Looking at the economy and gold prices these days all I can say is WOW! When I started this hobby gold was still under 250.00 an ounce and it was allot of work to make 100.00 with a drywasher and that was what got me started in metal detecting for gold nuggets in the first place. Back then we were limited to VLF technology for the most part and the Pulse Induction detectors had not yet really become popular or readily available to the average prospector.
Oh, but how times have changed and over the last 20 years we have seen huge advances in metal detectors with the Minelab PI detectors being king, now with the latest technology once again the newest super detector from Minelab, the GPZ-7000 with all new ZVT technology. This detector has the ability to work virtually any gold bearing ground efficiently and quietly ignoring most ground noise and false signals. These advances have also resulted in thousands of ounces of gold being found if not more in the same time span by pros and hobbyists alike….
Now of course the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 equipped with a 24 bit micro processor on board a killer VLF running at 45 kHz is taking the industry by storm with it’s ability to hear the smallest gold as well as bigger stuff like no VLF detector before it. Folks new to this are very quickly finding their first nugget and with a price of under 800.00 most folks can afford this little beast.
The best part is that gold is still being found with detectors even if it isn’t near as “easy” as it once was mostly because access is becoming more and more limited to someone wanting to begin in prospecting without joining a club or buying a claim. This is mostly due to folks claiming up every bit of ground in most of the known placer areas of this country, why? well with gold around 1300.00 an ounce every flim-flam man, dreamer, sucker, and actual prospector are claiming all ground with any chance of there being a flake of gold in the ground!
There are more claims for sale on auction sites and website these days than I have ever seen and for high dollar with all kinds of promises of riches meant to widen the eyes of those with big dreams and deep pockets. Many buy these claims sight unseen and then want help later when they discover there is little profit to actually be made after investing into equipment and doing much backbreaking labor. Often out of frustration the claim is then dropped and reclaimed by the original seller to again be put up for sale!
These scams have always been around and always be as long as folks will fall for it, but with today’s gold prices it will become more and more common sadly. But the internet can also be a great educational tool and if these folks would do a few hours research before buying a claim and actually visit it to test the ground without the seller’s “help” much of this would simply stop.
For someone new to the hobby part of this education should come from joining one of many prospecting clubs across the country and getting out to see what mining and prospecting is really about. Many folks have never had a long term relationship with a #2 shovel and are amazed at how much hard work is involved in mining gold from it’s host material placer or hard rock. But right now there are places on many of the club claims I can use that I can take the family and camp overnight and run the drywasher recovering a couple grams of flakes and fines with the kids and grand kids. Yup takes some work, but sure is fun!
I have also started spending more time working with the drywasher by myself and have been doing pretty well for 6 to 8 hours worth of shoveling and I do not work so hard as to over do it most times. Heck with gold worth over 50.00 a gram it is fun to see a couple grams after a day in the Arizona desert just a few miles from home.
Yeah I know I was rambling some here, but I do that sometimes….
Good hunting out there, Bill