Metal Detector Used: Spectra V3i
On July 13, 2011 the Snow in the Sierras of northern California had finally melted so I went on a little hike with my GMT. My main goal was to really do electronic prospecting versus what they did in 1849 and I managed to stick to that plan. I had read an article on detecting bedrock and I had a perfect place in mind, a large stretch of bedrock just downstream from a gold bearing creek. With the water being high, fast and dangerous the areas I initially thought of were still under some mighty cold water so I opted for the higher ground as this area would have been underwater during the highest of the spring flooding. Last year I had made good use of my GMT with some unusual settings (as compared to the suggested startup conditions) and came away with about a 1/4 oz of some nice gold flake/nuggets so I went back to those settings and added to them.
My first signal over "solid rock" looked good so I adjusted my settings and swept the Snooper DD coil over the ground again, the iron percent graph was in the very low range so I began to pick my way through the rock checking the ground every now and then to confirm the target location. With a good section of "solid rock" having been moved while still having a good target signal I wondered if I was nuts to be doing this but I kept at it. Finally I was able to pry out a sizeable section of rock and in the hole I found this lovely gold 'nugget' staring back at me. Now just how did that piece of gold get 6 inches under "solid rock"?
I put the 'picker' in the film can and having learned my lesson I swept the coil over the ground before putting the rock back into the hole. A good target still existed! Now wait a minute here, I thought but I dutifully followed my earlier procedure and continued to pick at the bedrock. With the further picking I found two small split shot and put them in the bag to be carried out of the canyon. I waved the coil over the ground and was told there was still a good target. Another 7 inches down I found mud and hair like roots indicating there was indeed a crack in the "solid rock" so I continued.
Another large section of rock popped out showing more dirt. I scraped all the dirt up into my test cup and checked the hole, no signal. I checked the cup, zip-zip. I panned the dirt and sure enough there was another 'picker'. The following day I checked one more small area, got another signal, panned out the dirt and in the bottom of my pan was one more 'picker'.
The first two pieces of gold are shown on the GMT's decal just above the TM mark to the right of GMT and to the left side of the decal are two square nails I pulled from the bedrock in this same area. My Settings: Ground Balance @ Auto, Gain @ Max(full clockwise), VSat @ Max(full clockwise), Audio @ Max, Iron Grunt ON and to confirm signals - when I received a good signal I would press grab, sweep the coil over the target and the Iron % graph would be smaller for a good target.
Once the machine showed a good target after Grab was initiated I felt confident it was a good target. I still need to figure out what to do about small pieces of lead and .22 casings and I suspect that means paying more attention to the ground balance # in conjunction with the mineralization #.
Thanks Whites' for a great machine that actually finds Gold and be it small or large in size it is always a thrill to find!