Need Help assisting a Treasure hunting Customer

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Hello All,

A potential customer called last night wanting advice on detecting buried caches or treasures around the 5 foot deep mark. He was told from a Minelab dealer that the Minelab GPX 5000 will be the ticket. I have to disagree 100%, even though I sell them and hate to see a $5,800 sale go out the window. That being said, I have always gave the best advice possible, and this is my opinion is not!

I told him even with the Coiltek 40x20 Mothership coil, it would be a struggle (in my opinion) to find targets at 5-6 foot deep. I'm just not convinced the GPX 5000 is the right tool for this job.

I told him to consider a two-box detector such as the Fisher Gemini or a Ground Penitrating Radar unit. Anyone out there have any first hand info or experience on what this customer is trying to do and what would work best for him?

Any help would be appreciated.

Rob Allison

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Long time since I've posted. I have nothing to offer regarding the two-box detector such as the Fisher Gemini or a Ground Penetrating Radar unit. What I can offer is my appreciation for people such as Rob, an honest and righteous, straight forward person, who won't sell someone something they don't need or won't work for them just to make a buck. Your a good jake Rob.


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Frosty, I totally agree.

Rob, I think GPR or a two-box detector is definitely the way to go and although I have nothing to go by

from actual experience, detecting something at the five foot level for a Minelab seems optimistic at best.

I applaud your honesty, but I would expect nothing less from you.


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To be honest about it, RARELY are caches buried that deep. The whole idea of a cache was to be able to add to it, or take from it, at the owner's discretion. Therefore, it it safe to say that MOST caches ever buried are no more than arm's length (i.e. 18 inches) under the surface. When I worked for "Treasure" magazine I did a pretty thorough study of the reported caches reported over the years, in hundreds of back issues of almost all early TH'ing magazines. ALMOST all caches were found 12-18 inches deep. So, super-depth isn't needed. AS for super depth, a two-box like the TM 808 will do very well on 12 ounce can sized (or larger) targets. Hope this helps; HH Jim

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I'm not a dealer of detectors. I'm a user.

And I will say this from my 1st hand experience.

I "VERY ANXIOUSLY" starting digging a faint initial signal in a fair sized wash that I had detected some nice nuggets from.

Well to get to the point, at just about the 3 foot mark this 60 year old started losing it.

Not the signal, it kept getting better. I was losing the UMPH to keep digging. You have to realize to get that deep the hole must be enlarged width wise to accommodate a 16 inch coil AND a chubby 60 year old so a kidney shaped hole was started to let my feet have a place lower than ground level that allowed me to swing my 30 plus inch pick and work the hole.

At that time the 2 other people that I was hunting with showed up and we all took turns to keep digging down and 1 of them had a 12 inch round thankfully on their detector which helped in pinpointing.

At 42 inches I hit an older sardine can approximately 7 inches long. It seems that wash was worked WAY down many years ago I didn't hit bedrock or caliche either at that point.

So thats a GP 3500 with an Amplifier and a 16 inch NFSL round mono.

In my opinion if their were a container of metal with metal inside I truly believe I could have hit the signal even deeper no problem.

Weather or not a new GPX5000 could have done it I don't know I have never used one.

42 inches down ain't that far away from 5 feet especially if we are talkin about an empty pretty rotted out sardine can versus a metal container holding valuable metals inside.

WOW I just don't doubt my machine it always continues to amaze me.

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  • Admin

Hey Guys,

Thanks for all your help. I would agree that you might be able to hear a faint whisper at depth, but the problem is, "Do you dig every single faint whisper you hear?" This customer is interested in hearing deep targets, not a nail at a foot, a small piece of iron rubbish at 6-inches or a horseshoe at a 18-20 inches, all which can be faint whispers at the surface. He wants to find larger, buried targets at 3-5 foot from what he told me.

I will pass on the information you all posted to him.

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I found a mule shoe at over 2' (deeper than my pick is tall) with my 3500 and a 9*14 NF Mono in a hot rock filled mess of a corner. And that sucker wasn't quiet at all

I also found a 1937 Maricopa County license plate laying broadside at a horribly God awful depth with the same setup. That one about friggin killed me. Again, not quiet as I didn't even have an amp on it at the time.

I'm not convinced a ML with the right coil and strong back won't be able to decently discern a target at those depths from background noise. You just wouldn't hunt with the typical nugget finding settings. Being I have a 3500, I don't get to decide as much as a fancy 5000 :)

I do agree a two box or something like the blanket coil detectors might be better suited, but then you miss all the fun of finding those screaming little boot tacks LOL

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