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2 more days with the SDC 2300: 52 nuggets and 8.8 grams


Reno Chris

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I took Steve Herschbach out to the place where I'd been having some recent success with my SDC 2300, but the patch I had been working on was petering out (see previous posts). The first morning, I only got three tiny nuggets - and I had been doing a lot better than that. However there are loads of workings there and Steve headed up the hill and found some spots up there where he was getting some gold. After lunch we went up there and Steve took one small ridge and I took the other. Although we were only about 15 yards apart and we were both using the SDC 2300, there was no cross talk between the two detectors. Turns out my ridge was the more productive of the two, but we didn't know that then, and Steve got some good gold too. Once I got started, it was just one little nugget after the other. I would only be searching a few minutes between finds, and there was very little trash. I think I got a couple square nails and a few bird shot - and 29 nuggets. One of them was a cool kind of arborecent shape that is unlike any nugget I have ever dug, but I have seen some photos of pieces like that. Today we went at it again, and I mostly just kept pounding that same ridge I was working on from one end to the other. Steve found another little slope that yielded some chunky nuggets. The weather was fantastic, just enough clouds to keep the temperature just right, great company, beautiful California scenery. Today I got another 23 nuggets and again just a small hand full of trash items.
The total weight for two days with the SDC was 8.8 grams, well over a quarter ounce, almost 6 pennyweight. Those small bits really do add up. With the lower patch area I was working before, plus this stuff from the upper one, I have nearly half an ounce of gold overall.

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The total weight for two days with the SDC was 8.8 grams, well over a quarter ounce, almost 6 pennyweight. Those small bits really do add up. With the lower patch area I was working before, plus this stuff from the upper one, I have nearly half an ounce of gold overall.

Daaayyyuuuummm Chris… you're almost making wage. :D

I have a question… wouldn't it seem likely that if you're finding small nuggets near the surface, that there might be much larger ones beneath you could be missing? :idunno:

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AZBB a year ago I was working a patch two hundred yards wide x three hundred long and I worked it for

over a year getting only nuggets less than one gram. My first one I was using a Coiltek Platypus DD coil on

my GPX 4000. Then I went to a Coiltek Joey DD. So thinking maybe there were bigger and better ones

deeper I put on a Coiltek 19" DD and found only one that weighed 1.2 grams. Then not giving up on the deep

thinking I went over the patch with a NF 17" El mono and found nothing. I don't remember how many nuggets

came out of there but the total weight was 19.0 grams. and the sweet part about this one patch is it's only nine

miles from my house.

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:thumbsupanim It don't ever get much better than that,good company,great machine,fantastic weather,stuff dreams are made of-congrats-John

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WTG ON THE GOLD :thumbsupanim But judging from the size of gold you've been finding with your 2300 I have no doubts that a 5000 set up properly would have hit on most of them if not all :arrowheadsmiley: Mike C... :200:

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Nice! In reference to the statement Mike C made; was this an area you feel you had worked with the 5000 or other Minelab Pi machines? I know you mentioned an area where you had not been in awhile and maybe never with the 5000...

The gold does not appear to be from water places placer, any idea of the source?

I wish I lived up there you and Steve are having too much fun!

best

fred

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I have a question wouldn't it seem likely that if you're finding small nuggets near the surface, that there might be much larger ones beneath you could be missing? :idunno:

That is the beauty of owning multiple detectors. Chris and I each have an SDC. We each have a GPX 5000 with multiple coils. We each have a Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. I have some other machines besides, like the GMT and ATX.

Does anyone not think we would not hit places with everything possible until we can't find anything any more? The only limitation is time, and we both have a lot of that now.

Nobody is saying ditch whatever you have and get the SDC 2300. At least, not Chris or I. Obviously we both think owning multiple detectors is the solution in our own situation.

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Dayng Chris!
You doing great :)
WTG.....keep posting

Tom H.

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Hi Chris,

Like Fred, I agree that the gold does not look like placer, but instead, looks like disseminated lode. Also,

like Fred, I'd like to know what machines have covered the same patch before your current finds. You guys

are really kicking it!

Good Hunting, Ben

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Ben - there is no question this gold is coming from a source nearby. That's one of the future objectives - go hunting for the source where the gold is shedding from. Sure appears like there is a lot of gold coming off that source. We'll see what comes of that search.

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Dern Chris and Steve..............your deadly out there! :)
WTG on the nugs........hope you get a lot more.

Tom H.

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My question remains unanswered...Or I am not smart enough to understand..please use small words for me..and speak slowly....

I asked if this is an area previously worked by various Minelabs-upto and including the 5000. Inquiring minds want to know.

I fully realize that any area you Big Names go to will be trashed until the ground cries out for relief...

And I realize, Steve and Chris that you are men of many detectors...I am simply curious, as are others, which came first to this particular patch the 2300 or Minelabs Flagship armada???

fred

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Hi Fred,

The question is not being avoided. I thought it was rhetorical. How the heck should I know what has hunted it before? Good question, tell me, what has hunted the ground in the last thirty years?

As said, I found the patch and Chris and I hunted it with the SDC 2300s. That is the answer.

It is 2014 in California and you can drive within a two minute walk from our location. There were no dig holes in the little ridge I found but I have to assume others have been there before. The valley has seen lots of detecting with dig holes and other signs of prospecting. Maybe every detector known to man passed over this spot before and missed the gold. But maybe everybody just walked around the little ridge. I just don't know.

Is the intent of the question again some attempt to determine if you can hunt a patch to death with other detectors and then still go there and find gold with the SDC 2300? Sorry, but as far as I know this particular situation offers no clear evidence to answer that question.

I guess the big problem is people are looking for answers, but at the same time doubting the answers and wanting ironclad tests and proofs. In my opinion the only way any individual can determine for themselves what the answers are to these types of question is to pony up, get the detectors in question, and find out for themselves. That is exactly what I do.

Now, if you want my opinion I will tell you that I think the SDC 2300 can easily follow after or go head to head with a GPX 5000 and easily find gold the GPX misses. I would not have preferred to use my GPX to find the gold I found. I think it would have been harder to use, and would have missed some of the gold I found. I think 99% of GPX operators would have just passed right over this little patch and never have known it was there. So maybe some have. I am pretty sure if I was using my GPX 5000 scouting around the way I normally do I would have missed this patch. I think the SDC is simply better suited for finding these types of patches, and so I intend to keep using it to do just that. The GPX stays home for awhile.

I think the smartest thing any new SDC owner can do is run post haste to every known nugget patch and hunt dawn to dusk. Before the doubters and hesitaters finally figure things out.

Just my opinion Fred. Anyone wanting proof can go get their own. Except to maybe actually believe one other opinion......

You will find more small nuggets and fine-threaded specimen gold in mineralised soils with the SDC 2300 than any other gold detector, including the GPX 5000.

- Bruce Candy [Chief Scientist Minelab Electronics, GPX & SDC Inventor]

That clear enough for you?

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Fred - I have gone over this area with the GP Extreme, but I'll be honest and say that I don't remember if the last time I was at this location I was there with my extreme or with my 5000. Its been several years since I was here and my poor old head can't remember for sure, so for sure at least the extreme. That said, you might ask if I passed exactly over the little gold bearing ridges Steve found with my extreme? - I don't know. I was for sure in the general area, but where exactly through there my path wound - I don't know.

The lower area closer to the road where I worked first has been well covered with a GB2 as well as my extreme, but still there was gold there that really any detector could have found. The largest nugget I found, weighs 1.6 grams, but was less than an inch deep - it was just in a weird place, and because I'd found several nuggets around there, I was swinging the coil into weird spots just in case, and yep, I found gold. I had not been as careful in my previous visits as I was just finding trash, no gold. Because the SDC was hitting all these little bits, instead of wandering, I was pounding every inch as I now knew there was gold, and the SDC showed me where the gold was coming from.

So here is my opinion, and I was not doing a test so its just my opinion, nothing more. There are loads of little hot rocks, so its a tough spot for a VLF. I would not say you couldn't find gold here with a VLF, but it would be difficult as there are thousands of hot rocks of all sizes. The 5000 certainly would have found some of the gold - no question. Some of the little nuggets were deep and faint even on the SDC, and I honestly don't believe the 5000 would have found these. So what percent would the 5000 have found? I don't know as I wasn't doing a test.

The bottom line is that this prospecting was all done as an effort to find gold, not a trial to evaluate and compare detectors.

Here is a photo of my total so far - 15 grams, 79 nuggets.

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Chris and Steve: You bring up several good points. Here is a follow-up question somewhat adrift from the primary focus of this thread, but maybe interesting anyway. As you point out, some places, like your current spot, have millions of zippy little hot rocks that overwhelm and slow down a person operating a simple (but terrific) VLF like a GB2, but clearly are more conducive to a search with a PI. However, there are yet other places that also are festooned with solid metal trash such as square nails or boot tacks in addition to the zippy hot rocks. Query: In your opinion or experience does the SDC have any particularly better ability to distinguish between, say square nails and nuggets, than other PIs or VLFs (say the French Deus machine)?

BTW, you guys have given me (and I'm sure several others) a welcome jolt of energized enthusiasm by sharing your finds and your thoughts. This forum rules!!

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I don't know about you guys, but me thinks I'd be hauling in a dry washer and doing some serious digging and sampling. Obviously if the SD is picking up those small nuggets that a 5000 might have missed, there's possibly even more "fines" that are not being picked up by either of them. On top of that, seems likely that there could be even larger nuggets deeper down that everybody missed. Did either of you guys by chance dig any sample holes in "your patch" and pan anything out?

Chris commented in another forum about me having "too high of expectations" when I stated that I wouldn't waste my time on any ground that didn't sample out, or couldn't produce at least $50 an hour in wages. Sounds like you guys might be in an area that quite possibly could produce those wages given the right equipment. What do you think?

Just an FYI… I know detecting and prospecting for gold is suppose to be just a hobby for most, and the enjoyment derived from this "hobby" comes mostly from just being in the outdoors and away from the rat race whether with friends or all by yourself. I totally agree with that ideology and have fun just riding my Rokons, Rhino, or dirt bikes around in the mountains and desert of AZ whether I find any gold or not.

However… with that being said, I would eventually like to turn my gold prospecting "hobby" into a business at some point in time, thus the reason I'm concentrating my research and efforts on finding ground that could quite possibly turn a profit. Whether that comes to fruition or not, remains to be seen. But in the mean time, I'll still have fun riding anyways! :D

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"In your opinion or experience does the SDC have any particularly better ability to distinguish between, say square nails and nuggets, than other PIs or VLFs"

Sadly, no, the SDC is a pure dig it all machine.It does feature the hi-lo and lo-hi tones similar to other Minelab detectors, but they are unique to the SDC. In general small gold gives a hi-lo but surprisingly small gold will also give a lo-hi tone. And some nails and larger items give a hi-lo tone. I consider the tones on the SDC to be unique to it and unfortunately not clearly connected to the target composition. The only safe thing to do with the SDC is dig it all, and because it is so sensitive it will be all but useless in very trashy locations. The only thing it will not do is have you digging nails two feet deep like I do with my GPX.

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AZ blackbird -

There is a good amount of ground there to be dry washed, no question of that, and yes, I will be dry washing a bunch of that area as it is good enough for me. In fact I have already tried out my dry washer - just a test for a little more than an hour - and got about half a gram. So I got a little less than $20 an hour. By your standards of $50 per hour that would be ground not worth wasting your time on. Even cherry picking near surface nuggets with a detector did not net me much more than half a gram an hour, still way to poor in grade to be worth working if $50 an hour is your minimum.

This was an area worked by old timers with water. (its plenty dry this time of year, but in the spring it can have some water from melting snow and spring rains). They were a little sloppy but didn't worry too much about leaving a few pennyweight here and there. They had lots more new gravel to work and so getting every last gram was not important. We are picking up the dregs they left behind. A current value of $50 an hour would have been a little less than a pennyweight an hour, and very nearly a third of an ounce for an 8 hour day. The old timers would have been happy with that so they tried not to leave too much of that better grade stuff around. I'm not saying there is none, just that there is not loads of it everywhere. I've been decently lucky so far this summer, and I've had exactly 2 days in which I could say I got $50 an hour for a whole day. Both of those days were when I was in Alaska and were the days on which I found good sized nuggets, the big nuggets making the bulk of the value to achieve the more than $50 an hour. I get some, and I wish I got more, but I really don't get that many third ounce or better days.

Unless I somehow get onto a bigger nugget or two, I really don't expect any third ounce days here, but I figure I could easily do a number of tenth ounce days, which runs say $16 an hour. I'd be happy with that, especially in a nice area in California. Plus the gold is pretty and at least a little may be of higher specimen grade (like my little tree nugget). Unless we get a bunch of early rain that puts an end to dry washing, I'll get the bulk of it finished this season, and I'll post results.

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Unless I somehow get onto a bigger nugget or two, I really don't expect any third ounce days here

Chris,

Nice gold!!! Do you think the SDC would detect a 1/2 ounce nugget at lets say 12" - 15"?

If this area has deep ground I would think there's bigger gold down deeper.

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I got a third ounce specimen at 9-10 inches in Alaska, but I kind of think 15 inches with an 8 inch coil is more than pushing limits. The SDC is made for small gold shallow, not big gold deep. I think Steve and I have both said this over and over, if you are searching for big gold deep, you want a GPX.

That said, this place is not a standard alluvial placer where the big gold is down deep on bedrock. We are not hunting the gut of stream channels - Its a hill side placer and no, I don't think there is big stuff down deep. I think someplace on this hill side is shedding a bunch of shot sized gold with a few larger nuggets - larger being a few pennyweights. Steve and I have nearly 100 nuggets between us, and the largest is one pennyweight.

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Thank youse, Steve and Chris. Yes, between the Steve (the rock) and Chris (the hard place)...the answer is clear. I misunderstood some things in the beginning post and some other things were not clear to me; because, you know, I ain't very smart.

By the way, I was not looking for which is better, bigger, deeper or any of the type info; I leave those questions to others.

Chris really explained the situation best and provided key info as to his present and previous hunts.

Thank you both, with respect

fred

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