By: Jessica H.
Thanksgiving is a day of celebration and thanks normally shared with friends, family and/or other prospectors. Last year I was with a big group and enjoyed it very much but this year I decided to prospect alone. My Thanksgiving Day began by watching meteors from my Trooper in the early morning hours before sunrise. I was hoping to also see a glimpse of the comet Ison but it was not to be. I had parked the day before near my hunting area in the Mojave Desert so it was just a matter of getting up and getting going. The wash I wanted to hunt was just a few hundred feet from the Trooper. This summer rains had drenched many parts of the desert and washed out many roads and changed the bed bottoms. Much of the loose sand had run off and I thought it would make it easier to find gold.[split] This was not the first time I had been to that area and as with other times I tuned up my GPX 5000 and started down the wash. I had a narrow focus down the very bottom without detecting the sides. My first targets were bullets and casings and then about 40 minutes from the start and only 5-6 targets later I went over a big target. I began digging a hole but I was not able to pinpoint the target like I had with the previous targets. I was using an 18 inch round, mono coil and I soon had the hole as big as the coil. I still could not determine if the target was deeper or on the sides of the hole. I went to my Trooper, drove it closer and got my CTX 3030 and my PRO-FIND to help my digging which had now lasted over 30 minutes through the cobbles in the wash. The PRO-FIND's battery was a little weak so I used the CTX 3030 and tried to determine if I had iron or...? When the CTX 3030 with the standard 11 inch coil was placed inside the hole it gave a mixed signal. My 'hopes' were a bit dashed that it did not come back a clear signal in the gold range. The signal actually jumped across the screen like a horizontal bottle cap. I was able to locate the signal in the side of the hole and I enlarged it by scooping under the side. When I checked the hole again the signal was out, I didn't see a can or bullet and I started to get excited. There were a number of larger cobbles in that pile and I grabbed the largest one (the size of my hand) and waved it over the coil and BAM! It was dusty as you can see in the first picture but I could feel the weight and even without my glasses see some 'color' coming through. I laid it down and went to get my camera. I came back with the camera and a bottle of water. I had no idea how much gold was in this find. When I poured a little water on the quartz the gold showed itself to me for the first time. And finally I washed it off fully to take the picture. It was still early in the morning and there was no one around but I did a little jig. I gave THANKS because this gold could have remained hidden to me without the many little turns that took me to that location at that time. The Specimen weighs 22.46 ounces (637 grams). A connectivity test is positive for the gold showing through the bottom. I have not done a specific gravity on it yet but estimate the gold to be about 1/3 of the weight or 7 ounces. As I was digging the hole and taking a couple of breaks I was hoping that this would be 'training' for a trip to Australia that I would like to make one day for the deep ones. I can say now that it was more than good training.