Gold in the hole!
Victorian gold, but not what you think
Warren & Colleen join us this issue
Sunken treasure in Aussie waters You won't believe your eyes
Meet the gang!
To all the everyday treasure hunters who head out the door with a glint of hope in their eyes and the excitement of the hunt in their hearts.
This magazine is dedicated to you....
4 Detecting Downunder
5 Jack The Ripper Coin
8 What Kazz Hazz
10 Tato's Tips
14 Diggers Downunder
16 Gold In The Hole
18 Outback Detectorists WA
22 Best Machine to Buy
24 Digging Plugs
28 Deus Duo
30 Digging Australia
34 Gold Fever
38 NQ Explorers
40 Aussie Sunken Treasure
42 Beach Detecting
1 | Outdoor Magazine Oct 2016
Who are we?
We’re Grandparents, Mums, Dads, Brothers and Sisters. We’re old and young, black and white, short and tall and we come from all walks of life. We’re just like you! We’re the online treasure hunting community that makes up Detecting Downunder.
Come join us and show off your finds, or learn all about this beautifully addictive hobby, meet new and interesting people, get outdoors and see new places whilst getting some fresh air and exercise. You might even find some treasure along the way.
Our group is designed specifically with new people in mind who are looking to join the hobby or just starting out and looking for answers, advice, recommendations, tips or just the opportunity to chat with other more experienced, likeminded people.
Are you our next superstar waiting to show off your treasure hunting skills? Come and find out.....
Detecting Downunder Group
6 | Outdoor Magazine Oct 2016
JACK THE RIPPER COIN
Jack the Ripper is the world's most well-known notorious serial killer to this day. In the summer and autumn of 1888, he stalked the slums of London's East End, slicing the throats of his unlucky victims and removing their internal organs.
Due to the precise nature of the mutilations, some speculated that he was a physician, butcher, or surgeon. The first five victims - the so-called "Canonical Five" brutally slain between August 31st and November 9, 1888 - were all prostitutes, plying their trade in the impoverished Whitechapel district.
The Queen herself closely followed the Ripper case at the time and was also of the opinion that the perpetrator had to be a butcher or a physician. Whether or not she was right, we will never know.
Despite enormous newspaper coverage at the time, and multiple investigations then and since, the murders remain unsolved. Jack himself died long ago, taking his dreadful secret with him to the grave.
Half Crowns like this one I recently found with my Simplex+ in rural NSW featuring the veiled portrait of Queen Victoria, were in circulation in Whitechapel in 1888. It only cost four pennies back then to procure the services of one of the East End ladies of the night that Jack the Ripper preyed upon.
Who knows, perhaps Jack or one of his unlucky victims may have actually carried this very coin? Either way, I think I've managed to recover a stunning piece of history, albeit dark, and I'm very proud of it.
Thanks so much for reading my story and I'll see you all out there my fellow time travellers!
"Chasing my treasure, what a beautiful addiction" - Karl Sterritt NSW
1/11 Riverside Drive,
Mayfield West NSW 2304
Phone: 0417 308-528
XP ORX was $1249, now $1099 (Oct ONLY)
Use discount code TREASURE at checkout
EXCLUSIVE to Treasure Chat
Are you new to the hobby, don't have a machine yet but would like to meet up with someone around your area to see how it's done and ask some questions?
Maybe you already have a machine and would like to meet up with new people around your area for a group hunt?
You might be an experienced treasure hunter who'd like to meet and teach others in your area?
Or maybe you'd just like to meet like-minded people in your area for a cuppa, beer and a yack and say G'day?
Well here's your chance.....
Detect-A-Buddy is all about bringing people together across Australia who have an interest in, or passion for Treasure Hunting.
Simply jump onto the Facebook Detecting Downunder group page and put your suburb, state and post code down and they'll add you to the map. The list itself is fully searchable by name, suburb, state and postcode, so you can easily see who's nearby. Here's a link to the map. Then, it's just a matter of putting up a post to that person/s in the group, asking if they'd like to meet up. It's as simple as that.
It's a great way to meet like-minded people in your area and learn this wonderfully addictive hobby. Many a long lasting friendship and the occasional relationship has been formed through Detect-A-Buddy over the years. 😁
When you are researching old parks have a look at where the oldest trees are growing or where they once were. Make sure you detect around them right up to the base. Then out the FULL width of the shade that the tree throws out! People sit there too! And remember shade moves all around that tree all day 360 degrees, so make sure you do to!
Detect in the play grounds especially the older ones, under swings and equipment. I’ve found a couple of florins under swings and climbing structures. Turn down your sensitivity so you can get in closer to the equipment. Make sure there’s no kids there first!
Happy hunting, Kazz!
Gold Coast Treasure Hunters
Welcome to -
“What Kazz Hazz”
Over the coming months I’ll share with you detecting tips, tricks and stories to tantalise your taste buds and get you fired up and out there detecting!
This month we’re talking about the three R’s – Research Research Research!
Doing your research is the key to successful detecting days. Whether it’s the local park, reserve, private permission or that vacant block of land you’ve been eyeing off, research will save you valuable time when you arrive on site.
Being based in Queensland, I use “Trove” and “Qimagery” as my main go to sites for researching old sites in this state and I’ve included links to both of these sites below.
Trove - click here
Qimagery - click here
Old trees on a property especially bigger ones were great play grounds for the kids back then. Make sure you hunt around the trees for lost toys and treasures. I’ve found pocket knives, lead soldiers and cars from around old trees. Same with garden beds and vegie patches. Many a ring was lost there too. Run your machine along nature strips and front fence lines you just never know what’s laying there.
Don’t forget to try and locate the current owner of the land and ask their permission before detecting there. Quite often one of the neighbours owns it, or knows who does.
A lot of the old sites are long gone and barely any tell-tale signs remain, so it’s up to you to work out what was where back in the day, which will hopefully lead you to where the relics and coins are. Using mapping sites like Qimagery will give you that window into the past you’re looking for. Qimagery holds maps going back to 1934 through to now and it really is a marvellous site to explore and see what was around your own neighbourhood back in the day.
That vacant block of land you’ve passed time and time again most probably had an old house on it. Once I’ve located a vacant block of land where Qimagery shows a house once stood I simply take a screen shot of it on my phone and take it with me. You’d be surprised how much time you’ll save when you arrive at the site. Simply pace out where the house may have sat using existing land marks like trees, fence’s etc as a guide.
Try and work out where the path from the back door to the clothes line was, as well as the front path from the road to house. Why you ask? Because a little know secret is that these are usually gold mines for coins. Often coins where dropped while getting keys out of pockets heading to the house. Then, you’ve got the ground below where the clothes lines was. Mum back in the day would hang dads and sons pants upside down to dry, this was the norm and continues to this day. Whilst upside down, any small silver threepence coins (the smallest of the silver coins then), missed prior to washing would fall out as the pants dried and moved with the wind. This area, if found, is where you will clean up!
What Kazz Hazz
#151 - QUICK FIX
If you ever break the plastic bolt that attaches your coil to the shaft, a quick fix is to replace it with a "toilet seat hinge bolt" found at Bunnings and other hardware stores. It's a quick, easy and cheap fix.
#30 - DISPLAY CASES
Watch garage sales and flea markets for old display cases or glass top jewellery boxes that you can spruce up and display your finds. It's amazing what you can pick up for a few dollars.
#299 - KEEP IT LEVEL AND LOW
Always keep the coil parallel to the ground and as close as possible. Sometimes you might have the tendency to accidentally lift your coil at the end of a sweep, this is called "making a smiley face". Be careful to avoid this, as you're losing potential targets at the end of either side of your swing.
#561 - SAY G'DAY
If you come across another detectorist out on a hunt, don't be a stranger, go over and say G'day!
You've not only just found someone else with the same interest, they might be happy to team up with you on future hunts and might even turn out to be your new detecting buddy.
#325 - PIN POINTERS
Don't waste your time detecting without a pinpointer, you'll just end up digging much bigger holes than you need to and spend most of your time needlessly digging instead of detecting.
Pin pointers are worth their weight in gold, just ask anyone using one. They dramatically increase your target recovery time, minimise your digging and allow you to detect and recover targets with pinpoint accuracy in parks and sporting fields with minimal damage.
#203 DIG EVERYTHING
When you're just getting started it's impossible to know if a target is trash or treasure., so dig every strong repeatable signal.
You don't want to miss something good!
#223 - KNOW WHERE YOU'VE BEEN
If you plan on hitting the beaches in pursuit of lost treasure, it's a good idea to mark out the areas you've already done to avoid wasting time. Dragging your sand scoop or a chain behind you as you detect is a great way to see exactly where you've been. If you don't have either, dragging a stick will do just as good.
#62 - SWING SLOW AND LOW
Always swing the coil low and slow. Most modern detectors use microprocessors so if you lift the coil at the end of your sweep, vary the coil height above the ground, or vary your sweep speed, you'll get random noises as the microprocessor tries to keep up with your actions.
If you swing too fast, you may miss targets, the detector may not respond as quickly as you expect or you might not hear the target signal because it's duration is too brief. Slow down and give your detector time to evaluate targets.
#109 - A PARTNER CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
You'll find more if you hunt with good a partner and here's why...
1. Easier to get permission and not chicken out. "We have to get a place to hunt!"
2. The more people that are hunting a site, the better chances one will find a significant find that will cause you to stay and hunt longer.
3. Every detectorist does things that you can learn from by watching. Things to do and things not to do!
4. Nothing is worse than having an unbelievable find or story and no one is there to bear witness that it even actually happened.
5. Safety in numbers allows you detect those shady parts of town with a buddy.
6. Adventure, sometimes the company in the hunt is better than the finds.
#535 - LIGHT OR HEAVY FINDS
If you’re hitting the beach and finding a lot of modern aluminium trash, modern newer coins, light stuff then all the good stuff is too deep and out of detection range. Now… if you’re finding heavy targets like bullets or old lead sinkers then that is a good sign because you’re at the depth that gold rings and other older targets would be!
#159 - LEARN FROM EACH OTHER
Every Treasure Hunter does things that you can learn from just by watching. Some people have mastered their techniques and metal detectors, so we can always benefit by learning from others. Sometimes we learn things to do, and even some things not to do!
Sometimes we're lucky enough to find an open minded partner, and even have the opportunity to help others be better hunters too, a win-win.
#516 - FOLLOW THE WALL
Always check along walls or logs forming a barrier around a public area like a park. Quite often people sit on these and lose coins without realising. FACT - many pre-decimal coins are found in these areas by those in the know. Make a B-line for them and you'll be well rewarded!
Regardless of what they do, or how they do it, one thing can’t be argued, these guys consistently find STUNNING eye watering, gob smacking coins and relics.
Make sure you check out their YouTube channel “Diggers Downunder the Comic Chef", you’ll thank us later.
This channel is definitely way up there for Aussie treasure hunting.
On any given weekend you’ll find the Diggers Downunder duo out and about in country NSW and Victoria, detecting their latest site and pulling up finds that would make the most eagle-eyed, experienced treasure hunter look twice.
Based out of the NSW/Victoria border towns of Albury/Wodonga, Phillip Bullivant and Neil Colston have perfected the art of researching and identifying old historical sites that the average person wouldn’t even think of looking. Where we the passer-by sees an empty paddock they see an old Inn dating back to the 1800’s. How?
“We get a lot of leads on potential sites from the locals in the area, especially the older generation in their 70’s and 80’s who’ve live around here their whole life. I’ll be talking to someone in town and so will Neil and together we combine our leads, find out who owns the land and go and approach them. We don’t always get a yes, but most times we do and we always leave the property exactly how we found it by ensuring we fill in all our holes”.
“It’s important to work with the local historical societies as well. We get a lot of leads from them and we always do the right thing. If we find something of significance, we hand it over. It’s just how things work around here”.
GOLD IN THE HOLE!
Metal detecting for me is all about finding history, especially rare, personal items that once belonged to people long ago. Sunday the 12th of July 2020, was to be such a day.
The day started off quite normal, looking for new places to detect, stopping at a couple of parks with little luck. The afternoon went by as the rain clouds set in.
Thinking, perhaps I should go home, I decided to stop off at just at one more park, an old location that I had detected before. As I arrived luck would have it, down came the heavens.
Being the stubborn detectorist I am, I decided to brave the elements in persuit of that one find that'd make my day all worth while. After checking out a few trashy targets my Equinox 800 went off again, bouncing between 17 to high 20’s, yet still remaining a very clear signal. With spade in hand, I started digging carefully, not to disturb the soil too much being in a park and all. Before I knew it, my plug kept getting deeper and deeper. My pinpointer (Pro-Find 35) continued to beep louder and louder the deeper I went. I was just about to give up in defeat and there it was! I blinked and had to look twice before I realised what I had just found! What laid before me was something gold and shiny, it was an old pocket watch.
As I knelt in the cold wet grass holding it, the first thing that struck me was how heavy it was. It had no signs of rust or tarnishing what so ever and remarkably the front glass face and back were fully intact. I knew I'd found something special. I couldn't bring myself to open it there and then and instead waited a few days before I had it assessed by my local jeweller, who deals in antique watches.
He was absolutely taken back when I showed him and he confirmed that it indeed was quite old, dating back to the mid 1800’s. He said it would have been extremely valuable in its time and that it would have belonged to a gentleman of extreme wealth. He estimated the watch's body to be made up of about an ounce of 18 karat gold.
He went on to say that he believed it could be restored as the gold casing and face are still in perfect condition, even after all this time. However, being buried for over 150 years, the moisture in the soil has not been kind to the internal mechanisms and therefore they will have to be replaced, if the watch is to be fully restored to its former glory. Perhaps, this project is for another day, as this piece deserves to have yet another chance at again keeping time and allowing its story to continue.
I have been a keen detectorist now for over 5 years and have found some wonderful treasures during this time. In my early beginnings, I started off with a Minelab Go-Find 60, but then quickly updated to the CTX 3030, which is normally my “go to” machine. However, now and again, I do like to swap between the CTX and Equinox, especially when I’m detecting inland, as they both have their strengths and are both excellent coin/relic machines.
So far, this gold pocket watch is my greatest find as I feel so blessed to have unearthed such a piece of early Melbourne history.
Photography by Marc Russo Photography
Marc and Lisa Russo, husband and wife dynamic duo, out of Perth Western Australia are well known and respected in their neck of the woods. On any given weekend you'll find them hundreds of kilometers from home scratching around with their detectors in paddocks, old dump sites and lost towns in the Wheat belt regions of outback Western Australia.
"It's nothing for us to leave home before sun rise every Saturday and Sunday and drive 150-200kms to get to a site of interest. You've got to go where the history was, and unfortunately it's usually a long way out from todays busy cities".
Both swing the Equinox 600's and pinpoint with the DEUS MI-4 and regularly post of their hunts on their YouTube channel "The Outback Detectorists WA". In all honesty, if you didn't see them actually digging the ground and recovering these breathtaking finds on camera, you'd have serious doubts. Do yourself a favour and check out their channel, you'll be hooked. We are.
Being an avid photographer, Marc has managed to incorporate his talent for photography into his passion for treausure hunting and the results are some absolutely stunning photographs of their finds which can be seen on his Flickr photography page - Marc Russo.
Make sure you catch our November issue as Marc shares some tips on how to take stunning photos of your finds with just your everyday phone. You'll absolutely love this regular monthly segment.
Product Reviews: Here
Product Videos -
Equinox 600/800 : Here
Our exclusive Simplex Retailer: Here
Our exclusive Minelab Retailers.....
QLD - Lost Treasures
NSW - Aussie Detectorist
VIC - Lucky Strike Gold
WA - Reeds Prospecting
Good luck and happy hunting!
WHAT'S THE BEST MACHINE TO BUY TO BEGIN WITH?
We get asked that a LOT and it's a fair question. The answer really depends upon a number of things. The first being what are you hoping to find - Coins/Relics/Gold? A lot of people say GOLD! because of the money making aspect. However, if you're not located in or near a gold bearing area or planning to travel to one regularly, buying a gold machine can be a waste of money. Gold machines are totally different to coin/relic machines and are much more expensive, see below....
Minelab SDC2300 - RRP $3,999
Minelab GPX5000 - RRP $4,999
Minelab GPZ7000 - RRP $9,999
WHAT'S YOUR BUDGET?
This will have a direct impact on what machine you end up buying. If you're living in suburbia (like the majority of us), then you're better off buying a coin/relic machine. You'll get a LOT more use out of it in your local parks, reserves, play grounds and vacant house lots etc.
Most of us will head out for an hour or two before/after work on a week day and usually every other weekend. It's easier to travel to close-by locations to hunt and that's where the coin/relic machine shines.
BUY THE BEST MACHINE YOU CAN AFFORD
A LOT of people race out and buy a dirt cheap machine to "see if I like the hobby first, then I'll buy a better one later". The problem with this is that cheap machines don't usually find much and you'll soon get disheartened and give up the hobby. The old saying - "you get what you pay for" applies here. Now, there are some people who will argue that they do quite well with a cheap machine. These people are few and far between. Buy the best you can afford.
PROVEN, TRUSTED MACHINES THAT WORK
ENTRY LEVEL $199 - $399
Minelab Go-Find 22, 44, and 66 are extremely light weight, compact and easy to carry in a backpack or simply hanging off your belt. They're definitely a great little performer and capable of holding their own. These are machines for anyone - kids and adults alike, novice or experienced.
MID LEVEL $475
Simplex+ by Nokta. The market range this machine represents was once dominated by the stunningly successful Xterra 705 by Minelab, which is still the most widely used machine in Australia today. We believe we’re seeing its successor and we fully endorse this pro
NEXT LEVEL UP $949 - $1199
Minelab Equinox 600/800. The latest cutting edge technology out there. A true turn on and go machine that's light weight, waterproof and super easy to use. If it's in the ground, this machine will find it. The 800 also boasts a "gold" detecting mode.
DIGGING PLUGS t
Leave the ground exactly as you found it, that's the golden rule.
Digging a correct plug is one of the first important things you must learn when starting out. It's a skill we all have to master or else grass dies, holes appear and people can trip and get hurt and no one wants to be responsible for that. Metal Detecting has already been banned by many councils around Australia for this very reason, people getting hurt and suing the council.
It is not recommended to carry a shovel into a park to dig plugs, or any kind of public place for that matter. Think how you'd react if you saw someone walking into your local park/reserve with a shovel where your kids play. Not a good look.
Commonsense dictates we use a small, hand held digging tool. There's many on the market to chose from and quite often if you're part of a group/club, someone there will steer you in the right direction to buy one, just ask. If you don't have access to a group, we've enclosed a LINK to an excellent hand digger we recommend by Detect-Ed.
Once you've detected a target with your machine, narrow down the dig area by trying to pin point the exact location using a hand held pin pointer. If you don't own one, buy one, they're a MUST. There's many excellent brands on the market like Garrett, Minelab and DEUS. you really can't go wrong with any one of them.
Once you've pin pointed the exact location of your target, cut a small semi circle plug with your digger, no wider than a bread and butter plate. (see photos). Make sure you cut deep enough to go down past the root system otherwise you'll kill the grass. Gently lift the plug back, place a tee towel/rag next to the hole and place your dirt onto it. This keeps the dirt in one place and ensures it ALL goes back into the hole after you're finished. You should not be able to see where you have been digging. Black dirt on green grass is like a neon sign saying "I DUG HERE" and a sure way to attract unwanted attention to yourself.
Once you've recovered your target return all dirt to the hole, close down the plug and stomp hard on it with your hand or foot. Clear away any lose dirt to tidy up the site and if this is done correctly you shouldn't be able to see any or very little trace of the plug.
If we all practice this retrieval method we'll hopefully be able to continue to detect in parks, reserves, play grounds etc without fear of fines and our hobby being banned in these areas all together.
45 Mercer Street, Geelong, Victoria 3220
9am-5pm Monday-Friday and 9am-4pm Saturdays
The 12" serated edge digger is perfect for excavating treasure. It has an oversized comfort grip and is made from heat treated carbon steel.
FREE Edge Digger and Equinox screen cover valued at $97 with every Equinox 800 purchased for $1290.00 during October.
Mention Treasure Chat!
Keep your Equinox screen pristine with this high quality screen protector cover. Suitable for both 600 and 800.
Phone (03) 5221-5400
I want to finish this particular article off with a huge thank you to the land owners - I cannot thank them enough. They treated me like family, let me camp on their land, listened to my stories, gave me information about the land and what they knew of my family's history, supplied power, water, fed me and shared their own histories. Truly wonderful people.
Tune in next month for day 2... a different house.
- Xlii (Roman 42)
In search of Pop - by The Deus Duo
My pop died in 2008 and I miss him a lot. We spent a lot of time together, fishing, playing snooker, fishing, watching cricket, watching league, fishing. On what would have been his 100th birthday the family and I went to the jetty where we used to go fishing, ate food from his favourite fish and chip shop and we shared favourite memories about him with each other.
I wasn't into metal detecting when he was alive but I think he would have enjoyed seeing my finds and telling me stories about what he could buy with four pence when he was a kid. I daresay he'd also be able to identify a lot of the unknown items I find as well.
Two years ago I was metal detecting a beach in suburban Adelaide when I received a call from my uncle. He knew the person who owned the land where Pop's first home was and was going to ask if we could go there and do some metal detecting. The land owner is a friend of the family and we were granted permission.
The past two years have been a source of great anticipation for me. When I go detecting and find relics I have no idea on who they may have belonged to. It was exciting to potentially find something that was related to my own personal history. After a quick weekend trip to Gympie my dad and I drove to central western NSW on our personal pilgrimage.
Day 1. Pop's First Home.
Pop was born in the early 1900s in Parkes, NSW but grew up in a place about 50 minutes (by car) from Orange. His first house was a slab hut atop a small hill. No evidence of the house is visible from the roadside, we only knew it was there because Pop and my uncle were driving past it one day and Pop pointed to the hill and said "my first house was on that hill". During the research for this trip I checked Google Maps and there was no evidence of a house there either. We drove into the paddock and started looking for evidence of a dwelling, the land was flat save for a few rocks that had been placed into piles by the land owner. Some pieces of rusty iron could be seen but there was no way of telling if it was a century old and could very easily have been more recent.
After a few minutes of walking around we found a small low structure with a small number of bricks, approximately 1.5m x 1.5m which we suspected could be a footing for water tank. We concentrated our search in this area and soon enough we started to find broken pottery - this was the place to start swinging
The first find was awesome. A tailor's button with the words "HOLLE SYDNEY" on it. There's not a lot of information on the internet that I could find about who Holle was, but I did find an interesting blog article here at ausbuttonhistory.com. It was definitely an indication we were in the right spot.
I am unsure what this item is, but it looks like it is gilded. It was most likely tubular in shape, but it's now flattened.
We found quite a few buckles and rings, I was surprised at how many iron buckles and rings there were (I didn't take any photos of the iron ones) but we did find a few brass beauties.
There were two more buttons found, an EXCELSIOR button (which I have found similar before) and a NSW Mounted Rifles button which predates federation. I'm yet to confirm if this belonged to any member of my family, but so far I can't find anyone who may have served in the NSW mounted Rifles. If I do find someone I will update this entry. Still, I was very excited to find this item and it was my favourite find of the day.
No day of treasure hunting is complete without silver. I have no idea what this item is nor who the maker JJ is (I couldn't find a similar maker's mark online), but I estimate it to be 1907 based on the "h" mark (if you have any other ideas please get in touch).
TWO DAYS I'LL NEVER FORGET
It’s not often I can say “I went to the beach and returned with 200-year-old coins, gold jewellery and military relics”, but on this occasion - I did!
Over a two day period (one of them being my birthday) I headed down to the beach, detector in one hand, camera in the other, hoping for a few coins. “Maybe a ring if I’m lucky” I thought. Either way it was great being outside once again.
First signal - an old army button, presumably from WWII, nice! The next hole… a halfpenny from the ‘20s. It only got better from there. Pre-decimal after pre-decimal, this beach was loaded. By midday, my pockets were full, silvers, pennies, badges. It was crazy.
The following day I headed back and it was even better. The first find being a 1964 threepence, the silver started rolling in. A few hours in (and several dozen coins later), I get a 90s signal on the AT Pro, blasting through my headphones. It was indicating whatever it was, was less than 5cm below the surface, so I assumed it was just a can, but knowing what I had found previously that day, I turned on my camera hoping for the best.
To my surprise, a 195 year old silver coin appeared….. An 1825 half-crown! To say that I was happy that I had filmed the dig was an understatement. Although being in the sand for well over a century, King George IV was still visible through the tarnish. It’s certainly not in the best condition, but still, a beautiful coin.
That adrenaline rush was followed by another dozen pre decimals, bringing the total coin count to a few over 300 for the two days on the beach. Finally, to wrap up an unforgettable day detecting, I uncovered a gold ring, 18 karat, which I handed over to police in the chance of the owner reporting it missing. Which after 28 days resulted in no success, so the ring was handed back to me. This was certainly an unbelievable two days on the beach, with finds that will definitely be hard for me to beat.
Happy birthday to me and happy hunting to you!
Jacob Ure - Digging Australia
Australian Distributor - Aussie Detectorist, 1/11 Riverside Drive, Mayfield West NSW 2304 Phone 0417 308-528
A friend had returned from a weekend away, telling stories of endless platforms of bedrock, laden with cracks and crevices and filled with gold.
As a somewhat sceptical guy, I dove straight into some obvious questions. Where? Was it public or private? Where? Can you send me a picture of your gold? And where?
His answer for where? was rather protective and vague, which is a forgivable trait of any Prospector, but his story goes; He had previously scoped out somewhere to camp, using satellite software to have a relaxing weekend with loved ones and to find a moment to chase some shiny stuff.
He believed the spot may be private and was prepared to ask permission, however, upon arrival he noticed other campers nearby and deduced that camping was indeed allowed.
He explained that he had a wonderful weekend but only found time to prospect for a few hours on his very last day before he had to leave, and he followed this statement with a picture of his "few hours prospecting."
It was at that precise moment upon seeing his picture, that plans were set in motion to return to his “hot spot” for a weekend on the gold!
Two weeks had passed of excited delirium and before sun rise, we were finally on our way to get on the gold! Needless to say, the 3 or 4 mates that had been invited, had somehow grown to 7 or 8 haha!!!
But that was fine, there would be mountains of gold to share and the group of guys coming were all top blokes.
We arrived mid morning through a beautiful rainforest of lush green ferns and palms, blanketed in a milky haze of mist and continued on what seemed an endless dirt track of winding blind spots.
After navigating a few bovine pedestrians, we pull into a beautiful creekside camp. It was at this stage I began to feel the onset of a migraine episode. However, fuelled with excitement I unpacked my gear and began setting up camp, masking my pain with smiles and laughter as it was like Christmas morning for all us big kids. “Maybe it will pass?” I told myself as I tried to push forward but sadly, I knew I was beaten. The old hammer had got me and I knew I was to remain at camp, lay down, medicate, hydrate etc.
Meanwhile, everyone else went off in search of treasure. I could hear them, and as I was searching for my solace, they were searching for a strike. "This crevice!" "That crevice!" "Primo paydirt!" "Look at the gravels!" "Woohoo picker!"
They were “wet’n pans and doin the dance” and I couldn’t even be jealous, which isn’t like me at all, haha!
A few hours must have passed and a 4x4 rolls up, A bloke leans out the window and says; “Where’s me carton?” I was already dazed, but that question threw me a little. He continued to explain that as the land owner, he has no issue with campers, provided they adhere to the universal rules of respect etc and that campers know to leave him a carton of beer at his property letter box upon entering. I was apologetic and offered him cash but he just laughed and said “no worries, next time buddy" as he drove off with a wave.
Feeling slightly better, I decided to explore a little near camp and I spotted a small gravel drop zone, with hard pack on bedrock and with slow caution, I had a few relaxing pans and was happy with a little colour for the day.
The boys returned with stories of wonder and endless potential whilst proudly displaying their golden smile pans.
As the sun retreated behind the western horizon, we settled in for some campfire stories, beers, food, laughs and engaging conversations, which some believe cleanses the soul of those nasty hustle & bustle day to day stresses.
Day 2 began early as expected. Mostly all were up and out of their swags, coffee in hand and setting up game plans and strategies for the days gold extractions. I was finally back from planet migraine, so I couldn’t wait to get out there and find my fortune.
As I followed the guys down a track, just 60 meters from camp the bedrock was, as described, a sight to behold. platforms of moulded humps, like huge sun baked granite muffins folded together, perfectly forming a crevice heaven.
I was invited to work a large trough that adjoined a crevice already being worked by one of the guys, as he was actually seeing the gold before he could scoop and scratch it out “VG!” he’d call out, every few minutes or so, making me work and rush that little bit faster to get to that same layer.
The day went like a game of “whack a mole” heads would pop up randomly saying “woohoo!” “VG baby!” or “on the gold!” Several hours passed and we were all yearning for “beer-o-clock” to arrive and with sore backs and aching bodies, we headed back to camp to share our daily success.
The second nights events were a lot like the first, but with several more drinks involved around the campfire and OMG!!! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life. The guys were seriously on point from what I can remember.
In wrapping up, that brilliant weekend “on the gold” totally blew my mind with how much a gold rich crevice can really produce. The beautiful country, camping, building mateship around the campfire and the addictive pursuit of this “grown ups treasure hunt” is a magical adventure that I will never tire of or will I never EVER! forget!
Dan AlmonD, Qld
Happy Fossicking everyone!
Warren and Colleen.
On the day in question we were detecting a well visited site (mostly by us), where the good targets were becoming harder to find. Colleen’s decision from the outset was to set her Garrett AT Gold in ‘all metal’ mode and dig everything. She is a very experienced operator and this decision required a discipline that I just didn’t have on the day. I was using an AT Pro with my Iron set on 40 and everything below 50 notched out, and just ‘cherry picking’ the high tones.
We were probably 30 metres apart on separate digs when she let out a yell of excitement – I thought she had been bitten by a snake – then comes the question: “I’ve got a coin – doesn’t a Gold Sovereign have St. George and the Dragon on the reverse?”
Yes – it was a Gold Half Sovereign. With a discrimination setting of 50 on my AT Pro, the coin was easily detectable, but I had made the mental decision just to dig the 70s and above, since such targets abounded. Needless to say I now dig all targets with an I.D. of 58!
Follow our adventures!
Feeling slightly better, I decided to explore a little near camp and I spotted a small gravel drop zone, with hard pack on bedrock and with slow caution, I had a few relaxing pans and was happy with a little colour for the day.
The boys returned with stories of wonder and endless potential whilst proudly displaying their golden smile pans.
As the sun retreated behind the western horizon, we settled in for some campfire stories, beers, food, laughs and engaging conversations, which some believe, cleanses the soul of those nasty hustle & bustle, day to day stresses.
Day 2 began early as expected. Mostly all were up and out of their swags, coffee in hand and setting up game plans and strategies for the days Gold extractions. I was finally back from planet migraine, so I couldn’t wait to get out there and find my fortune.
As I followed the guys down a track, just 60 meters from camp the bedrock was, as described, a sight to behold. Platforms of moulded humps, like huge sun baked granite muffins folded together, perfectly forming a crevice heaven.
I was invited to work a large trough that adjoined a crevice already being worked by one of the guys, as he was actually seeing the gold before he could scoop and scratch it out “VG!” He’d call out, every few minutes or so, making me work and rush that little bit faster to get to that same layer.
The Discrimination Question and a Gold Sovereign.
- By Warren of NQ Explorers.
Anyone who has been in the detecting world for any period of time will know of those stories of sensational finds by ‘new chums’. Finds often in well-detected and easily accessible sites. These finds are generally attributed to ‘beginners luck’ by seasoned detectorists, but ironically it is not luck at all but simply the inexperience of the new operator that has lead to their success.
It is a matter of discrimination. The new chum tends to ‘dig everything’, as they are often advised to do, whereas in the same situation the experienced operator dials in a bit of discrimination based on the knowledge of site they are hunting.
Metal detecting is a learned skill, just like any other skill we may acquire through training and experience. And like all those other learned skills, we adapt our own behaviour and develop short cuts and ‘hacks’. This allows us to minimise time digging undesirable targets. But discrimination is as much a mental process as a setting on a metal detector.
A great example of a find of this calibre is Colleens 1910 Half Sovereign. Over our detecting careers we have been privileged to have access to WW2 camps where tens of thousands of Australian Diggers camped, lived and trained from 1942 until 1945. Many of these camps are on private property and some in very remote areas where permission from Traditional Owners is required. Consequently we have on a number of occasions been ‘first in’ with a detector – and treasure abounds! Dozens of predecimal coins, Rising Sun badges, rank pips, cutlery, dixies and all form of military relics (including live ammunition!) are typical finds from any detecting trip.
And now to the question of discrimination in such an environment. With a plethora of high-tone desirable targets, it became very easy to run iron discrimination high and just ‘cherry pick’ the good signals. It becomes a situation where experience on a site may lead to ‘lazy’ discrimination practices.
Over the years we have detected these sites with a whole range of Garrett detectors – Deepseeker, Scorpion Gold Stinger (last of the famous 15 kHz A2B lineage), the ACE series, GTI-2500, AT Pro, AT Gold and now AT Max and Multi-Frequency Apex. We have even used the pulse induction Garrett Infinium with great success on sites with excessive iron mineralisation.
All cleaned up. Top photos are straight out the water, second photos are after the jeweller cleaned it up and karat tested/weighed. 22 karat coin on a 9 karat band, weighs a little over 5 grams all up, so 3.99 grams for the coin and the rest is the ring.
- Toyah Burns VIC
One morning in the middle of a summer heatwave in January, I woke up to that itch to grab my Equinox, sand scoop and bathers and head out for a water hunt to escape the murderous heat.
I remember the last thing I heard before walking out the door was a voice saying “find some gold and put on some sunscreen” and with that I was out the door, in the car, out the car and running down the hot sand straight into the water.
The tides were an hour away from one of the lowest tides for the month. The salty ocean water was still and clear to the point I could see my own happy reflection beaming back at me. The ocean is my happy place, my second home and today I was ready to scoop those ring pulls out of the ocean. That is exactly what I did for the next 4 hours in chest deep water with my Equinox 600.
At this time I didn't have the waterproof headphones I do now, so my hunt involved super sonic hearing and feeling the machine slightly vibrating when hitting targets. It was also so hot that the sun was burning a hole straight through my skin to the point I could hear it sizzling when the salt water hit my shoulders.
4 hours of ringpulls and some change. 4 hours of groaning every single time I saw that holey old school ringpull. 4 hours of starting to feel my mouth drying up and my skin sloughing off. I was starting to resemble Tom Hanks in Castaway and gold rings were my Wilson. I could hear the detector gods laughing at me, taunting me, telling me that I should leave now and that this hunt will not amount to anything but ringpulls.
I clambered on, dragging my near lifeless body through the water, seeing coconuts with straws floating by. Delirium had set in. The heat got hotter and my reflection in the water was not looking as happy as it had 4 hours earlier.
Then I heard it, another 14, another rapid 14. Another scream from the Equinox that by this time sounded like laughter. I was delirious, so I dug. Nothing in the scoop. Detector Gods laughing. The ocean started to look more like a barren desert filled with ringpull mirages.
I scooped again and again and again. By the last scoop I was underwater holding my breath digging a hole that was big enough to drain the ocean. I came to the surface, skin falling off my entire body from 3rd degree sunburn. "Please, please don’t be a ringpull" I thought. I swept the coil over the hole again, no sounds of taunting laughter from my Equinox. Nothing but delightful silence.
I shook the scoop with all the energy I had left, chin deep in water, begging for this to not be another one. I looked and something gold glistened back at me in that murderous sunlight. I picked it up with my shrivelled up fingers and squinted through red, salty eyes. I just stared at it and it stared back, it was mesmorising. It was gold, it was round, it was gold and round and it was on a ring. It was St George slaying a dragon just like the heat was slaying me and it took my last breath away. It was….. an 1895 Half Sovereign ring and my persistance had paid off.
The next few days I spent in bed with sunstroke. I was so sick I couldn’t move, but next to my bed on my side table, next to a bottle of water, some aloe vera and a packet of Valium sat the most amazing find of my life. I couldn't stop staring at it, even through all my suffering it comforted me.
My advice to you dear reader is…….. never give up and dig those 14’s.
Found an absolute RIPPER! today.
A bucket lister of all bucket listers, a solid gold Sovereign! Not just any old Sovereign, one mounted on a ring. To top it off, I recovered it from the ocean, off a beach, on an island.
How cool is that!
REAL AUSSIE SUNKEN TREASURE
Quite a few of your finds on the beach will be recently lost items. The older stuff is buried deeper and this is where you need to concentrate. I like the real low tide area best as it often produces some nice heavy finds. Always keep a look out for unusual sand formations, deep cuts after a very high tide or storm will sometimes accumulate the good stuff.
You'll know you're on a decent spot if you start digging older green coins and lead sinkers, a sure sign you could snag some gold or silver. Another part of beach hunting that I think is important is being able to read different beach conditions.
High tides and strong winds:
This combination creates large waves that can and often erode sections of the beach, especially the dunes area, exposing long lost items. From past experience I have found that these heavier waves will stir up the lighter items and literally fling them up the beach. These have included smaller silver coins and small jewellery items like rings.
Here you will find mostly "fresh drops" but still worth it, but can be very tiring on the legs and feet.
Entrance & exit spots:
Beach entrance/exits points are definitely worth searching. You'd be amazed how many people shake their towels or blankets as they leave the beach, so make sure you check here, you can thank me later.
If beach goers park their cars on sand or grass, search that area after they're gone at the end of the day. Many small personal items including gold jewelry are lost in parking lots when people are dropping valuables out of their pockets and beach bags while looking for the car keys.
The towel/blanket line:
This is my favourite spot. This is the first place I usually check as this is where people place their towels and belongings and put on sunscreen. I've often found sunglasses, coin spills, rings, and and necklaces here. This area is continually being replenished and in the summer season will always produce. If this area is ever eroded then expect a "gold mine." My last towel line cut produced four gold rings in three hours including that antique diamond beauty.
Another great spot, especially on "new moon" lows. This is where people have earlier been swimming or playing around in the water. I've found some nice items here and usually quite shallow too.
Personally, I prefer to work the visible wet sand, starting where most of the water activity takes place. Depending on how much sand is on the beach you want to focus on flat portions. If there is a slope and then it levels out, work that area. Items can be pushed onto the slope but for the most part they will settle in the leveled out area. Look for patches of sand wetter than others as the tide goes out. Check the sea walls and piers for damp areas which might suggest the sand levels have dropped.
All the best, Brian - Queensland
Part 2 - next months issue
Beach Dectecting for Gold & Jewellery - By Brian Lee (Beach Detecting Australia)
After many years of dirt detecting I think I finally found my calling at the beach (about 12 years ago), so I hope this will help some of you especially newcomers to our great hobby..
Well first off - there are no secret tips that I can give you. So lets talk about what we do know.....
I firmly believe that there are literally thousands of rings that have been lost over the years. How often have you spoken about your hobby and someone has said they had lost one? Most people know someone that has, for some reason more seem to have been lost at the beach.
The fact that most people apply slippery sunscreen or suntan oil raises the probability of losing their jewellery. That being said, you would be amazed at the number of people that sit at the waters edge running their hands through the sand and water, especially mothers with small babies.
Finding gold or silver jewellery can be put down to pure luck i.e. being in the right place at the right time. Also, being able to put a few extra hours in now and then can also help. Always try to observe where people sit and gather on the beach, it may be near the beach walkways, the sand dunes or close to the lifeguards tower. It's at these places where little treasures will accumulate. A little advance homework sometimes pays off.
Although, many metal detectors can discriminate out trash. I always recommend digging all targets while beach detecting. Small engagement rings register just like trash to most machines. Finding a diamond ring is one of our main goals, so why would we ever want to eliminate this possibility.
Secondly, by removing all the trash from an area your machine will then be able to pick up deeper heavier targets (like coins and rings) that had been masked by the shallower bottle caps and aluminum foil. Basically, if you want to be consistently successful in finding gold on the beach, you will have to do the work and dig all targets. Most important thing I can say is slow down!.
All to often I see people racing around the beach, it's not a race. It's a big beach\area and you can't cover it all in one day, no matter what you do. I too have been guilty of this & only recently have decided to slow down a bit more myself. One thing I must say is that I never ever go out expecting or anticipating anything and if something nice turns up, it's always a nice surprise.
© Detecting Downunder 2020
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