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A Golden Dream Come True

   by: Gus at Natural Gold Trader

We found the area where this patch of gold nuggets was located by researching several books on old mining districts. By the end of the 2006 winterNorthern Nevada Gold Nuggets Found with a Metal Detector we had about five different locations we wanted to investigate. Early spring finally arrived and Dad and I packed up our gear and headed out for a short, two day trip. It was the first week in March 2007, and we heard reports that a snowstorm has traveled through our intended area. As we were driving down the highway, it became very evident that the snowstorm had in fact passed through. The closer we got to our spot, the more snow there seemed to be on the ground. We finally made it to our dirt road turnoff and were disgusted at the amount of snow; at least 6 inches covered the ground. Did we just travel 4 hours to get here, and all for nothing?

   When we arrived we could see tailing piles from the old-timers covered in a blanket of snow.  Dad and I were not very enthused at this point, to say the least. As we were sitting there deciding what to do next, I noticed some bare spots of grass on the south facing mountain slopes. I told myself to try to remain positive. We strapped on our detectors and headed out. Dad went one way and I went the other. I began walking up the bottom of a main drainage, where there was evidence of some major gold mining activity in the past.

Gold Nugget found with a metal detectorAfter a short while, I realized that I had to get out of the bottom to avoid the deep snow and the overwhelming trash I was encountering. I felt like I was swinging twice the weight with all the snow that kept accumulating on my search coil. I was about 200 yards from my truck at this point and decided to double back towards the side hill where I had previously seen the exposed bare spots. I was swinging away when all of the sudden I heard a nice sound. It wasn’t really loud, and best of all, I could tell the target wasn’t on the surface.  I swept about 2 inches of snow away with my boot and then made about three separate shallow digs with my pick, stopping to make sure the target was still in the hole with each dig. I was about 4 inches down when I finally had the target in my hand, I thought to myself “probably a bullet.” When I finally had it narrowed down to a small amount of material, I opened up my hand and couldn’t believe my eyes.. I had a nice pennyweight nugget shining back at me, and I let out a ROAR! “It’s gold!” I had my first nugget in a brand new spot, in only 45 minutes of the first day of our trip!

   I jumped up from the ground and looked for my father, who was clear down in the bottom, about 300 yards from me. I was waving my arms frantically for what seemed like forever. Finally, I got his attention and motioned for him to come up.Placer Gold Nugget
   Finding a new patch is one of the most exhilarating experiences, and best parts about nugget hunting. Usually nuggets travel together, so the chance of there being more nuggets is good. I put my earphones back on and started swinging. I didn’t get 4 feet before I had another nice signal. I marked the spot for later and kept swinging on. I hit another signal, then another. Now I had three good targets still in the ground, patiently waiting.

   Dad was still about 200 yards from me and didn’t appear to be in any sort of a hurry. He was detecting slowly and working his way towards me. I began to swing again, and then came across a loud backwards sound that I could tell was fairly deep in the ground. I looked at the area to determine if it could possibly be trash. “No way” I said to myself, “this ground is virgin.” I marked this large sounding target and decided to start digging the smaller targets I had previously marked. I had 4 good targets, and 1 nugget in the pouch within a 10-foot square area.

   By the time Dad finally got to me, I had recovered the 3 smaller targets. Yep! They were all nice, chunky, natural, native Nevada gold nuggets in the 1-3 gram range.  I excitedly showed him what I had found so far, and he had that “great job, son” look of amazement on his face. Then I told him about the louder backwards signal still in the ground. I asked him to listen to it. He fired up his machine and swung over it. He looked at me with a big grin of confidence, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sounds good.”

  Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets From that particular hole we dug a whopping 1/3 troy ounce gold nugget that was only about 6 inches deep. Boy, do I love my gold machine. We took a minute to evaluate our new spot. All the gold nuggets I had found so far were covered by about 2 inches of snow, and the terrain honestly didn’t look that appealing. It actually looked like a pasture, covered in long grass, with a few pieces of bedrock exposed. We were kind of on the topside of a little saddle, on the edge of the ridge of a mountain.
   A few yards below us was a shallow ravine about 100 yards long. It had great possibilities because the ravine was situated below where I had just found these nuggets. There was still about 6 inches of snow in the base of this shallow ravine. We put our headphones back on and started swinging again. Within a matter of minutes I had another target, then another. As expected, both were nuggets. One was a half gram, and the other was about 3 grams. We couldn’t believe this place; it was too good to be true. Then Dad waved me over, and I watched him dig a nice 2-gram nugget.

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