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Finding Gold Gold Prospecting

Gold Prospecting

Gold Prospecting

Gold is one of the most elusive metals out there and is not simple to find. If it were, it wouldn’t be so valuable. The best thing you can do if you’re interested in gold prospecting is to make a commitment to yourself that you are going to go prospect and that you will do your research on where you are going. Put a plan together and execute the plan.

VLF Metal Detector

A VLF metal detector is a single or multi-frequency machine , that consists of a continuous sine wave. The sine wave(s) goes down and into the ground to find a metallic target, and once it does, the machine charges the target releases an eddy current and sends a signal back.

A common misconception for these machines is that you cannot get depth out of a VLF metal detector. That is not true, as long as a VLF machine is properly set up and you are using the right detector in the right conditions with the right coil, you can absolutely get depth with this machine. Yes, a VLF detector can have an advantage on shallow very very small targets, on and off of bedrock. As long as you can keep it stabilized, ground balanced, and the sensitivity is set properly, this can help you find some of the smallest gold pieces, many in the grain over gram range.

PI Metal Detector

Best and easiest description of PI metal detectors is a machine that talks and then listens. Unlike the VLF detector, a PI machine is not a continuous sine wave it is a pulse, on-off, on-off. These machines will do better than VLF in most highly mineralized soils because it’s measuring

the speed of the signal decay of the target and the ground around the target. However, there are places like low mineralization deposit areas where your PI machine will simply just not work to its fullest potential and in these places, you are better off with a VLF machine, and vice versa. For example, if you have excessive cold or hot rocks and or weird salts, there have been times when a VLF detector has been outperformed by a PI machine.

How Does Frequency Work in a VLF Metal Detector?

The higher the frequency, the closer to the surface the machine works to find smaller targets. The lower the frequency, the deeper in the ground the machine will go to find larger and more conductive targets. It’s not the case that one machine or frequency works better than another, it depends on the conditions and the ground that you’re detecting, coil size, and your tuning. Frankly, for us when I head out detecting, I have a VLF and PI with me and I do recommend that you carry both types of machines, if you can, to be prepared for all of the varied conditions and the ground to change and to get the best results.

What is a Hot Rock in Gold Prospecting ?

One of the most common questions received in the metal detecting industry is, what is a Hot Rock? Hot rocks are magnetic or have metallic properties that are higher than the surrounding ground. No matter what, it is seen as a target to your machine which can be disrupting if you don’t know how to properly mitigate them. Keep in mind, hot rocks will never be 100% avoided, but there are ways to reduce the number of hot rocks you come in contact with.

Different Types of Mineralization When Gold Prospecting 

There are two types of mineralization considered the most associated with nugget hunting. First, there is high mineralization within the ground, where the ground itself is hot and can contain hot rocks or cold stones. The second type of mineralization is moderate or benign, where there is less mineralization in the ground. Many people confuse hot mineralization for hot rocks, but these are two different things. Moderate or benign mineralization can also contain hot rocks, and it’s actually this combination that can cause the mitigation of this to be very challenging.

Another misconception is assuming orange soil is always hot. It’s very possible that if you see orange soil, it’s most likely hot. However, it could just be a red iron pigment. It’s important not to immediately jump to that conclusion.

Three Different Types of Coils For Gold Prospecting 

  1. Mono Coils: A mono coil is designed for a PI machine and is a single winding which puts a concentric pattern into the ground. You will always be able to get more depth with a mono coil, but it is also more susceptible to ground mineralization noise and it will be affected by the ground mineralization itself. Using a mono coil, you have to be very aware of what your overlap is. The second part of the Mono coil question is when to take the Mono off and go to a Double D coil. That answer is simple, when you can no longer detect with a Mono is when you go to a Double D.
  2. Double D Coils: Double D coils work for both PI and VLF machines. Double D coils have two back to back D-shaped windings inside the coil. At all times the coils are transmitting, and another receiving across the plane of the coil. The Double D coil design is like a knife blade that goes into the ground down the center of the coil. These coils are great at handling mineralization where it essentially takes the ground mineralization and distributes it all the way across the blade lessening its effects.
  3. Concentric Coils: The third type of coil is the concentric coil. Many people think concentric coils are the same as mono coils however, that is not the case. Mono coils are built for a pulse induction machine using one winding whereas concentric coils work with VLF machines by using two separate windings one sends one to receive. Although they are similar in design, they work in two completely different ways for two completely different detectors.

Round vs. Elliptical Coils For Gold Prospecting 

Metal detector coils are measured off of a round coil configuration. That being said, there is really no difference in size, only in shape. For example, a 14×10 coil will have the same attributes as a 12-inch coil. Why are there two different kinds then? The key difference here is that elliptical coils work extremely well in difficult areas such as in between scrub bushes and rocks.

Discrimination in Gold Prospecting Machines

There is no truly accurate nonferrous discrimination on gold prospecting and discrimination for gold is dangerous. Iron discrimination is really the only type of discrimination on a gold prospecting machine and at best, this discrimination works ,

Trusting these signals is dangerous and can lead to missed gold, so do your best to operate your machine to the best of its ability without assuming anything. Even with the best iron discrimination, you should dig these targets until you know for sure they are ferrous junk, understanding that if there is any wavering in the signal of another target that sounds “almost the same,” it has to be dug.

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