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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coin Collecting Christmas

Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a fantastic New Year!

My family had an underlying coin collecting theme this year. We gave and received a bunch of different presents, but mixed throughout were coin collecting supplies, coins, etc. I got my wife a couple older English coins and my son some pre-revolution ruble notes (for when he's older), my wife's brother sent us some coin holders, boxes and albums, and my wife got me an 1884 Morgan silver dollar graded MS65! We also hunted a bunch of coin rolls helping to flesh out our state quarters, and adding a couple silver dimes and other coins to the family collection (mostly skunk rolls, but still fun). All in all some great treasures, but still, the best was seeing my son's reaction to finding a Christmas stocking at the end of his bed, and spending time with friends and family.

I also had a chance to do a little detecting. Found a lot of old iron, and an interesting little tin. Still a lot more iron trash to clean out, but I know there's some old coins down under all the iron...

Anyway, happy holidays all. If you're into detecting, collecting, prospecting, etc, I hope you're finding what you're looking for!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Keep an Eye on Your Prospecting Equipment

'Tis the season for the dirtbags to come out of the woodwork and try to make off with your prospecting equipment.

The following story of stolen prospecting gear is one of many like it yet to come this year. Soaring gold prices have driven up the value of prospecting equipment to a level that's attracting thieves, so keep an eye on your gear.

May 15, 2008 Sacbee.com
"Thieves target gold prospecting equipment
"From David Richie:

"Gold prospecting equipment was targeted in two recent thefts reported to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office..." Read Full Story

I hope they catch the thieves. Somebody worked hard to pay for the gear that was stolen.

This sort of thing happens every year, but I have a feeling this year will be worse than any we've seen prior. Security in the woods, short of sitting in an old rocking chair with a shotgun across your knees, can be a little difficult. These areas are remote, and it's not always possible to be on site with your gear.

More and more prospectors are using hidden wildlife cameras in their absence to capture images of thieves and their license plates. The cameras are triggered by motion, so can be hidden at strategic parking access points to catch the culprits on film and hopefully help prosecute.

Anyway, just rambling this morning. I hope nobody walks off with any of your gear, and wish you the best of luck in tracking them down if they do.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

$1000 an Ounce!

So what are your plans for the summer...? :)

Me, I'll be running my 3" Proline about every other weekend, mixing in some crevicing, sluicing, panning, etc, hopefully getting a smaller crashbox style dredge set up for packing into little dinky streams, swinging my detector as often as possible, hitting the sunstone fields and hopefully finding a whole bunch of good stuff, including of course, a nice sized PILE OF GOLD!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Public Gold Panning Sites Map Project

With all the wikis and mash-ups and web 2.0 whatsits out there, how's about a collaborative effort for gold prospectors...?

Check out the Public Gold Panning Sites Map Project. The map uses the Google Maps system, and is open to public editing.

Add some sites!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vac Pac or Shop Vac

I was shopping at Home Depot the other day and saw an 18v Ryobi Wet/Dry Canister Vac and thought to myself, "that would be one sweet crevicing tool"...err...I thought something like that anyway...

There are some nice vac pac units on the market built on 5 gallon buckets and powered by leaf blowers, but they're just too big and noisy for a lot of the crevicing I like to do.

A five gallon bucket holds way more material than I ever expect to find in any one crack, and I really don't want to lug a half full bucket up and down bedrock from crack to crack until it's full. Chances are I'd empty it well before it was full, so wouldn't a two gallon bucket be plenty?

Then there's the noise and the smell. I hate the sound leaf blowers make, and the stink of two-cycle exhaust has never been a favorite. I like prospecting partly because I can get away from the noise and smells of town.

Lastly, I like working cracks that are hard to reach - places others are less likely to have bothered with. I mean why climb a cliff, when there are easy cracks right at the bottom? A leaf blower mounted on a five gallon bucket seems like it would be really awkward to climb with.

This little Ryobi cordless cannister vac on the other hand might be perfect. Here's what I'm talking about:

From reviews I've read the batteries only have about 10 minutes in them (20 with the lithium ion), but if you did most of your rock busting, scraping, brushing, scooping as normal, and used the vac just for final clean up, a couple of the li ion batteries might be plenty for a day of crevicing. I'm not thinking of this as a primary crevicing tool, but as one more crevicing tool in the bag.

I just know I've left some gold sitting at the bottom of a few cracks that I was unable to sweep or scoop into my pan. Seems like a little cordless vac like this would be just the ticket. I may have to get one this summer...

Happy hunting!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How High Will Gold Go?

Looks like gold closed at $914.60 on Friday, a pretty amazing number, but I'm curious if we've seen the end of its meteoric rise. Will it hit $1000.00?

Honestly, I don't think the question is when, but more like how soon? For those who haven't been following gold lately, consider for a moment that it was only in the $600s this summer and now it's in the $900s. That's amazing growth! So how soon, and how high beyond that?

A real estate developer I spoke to recently opined that we were four months into a ten month recesion. Let's say he was right. If the recession has been driving gold prices, and it already went up by several hundred dollars in the early stages of the recession, does it have another $500-700 yet to go before things turn around? Can it actually go that high?

My guess is it will hit $1100.00 over the next 5 or 6 months before it falls to around $850.00 where it'll stick for the rest of the year. Then again, I don't know bupkiss about it, so take my guess with a grain of salt...or several... Anyone who makes investment decisions based on a random blogger's opinion may just prove that old adage about a fool and his money. Then again, it's your money and I may be spot on. Who knows?

Anyway, what do y'all think? How high will gold prices go in 2008, and where will they close the year?

In any case, I can't wait for the weather to warm up a bit! I just hope the high prices don't bring a bunch of claim jumpers out of the woodworks...