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By Bob Schwartz, San Diego, CA

The purchase of a new ATV for my wife and son and the opportunity to dry-wash another part of the SPMA Club's claim in Quartzite, AZ had us all happily anticipating our camping trip.

It had not rained in San Diego for more than a week and the forecast was for clear and warm­ing in the deserts. I was planning to dry-wash most of the trip and metal detecting a small portion of each (lay. All seemed to fall into place and early on 12/20/97 we were off for Yuma. From Yuma we headed north toward Quartzite. During this portion of the trip I noticed that almost every dip in the road had ponding water in the desert. My hopes for a fruitful prospecting trip were fast evaporating.

Once on the Club's extensive claim, I decided to head for an area far from my first (and the clubs first outing here) camping trip on this claim. My first trip produced disappointing re­sults with the drywasher and metal detecting produced only `standard trash'.

I set up the equipment on exposed bedrock in one of the larger dry washes. However the soil proved to be very detrimental in its dampness. The next day on 12/21/97 I moved the dry­washer to another wash that had a better south­ern exposure and was a little dryer. Again, the damp soil caused me to pack up the dry-washer and get out my Minelab detector.

The first 45 minutes of exploration proved unfruitful. My son Jared was taking a break from riding this new ATV and rode over to see how I was doing. We both started walking up one of the many dry washes in the area. The soil in these washes indicated some recent major rains and the driest area- had only about half inch of dry top surface.

Within just a few moments of walking up the wash, I located a strong signal close to the north edge. The signal was so strong that I had expec­tations of just turning up another rusted can lid or some such trash.

Actually, this is my second metal detector and I had yet to discover anything other than standard trash' with either detector of the last 18 months. Up to now my best find was a small Hot Wheels car in rather good condition -- probably a $3 value. With my 'dig at ever: approach, I remained hopeful that one day I would find a nugget. Little did I suspect, that day was at hand!

When Jared and I work together, I usually use the detector and he digs the finds. Well, this was again the situation. Jared had just moved some of the top surface sand and rocks over the indicated area when we both almost simultaneously spotted the yellow rock. Jared immediately picked it up, and with wide-eyed excitement begun yelling before handing it to me. The size, color and weight left no doubt that we had found the big one! The realization of not only our first gold nugget find, but the size of it, caused me to repeatedly exclaim: "Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit!" Having said this for at least five minutes we decided to call this the `Holy Shit' nugget. (Our apologies for any offense this might cause.)

The next day we went into Quartzite where the friendly people at Pro-Mack West confirmed that it was one of the largest nugget find in quite some time. It weighed in at 120 gains - five grams.

Needless to say, in searching for an additional day and a half in the same and surrounding area of the claim, we did not have any additional finds. However, our winter vacation camping trip of 1997 will always be remembered and its' story retold many times. Further, we have the `Holy Shit' nugget to prove it!

gold nugget  - gold prospecting


SPMA President message:

1998 is in full bloom and club members are hard at work find­ing gold. Reports of nuggets are always my favorite. Being the one making the report would be preferable, hearing about or seeing them however is exciting as well. The father & son team of Bob & Jared Schwartz have been members for about a year. During the holiday break, they decided to visit the club's Quartzite claims. While metal detecting one of the numerous washes, the prospecting duo discovered a 5 gram nugget. Wow!! there really is gold on the Quartzite claim, RJ. Jerry Butler confirmed a 6 gram nugget found at the Potholes claim by club members using metal detectors. Keith Coleman and I drywashed the My Grain claim at Coolgardie and managed to find a nice nugget (about 4-5 grains), though not nearly the mass of the two previous reports. How­ever, a nugget not the less. Along with the nuggets I saw or heard of, there are many vials of pickers and fines coming from just about every club claim. For you non-believers, all I can say is that it's out there --'you just have to look for it.





Gold Nugget Prospecting





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