nugget hunting curious


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Hello All,

I have no experiance in metal detecting. My friend bought himself a GTI 2500 and told me to go hunting with him. I think he is interested in relic hunting in old ghost towns. So I started doing some research on metal detectors then came acoss the Spectra V3 and I thought that that was the ultimate metal detector. I asked my friend about it and he though the $1500 was on the expensive side (not for the V3 it self but for metal detectors in general), his GTI cost him around $800. So I asked him what some other good names were. In his list he mentioned Minelab. So I go and do some research on Minelab detectors and find the Minelab E-Trac. Now I think this must be the ultimate detector.

So, as you can see, I'm the kind of guy that thinks I better start with the best. (even though I have zero experiance in this hobby). Anyway, my interest really was on hunting meteorites. I didn't really think gold. So while doing research on the Minelabs, I see they have a gold specific detector. And at first I thought $1500 was an expesive top of the line detector, now I come across this GPX-4500 at $4500 :blink: . Now I got gold fever. I've watched some of the videos of people finding the nuggets and they are kind of tiny. Seems a bit of a let down.

So, finally to my question:

Do you guys hunt primaraly to collect the gold? or to make money? How long did it take to pay off the detector? How much do you guys find in a day? How often do you go home empty handed? I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah. Do you know how well people do in this area? How well will the GPX-4500 work when going relic hunting with my friend? How well will it do meteorite hunting?

Thanks.

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ddreg. I use the 4500 for nuggethuntiong but it's a lousy coin and relic detector (poor discriminator compared to coin specific detectors). The Etrac has a fantastic discriminator but is lousy for nuggets. Salt Lake city area is lousy for nuggethunting , you would have to go to eastern Nevada or western Idaho for your closest decent nuggethunting. I payed off my GPX4500 in a few lucky months , in fact one big nugget payed for it. We all go home empty handed more than we'd like. It is great for metiorite hunting. The dry lakes of central Utah should offer some chances at finding some metiorites. Relics are easy to find . There is old rusty crap everywhere. The immigrant trail that runs through your area would be a good place for that, with a possibility of some worthwhile relics. Some of us make some money nugget hunting, some make money hunting coins and jewelry, but it would be a dismal way to make a living, but darn, it's one heck of a lot of fun. ----Bob

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In answer to your questions:

Do you guys hunt primaraly to collect the gold?

I collect mine, but some guys sell what they find. Its up to you.

or to make money?

If your goal in prospecting is to make money, then instead of buying a detector, get a job or start a business.

How long did it take to pay off the detector?

For me, a little less than a year. But I have been prospecting for decades. For a new guy it maight take 1 to 5 years or more depending on how often you get out.

How much do you guys find in a day?

Somewhere between $0 and around $3000. A lot more zeros than numbers above $1000.

How often do you go home empty handed?

You'll get skunked plenty enough. See my comment above about making money if that is your goal.

I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah. Do you know how well people do in this area?

Utah was not a real big placer producer, and of the placer gold that was mined, a good portion was fairly fine sized (meaning its harder to detect). There are some places to hunt there, but you might be better off in another state.

How well will the GPX-4500 work when going relic hunting with my friend?

Probably not so great - the discrimination system is much more basic and crude than the typical relic hunting VLF.

How well will it do meteorite hunting?

Just fine.

I've watched some of the videos of people finding the nuggets and they are kind of tiny. Seems a bit of a let down.

A lot of new prospectors seem to get the idea that they can go out to any old placer district and dig dime sized nuggets all over and maybe a walnut sized one every day or so. If it were like that, there would be thousands of guys all over the hills and they'd be making a couple thousand dollars a day, a lot more than they make at their daytime jobs! Gold is around $1100 per ounce because its darn hard to find! Many new guys who have no expereince in prospecting take many months to a year or more to find their first nugget. That's why I say that if your goal is to make money, skip the detector.

However if your goal is to have fun, prospecting with a metal detector can be a whole lot of fun.

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ddreg

When I was a big time coin hunter I never had to put out money for my next detector because the coins that I found paid for it.I have yet paid for my gold detectors be the first are the last one I put money out for.I don't care because I got the bug bad and I love doing it.I didn't come into the hobby to make money but just for the joy of getting out there and doing it.

If I had went out to buy a Bass Boat the money I spent on it would have been lots more than what I've put on detectors to nugget hunt and coin hunt.Don't try to justify the money you put out just get out there and enjoy life be it coin or nugget hunting.

Now like it's been said alot of coin machines don't make good gold detectors.All you need think about is what can I do the most and start in that direction first.

The Best To You!

Chuck Anders

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