Looking for that golden Metal Detector to find Gold?! The best Metal Detectors detect a range of metals including the shiny yellow rock — gold! YOU can detect gold if you have the best detector for gold-specific metal-detecting. Find gold dust, gold nuggets and more! Gold detectors and geology fanatics swear by our top 8 best gold metal detector picks!

Choose gold-specific features in your gold metal detector. These features matter when you’re into gold metal-detecting. These types of metal detectors are able to differ jewelry and regular coin kind.

How much should you spend on a gold metal detector and why does it need to have special capabilities? We’ll explain what you need to know in finding the best metal detector for your gold-finding quest!

Here are Our List of Top Choices

These are our best gold metal detector recommendations based on your gold-finding, metal-detecting criteria:

High-End
Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector Special with 17" Smart Coil
Best Value
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Pulse Induction
Garrett Metal Detectors ATX Deepseeker Package
Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector Special with 17" Smart Coil
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Garrett Metal Detectors ATX Deepseeker Package
High-End
Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector Special with 17" Smart Coil
Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector Special with 17" Smart Coil
Best Value
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Pulse Induction
Garrett Metal Detectors ATX Deepseeker Package
Garrett Metal Detectors ATX Deepseeker Package

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Noteworthy News: If you’re really interested in gold-specific metal-detecting, know that there is a trade-off between the depth and size of the finds that you can detect at a specific frequency. This problem is solved by Multi-Frequency metal detectors which make our top recommendations.

Ground Balancing (manual and tracking are best) and Target Discrimination are the other two key features that we will tell you about in our reviews below.

Pulse Induction metal detectors have also been very popular with gold-specific metal-detecting for their ability to work well under the high-mineralization conditions that gold is often found in. We added the best gold metal detectors to our shortlist that address this.

1. Minelab CTX 3030

   Best High-end Metal Detector for Gold
Technology: Simultaneous multi-frequency (28) 1.5-100 kHz
Coils: 11 Inch DD
Max Depth: 18 inch / 46 cm
Weight: 5.2lbs / 2.36kg
Batteries: Lithium and 8AA
Battery life: 13h + 7h

The CTX 3030 metal detector is an excellent, all-purpose gold metal detector. When it comes to gold-finding, you’d be very happy with this top quality metal detector. This best-in-class higher-end metal detector is an expensive buy but it’s worth it when you’re set on finding gold!  

Why choose the Minelab CTX 3030: Hunting for gold feels like seeing through the ground. Know what is gold and what is trash before you dig even when they are close together with this metal detector. Plus, you get the most advanced features you will find in the market for a reasonable price. If you can afford it, get this gold metal detector. You won’t go back.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Multi-frequency Tech: enhance metal ID

✔️ Target Trace: detect gold even when in close proximity to iron

✔️ 2D Discrimination: mute only the types of metal that you want to avoid digging

✔️ Tracking Ground Balance: adapt to changing ground mineralization conditions

✔️ Waterproof down to 10′ / 3m

✔️ Up to 30h metal-detecting without recharging

✔️ GPS tracking

✔️ Less trash, more gold

❌ Price

The CTX 3030 may not be a gold-specific detector, but it sure has features needed to detect gold. Metal detector features include smart search coils and FBS2 (Full Band Spectrum 2) tech. It’s a true multi-frequency metal detector that offers 28 simultaneous frequencies from 1.5-100 kHz. You can comb the ground to find any target you’re after with just one sweep and greater depth detection. With this metal detector, you increase your chances in finding gold on the ground. 

With Smartfind 2D Discrimination and Target Trace, you have greater target information and improved target separation to determine if your metal detector is hitting gold or some other type of metal. For mineralized conditions, you can ground balance and allow the detector to function in automatic tracking mode as you move over questionable soils in your search for gold. 

Even though the CTX does not have a dedicated Gold search mode, it does allow for multiple, customizable profiles where you can set specific parameters best suited to gold-specific detecting conditions for each site you visit. 

Although expensive, the CTX is one of Minelab’s more affordable, premium metal detectors. If you’re looking for a metal detector model that can detect gold and provide optimal performance for all other detecting goals for various types of targets, it should be on your short-list. 

2. Garrett ATX Extreme

 Best for pulse induction metal detector for gold
Technology: Pulse Induction
Coils: 13 inch
Max Depth: 27 inch / 69 cm
Weight: 6.9lbs / 3.1kg
Batteries: 8AA
Battery life: 10-15h

The ATX Extreme Pulse Induction is a top-end gold metal detector. Designed for professional use and serial prospecting, there isn’t anything the ATX can’t do in the hands of a pro. 

Why choose the Garrett ATX Extreme: If you are planning on detecting gold in high mineralization areas or where all the shallow gold has already been taken, this is the metal detector for you. Think of it as your second metal detector; the one that you use when your regular one doesn’t get the job done. The price tag will be worth it if you know where to detect gold and your other metal detector didn’t succeed.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Pulse Induction: maximum depth and high mineralization resilient

✔️ Tracking Ground Balance: adapt to changing ground mineralization conditions

✔️ Iron check: flag iron targets so that you don’t have to dig a false gold signal

✔️ Waterproof to 10′ / 3m

✔️ Military grade: rugged and sturdy

❌ Price

❌ Weight

The ATX Extreme has extreme performance. This metal detector has military-grade construction, and it’s built to be submersible up to 10 feet below water – freshwater, saltwater, there are no limitations. Its lack of an LCD display is part of its waterproof design. Instead, LED lights indicate signal strength to provide data in a visual form. 

It’s a pulse induction metal detector operating at 18-19 kHz emitting 730 pps. It is inherently immune to many types of soil conditions, but it can be ground balanced if conditions prove to be challenging even for a PI. 

The ATX metal detector also allows for discrimination with Iron Audio when the DD search coil is used, and it offers 25 adjustable Discrimination/Delay settings. There are 13 Sensitivity/Depth settings to take advantage of conditions that are more than suitable to detect even the smallest pieces of fine jewelry, thin coins, and sub 0.1-gram gold nuggets.  

If you desire extreme performance out of your metal detector, go with a pro model. The ATX Extreme couldn’t be named more appropriately.  

3. Minelab Equinox 800

   Best for overall value for money metal detector for gold
Technology: Simultaneous multi frequency 5 – 40 kHz
Coils: 11 inch DD
Max Depth: 15 inch / 38cm
Weight: 2.96lbs / 1.3kg
Batteries: Lithium
Battery life: 12h

Another one of Minelab’s metal detectors wins a spot in the lineup. As a true multi-frequency detector, it’s a high-performing workhorse with additional features that prove it can conquer challenges that would otherwise slow down your quest for gold.  

Why choose the Minelab Equinox 800: The advanced features of high-end metal detectors like this one come at the price of gold VLF. If you don’t need maximum depth penetration or getting separate readings for iron content and conductivity in your metal ID, this gold metal detector will save you 60% of your hard-earned cash.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Multi-frequency: better ID to dig less trash

✔️ Full Ground Balancing control

✔️ Notch Discrimination (50 notches)

✔️ Waterproof to 10′ / 3m

✔️ Lightweight

✔️ Best value for money

❌ Shorter battery life (12h)

As a multi-frequency metal detector, you have more than one frequency that is operating at a time. Of course, it’s going to drain battery juice faster than most other gold metal detectors. With only 12 hours of use, you’ll have to come prepared with chargers or a power bank if you want to hunt for gold for days on end.  

But, what are those extra frequencies as features? The Equinox 800 has five simultaneous frequencies in operation: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 40 kHz. With low to intermediate frequencies being put to use, your chances of finding all types of targets, including gold, are high. 

With multiple ground balancing methods in place, such as manual, automatic, and tracking, you can truly ground balance to the toughest mineralized ground conditions. You’ll need these features if you plan to hunt in the conditions where gold is usually found. 

Metal-detecting and geology experts will have a field day with the many adjustable settings they can customize and control. Threshold, noise cancel, and recovery speed can all be manipulated to tailor your detection success for each gold hunting site and its unique challenges.

Waterproof up to 10 feet and lightweight at 2.96 lbs, Equinox 800 detectors can be taken anywhere for as long as you’re up to the job. Finding gold with a detector under $1000 is a rewarding experience that will financially pay for itself.

4. Garrett GTI 2500

   Best for gold hunters that also enjoy coin shooting
Technology: Very Low Frequency (VLF) – 7.2kHz
Coils: 9.5 inch concentric
Max Depth: 12 inch / 30 cm
Weight: 4.6lbs / 2.1kg
Batteries: 8AA
Battery life: 25h

If you want more information before you dig, the GTI 2500 strives to provide it. With features like a graphic imaging display and advanced user settings, you’ll have a better idea if a target is worth your time before you pull out the shovel.

Why choose the Garrett GTI 2500: If your main thing is coin shooting but you like to go hunting for gold from time to time, this is the perfect detector for you. Good ground balance, discrimination, and sensitivity controls to work all targets and ground conditions without breaking the bank.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Graphic True-Size Imaging

✔️ Fast & Ground Track

✔️ ScanTrack

✔️ Eagle Eye compatible

❌ Single frequency VLF technology

The GTI 2500 is a VLF detector. It’s not a disadvantage in and of itself as it has its benefits, but it’s worth knowing what the operating principle is before you drop $1000 to cover costs. Operating with a single frequency of 7.2 kHz, the GTI is a coin-finding metal detector for sure, but with its many user settings, it can effectively detect gold. 

The Garrett metal detector provides full-scale, true-size imaging. Alongside this scale is a depth indicator, so the position of the target on the scale provides more information before you dig. Size is determined by a letter reference from A-E with a depth indicator of 2-12” or more. 

With its features, like the Fast Track and Ground Track, you can quickly go into automatic ground balancing mode or you can allow the detector to automatically and continuously ground balance as you move along changing mineralization. 

What’s ScanTrack? User sweeping motion and technique have a lot to do with successful detection. It’s always recommended that you adjust the swing rate to maximize performance for various circumstances. To help users with poor technique or hunting in ground with a high volume of trash, the GTI has ScanTrack that automatically keeps track of your sweeping speed so that your metal detector is constantly providing maximum performance. 

Speaking of maximum performance, the GTI is compatible with the Eagle Eye search coil that increases depth detection on large targets. With all the features the detector has, it’s impressive that it can provide up to 35 hours of operation. When looking for the one detector that can be used for multiple types of targets, including gold, the GTI may surprise you. 

5. XP Deus

   Best for comfort with pro features
Technology: Multi frequency (one at a time) 3.7 – 27.7 kHz
Coils: 9 inch DD
Weight: 2lbs / 0.9kg
Batteries: Lithium
Battery life: 15h

The Deus has been around for a long time, long enough to have seen five software upgrades come down the line. So, if you’re familiar with the Deus, you’ll know how efficient this metal detector can be. If not, there’s a lot to learn. 

Why choose XP Deus: It is like having 5 (or more!) metal detectors in one. Even if you don’t need the maximum depth detection of Pulse Induction or the advanced automated ID features that come with simultaneous multi-frequency detectors, you get the most comfortable metal detector that’s packed with features.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Ultra-light – Designed for comfort

✔️ Selectable frequency

✔️ Multiple preset modes

✔️ Up to 5 tones to hear when you hit gold

✔️ 5-year guarantee

❌ Not for beginners

❌ Window discrimination (instead of notch)

Unfortunately, the Deus is one of the more complicated detectors on our list. It is not that easy to learn so beginners might not like it as their first choice. However, intermediates and experts are likely to have the skills and understanding to appreciate its many features and functions. 

One such function is its selectable frequency. Depending on the search coil used, it can provide single frequency operation between 4-80 kHz. Obviously, a higher frequency would be better for gold-specific metal-detecting. 

Deus metal detectors also allow for the wireless headphones or remote control to function as the control box. They’re independently equipped to work alone or together to provide for a compact detecting platform. The headphones feature an LCD screen and electrical components that allow full user control to communicate with the search coil.  

There are 10 preloaded factory search modes and many adjustable settings that include ground balance, sensitivity, threshold, and reactivity. The Deus detectors have so much features that, if you don’t know what you need, these detectors might end up inhibiting your gold-specific metal-detecting. So, don’t get stuck fiddling your detectors’ controls. Do your homework before you go out gold hunting. This is a best-in-class high-functioning detector so expert-level knowledge is required.

 6. Minelab Gold Monster 1000

   Best gold detector for beginners
Technology: Very Low Frequency (VLF) – 45 kHz
Coils: 10 inch and 5 inch DD
Max Depth: 12 inch / 30 cm
Weight: 2.94lbs / 1.33kg
Batteries: Li+ and 8AA
Battery life: 24h

Now, here’s a Minelab gold-specific detector. This is entry-level quality at its best, and beginners and intermediate users will quickly be out the door and weighing up their finds with Gold Monster 100 detectors.  

Why choose the Gold Monster 1000: If you want an easy to use long-lasting metal detector that allows you to detect both foot-deep gold and small shallow gold without over-complicating things, this is your metal detector.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Easy to use: Fully automatic operation

✔️ High-speed signal processor

✔️ Gold indicator

✔️ Very light

✔️ 5″ DD coil: better for small shallow gold

❌ Not multi-purpose

❌ No discrimination

Gold Monster 1000 detectors have an intermediate frequency of 45 kHz for gold prospecting. It is their high-speed 24-bit DSP that provides boosted benefits. With high frequencies, ground noise and interference increase. To improve signal processing stability at higher speeds, this DSP is best-suited for gold-specific metal-detecting while filtering out false signals and excess noise. This is what places Gold Monster detectors above their VLF single-frequency competitors.  

Since the 1000 is designed purposely for detecting gold, it has an easy to interpret discrimination indicator that provides segment bars with the likelihood of a target having a ferrous or Gold (non-ferrous) nature. To help out beginners and to provide seamless detection, the Gold Monster has a fully automatic operation that includes noise cancel, sensitivity, and ground balance. 

With its unique and adaptable platform, Gold Monster detectors are ideal to take across the globe. One of its best features is the included universal shaft adapter that allows you to replace the shaft with anything with a round end, like a broom stick, should the need arise. 

Since this is a gold-specific detector, the display and preset search modes are not tailored for multiple types of targets like coins and relics. However, as a metal detectorist, you’ll still come across these objects and the best discriminator is always the shovel. Priced right at the lowest point for a quality gold detector, the Gold Monster 1000 fits the bill.

7. Minelab SDC 2300

   Best gold detector for depth
Coils: 8 inch mono
Max Depth: 36 inch / 91 cm
Weight: 5.3lbs / 2.4kg
Batteries: C Cell 4 x 1.5V
Battery life: 6-8h

If you have the luxury of buying a pulse induction metal detector specifically for hunting down gold, then Minelab must be your go-to brand. The SDC 2300 is made for gold hunters.  

Why choose the SDC 2300: If you are after depth at all cost, SDC 2300 detectors are for you. The other detectors reviewed in this article provide a better balance of depth, discrimination, and price but none beat the Minelab SDC 2300 at detecting small deep gold. Find gold where everyone else came back empty-handed.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Pulse Induction: maximum depth and high mineralization resilient

✔️ Ground Track: adapt to changing ground mineralization conditions so that you don’t need to manually ground balance all the time

✔️ Pulse Induction

✔️ Waterproof to 10′ / 3m

❌ No discrimination

❌ Low battery life

❌ Price

If you’re going to commit yourself to gold-specific metal-detecting, then you need a decent budget so you can buy the top gold detectors in the market. One of the best detectors you can choose, without going over your budget, is the SDC 2300. It’s still pricey but not as much as the unbeatable Minelab GPZ 7000.

In its own right, the SDC has some special features that are worth investing in. The SDC are pulse induction detectors that are equipped with Minelab’s MPF (Multi Period Fast) technology. These features allow for fast residual signal decay.

What does this mean for you? This means that all receive signals are true hits, hopefully gold – not from residual signals.

SDC 2300 detectors let you to take your search beyond the sand and towel line to 10-foot depths of saltwater. With Salt Mode and a sealed-off waterproof body, you can try your luck beneath the tide.

Completely collapsible, this Minelab metal detector is an excellent choice for those who need to hike some ways before hitting the ground. Weighing in at approximately 5 lbs, it’s reasonably light for a PI. With an SDC 2300 on board, there’s no way you won’t find gold.

8. Fisher Gold Bug Pro

   Best gold detector on a budget
Technology: Very Low Frequency (VLF) -19 kHz
Coils: 5 inch DD
Max Depth: 11 inch / 28 cm
Weight: 2.5lbs / 1.1kg
Batteries: 1 9V
Battery life: 10-15h

Priced under what we would consider entry-level for gold detectors, Gold Bug Pro detectors offer the best value for the beginner gold hobbyist. 

Why choose the Gold Bug Pro: If you are just starting out and don’t want to break the bank on a gold metal detector, this one is for you.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Price

✔️ Motion & non-motion

✔️ Ultra-lightweight

✔️ 5″ DD coil: better for small shallow gold

✔️ 5-year guarantee

❌ Shorter battery life (10-15h)

Gold Bug Pro detectors are some of the more affordable models within the Gold Bug series. 

These have several good features. The downside is that the battery juice is eaten up faster. The Pro provides only up to 15 hours of operation. 

One of the Pro’s features upgrades is its digital display. The upgraded metal detector displays Target ID values when in a discriminate mode. But while in Motion All Metal mode, a scale at the top of the screen provides a quick reference for the type of metal detected. Operating at 19 kHz with a 5” search coil, the Fisher metal detector is equipped to find small targets with some good depth detection and maneuverability in the tightest spots. 

In non-motion Pinpoint mode, you will continue to hear signals as you quickly and precisely locate a target with the round search coil. Beginners will also appreciate the ease to ground balance because of its automatic Ground Grab features. The ground phase value is also provided on the display, so you’re always aware of shifts as you cover more ground.  

Weighing only 2.5 lbs, the Gold Bug Pro metal detector will make long detecting sessions easier than ever. Stay out all day and rake in the gold.

Finding gold jewelry and gold relics is a very different sport than when attempting to successfully detect gold deposits. The difference is in the ground conditions that natural gold is typically found. To detect gold, you must be on the right hunting grounds. And, you should always do your research on prospective metal hunting gold sites to avoid trespassing on claimed land and private property.  

A hobbyist’s goal is usually to find metal or gold deposits. Detecting particles, flakes, and nuggets with a conventional metal detector will be a difficult task due to the earth, sand, and rocks that contain concentrated quantities of minerals that can interfere with successful detection.  

To detect gold in these environments, you must have a detector that has gold-specific settings to not only detect it but to cancel out false signals and interference from ground signals.  

Here’s What You Need to Look For

Just to be clear, all metal detectors will detect gold nuggets if they’re big enough. The question on accuracy and effectiveness is if the metal detector can penetrate mineralized ground to pick up even the smallest of nuggets and flakes. So, what features should you look for to determine if it’s good enough for your prospective hunting site? Glad you asked!  

Price/Budget

There is no official price point for gold metal detectors as there are budget versions and high-end models that vary in features and price. However, you may typically see that the big brands often start their entry-level gold metal detectors at around $700, and then there are very advanced models that can be as expensive as $4000. But, just because a metal detector costs more than the other, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. You must evaluate a few things first, such as its features:

  • Hunting sites and ground conditions
  • The average size of gold nuggets found in that area
  • If you’re using the same detector for other types of metals e.g. coins, artifacts, jewelry, etc. 

If you can determine your needs, you’ll know what to look for in a metal detector, and it may provide an idea of how much you should set your budget for.  

Operating Principle

What type of detector technology is best for you? Here are a few tips to think about when comparing the features of operating technologies. 

VLF: Very-Low Frequency single frequency detectors can offer high frequencies necessary for detecting gold. They’re also more affordable than multi-frequency and pulse induction detectors. They offer accurate levels of discrimination, have features that are easier for beginners to use, and they tend to work better for shallow depths typically below 7-8”.  

PI: Pulse Induction detectors are known for maximum depth detection in mineralized ground conditions as they’re designed to be inherently immune to many forms of minerals that can interfere with gold hunting. They’re expensive, are typically designed for experts and professionals, and they can pick up signals on larger nuggets buried at greater depths. However, discrimination, if offered at all, may not be as accurate as a VLF detector.  

There are benefits and disadvantages to both types of detector technologies. Determine what your needs are based on your budget, conditions of your prospective gold hunting sites, and how you can make up for the inherent weaknesses of the type of operating features technology of the detector you choose. 

 

Detecting Frequencies

The best frequencies for detecting gold are high frequencies. As sensitivity is increased, the ability to detect the smallest of nuggets gets higher. However, the higher the frequency, the more prone it is to signal interference from various sources and depth is compromised.  

VLF gold detectors will usually offer a single frequency somewhere between 14-48 kHz. Some multi-frequency detectors will offer frequencies within this range and others may even stretch that max frequency to 80 kHz.  

What if you have a low-frequency VLF gold detector? The lower frequency offered by most conventional VLF detectors may provide more depth and detection on larger nuggets, but it may miss the small, yellow stuff.  

Search coils

Search coil size is one of the most important features to consider in the operating frequency. There’s an inseparable relationship between search coil size, sensitivity, and depth detection. A general rule of thumb is, the larger the search coil, the larger an area it can see. This is good for maximum depth and detection of larger nuggets. On the other hand, it will miss small nuggets close to the surface, and since it can see more of the ground, it may be prone to more chatter from mineralized soils.  

The smaller the search coil, the less of an area it can see, but it can detect smaller nuggets that can be closer to the surface and it may handle mineralized ground better. They’re also good for terrains where it may be difficult to maneuver a detector.  

Mineralized Ground Conditions

Gold is often found in some of the toughest ground conditions for metal detectors. Ground minerals can cause false signals, noisy chatter, and can overload a detector system. This will force the user to make adjustments to cancel out or reduce the interference experienced. Sensitivity, ground balance, and even discrimination settings can be incorporated by some of the most basic gold detectors. Advanced features settings to help with this can be in the form of noise cancel, reactivity, threshold, and gain controls.  

Some examples of mineralized ground that can challenge a metal detector when hunting for gold include black sand, hot rocks, and iron minerals. High-frequency VLF and PIs will perform better in mineralized soils, but low-frequency VLF machines will suffer. You must look for advanced ground balancing features at the very least to prevent constant false signals and interference.  

Most gold detectors will have automatic ground balance and that may be all that you will need for low to medium-mineralized areas. For high-mineralized areas, look for a detector that has both auto and manual ground balancing methods.  

Discrimination

A point to address that relates to interference is high-trash areas. When you’re hunting specifically for gold, you want to avoid digging up anything that isn’t the valuable, yellow stuff. Enter here: discrimination. 

PIs usually suffer when it comes to discrimination. If you opt for a PI, look for those with some type of iron check features or additional functions that can help a user interpret a signal based on its conductivity such as threshold. However, it’s not always helpful because gold can also sound off as iron, and sometimes iron can obscure gold nuggets. Additionally, gold can be found surrounded by other minerals that may cause the detector to sound off.  

VLFs offer various levels of target metal features that include increased discrimination and notching. Block out the unwanted signals and get only the good – easy. Don’t forget, Target ID scales and values can help provide some visual confirmation on a target, but the best discriminator is always going to be your digging tool. Sometimes, it’s just going to come down to that. 

FAQs

Do These Really Work?

Absolutely, metal detectors can detect gold.  The major factor that will determine if a metal detector can detect gold is with the gold itself. If it’s a large nugget within 8”, almost any detector will find it. However, the smallest nuggets, flakes, and lode deposits will be the hardest to find and will require features that gold-specific detectors are equipped with to successfully detect it. 

But, do you have to be an expert to find gold?

No. Gold detectors are available for beginners to advanced detectors with varying levels of quality, features, and price. If you have a gold detector and you take the time to familiarize yourself with its features, what it can do, and you’re in the right place, you’ll eventually detect gold.  

How much gold? 

Well, it depends on the site, user technique, and how much data, features and performance your detector can provide. Here are some of the best options in the market to get gold-digging right away.  

How do these detect gold?

Metal detectors detect gold in the same way they detect other metals. VLF and Pulse Induction detectors work differently but they essentially provide the same features/ results – audio and/or visual indication of a detected gold object. However, there are other factors besides detector technology that governs if a metal detector can effectively detect gold. This includes ground conditions, size of gold, and user technique and experience.  

What is the Difference Between these Detectors?

Gold detectors are metal detectors, but the differences lie in the features or specs tailored towards its purpose or target type. Most metal detectors are multi-purpose detectors and are designed to provide all-round performance for iron, coins, jewelry, relics, gold, silver, copper, all metals, etc. Gold detectors will typically have additional features to improve performance in detecting gold and canceling out mineral signals where gold is found. High frequencies, multiple ground balancing methods, and a higher price tag are common aspects of a gold detector.  

What Kind of Rock is Gold Usually Found in?

Most gold hobbyists are looking for placer deposits which is a secondary gold source. Small nuggets and flakes are often carried away from their original location, so riverbeds (bench deposits), ancient river channels, and creeks are considered hot spots. This type of gold was freed from its original form from rocks and other minerals due to mining, erosion, and other types of disintegration.

Lode deposits consist of gold locked within its pure form in rock and often require industrial forms of mining. Types of rock and natural indicators that may hint at gold deposits nearby include Quartz, Alluvium, Iron Oxides (Magnetite and Hematite), red soil (rich in iron), and Chalcopyrite (“Fool’s Gold). 

However, the rock type is largely irrelevant because gold can be found in various types of rock. It’s best to learn to detect the indicators showing that gold has been pushed to the surface and made contact with the rock types in that area. To improve your gold hunting goals, be sure to research geology contact zones prior to buying your gold detector so you can effectively determine what features you will need for that hunting site, region, or country.  

Oh, Where O Where Will You Find Gold? 

It comes down to where you’re going. If your goal is to find placer deposits, say, in a creek bed, there may be other minerals that can set off the metal detector such as magnetite, hematite, and other concentrated quantities of minerals.  

You’ll need advanced features, like ground balancing, perhaps a waterproof search coil, and high frequency to pick up the tiniest nuggets.  

If you’re hunting in an abandoned mine where there is likely loose ore (tailings) or maybe even an overlooked vein, you’ll definitely need advanced features and user settings to ground balance, adjustable threshold, and some level of discrimination.  

Old mines can be littered with various metal items like rail spikes, lamp remnants and the like. With all this filling up your knowledge bank, it should be obvious by now that the hard part in choosing the right detector and features will be determining what your gold detecting goals are, where you’re going, and what you can afford.  

So, where are you heading for your big gold adventure?  

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API