My hubby, Joe introduced me to gold prospecting on our third date! We had gone on a hike down Piru creek in Southern California and he had brought along his panning stuff. Well, me being a rock buff, this totally interested me. He showed me how and where to dig my dirt, then how to pan it out. A few flakes of gold showed up in my pan and I was hooked!
Joe had been panning, and even done some dredging in the Motherlode area before we met. He will tell you he has been interested in prospecting since he was little guy and his family took a trip to Knotts Berry Farm and he got to pan for gold there! In the 1970’s when the price of gold went up, the bug hit him again. Unfortunately, due to the area he lived in, he wasn’t able to do much until the late 1970s-early1980 when he bought a dredge (gold prices hit $850 an ounce) and headed to the Motherlode. He scratched out a living for a couple years before coming back to So Cal where he met me.
We became friends with Ed Milota, a Whites dealer in Ventura around then, and he got us interested in detecting for coins. In the following years we helped Ed found the Gold Coast Treasure Hunters club based in Ventura. I was president for several years in the beginning then passed the gavel to another member. That club is still going strong in the Ventura County area, you can find them on Facebook. Sadly our friend Ed passed away in 2002.
In 1987, Joe bought a Whites Eagle and we took it out to the Mojave Desert. First time out, within minutes of turning the detector on he got a target. It was a 3 oz nugget! Right next to it was a 1/3 oz and another smaller chunk. It looked like the 1/3 ouncer had broken off the big piece. Joe was featured in the next issue of the Whites detector catalog.
And, that was it. We were married in 1988 and we have been hunting coins, gold, and other rocks since then! Our mining and hunting adventures could fill a book, (like Joe’s trip to Australia for gold 2 weeks after we were wed!) and that’s why when our longtime friends Chip & Stacy Hess decided to retire and sell THE MINER’S CACHE, we felt it was a natural fit for us to take it over. Just adding another adventure to the book!
Come on by and see us!
Cassie & Joe Zucco