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Micro Nugget

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Everything posted by Micro Nugget

  1. Micro Nugget

    Whew! 4 Nuggs In 4 Hrs

    Man, did I ever find out how badly out of shape I'm in after pretty much just hanging out during our frying pan hot summer doing my "Honey Do List" chores. Well, the weather finally has dropped and yesterday I wanted to get out into the higher elevations before deer season opened up. I managed to snag these four before I ran out of gas -- 2.12g all told, the largest one a hefty .74g. No sooner did I get back home when the skies opened up and we were hit with around 2" at the house amidst a terrific "donnor und blitzen" show. The trusty GPZ 7000 came through again...
  2. Micro Nugget

    Whew! 4 Nuggs In 4 Hrs

    Up near Big Bear Fred. The deer hunting season opened in Cali today and I wanted to avoid the risk of becoming a statistic. I also noticed a typo: it's "donner und blitzen" (thunder and lightning). We had some gully washers that have knocked out Route 62 east beyond Yucca Valley all morning long -- it may still be washed out.
  3. Yup, good advice for sure. There is a reason why I see a higher percentage of facial and other surgical skin scars in the high desert areas of California -- all other things being equal there is less atmosphere to help shield skin from the sun's radiation. The blue light treatment definitely helps, but the single most effective measure is to be proactive: wear a broad brimmed hat outdoors whenever possible, apply sunscreen -- especially on the nose and facial parts most exposed, etc, etc.
  4. Micro Nugget

    Sluice slick-plate?

    When using a stream sluice with or without a flair it is important to initially set the sluice such that the inflowing water current is inline with the length of the sluice as much as possible. Setting a stream sluice at a cross angle to the direction of the incoming water results in an uneven turbulence that will ultimately blow out the finer gold. With a power sluice this, of course, is not such a problem and can be adjusted more easily than a stream sluice. In my recirculator sluice set up I direct my two water jet inlets (one on each side of the sluice approximately 5 or 6 inches from the rear wall) upslope such that each of their streams converge at the center of the back wall. Then I feed my material into these upslope currents. Not overloading the sluice while feeding it is, of course, very important. The result is that the clays and pebbles first are initially busted up across the slick plate as they are fed into the upslope currents, then they crash into the rear wall causing clay lumps to further fragment in the churn, then everything gets further disseminated as the mass of material is deflected and carried back down slope from the rear wall of the power sluice. This downslope material quickly begins to evenly disperse across the width of the sluiceway and the water flow settles into a nice, even downslope rush. I agree that one should try to leave a reasonable percentage of the sluice bottom as a slick surface to enable as much stratified separation and evenness of flow as possible before it hits the ribbed matting or the riffles. I use little copper nuggets that I hammered flat from little snips of differing gauges of copper wire to test the flow of my sluice before I begin adding any material to the sluice. I typically drop either 5 or 10 individual copper "nuggets" into the flare. Then I count how many are caught by the first riffle, the second and so forth. Since copper is roughly one-half the specific gravity of (pure) gold, then if I'm catching the large percentage of the copper test nuggets in the first or second riffle I feel satisfied with the angle of my sluice-set and confident that the higher specific gravity gold particles will not be lost.
  5. Micro Nugget


    Nice to know I'm not the only one leery of PayPal transactions.
  6. Micro Nugget

    Sluice slick-plate?

    I like to visually monitor my sluice. I like to be able to see the gold in terms of size and shape. Thus, in my metal sluices, I install "V" matting (rubber or plastic non-slip footing material) in a portion of the flare and the entryway of the sluice proper. Some of the gold readily hangs up in this zone. It enables me to study the water action over time (i.e., whether the sluice is or is not gradually tilting out of line or whether upstream factors are gradually changing the angle of flow patterns). In my plastic sluices (mostly Angus MacKirk models for the smaller ones and some Le Traps for the larger ones) I just leave them alone because they work so well without all the complications that metal sluices present. These are generalizations on my part. But I encourage you to experiment as much as you want with specific applications. After all, fooling around and tinkering with better ways to capture gold is an important source of satisfaction for many of us.
  7. Micro Nugget

    Falcon md-20

    Once upon a golden time in California during my dredging days I too mostly relied upon my GB2 to scan the cons after a cleanup. I utilized classifiers to relatively quickly separate the entire day's cleanup material. Whatever remained in the 1/2" classifier was thrown into a 7 gallon lightweight plastic cement mixing tub. Then, whatever remained in the 1/4" classifier was tossed into a second cement mixing tub. And so on with each succeeding classification down to 1/20th. I had pre-cleared ground spots to quickly place the tubs and scan with my GB2 picking out mostly lead but some nuggets too. Same went for the plastic "miner's moss" matting. After drying it out during the night it was tossed into a tub and scanned with the GB2. Again, I just plucked out the ferrous, lead and gold targets with tweezers after the GB2 signaled a target. I tried this with the MD-20 but it took way too long because the search coil is so tiny. It worked but was simply not as efficient. The 1/30th" classifications were hand panned. The 1/50th" and 1/100th" classifications were kept in 5 gal. buckets and either given to the property owner (in exchange for permission to dredge on his property) or taken back to SoCal for later processing. I occasionally fooled around with the MD-20 but just couldn't get excited enough to pursue its usage.
  8. Micro Nugget

    Gold is Not Where You Find It

    I enjoyed reading your ICMJ article. Just goes to show that there still are wildcard adventures to be had out there!
  9. Micro Nugget

    Falcon md-20

    It can be useful when it comes to extremely tiny targets and if you have a sufficiently strong need to justify the expenditure (or have enough income not to have to worry about expenditures for having little used tools in your tool box).
  10. Micro Nugget


    Okay, which book? I've got three of his but none of them reference the information you cite.
  11. Micro Nugget


    No, Bob, I am not aware of that particular test result. I do know that as a geology professor Dr. Melchiorre has at his disposal some of the most modern and accurate metallurgical testing equipment. I also know that he has a very high and abiding interest in the scientific study of gold in particular. Particularly with regard to techniques for establishing the "age" of nuggets (i.e., the elapsed time interval between when the gold brake free from its original matrix and began its free milling exposures to the elements and the rays of the sun). I would be inclined to respect the test results that you reference.
  12. Micro Nugget


    Relatively recent research has disclosed that microbial action results in transforming colloidal gold into solid gold. Professor Erik Melchiorre recounted to our local prospecting club how a $20 double eagle minted in 1908 was discovered in an Alaskan sluice in 1959. Amazingly, after roughly 50 years it was in virtually mint condition except it had deposits of crystallized gold sticking to it. The theory of how this occurs is that since colloidal gold is toxic to most bacteria, some bacteria have evolved that are able to "de-toxify" the colloidal gold as a survival strategy by eliminating it from the aqueous environment by literally "pooping" it out in a solid form after ingesting it. Millions upon millions of these gold droppings can build up over time to form very substantial nuggets. Further research more recently involving these specialized bacteria suggests that if other (invading) bacteria begin moving into their territory, the specialized bacteria are able to reverse the process to repel the invaders. The bottom line here is that there now is yet another explanation as to how some gold nuggets are able to get so large.
  13. Micro Nugget


    Some of us have found and others of us have pondered how it is possible for big nuggets to be found in the top layer of otherwise deeper soil, especially the "loner nuggets" where no other gold of any size in the immediate vicinity. Gold definitely is where you find it. But these relatively rare finds are the exceptions precisely because the greater percentage of nuggets do indeed follow better understood explanations. Here are just a two thoughts I toss out regarding possible explanations for the puzzling loner nugget or small group of nuggets that are found in topsoil: 1. Earthquake activity can be a wildcard. While in law school my property law professor, Richard Powell, told of his experience acting as the special master appointed by the President of the United States to help put the property lines of Alaska back together again after the humongous 1964 Anchorage quake. He spoke of residents telling him of violently shaking and trembling ground that lasted for at least 5 continuous minutes during which roads, houses, fence lines and other normally permanent structures broke apart and then danced and moved a total of up to a quarter mile apart. Some desert areas lie on major fault lines and over geologic time spans tens of thousands of earthquakes, some extremely large, have rattled and shaken the fabric of the land. Strong vibrations can move solid objects a surprising distance. 2. Animal activity. In the deserts we have tortoises, coyotes, ground squirrels, gophers and such that, over time, probably kick up to the surface an occasional nugget from a place deep down and beyond normal metal detecter range. Thank you BMc for relating your personal story concerning those big nuggets. I am always eager to hear such accounts that one rarely is privy to other than on this or related forums.
  14. Micro Nugget

    Some Gold !

    What a nice way to come up for air after watching the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings re Justice Cavenaugh's confirmation all day long... I'd say those patches are going to develop into something even nicer down the road. Thanks for sharing.
  15. Micro Nugget

    "Natural-formed Riffle"

    Right LipCa, I stand corrected: the Salmon River, not the North Fork of the Salmon River, downstream from Forks of Salmon.
  16. Micro Nugget

    "Natural-formed Riffle"

    Way cool!! Those natural riffles sometimes capture the most unlikely things -- such as a small rusty fishing hook that somehow got sucked 12" or so into a hairline bedrock crack. I worked for several hours chipping away through seemingly solid rock toward a louder and louder signal and what I was dead certain would be a gleaming hunka-chunka. That was in early September 2003 when the water levels had fallen quite low on the North Fork of the Salmon River a few miles downstream from Forks of Salmon. I'm glad your adventure produced a better color.
  17. Micro Nugget

    Electrolosys System for Treating Artifact Finds!

    I'm interested also. BTW, can a similar process be built to attract and collect colloidal gold on a plate? If so and if you are willing to share I'd be interested in that. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
  18. Micro Nugget

    Some gold on an ugly quarter

    Same goes for most of the Yucca Valley, CA surrounding environs. There have not been the usual monsoonal summer showers hereabouts. Even the goathead weeds are stressed and lacking in color. But those Arizona nuggets sure show plenty of color.
  19. Micro Nugget


    Thanks for sharing your story and photos. The photo of the .50 cal ammo clips seem to indicate a clip failure. During WW2 Govt contractors at some point (I believe by 1942) were required to stamp all of their clips. The spring metal that the clips are made of is very hard and difficult to stamp clearly. But if you look closely with a magnifying glass after cleaning your clips best you can you should be able to distinguish the stamped markings. The purpose of these markings was to enable Govt quality control inspectors to trace back to a manufacturer -- and even to a specific plant -- defective clips, i.e., usually clips that no longer met the tolerance standards required to perform military contract work. This typically would happen when a particular manufacturing apparatus was used beyond its anticipated life or when it had not been calibrated for too long a time. The result of a defective clip could be catastrophic for a fighter pilot, for example, whose guns jammed in the midst of a dog fight. Just thought this little bit of WW2 memorabilia might be of interest. I have a collection of .50 cal clips, casings and rounds. My father, as an ammunition ordnance man aboard the USS Boxer during WW2, would have had the duty to make a report of such ordnance failures after examining the clips of a returning fighter plane whose guns jammed.
  20. Micro Nugget

    "One for Wednesday"

    A photo is worth a thousand words and several photos are worth even more. Nice job. Much appreciated.
  21. Micro Nugget

    Newcomers beware

    Yup, your quote rings with the essence of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" by my lights. Tommy J. and his fellow revolutionaries most likely all snickered solemn nods of approval in their moldy crypts when they heard that one, eh Jimmy M.?
  22. Micro Nugget

    Pocket Mining

    The purpose of this post is to share a summary of an oldtimer's concept of pocket mining first published in 1893 in the Mining And Scientific Press and then revisited in 2013 on a Canadian Gold Forum. As editor of the Treasure News, a monthly magazine-style newsletter of the Prospectors Club of Southern California, I included a cover article in the February 2018 issue of the T News that focussed on pocket mining as it was understood by the old-timers of the 19th century intertwined with references to my own discovery of such a pocket with a metal detector. Bill Southern invited me to include the pertinent portions (see post entitled Newcomers Beware elsewhere in this sub-forum). Technical digital difficulties were encountered attempting to reproduce the following attached pages due probably to my lack of IT skills, but it should be readable nonetheless despite the page numbers and photos not flowing exactly as in the original published version. Pocket Mining Segment PDF.pdf
  23. Micro Nugget

    Newcomers beware

    Well stated Bill. Research always is a good place to start. I will start a new thread to share some insights regarding old timer pocket mining by incorporating several pages previously devoted to the subject as stated above and my experience exploiting such a pocket with a metal detector.
  24. Micro Nugget

    Newcomers beware

    Okay, back story: That 140 nugget day was in 2013. Incredibly not a single piece of trash sullied my GB2's headphones that day. All the nuggets inside the vug (opened up after removing some surface cap stones) were stratified in a grayish-white powdery material similar in texture to "somewhat sandy" baking soda., i.e., the nuggets were randomly suspended in this white sandy powder with only a smattering of basaltic stone chip remnants of what seemed to be the result of some sort of natural reduction process. This mystified me for some time until I ran across some old-timer pocket hunting writings a year or two ago that had been re-typed by hand from the original paper manuscript and published in a digital format on a Canadian website. With Bill Southern's permission (and PCSC's) I will share some pages from PCSC's copyrighted February 2018 issue of the Treasure News that contains an article I wrote on the subject. It is too long to fit here and I don't want to hijack this thread, so if Bill agrees, then perhaps it can be inserted elsewhere on his forum. I also have some photos of the 140 nuggets at different stages of a multi-day CLR soaking that ultimately weighed close to one Troy ounce after all the caliche and stoney material was removed. So Bill, what do you say?
  25. Micro Nugget

    Newcomers beware

    I agree, finding 397 nuggets at one site IS ridiculous. I felt the same way when I found 140 in 6 hours in a spot approximately 36" X 18" X 18" deep.