Dec 25, 2012, 10:42 PM
Metal detecting for gold in South Carolina
Hey fellow prospectors and treasure hunters. I started this thread to see what people had to say about gold still in South Carolina. I aq'uired a small tract of land in Smyrna, York County. Land has been untouched since the California rush (except the little old lady that lived there since 1912). Basically I'm wondering has anyone ever picked up a nug in SC. I understand that it would be rare and would be quartz, not like a nug found in the west. If anyone knows of the Dixon Mine, Martin Mine, Horn Mine, or Southern Gold Mine which all closed in 1939 I think by Roosevelt because of the war. I'm near there. They were pulling some good size nugs from the myths. So let me know of your stories of gold found in SC.
Using a White's GMT. So far about 20 hrs. prospecting. Digging everything under 85% iron somtimes I dig targets anyway off of fence lines. Slow going lots of nails and .22 cal. bullets in rocky soil. Found a few buttons with no markings and some worn down axe heads about 14" down under large roots. Makes you wonder what happened to make someone be so careless with such a valuable asset of the time. I'm going to search it all of course, consentrating on the tickest areas of the forest first since the leaves are down and try to hit as many ridges and hillsides before summer slows things even worse. I'm detecting the area first then I'll dig some prostpecting pits. What gold have you guys seen in SC?
Last edited by Cstyle00; Dec 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM.
Dec 26, 2012, 02:36 AM
I use a GMT here in California though I do not use the preset conditions. Do you have the manual for your unit and have you watched the two videos for the machine? All are availabel on White's Electronics web site
I am guessing that your ground is not very mineralized, this will be indicated by the numbers on the screen. As you are still getting used to the machine I would suggest you build yourself a small test garden. The test garden could be comprised of small pieces of lead or nickles that you bury in the ground. Bury the targets at increasing depths starting at 3", then 4", 5", 6", 7" and 8" and a good three feet apart, a little further apart if you have the space, and identify each target position so you know how deep the target is. Make certain the ground you use is free of any signals. With the targets buried thoroughly wet the ground to reduce air bubbles.
Wait about a day for the ground to settle and not be muddy, with the machine turned on and at the preset conditions wave the coil over the 3" sample and write down the results including a comment about how loud the zip zip was. Do this for each of the targets. With this done adjust the gain to 5 and record what the detector reads for each sample. Now set the gain to 8 and scan the samples and record the results and then 9, then 10. Return the Gain to the preset value.
Now with the gain back at its preset value do this all over for the variable S.A.T. Speed, start at 2, then 4, 5, and up to 10.
You should be seeing some sort of a pattern emerge with the sound (loud or quieter), the bar graph, the ground balance mineral type # and the follow the black sand amount of mineral # versus the depth of the targets.
With the above completed you should now test what happens with your targets as you increase both the gain and SAT speed, increase one and decrease the other and all combinations of changing these two values. What you now have is a data base of how your detector reacts to the soil value of your test garden of metal that the detector thinks is gold (lead or nickel). This data base tells you what you can expect your machine to do at the various settings of gain and SAT.
As the mineralization of the ground you detect changes it will influence how your detector reacts and the data base will help to inform you what you can expect from your machine as you adjust for the changes in the ground you are detecting. Your data base should also show you that as you increase one or the other of the variable settings you should loose depth of detection and this is important to realize that your detection depth will change depending on how you have the machine setup.
Having this data should help with your search. Do you have a stream running through the property? Streams sample any area so they are good to check with a gold pan just to see if there is any "color" in them. Gold is where you find it and just because there are mines in the area does not mean there is gold on your property but checking any streams on the property for color will help to understand what is possible on your land.
Do you have any rock outcroppings on the property especially with quartz showing? If so these would be places to detect and pan some dirt samples from the areas.
I know nothing about gold locations in SC but if there are old gold mines nearby then shucks there are gold mines nearby and there may be more gold. One thing I would do would be to check for information at the library to see what type of gold mines your local mines were, namely hard rock mines or placer mines. If they are hard rock mines then you might want to start looking/checking for rock outcroppings or along the bottoms of good sized hills. If they are placer mines then you want to look for exposed rounded rocks as they indicate placer deposits. There are tell tale signs of the minerals in the ground some plants grow better over certain types of minerals. Certain types of minerals are typical to find with gold like quartz so for your library work look for what type of rocks and minerals were found in the mines along with how much gold per ton. The amount of gold per ton will give you an indication of how rich the mines were. If the percentage of gold per ton is low then the finding could very well be harder.
As I understand it the mines were labor intensive and so by shutting down the mines the war effort got more soldiers. This would make even more sense if the mines did not produce all that much gold.
Good luck with your search and I hope my comments are useful..........63bkpkr
Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm
Dec 26, 2012, 09:00 PM
Mines in the area were lode mines and placer mines. I do have a branch on the property known to have deposits but I have only panned in three places and found nothing yet but recently learned the correct places to look. I'm more into finding it with the GMT but I have come to realize start in the streams. I've been to the library and there were several productive mines on and near the property. I have only found one so far and it is filled. I wish some of the old oaks could talk. I'll check around the quartz outcroppings there are many at the bottoms of high ridges.
I've studied the GMT. Seems to work best for me when set to manual I just hit the grab quite often and hit the plus to make it a little positive.
Last edited by Cstyle00; Dec 26, 2012 at 09:07 PM.
Dec 27, 2012, 02:19 PM
Good Morning Cstyle00,
Your comments are very interesting, first you have both lode and placer mines, you have streams/rivers on the property, streams/gullies/bottoms of hills are the places to start looking for signs of gold and you are using the grab button.
Here in California I find that carrying a test sample with me and using it every now and then help my ears to re-tune to the sound of the signal I need to be hearing. This would be a small piece of lead or a small piece of gold, ear ring/piece of an old ring, etc, that I've glued to a colorful poker chip so be able to see it easily on the ground. Then moving water samples all hillsides and gullies therefore checking the correct locations along streams or in gullies will help you to locate gold. The right places include on the back side of boulders, that is on the backside of any object that slows the flow of water, locations that cause eddies in water, obstructions under the water, and any cracks in exposed bedrock. Even bedrock that is not showing cracks should be checked as if there is gold present it will fall into small cracks that are then sealed up by boulders pounding on them or by moss or weeds growing out of them, actually moss or small lines of green growth signal that there is a crack right were the growth is. I've found gold in just such places. Finding small amounts of gold indicates it is present in the general location then backtracking up the wet stream or dry gullie will get you to the source of the fine gold. If you've not checked out Lannies thread "Bedrock and Gold" in the metal detecting gold prospecting section take a look at all of the great information he's posted on locating and finding gold in/on bedrock.
With my GMT I usually run my gain and sat speed near maximum while in auto ground balance. When I get a reasonable signal I pinpoint the location, while over the target I depress the Grab button and recheck the location and depending on the New response I will either pass on the target or dig it. Digging every target tells a person how this method works with their machine and or using a test target will also tell a person how this method works with their machine. I find that with this method and a good target the bar graph will go lower. Try it and see how it works with your machine.
Sometimes the old oaks if not the ground itself will whisper little hints to us about what took place there historically. Look for signs of cut off branches, or an old limb with an unusual dent along its length (possibly a piece of wire wrapped around it or a strong rope used to be there) and detect the ground underneath the dent. Notice small pieces of broken glass or china plates, rusty tin cans, nails and the like as they indicate the presence of humans. Look for long dents in the ground say maybe 4' to 6' in length and 18" to 36" wide especially in a group of several of them as these would be where people slept especially noticeable on hillsides. Somewhere around the location of these signs humans have been there will be a spot where they threw their discards, a dump. Some worthwhile bottles could be lurking there, they might sell for enough to purchase an extra coil or spare parts for your detector. Speaking about coils - I have all three that are offered for the GMT and find the smaller two to be the most useful unless of course there is a large flat section of open ground with few boulders, trees, bushes or other plentiful obstructions then the big coil gets pulled out. Actually I've started using the 4 x 6 shooter coil as my go to coil as in the mountains here there are so many obstructions that the little coil is much easier to use in these tight places.
How's your weather? The mountains here above 3000' are snowed in for the season so the obvious best places for prospecting are now out of reach till next year. Wet ground is fun to detect as the signals improve from the dead dry season.
Good Luck and have a good new year...........63bkpkr
Last edited by 63bkpkr; Dec 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM.
Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm
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