Apart from being potentially lucrative, gold hunting with a metal detector is a popular hobby. It comes with a lot of fun, and most people spend most of their free time doing it. However, locating those tiny nuggets isn’t a walk in the park. You need the right metal detector for gold for you to detect those small pieces without a hassle.
With the many types of metal detectors for gold flooded in the marketplace, finding the right metal detector for your gold prospects can be challenging. Most metal detectors cannot keep up with the harsh environments that mostly harbor gold. As such, you need to be extra careful when considering the kind of detector model you want to buy.
Fortunately, we show you the 10 best metal detectors for gold you can consider buying for your gold hunting adventures. Also, you will get to know what to consider when buying the best metal detector for gold. Finally, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions about metal detectors for gold. Without much ado, let’s get started with the 10 best metal detectors for gold.
IN THIS POST
- 1 Best Metal Detectors for Gold
- 1.1 1. Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector
- 1.2 2. Garrett GTI 2500 Metal Detector
- 1.3 3. Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector
- 1.4 4. XP DEUS Metal Detector
- 1.5 5. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector
- 1.6 6. Garrett ATX Deepseeker
- 1.7 7. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
- 1.8 8. Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector
- 1.9 9. Whites Goldmaster 24k Metal Detector
- 1.10 10. Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300
- 2 What to Look for When Choosing Metal Detector for Gold – Buyer Guide
- 3 FAQs on Metal Detector for Gold
- 4 Conclusion
Best Metal Detectors for Gold
1. Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector
The Minelab CTX 3030 is a top of the range metal detector for gold that will make your gold hunting experience worthwhile. Even though its price comes on the higher end, you can appreciate how accurate it is to locating gold nuggets.
The CTX 3030 comes with smart search coils and FBS2 tech making it an exceptional gold detecting metal detector. It is a true multi-frequency that delivers 28 simultaneous frequencies from 1.5 to 100kHz. As such, you can comb your hunt site to find any size of nuggets you want with a single sweep for maximum depth detection.
The Smartfind 2D Discrimination and Target Trace will deliver better target information while enhancing target separation to determine if you’re detecting gold or another type of metal. If you are gold hunting on mineralized ground conditions, set the ground balance to automatic mode allowing detecting as you move it over hunting ground in search of gold.
The detector features both auto and manual sensitivity modes. The automatic sensitivity allows it to engage the best sensitivity level while the ground phase minimizes the ground signals. Therefore, the detector will continue measuring the response.
However, when in manual mode, the detector allows you to set sensitivity. Two numbers will appear on the screen: the green one being the recommended sensitivity level, while the white number presents the sensitivity level the detector is using.
With the Volume Gain feature, the audio response is amplified. Therefore, you can hear even the weakest signals louder. Moreover, it has an adjustable range from 0-30. When at level 30, you won’t differentiate between medium and stronger signals since the volume is way too loud. However, the weaker signals will be the loudest.
The CTX 3030 is an all-terrain ready and fully equipped detector that delivers maximum performance all the times. Should you want to take your gold hunting a notch higher, then this is the real deal.
- Searchcoil: 17” Smart Coil, 11’’ DD Smart Coil
- Battery: Li-ion rechargeable battery
- Headphones: UR-30 Headphones
- Weight: 5.2 Pounds
- It is lightweight
- Has both manual and automatic ground balance
- Has customizable detect modes
- Has FBS2 technology
2. Garrett GTI 2500 Metal Detector
The GTI 2500 is for those looking to spend the least time digging trash while digging out your gold treasure. The GTI 2500 is a VLF metal detector that comes in handy in gold hunting. Operating with a single frequency of 7.2 kHz, the model becomes the best in coin finds. Nonetheless, with the many user settings, you can adjust to make it detect gold nuggets.
It is a full-scale and true-size imaging metal detector. Accompanied by its depth indicator, the GTI 2500 is capable of providing accurate and dependable information before you start digging. The letter reference from A to E denotes the size of the nuggets while the depth indicator feature from 2 to 12 inches or more.
The detector comes with Fast Track and round Track, which make it possible for swift switching to automatic ground balancing mode or enable automatic or continuous ground balance as you comb around fluctuating mineralization.
The Last Mode Switching feature allows the detector to use All Metal Mode and quickly return to discriminate modes to quick-check target for more accurate information. It comes with detection modes such as Zero, Relics, Coins, Custom, and Jewelry. Besides, you can take advantage of the All Metal Mode.
The GTI 2500 is a high performing metal detector with top of the range features. With this detector, you will detect deep into the ground, gather more data, and accurately locate gold nuggets worthy of digging up. Regardless of its high-end price, you can maximize its potential in your gold hunting.
- Searchcoil: 12.5’’ Imaging Coil, 9.5’’ Imagining Coil
- Battery: 8x AA Batteries
- Headphone: Garrett Master Sound Headphones
- Weight: 5.5 Pounds
- Eagle Eye Compatible
- Long battery life
- Intuitive screen interactive functions
- Waterproof search coil
- Has VLF that is affected by noise and chatter when combing excessive mineralized ground or hot rocks.
3. Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector
The Gold Bug Pro from Fisher is designed for those on a budget. It comes at the most affordable price within the Gold Bug series. However, it drains batteries quite faster than its competitors. The batteries deliver 15 hours of operation.
The Gold Pro features an All Metal Mode that comes with Zero discrimination that is helpful to gold and relics hunters. With the feature, you can ground grab and get signals on all kinds of metal. However, making sure you have maximum sensitivity settings for detecting the smallest nuggets. When combing over the mineralized ground, make sure you set the sensitivity high enough to hear some chatter. But with the best headphones, you can accurately distinguish between the types of audio tones you receive.
The detector features Target ID, so when in discrimination mode, it displays the values. However, when in Motion All-Metal mode, the scale at the top of the screen offers a quick reference for the kind of metal detected. The Gold Pro operates at 19 kHz with its 5-inch search coil, which is great for finding small gold nuggets with excellent depth detection and easy maneuverability even in tight spots.
When in the non-motion Pinpoint mode, you will continue receiving signals as you rapidly and precisely locate your target with the help of the round search coil. If you are a newbie, you will appreciate the ease to ground balance with its automatic function of the Ground Grab feature. Moreover, it has a ground phase value that comes on the display so that you are always up to date on the shifts while you cover more ground.
If you are a new gold hobbyist, the Gold Pro from Fisher will offer you the best value and best performance you can’t get in the entry-level gold detectors.
- Searchcoil: 5” Searchcoil
- Battery: 1 9V Battery
- Headphones: Dual headphone jacks (1/4’’ and 1/8’’)
- Weight: 2.5 Pounds
- Has both motion and non-motion
- Has affordable price tag
- Has LCD digital display
- Short battery life
4. XP DEUS Metal Detector
The XP Deus is a metal detector designed ideally for professionals and experienced gold hobbyists who want a great experience in a gold-hunting expedition. For that reason, it features a selectable frequency that allows you to choose the frequency you want to use in your hunt. So, depending on the search coil you use, you can select a single operating frequency between 4-80 kHz.
The detector allows the use of wireless headphones and remote control function as the control box. It can also work independently with a compact detecting platform. Besides, the headphones are equipped with an LCD screen and electrical components to help you have full control of communicating with the search coil.
With the unique 3-Element design, the XP Deus enables the search coil to function as the detector with its digital signal processor and a battery source. It comes with 10-preloaded factory search modes. Besides, it includes other valuable adjustable settings such as sensitivity, reactivity, ground balance, and threshold.
The XP Deus is a metal detector for gold that comes with unrivaled technology. For instance, it comes with updated software even though it is still a single frequency VLF detector. It is an overall feature-packed detector with independently functioning components and selectable frequencies, making it one of the best on the market.
- Searchcoil: Waterproof wireless coil 13” X11” DD
- Battery: Lithium-Ion
- Headphones: Wireless Backphone
- Weight: 5.35 Pounds
- Selectable frequency
- Wireless headphones
- Multiple Adjustable settings
- Has a steep learning curve
5. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector
The GPZ 7000 is, without a doubt, the heavyweight champion of the metal detectors for gold. It comes at a high price but with advanced features that not any of its competitor models. Therefore, you will reap big when it comes to your gold hunting adventure.
Instead of the standard pulse induction or the high-frequency VLF, which is common in standard metal detectors, the GPZ 7000 features the Minelab’s Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology. The VLF or pulse induction always have a tradeoff between depth and sensitivity. With higher sensitivity, interference is increased, which in turn reduces depth. Conversely, with greater depth, sensitivity decreases to small nuggets.
However, the ZVT technology reduces the tradeoff allowing the detector to deliver improved sensitivity and remarkable depth. As such, the GPZ 7000 is exceptional at detecting deeply located nuggets and smaller flakes. Even if another metal detector has already combed through the same location, the GPZ 7000 will likely pick up nuggets that other metal detectors miss.
The detector features automatic and manual ground balance settings. Besides, it comes with other valuable adjustments that make it exceptional in detecting in the harsh and highly mineralized ground conditions.
In terms of handling, the GPZ 7000 does a great job. It features a detachable swing arm that allows the user to have maximum control since the coil is a bit heavy. With an intuitive menu on the display screen, you will have an easy time navigating regardless of the wide range of objects you might find in your gold hunt.
However, a potential drawback is that the detector is way too complicated. With the screen containing numerous advanced features and settings, it can be overwhelming at first. Therefore, you will spend more time learning the advanced features to achieve the best performance in the field.
- Searchcoil: Standard 14’’X13” Super-D Configuration with skidplate
- Battery: Li-Ion Rechargeable Pack
- Headphones: KOSS UR 30 100 ohms with 6.3mm plug
- Weight: 4.19 Pounds
- Excellent depth detection
- Ergonomic detachable swing arm
- Increased sensitivity with ZVT technology
- Longer learning curve
- Heavier and expensive
6. Garrett ATX Deepseeker
If you intend to hunt gold in the most extreme environment, you need the best metal detector for gold – the Garrette ATX. This metal detector is designed to hunt in a very hazardous environment.
It comes with a new DD coil that is waterproof up to 10 feet below both freshwater and saltwater. It doesn’t come with an LCD, but it features LED lights that indicate the signal strength while providing data in a visual form.
Besides, it will deliver you exceptional detection for finding even the tiniest gold nuggets just as it detects the larger gold pieces. You will appreciate the experience as you treasure hunt with this exceptionally performing detector. You will get high protection on all targets simultaneously when using the Garrett ATX.
It is a pulse induction metal detector that operates at 18-19 kHz to emit 730 PPS. Besides, this detector is innately immune to numerous types of soil conditions. If the soil condition proves challenging for its PI, you have the option to ground balance.
The ATX provides flexibility with its uniform sensitivity courtesy of the DD search coil. You don’t have to switch between modes to improve the detection of a target. The 15”X 20″ DeepSeeker search coil comes in handy in detecting large and deeply buried nuggets.
The Garrett ATX is an extreme metal detector model that features a military-grade build and exceptional high-end features that make it the best metal detecting tool for most hobbyists and professional detectorists.
- Searchcoil: DD Closed search coil
- Battery: 8 AA Alkaline or Rechargeable batteries
- Headphones: Adjustable Land headphones with cushioned ear cups
- Weight: 6.9 Pounds
- Pulse Induction Technology
- Maximum depth detection
- Waterproof search coil up to 10 feet
- High price
- Heavy to use with 6.9 pounds
7. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
If you are looking to kick-start your gold hunting adventure, you need an entry-level metal. And the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is the perfect metal detector for gold that you should consider buying. It doesn’t come with advanced features such as knobs, digital display, among other fancy gadgetry. As such, it is pretty straightforward and requires a very short learning curve to get started.
It features an 8-inch search coil, which is waterproof. As such, you can use it in detecting gold nuggets in shallow water. Moreover, it can detect all types of metals from coins, iron relics, household metal items to precious metals such as silver and gold.
It features the most basic control box that allows ease of use. The control box features a headphone input, target indicator dial, discrimination notch knob, sensitivity knob, and discrimination tone switch. However, the lack of advanced complex features makes this detector easy to operate as there are no complicated buttons or displays to read.
It comes with three search modes that include Full Discrimination, All-Metal, and Tone to allow you to adapt to different hunting environments. However, the main drawback of this detector is that the ground balance is not adjustable. As such, you will be limited to the kind of terrain you will hunt your gold.
Regardless, with the price point, basic features, and quality build, the Bounty Tracker IV is ideal for an entry-level hobbyist.
- Searchcoil: 8 – inch waterproof coil
- Battery: 2 9V Alkaline batteries
- Headphone: Built-in Speakers
- Weight: 4.2 Pounds
- Long-lasting battery, up to 30 hours
- Ready to use out of the box
- Has 2 tone audio mode for discriminating trash signals
- Lacks ground balance adjustment
8. Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector
The Equinox 800 is a high-tech metal detector the features Multi-IQ. With these features, you can choose five different VLF frequencies that range from 5-40 kHz. You have the option of using these frequencies on the own or have a multi-frequency range that covers a broader range of targets. However, for gold hunting, use a higher frequency range.
It comes with four different modes that include Beach, Park, Field, and Gold for the easy dial whenever you are in that specific terrain and automatically receiving the best settings for detecting gold nuggets. But if you are into using your settings, you can save your favorite settings for quick recall.
It comes with a user interface that puts together all the information you want to be displayed on the large LED screen. Right below the LED screen are 8 buttons that allow access and control the multiple features that come with the Equinox 800. With the buttons, you can scroll through the detector settings, accept and reject targets, change frequency, or change from pinpoint to detect modes.
It comes with exceptional headphones that ensure you get the best quality sound from the target. Instead of the standard jack input, the detector comes with a wireless pack, which connects to the metal detector via Bluetooth technology.
The entire detector is waterproof, but it can detect gold up to 10ft underwater. One major downside of this detector is the 11-inch coil that proves too big for searching around cracks in rocks. Therefore, you need to buy an alternative 6-inch search coil for this kind of terrain.
- Searchcoil: 11” Stock coil
- Battery: Lithium-Ion Battery
- Headphone: Wireless Headphones
- Weight: 2.96 Pounds
- Fully submersible waterproof design
- Simultaneous multi-frequency for optimum performance
- Lightweight with a total weight of 2.96 pounds
- Difficult to hunt in tiny places with large stock coil
9. Whites Goldmaster 24k Metal Detector
The Whites Goldmaster 24k is a high-performance gold detector for the price point. It comes with all the fixings that you will need to track ground conditions, detect and discriminate all the yellow stuff minus going beyond your budget.
It comes with a new and enhanced search coil, 6″ X 10″ DD coil with a 54% increase in coil voltage. It has increased sensitivity that works perfectly for picking up the smallest nuggets of gold. It comes with an Induction Balance technology that is not as powerful due to the small size of the search coil.
It is well-equipped to handle all kinds of terrain you take on your gold hunt. It features XGB Tracking, TracLock, Ground Scan, Ground Grab, and plenty of other features to aid stable operation and excellent ground balancing.
- Searchcoil: 6” x 10” DD Waterproof search coil
- Battery: 8 AA batteries
- Headphones: StarLite headphones
- Weight: 5.34 Pounds
- Increased coil voltage
- Iron and hot rock cancellation
- XGB ground tracking technology
- Reasonable price point
- Not ideal for beginners
10. Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300
The Discovery 3300 is a budget-conscious metal detector for gold designed ideally for intermediate gold hunters and those who want to shift from analog to digital. It comes with an array of buttons and a dial on the interface for efficient ground balancing, which is great to have on an entry-level metal detector. With the buttons, you will increase and decrease discrimination, sensitivity, engage pinpoint, and all-metal discrimination modes.
With an 8-inch open-faced coil and 5 different operating modes that include All Metal and Notch, you will eliminate metals from detection, especially with the use of the Notch. Apart from the usual three tones, the model comes with a fourth bass tone that alerts you to know if the target is a small piece of gold or a ferrous object. Moreover, the model’s interface displays a 3-digit number when a target is detected and acquired to give information on what type of metal it is.
With a 6.6kHz operating frequency, this metal detector is not ideal for professionals but great for new metal detectorists.
- Searchcoil: 8-inch waterproof search coil
- Battery: 2x 9V Alkaline batteries
- Headphones: Headphone jack compatible with most headphones
- Weight: 2.5 Pounds
- Easy to control and use
- Waterproof coil and rod
- 3-Levels of iron discrimination
- Poor quality build, not as strong as the others
What to Look for When Choosing Metal Detector for Gold – Buyer Guide
Without a doubt, all-metal detectors can detect gold pieces if they sufficiently big. However, the question is on accuracy and effectiveness. Will the metal detector penetrate deep through the mineralized ground to pick even the smallest pieces or flakes? Therefore, what features should you consider if you are buying the best metal detector for your prospective gold hunting?
1. Operating Principle
Metal detectors for gold come with different operating principles. So, which type of operating principle is best for you? Let’s look at some of the types that you should look for when buying one.
- VLF: Very-Low Frequency is a single frequency that offers high frequencies necessary for detecting gold. Detectors with VLF are more affordable than multi-frequency and pulse induction detectors. However, they offer decent accurate levels of discrimination, thus work better on shallow depths of 7 to 8 inches. Better yet, they are great for use for beginners.
- PI: The Pulse Induction detectors offer maximum depth detection in mineralized ground. They are designed to be inherently immune to different forms of minerals that often interfere with gold detecting. However, they are quite costly as they are designed for expert and professional use. They can detect signals on large flakes located deep into the ground. Nonetheless, discrimination, if provided at all, may not deliver the accuracy levels as VFL detectors.
Both types of detector operating principles come with benefits and disadvantages. With your needs, budget, and the condition of your gold hunting sites in mind, you can make the wise decision on what type of metal detecting operating principle to pick.
When buying your metal detecting for gold, considering the size of the search coil it comes with is very important. Remember that there is an inseparable connection between the search coil size, sensitivity, and depth detection.
Large-sized search coils are great at covering large areas in hunting sites while providing maximum depth and detection of big nuggets. However, it will miss detecting smaller nuggets of gold close to the surface. Moreover, since it detects targets deep to the ground, it can be prone to more chatter from mineralized soils. Regardless, they are great for terrains that are difficult to maneuver a detector.
When gold hunting, you need to avoid interference from the trash that may lead you to dig up things like yellow stuff. As such, you need to consider a high discriminating metal detector for gold. PI detectors struggle when it comes to discrimination. But if you consider the ones with a type of iron check feature or with additional functions that help users interpret the signal based on its conductivity.
However, this is not always helpful since gold can also sound off as iron. As such, iron can obscure gold pieces. Besides, the gold can be detected easier than other minerals that may make the detector sound off.
The VFLs, on the other hand, offer various levels of target metal features that include greater discrimination and notching. As such, these detectors block out unwanted signals and pick up the ones you want.
Gold detecting frequencies
The best frequencies for gold hunting are the high frequencies. The ability to detect the smallest pieces of gold nuggets is higher with increased sensitivity. Nonetheless, the higher the frequency, the more prone the detector is to signal interference from different sources, while the depth is compromised. The VLF gold detectors come with a single frequency of between 14-18 kHz. Multi-frequency detectors will offer frequencies within this range while others stretch to a maximum frequency of 80 kHz.
The lower frequency VLF gold detectors offer more depth and detection on larger gold nuggets. But it may miss small and yellow stuff.
Mineralized ground conditions
Often, gold is found in the harshest ground conditions for metal detectors. For instance, ground minerals can cause false signals, noisy chatters, and overload the detector system. Therefore, the user should make adjustments to cancel out or lessen the interference experienced.
Discrimination, sensitivity, and ground balance are components incorporated in some of the most basic gold detectors. Besides, advanced settings that can help include reactivity, noise cancel, gain control, and threshold.
The mineralized ground that challenges a detector when prospecting gold includes hot rocks, iron minerals, and black sand. High-frequency VLF and PIs detectors perform better in the mineralized ground while low-frequency VLF detectors suffer. As such, consider metal detectors with advanced ground balancing methods to keep away false signals and interference.
Most detectors for gold come with an automatic ground balance that des better on low to medium-mineralized grounds. If you intend to hunt gold in high-mineralized areas, consider metal detectors with automatic and manual ground balancing methods.
Although there is no official price point for gold detectors, your budget will determine the kind of metal detector you walk away with. There are high-end detector models that come with advanced features. These are highly-priced compared to metal detectors with basic features that are reasonably priced.
However, because a metal detector costs more than the other, it doesn’t mean it is the right one for you. Your gold detector should be reached upon by the following:
- Hunting sites and ground conditions
- The average size of gold nuggets in your hunting area
- Use the same detector for hunting other metals like coins, jewelry, artifacts, among others.
Therefore, if you can determine your gold hunting needs, you will know what to consider in a metal detector and provide a better budget for the device.
FAQs on Metal Detector for Gold
Q: What is the best metal detector for gold?
A: The best metal detector for gold is one with the features that will help you get the most accurate readings on the position of gold nuggets. Such features include a ground balance setting to focus the detector on specific materials and high-quality sensitivity control. The model must have a fast reactivity time for quick detecting or pick up several objects in a single sweep.
Q: Can gold be detected by a metal detector?
A: Yes. The presence of gold is the primary determinant if a metal detector will detect it. If the gold nugget is within a range of 8-inches, nearly any metal detector can detect it. Nonetheless, for the smallest gold nuggets, flakes, and lode deposits can prove difficult to find as they require advanced features that gold-specific metal detectors often come with for successful detection.
Q: What is the best metal detector for gold and silver?
A: The best metal detector for gold and silver is the one that gives you the advantage of distinguishing between the two metals. It also comes with metal discrimination to help you know the type of target metal buried in a specific numerical or visual way. That way, you can detect gold and silver, determine and verify their depth before you begin to dig them out.
Q: How deep do metal detectors detect gold?
A: The depth of gold detection by metal detectors is dependent on the metal detector itself, the site of hunting, and the size of the gold piece. However, as a general rule, a nugget of gold that is half the size of grain can be detected at a depth of at most 2-inches to be the best gold detector. However, a gold nugget of the size of a match-head can be detected at depths of up to 5-inches. The big pieces of gold can be detected at deep depths of over a foot if you are using a metal detector with a pulse induction system.
Without a doubt, hunting gold can be easy and thrilling if you have the right metal detector. Without the best metal detector for gold, you might end up having the worst gold hunting experience besides going home empty-handed. As such, it is crucial that you first understand what goes into the best gold detector before you hit the market to purchase one.
The key to unlocking the best gold detector features is to know and understand the environment where you will be doing most of your hunting. Does the ground contain small and shallow nuggets or large and deeply located nuggets? Your answer to this question will catapult you to the best gold detector. Consider choosing the metal detector that is like perform best in this ground. Better yet, it should be within your budget.
If you find it confusing to choose the best gold detector, consider any of the 10 best metal detectors for gold we reviewed above. We guarantee that any of the metal detectors can provide you the best experience in your gold hunting expeditions.
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