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Something I found a while ago and kept quiet about for obvious reasons


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I have hunted for gold since the late 1970's - 1977 to be exact.

I have dredged on most of the major motherlode rivers

and many smaller creeks and streams.

I have metal detected with Minelab detectors since 2005.

I love the history and the geology I have learned

and I am especially indebted to the roster of characters I have met.

These men and women have educated me and regaled me with tales

that kept my hopes alive even as I became known for the smallness of the gold I found.

I had never found a piece of gold larger than a quarter of an ounce.

That particular nugget I wrote about a few years ago, it was found by accident

as I dragged a little two inch dredge out of the Merced River in 1978.

I was packing up to head home, the dredge was running as I pulled it to shore

and I ran the nozzle across the top of a small hump of bedrock

that I had been using to step into the river.

Sitting on the top of the hump was an almost round waterworn 1/4 ounce nugget.

I still shake my head to think of the randomness of that find.

After years of looking I have finally found another piece that is bigger.

I will not say when I found it, but it was a while ago.

For now I can not say where, all this for obvious reasons.

But since some time has passed and now that I am out of the detecting game with my recent move,

I do want to share my luck with you.

I would love to say this was a faint murmur in the threshold that I

recognized as something more than ground noise,

but the fact is a Radio Shack detector would have found it if the original signal is any indication; it blew my head off.

It was about 14 inches deep, but for a piece of gold this size, it is not unusual to hear a huge signal at that depth.

Anyway, here it is, I was lucky enough to be the first person to run a coil over this particular section of dirt.

I was running a 17" elliptical coil. I don't want to say which model of detector I was using,

not yet…sorry but that's the deal for now.

It weighs 1.89 Oz and it is the roughest piece of gold I have ever held.

Hope this inspires a few of you, it is still out there.


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Awesome piece, thanks for sharing, would love to hear the full scoop sometime when you are able to spill the beans.


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Very nice David and well deserved... Good on ya my friend! Thanks for sharing it with us and even after ya head to the windy city come see us and you do know I am a pro at suffering through Northern Illinois winters.... 50 below wind chill and all!

If you like to fish you will find lots to do and some great trout and salmon fishing as well as Walleye!

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Nice Flak! I can see why you were keeping it to yourself it may be my twisted mind but it looks like a. Well I'm not going to say it. Most nuggets look like something

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That is awesome, Flak, and I completely understand why you kept hush hush about it. I would have done the same thing. But thanks for sharing at this time. It's always good to see the evidence that big chunks are still there for the picking. I know I still am just one nugget away from joining the ounce club, as soon as I find one that weighs an ounce or more. Haha! I will never give up.


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Good old Merced is indeed a wonder,be it Bagby or Briceburg it never ceases to amaze with of the most diverse geological deposits of strange looking nuggets. AND the best platinum and rhodium producer in the US- thanx much,is this your swain song as that seems to be the jist here or do I need mo' coffee?? I have some great pics from 57 of Bagby posted here somewhere,,,,John

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Very nice chunk there, Flak!

Not entirely certain why folks keep hush about finds, other than the where and how - and with whom, but I can certainly respect that decision. Maybe once I find some gold of significant proportions I'll understand.

I know I've gone out with folks and been asked to not even say as much, so I've not said anything to date.

My question is - do you still own it? Cause that's a keeper for sure! :)

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Flak, that is an amazing hunk of gold and looks to be not far from the source so it makes sense not to go all chatty about the vicinity ... Cheers, Unc

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Flak: Your internal "thrill meter" must have gone into new territory with that beautiful find. There are those for whom size is all that matters. There are others for whom it is all about the hunt. Congratulations on what must have been one of your most thrilling rites of passage to date. :thumbsupanim Now it's Natalie's turn. We will miss the wit and wisdom you have unselfishly shared with us over the years, but we will also look forward to some re-visits if you can squeeze them in from time to time. :D

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