Loads of Gold
A few years back we purchased the Fisher GoldBug Pro from Kellyco and have always been impressed with this detector. It made perfect sense for us to own a good quality detector designed with small pieces of gold in mind combined with the features that allow one to hunt other objects as well.
This story starts out a few years back on a gold mining trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Keep in mind that this is home to the Homestake Mine where over the last 100+ years over 42 million ounces of Gold was extracted from the deep hard rock mines. There is also good opportunities for placer gold mining in the surface gravels as well as good areas to search with a metal detector.
I had taken my 10 year old daughter out on a mining trip where we had the good fortune to find two pieces of Gold of similar size and shape, each about ¼” around. Back home I had these made into Gold Nugget earrings as an item to remember our trip by, and what better way to keep a ten year old girl excited about traveling West.
Fast forward to 2015; and another trip West. On the drive out I-90 I told Lala that if we were to find a single nice piece that we would have it made into a pendant to complete the set, and that in any case the largest piece we find on this trip was hers.
On our first full day out we dug and ran the sluice box and found some nice smaller pieces of gold. Toward the later part of the day I was getting tired and we had a 40 mile drive back to camp so I was ready to pack it in. Lala (Luella) said no, “I want to metal detect!” We were in an old mine tailings area, a good place to try. There were dry gravel banks remnant of mining activity of the past piled alongside a creek bed channel which we targeted.
We had used the GoldBug around home becoming familiar with its use and perfecting a team technique of digging and cutting the material in half and in half again using gold pans. Isolate, divide material in half, isolate reducing our time to locate working together as a team.
Up in the gravels it didn’t take long to find a nice smaller Gold nugget about 3/8” across with the Goldbug, wow on the first day we have Lala’s nugget! But let’s keep Lookin’, and a while later we found the big hunk shown in the picture. After a really strong solid signal we dug the target which was about 5” below the surface, placed the material in our Goldpan and started to divide. We were so anxious to get down to pay dirt it was just about killing us both! When we located the nugget it was covered in dirt and in my excitement I popped it into my mouth in a flash to wash it and out into the pan popped this shiny GOLD Nugget! Like spitting out a gold tooth! She thinks I was crazy putting the dirt in my mouth, but I needed to see the color.
This piece is .75” across and comes in at 4.3+ grams, Lala certainly has her big nugget now. The second picture is Lala running material through a sluice box and the last picture is placer gold we found. The big nugget found with the Goldbug is the largest piece we have found in 30 years, thanks Goldbug.
In the end we decided not to make this piece into a pendant as it is a rare piece of Precambrian Gold with ridge marks intact from the time it was compressed within its origin quartz host material, so it has great value as a specimen that far exceeds its melt value.
We’ll be back in the Hills again soon digging and sluicing and snooping around with the Goldbug, can’t wait to get back.
Thank you KellyCo,