« Back to Finds Posted August 1st, 2010 by Gerry

Item Found: Gold

Location: California

Metal Detector Used: Spectra Series (800-0319)


August 1st, 2010
      Dear White's,

It has been almost a year since I set down at my computer and put one of my adventures to ink. Thirteen years ago a severe automobile accident had put me on the path to a career of gold grubbing and treasure recovery. I had used White's metal detectors as a form of therapy and after many surgeries had recuperated very well. Now I had suffered a setback again. Between the winter rains and what they thought was a stroke I was back at it again. Turned out to be a massive infection that had hit my inner ear and I could not even walk. Two weeks in a hospital and in bed for a month was all I could tolerate.

I decided that metal detecting would be a good therapy and exercise. I had acquired a White's Spectra V3 and decided to put it through its paces and learn to use it as soon as I could walk and not feel like a drunken sailor staggering around. Vertigo seemed to plaque me very step I took, and every dig was an effort, but I knew time was on my side. I picked a nice sunny day to have my son drive me out to our claims.

I had the V3 in prospector mode and was anxious to see how it compared to my White's MXT. Since I was still wobbly I would have to content myself with flat level terrain in my search patterns and stick to the low bank of Sherlock Creek on my Bears haven 3 claims. No climbing for me yet. I did realize that the V3 was a different detector right from the first swing. I absolutely loved the fact that the headphones were cordless. There was so much more freedom while you searched. Every detector is different and this one was different from the MXT and the GMT. I had put my favorite 3x5 DD coil on it. As I always knew there would be a lot of trash that the miners had left behind. Nails and scraps of metal were the rule of thumb out here. I loved the bar graph and the way the detector responded.

I worked for about an hour on a level old gravel bar next to the creek recovering my share of bullets, nails, and trash. I had decided to dig everything because I was going to learn this detector, and after a coffee and roll, I was back at it again. I decided to play around the stone foundations of an old miners shack and see what kind of trash I could recover. On the left side of the foundations I got a strong mixed signal. I dug down about 6 inches and was rewarded with my first pistol ever. It was a small derringer single shot with a breakaway breech. It had brass side plates and a brass pistol grip frame. The wood pistol grips were long gone and it was pitted very badly. It looked to be about a 40 caliber. The pistol opened up, and I could see no markings on it, but cleaning it up might reveal something to date and place the pistol. I was ecstatic as this was as good as gold as far as I was concerned. My son had brought a small sluice and our gold grubbing if I wanted to sluice for gold. I decided to try a little more around the foundation and then go sit and work on the creek bank for a gold pay streak.

Another 10 feet from the pistol sight I got a very strong signal that overloaded my detector. I dug down about a foot and recovered a small chipping pick head. It looked to be hand forged, like it was an old mattock that a miner had reshaped into a small gold pick. The tips could plainly be seen to have been folded over into a pick shape for working on the quartz veins. It turned out to be a very interesting find indeed. After some lunch and a rest I decided to try my luck on the creek bank and the overburden next to some bedrock. It wasn't long before I had located a promising spot on the bank 10 feet from the water in the creek. I set my son to digging and running the material through the sluice. We immediately began seeing small gold flakes and fine gold in the rubber matting of the sluice. I was too tired to do much more so my sons set to work digging and sluicing. By 5:00 p.m. they had moved a lot of material and I had panned a nice amount of fine gold, flakes, and a few pickers. What a day it had been. I was exhausted and feeling good about myself, and this new detector. I still had a lot to learn about it and the other programs, but had gotten off to a nice start with it. Yes this detector would fit in nicely with the MXT and GMT. My son says he will continue to use his trusty DFX though.

After I got home I dropped the pistol into a can of diesel oil to let it soak for cleaning. After a week of soaking I was able to make the trigger and hammer work on it. I was never able to find and markings on it. I did find 10 notches cut into the brass frame of the pistol grip though. Was that an ominous sign? They looked to have been cut with a sharp blade such as found on a knife. The gun was so badly pitted that the iron pieces had no marking I could see. It was a single shot pin fire cartridge, which was unusual in its self. It would make a nice display piece in my office. I was very pleased to be out again even if I suffered from the vertigo. I was expecting to be soon off on other adventures out of the country with my current position as Operations manager for Latin America for RS OPERATIONS. I figured a few more weeks and practicing my therapy and I would be as good as new. I needed to get well as I would be pacing the decks of the Beacon and diving for treasure, although I did believe my deep diving days at over 100 feet or better were probably over. Time to leave that to the young guns. So guys and gals until my next adventure, just remember to keep on researching, searching, and finding.

Gerry (CA)

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