as a long tent stake during storms on the mountain when the when tried to blow the tent and my buddies to China.

Madman

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I have been lurking in the background for months waiting until I had something to share. I have the piece sitting in some white vinegar and salt (I think that method came from Grubstake).

Finding that first piece of gold didn't get me as excited as I thought it would probably because I was tired and was starting to get a cold. Still, you should have seen me digging the next hour or two on anything that even sounded close. I kept finding half to three quarter inch rusted nails that sounded almost but not quite like the gold. It would have a nice starting sound but then either stutter or have that high pitch rusty metal sound. I didn't weigh the piece since it has more than half quartz but it is considerably heavier than the .85 gram sample nugget I use to train my ear and set up the machine with.

I have attached two more photos since I always enjoy looking at the pictures everyone else posts. I use an old ice axe for a digging tool. This particular one has a wide adze (I know just like some women I have known) and a thin pick that is great for cleaning out cracks. I took this ice axe to Nepal twice in the 80's and it has saved my bacon a time or two and done extra duty as a long tent stake during storms on the mountain when the when tried to blow the tent and my buddies to China.

Madman

Great forum and nice nugget Madman. A friend of mine burst thru the door last night with this 25 gram nugget he found in his gold pan. Even I got the fever now!

John

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Madman,

Great first find. You pile of history (trash targets) is A-typical of and old-timer placer diggings. Ask permission to work his property (even for a cut). You'll need to detect and slowly remove all the trash targets in a choosen spot (10x10). I know you have the DD coil on and it works like it's suppose to, but you'll have to remove all the trash so you can hear the nuggets that maybe under the trash. Once you have it cleaned out use a Mono coil for the extra depth and sensitivity. Looks like your onto something good...detect just above the old diggings say from the lip of the ditch and up! Good Luck!!!

LuckyLundy

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Lucky Lundy & Flak,

I do plan to go back to the site (hopefully this weekend) and hit every target in a small area around the spot I found the specimen in and see if I can find more gold. The X-Terra 70 may be useful for finding all the big iron and junk and if I am lucky maybe some small gold. There are some power lines kinda of close to the site so I was getting a bit of warbling. I agree that finding all the trash iron is a good indicator that no one has run a metal detector through this site - no shortage of other work done though. I can see where every crack in the bedrock has been thoroughly cleaned out and all the rocks have been stacked in the lower spots of the seasonal creek.

Gypo Logger - maybe I can even find one of those 25 gram slugs like your buddy found, who knows? That's why I like detecting because you never know what you're going to find.

Madman

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