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rdd52
04-17-2012, 05:40 PM
what do you guys think of a Garrett treasure ace 300 for finding gold? i picked this up a few years ago and haven't used it very much.it works pretty good for finding coins and jewelry.the coil is a cross fire 2 supreme deepseeker.should i bring it up or leave it home :)

Reno Chris
04-17-2012, 10:02 PM
Actually this question gets asked often in one form or another, but I'll offer my comments. The simple summary is that in general coin and jewelry machines like the (insert name of low cost coin machine of various makes here) do not have the sensitivity or ability to handle ground mineralization that is required to make a good gold machine. There are reasons for this.
I think for searching parks and schools for coins and jewelry (and similar applications) any of the various coin detectors will be just fine and work very well -that what they are designed for. However, I think that for prospecting, they are a poor choice because they are just not designed for that. People who do coin and jewelry work like a quiet detector - the no audible threshold mode on so many coin and jewelry detectors is testimony of this. They don't want to hear hot rocks, little bits of foil and soil mineralization. The targets they do want to hear, like coins and jewelry are comparatively large. So the easiest way to make a detector quiet is to limit its gain and make sure it wont be bothered by those faint targets. But that also makes those detectors (and this includes nearly all coin and jewelry type detectors) unsuitable for prospecting (except on real large, near surface nuggets). You see by comparison to most gold nuggets, coins and jewelry are 10 to 100 times larger than the nuggets you will want to hear (maybe even more in some cases). To hear those smaller nuggets, you need a detector that has a lot of gain - one that by necessity will be powerful enough to hear those hot rocks, little bits of foil and soil mineralization I mentioned before. That's why most coin and jewelry detectors are simply unsuitable for nugget detecting - they've been limited in what they can hear to meet the demands of the folks who buy them. I'd expect most coin machines, with the standard large coil would have a problem hearing nuggets much smaller than 8 grains (about half a gram), even if they were fairly close to the surface. Since a good percentage of the nuggets found with a detector in many places are smaller than 8 grains, do you want to handicap yourself in such a way as to own a detector that will ignore the majority of the gold nuggets which are normally detected? I wouldn't.
Second, most ground in gold bearing areas is moderately to highly mineralized, so the ability to ground balance in strongly mineralized soil is critical for a gold machine. Most coin detectors are not made to hunt in strongly mineralized locations because that's not where the coins and jewelry generally are found. My guess is that in general coin hunting, you may never have seen ground as wild as is common in many goldfields. Its fairly normal that goldfields have ground full of noises that sound like targets or thousands of hot rocks lying all over the place - if your machine cant deal with those, you are just out of luck. Extreme mineralization and all the beeps, clicks and other noises it creates can hide even decent sized nuggets lying fairly close to the surface.
If you use a coin machine, you will find yourself limited to areas with very mild mineralization and large, near surface gold. That makes for a heck of a handicap as much gold is small and located in places with moderate to high mineralization. Most places with mild mineralization and big near surface gold were hunted out decades ago these were the targets of the first detectors developed because the detector operators back then had no option to buy a machine with higher sensitivity and the ability to handle mineralized ground.
Many new detector operators choose their detector with price as a major point (if not the only point) - and are often disappointed in what they find it will do (or better stated, what it wont do). You are by no means the first guy who would prefer to spend a lot less and still hunt nuggets. I always suggest buy the best detector you can afford - even if you need to spend a year saving up. If you see yourself using your detector the majority of the time searching for coins and jewelry at parks, schools, houses, etc. and only occasionally nugget detecting, then a multi-purpose detector will be fine. On the other hand, if you really are intending to be serious about nugget detecting, you will want to go with a detector that is DESIGNED to find nuggets and actually has the capability to do so. The ML 705, MXT and GB Pro are all good choices for multi purpose units that were designed to find gold in addition to other things. It is worth the money even if they are a little more expensive than a coin machine.

Steve Herschbach
04-18-2012, 05:34 AM
We are at the end of decades of metal detecting for gold nuggets with metal detectors. Chances are any area you visit has already been detected. In many cases the only thing going for you is having a detector better than the majority of the people that have gone before you. Taking a detector like an Ace 300 to someplace like Rye Patch or Gold Hill would be almost a complete waste of time.

If you have access to virgin ground with relatively large gold at shallow depths the 300 may do well for you. If you know such a place and need a partner let me know!

rdd52
04-18-2012, 01:54 PM
thanks for the information i will leave it home and pack some other things i can use there.