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Thursday, November 14 2013

If you've been prospecting for gold using a pan, sluice, highbanker or other traditional piece of equipment, there's another tool you may want to consider— a metal detector. Gold detectors are not necessarily higher in cost than an all-purpose detector, but they are built with a higher sensitivity to pinpointing pieces of gold, and have better ground balancing and discrimination abilities.   

gold metal detectorIf you're not familiar with metal detecting, the first thing you should know is that your detector does not actually detect metal directly. It detects magnetic fields. When switched on, your VLF (very low frequency) detector first creates a magnetic field and energizes anything in the ground that responds to a magnetic field. Next, your detector seeks to find a magnetic field that has a response to its initial magnetic field. Because metals conduct electricity, they respond to a magnetic field and generate a small magnetic field of their own. Detectors detect the secondary magnetic field that conductive targets create whey they are energized by the first magnetic field sent into the ground by your detector. In general, the larger the metallic target, the larger and longer and stronger its magnetic response will be.

PI (pulse induction) detectors work a bit differently by putting magnetic field energy into the ground and then switching off and waiting a very short period before they start to look for a response. This makes them better at handling ground mineralization than a VLF detector because during that short delay the magnetic response of iron trash minerals that you don't want to find dies out, but the signal from tiny bits of buried gold does, too. VLF detectors are more sensitive to finding the smallest bits of gold, but do not as easily cancel out ground mineralization.

Read more how-to info and articles here.

Posted by: Denise AT 12:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 01 2013

At first glance, metal detecting seems like the least demanding form of prospecting for gold. But it has its share of challenges, too, just like sluicing, drywashing, or panning by hand. Whether you've been swinging a metal detector for years, or just purchased your first machine, there might be a few things you could do to increase your chances of uncovering a piece of buried gold.  metal detector 

• Properly tune your detector. Whether it's a $200 or a $5,000 model, the settings are important to get right -- especially Ground Balancing and Gain/Sensitivity. Goldfields are usually heavily mineralized, which can make it really frustrating to know a false target from a real one, so follow the manufacturer's directions for ground balancing and do it often. Ideally, the Gain/Sensitivity is run as high as possible while maintaining a stable threshold as you swing. Try pumping your coil up and down during ground balancing.

• Control the Coil. The coil should be kept level and close to the ground from one end of your swing to the other. If your swing arcs and the coil is coming off the ground several inches on the ends, you may get false signals and lose a lot of depth. Also, don't swing too slowly. A Pulse Induction (PI)  detector performs better with a slower swing, but a Very Low Frequency (VLF) machine needs to be swung faster to detect targets.

• Target Recovery. If you have ever "lost" a target after you first heard it, try this: after pinpointing, start digging until you have moved a small pile of dirt. Pass the material from your pile, one scoop or handful at a time, over the TOP of the coil. You will have better target recovery if you move the target first.

Gold detectors are not necessarily higher in cost, but they are built with a higher sensitivity to detecting gold nuggets, have better ground balancing and discrimination abilities. Reading your owners' manual cannot be stressed enough. Once you know how to use your detector, then practice makes perfect. Sometimes success comes after just making a few small adjustments and getting out in the field as often as you can. If you're shopping for a gold detector, click here for ideas.  Good luck and have fun!

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Posted by: Denise AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
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