Well it had to happen sooner or later, I used the XP deus to locate 4 tiny pieces of gold that in total weigh .70 grams. BUT It didn’t come easy. UPDATE I found another one for 5.
As many people Know when it comes to Detecting I am a BABY. I have been a detectorist for just over 3 years in Total and have been in the detecting equipment business for just on 2 years. During that time I have prided myself on not selling the wrong gear to the wrong person because in the end the truth will come out.
Now when I bought my first detector a Minelab Xterra 705 I was in the shop and I asked the guy what machine should I get to mainly find coins and relics but occasionally find gold as well. I live in Central Queensland and we have access to very good locations for both.
He sold me the 705 Dual pack after I had to use google to find the differences between the 505, 705 and a safari I think it was they had there too. Well most of what I read online turned out to be lies…..
FACT: The average coin machine will do it tough in some conditions thrown at you in the goldfields. It is NOTHING like coin shooting as every penny, halfpenny or $2 dollar coin is basically the same. Once you get your head around what tone they make finding them is quite easy.
GOLD is completely different every piece is different in shape TID Number and tone.
BUT there are certain locations where your coin machine is The ONLY way to go and you’ll do better than even the biggest and best gold machine. Its about being selective where you hunt.
GOLD is not anything like coins! Just adding a so called “Gold coil” to your machine WILL NOT automatically guarantee that you will walk into the bush and find gold. Despite what the salesman said.
Even the very BEST PI machines do not work too well out of the Box. For example a $6000 detector that you buy is, out of the box, pretty bloody ordinary. You need to also head over to the coil section and upgrade your coil as the stock ones are not that good ($4-600 extra), most people also head over to another area of the shop and invest in a BOOSTER to make the sounds more audible. ($150-$250 extra)
BUT the salesman won’t tell you this so many people take their stock detectors out into the bush and fail badly. Its only after talking to people with experience that you realise the factory supplied stuff is actually pretty crappy.
So its a second trip back to the store for one or more of the coils, boosters and other accessories to try and make the machine useable and another $1000 or more out of the bank as you try and make the 6k beast useable. (really a whole fresh article on the B.S in the industry)
The VERY Best VLF detectors are much the same, the stock coils and settings they come with are actually bloody hopeless at finding the gold and rather than going out into the bush, having a great time and finding a few pieces of the yellow metal, for a lot of people is an exercise in frustration and patience. Wrapping your machine around a tree or throwing it in a dam becomes a real possibility.
Now lets just talk about the XP Deus because thats the machine I use 95% of the time. YES I have other machine, Including the one mentioned above that required an aftermarket coil and a booster. So even though I sell the XP I am not so blinkered that the competition, in some cases, have superior products.
When I got my XP Deus I was, and still am, a mad coin and relic detectorist. I simply love finding coins, jewellery and other stuff from the past and even things like blacksmith made iron really puts a smile on my dial.
It was a natural progression to one day try and find a gold nugget, many don’t transition into gold but I’m telling you now that for ALOT of people the chance to look for gold will come up at some stage and you will take it.
in 2016 I went into the fields with my XP and the stock Black coil and spent at least 30-40 hours walking through the “Goldfields” with literally ZERO success.
I found every type of modern spendable coin, pre-dec coins, Bullets, bits of iron, bits of tin and many many other items, I even found some gold! But it was a pendant and 15K, so not the natural nuggets I was looking for.
These things stood out like the proverbial dog part, and each time I heard the tone for a familiar target I thought “NO WAY this is a $2 coin out here and sure enough it was!”
Literally I found just about everything I could get from my local park, albeit not in the quantities of the park but still they where there and they pulled me up in my tracks with their familiar sound, TID Number and other dig decision tools the XP contains.
Next XP Released HIGH FREQUENCY coils specifically designed to handle the HOT ground where gold is most often found and to also reduce the size of the target that the coil could locate.
(Side note: VLF Gold coils can be coin killers, but try running 80Khz in the park and see what tones up. a VLF running that high literally misses NOTHING down to the tiniest pieces of can slaw and scrap metal you have ever seen. I am talking stuff that is barely visible to the eye.)
So I hooked my HF coil and again headed off into the goldfields with confidence in my ability to find that elusive gold nugget. I was again majorly disappointed and I spent no less than 30 hours with No success. Other than the usual suspects like coins, bullets, relics etc etc.
Sitting in The laanecoorie lakeside park one night I had a long think about this as the goldbash was coming and I knew there would many many people there to show my XP too. But when they inevitably asked me about the ability of the XP deus to find gold in the hotground my answer HAD TO BE “I don’t know for sure as I have never found any”. NOT the ideal situation for a national distributor let me tell you.
BUT I was honest and I know for a fact I cost myself 3 sales by admitting this. The alternative was to B.S and make the sale. I chose NOT too, because as mentioned earlier the truth will eventually come out.
The XP deus could find my planted nuggets no problems, it pinged on the test pieces I had very very well and actually surprised me more than once while testing and training with planted targets. But we all know that a planted and a LIVE target are very different beasts.
NOW this is really the point of all this waffle, so if you didn’t read the rest of it PLEASE, I’m really begging here, PLEASE read the next bit as it will literally change your detecting if like me Gold has been hard to find.
I purchased a TRAINING Day from a professional prospector at the Laanecoorie bash auction. Now the training is of course about your machine BUT the trainer had never used an XP deus before, so that bit was out. Luckily I know my Little XP Deus inside and out so that bit was not important. (He did completely open up my 5000 knowledge though as I have one of them too, but the XP was what i wanted to find gold with)
We drove to a location that for me looked like every other part of the Victorian goldfields and he said, “Right lets go and find some gold”. Within 10 Minutes I was on the first piece and a .37 piece came to light using the XP deus.
Thats right 10 Minutes In! Now at the time (4 days previous to writing this) I had spent I estimate about 60-70 hours with the coil to the soil with nothing. The pro took 10 Minutes to put me on colour!
Thats because he knew where to look, what ground and what places had the BEST chance of containing gold. To say I was excited and at the same time blown away and very very pissed off was an understatement. I was pissed off at myself more than anything as when I heard the gold signal I realised I had heard that many many times before and for whatever reason didn’t dig it.
For the FIRST time I saw HOW my machine reacted to a Gold nugget target that was NOT planted. Let me say It was NOT exactly what I expected but each time I had previously dug those signals I usually had a bullet or a piece of shot to show for my efforts. I was close but not close enough to knowing thy target.
The professional then went on to explain WHY this ground was chosen and explain to me the movements of gold and where the most likely places are for it to be. In this case he knew for a fact that on the other side of the hill (100metres away) there was very little but on the side we were on the stuff was all over the place.
I went on to get 3 more pieces from that area and I learnt a lot about the Gold Hunting scene and where to look and most importantly WHY to look there.
Turns out just because you have all the maps in the world and the best gear you can buy it means absolutely ZIP if you don’t know what you are doing and you put yourself in the wrong spot.
YEP Just like when you first started detecting you need to go back to school and LEARN your machine all over again.
The salesman in the shops will not tell you this, they won’t tell you that finding gold is BLOODY HARD and that for the average person just walking on the the goldfields armed with your latest machine is just a TINY piece in the puzzle that is gold prospecting.
You can’t hurry the process along, you need to take time to learn and take time to practice.
The biggest lesson I learned is that by employing a professional to assist you will accelerate your learning and in my case allow me to make the breakthrough from gold searcher to gold finder.
Lastly, Constantly upgrading your gear is not the best weapon you have, learning the gear you currently own IS. Again if your not sure then GO TO SCHOOL and learn, the alternative is to wander around for hours aimlessly and hope you can learn by yourself. In My case that failed and the professional was able to show me WHY I had done so poorly in the first place.
Funny thing is I showed the guy a few things about VLF detectors and in just 1 case I was able to locate a target that the 5000 with a pro on the end of it missed, now it was just a bit of lead shot but it also showed me and him to some degree that High frequency VLF machines have their place on the goldfields, you just need to make sure you are in that place when you use them!
My suggestion for those looking to transition into gold is to hire a pro, rent the machines thay have on offer and for at least a time use your current machine too. Allow the guide to help, listen to their advice and I can almost guarantee you will become a better detectorist for doing so.
Remember the salesman is going to make is sound easy, but like I said equipment is the least of your worries.
Research hard and research Long!!
The professional I chose was Paul Stopps from Australian Gold Prospector.
A very Knowledgeable prospector who not only knows his machine and where to use it, but knows how to explain that knowledge to someone else in a way it makes sense. a very rare skill in my opinion.
I can highly recommend the AGP Tours and especially the training. Spend the few bucks this week and enjoy the benefits of some tuition for the rest of your prospecting career. I know I’ll be booking again as it always sinks in better the second time around.
P.S Sorry for calling you a Bunyip on the video Stoppsy. LOL
Get in touch with Paul (Stoppsy) here.