Top Best Metal Detectors for Gold Nuggets 2021

Top Best Metal Detectors for Gold Nuggets 2021

Tracking treasures with the use of a metal gold detector could be a lucrative and adventurous activity one can ever imagine. The most common items we can find, thanks to these tools, are coins and jewelry.

However, we can easily be fooled by nails, bottle caps, and soda cans. That is why we must know well, the use of this tool and, thus, get the most out of it.

The difficulty in finding the best metal detector for Gold lies in a large number of existing models, in addition to the various and numerous ways of using it, either as a hobby or as a professional tool.

To help you in the search, here are some necessary criteria before making the purchase of the best metal detector for gold:

  • The Power: The frequency of a detector is calculated in kilohertz (kHz). This lets you know how many waves the detector sends on the ground. The higher the signal, the less likely it is to find unwanted objects. Typically, the average frequency of these devices is between 6 and 15 kHz. If it has a higher value, it is ideal for the search for gold.
  • The type of detector: There are two types; the PI (pulse induction) and the VLF (Very Low Frequency). The first is more powerful (and expensive) and is often used for professional purposes, such as customs, for the search for gold.
  • Autonomy: On the ground, there is no possibility to recharge the metal detector. Therefore, you should carefully check the autonomy, depending on the use you want to give it. If you will use it several days a week, a model whose autonomy is close to 30 hours is recommended. For occasional use (one day than another), a 10-hour model will be more than enough.
  • Ease of use: Some models are more complex than others. If you have never used a metal detector before, be sure to look for a model with an instruction manual and easy to configure functions.

However, we will look at the various types of some of the best metal detectors for Gold with their features, pros, and cons. If you are short in time check out these tables.

Beginner Gold Metal Detectors




Stock Coil

My Rating



19 kHz

5" DD



18 kHz

5x8" DD



19 kHz

5" DD



6.6 kHz

7" DD


Mid Level Gold Metal Detectors




Stock Coil

My Rating



45 kHz

​10x6" DD, 5" DD



71 kHz

6.5x10" Concentric



19 kHz

5" , 10" DD


Expert Level Metal Detectors For Gold




Stock Coil

My Rating




14x13" DD




11" DD




11″ X35 DD




11" DD


Best Beginner’s Metal Detectors for Gold

1. Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

The Fisher Gold bug pro is one step above some other products of this brand. It has a weight of 2.5 lbs, which means it is comparatively lightweight. It has a five-year warranty and takes a 9V battery. It includes dual headphone jacks, but it doesn’t come with a headphone. However, headphones might be bought differently. The interface gives concise and clear readings on the number of mineralization within an area.

It is a lightweight product with a stable grip, which makes it best in searching for a long time. It is made to be carried around. Though the detecting tool with a 5″ DD, it has an option for an 11″ DD water-resistant search coil attachment.

The Gold Bug pro outshines the main Gold bug due to its capability when it comes to carrying out a survey. It is less difficult to use and readable with its straightforward interface. It is reactive to the tiniest gold nugget in situations that detecting could be difficult, like in highly mineralized soil.

However, this detecting tool is not waterproof and has a definite number of locations where the hunt for gold nuggets can go. Many treasure hunters who have acquired this device express delight over its performance and capacity to pick up coins and metallic objects buried or hidden under the heavy soil. It won’t be fruitfully submerged, but it is designed to detect on the beach and along the shoreline, as well as dense areas and tougher grounds.

This device is furnished with the V-Break TM and makes use of its computer-aided ground grab to fish out the smallest gold nuggets in all types of soil, even those that contain a high mineral concentration. It is one of the ultra-sensitive devices in the market, and also the most versatile. It has a simple design and an interface that is easy to use, making it suitable for anyone just starting.


  • Weighs 2.5 lbs
  • Dual headphone jacks
  • 9V battery
  • Static pinpoint
  • 5″ DD waterproof search coil
  • Dimension of 10.2 x 6.2 x 28.5 inches


  • User-friendly interface
  • Working frequency of 19 kHz
  • Works perfectly in mineralized soils
  • Lightweight
  • Measures the amount of a particular mineral
  • Perfect for prospecting
  • Finds small nuggets easily
  • Indicates the type of crystal found
  • Provides continual ground readouts


  • Not Cost-effective
  • Only the coil is waterproof

2. Garrett 1140680 AT Gold Metal Detector

This is an advanced version of the well-known detector; Garrett AT Pro. According to users, these particular series uplift the best in the world of metal detection, and the materials designed for aurum slug prospecting provides attributes for a great underwater and land search.

With a frequency of 18 kHz, it is a perfect option for aurum finding. This frequency does not prove itself well on saltwater and the wet salt sand. It works appropriately in freshwater while being submersible.

Ground balance and sensitivity on this device are explicitly enhanced for a more effective aurum search. Ground balance is essential since aurum is seen in soils with certain chemical constituents. To get a signal that is comprehensive and clear, the user has to readjust the settings of the device to fit the earth. The preset mode enables the user to handle this function effectively. In general, this gear is a good option for medium-skilled and beginners in the world of treasure hunting.

The ground balance could be tuned manually in this metal device for more adjustability and convenience of the user. Furthermore, it has a specific feature known as the Ground balance window. This helps to prevent the device from giving a false signal due to a slight change in the composition of the soil. There is also another feature known as the Fast Track Ground Balance. It helps in setting the automatic ground balance in the conditions of soil highly mineralized.

Interesting Features

The all-metal mode helps the user to comb a particular area and spot any available piece profoundly. Graphic target analysis shows the discrimination pattern of the best metal detector for gold, and the conductivity of the article spotted. With a Digital Target ID of 0 – 99, the tool can differentiate the value of several targets.


  • Frequency 18 kHz
  • Weighs 3 lbs
  • VLF technology type of operation
  • It is powered by four AA batteries
  • Adjustable length of the shaft
  • Standard DD coil of 5 x 8 inches
  • Digital Target ID
  • Pinpoint mode


  • Easy to set up
  • High quality
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonable weight
  • High-quality discrimination
  • Available compatible accessories


  • No vibration signal
  • Saltwater leads to a false signal
  • No built-in flashlight
  • Comparatively heavy

3. Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector

The Fisher Gold bug is probably one of the best metal detectors for gold for beginners, as it does not need a considerable investment to get started. This device does not comprise many features compared to the Fish Gold Bug Pro, but it still beats many other brands.

This device consists of a 5-inch search coil that is comparable with other gold detectors of the same price and above. However, one can upgrade to a much larger coil if you won’t spend a little time in the field or cover a larger area.

This metal device has sensitive tone discrimination to aid in the differentiation of metals spotted in the soil and an operating frequency of 19 kHz. 

However, it has two preset search modes. The first one, which is the standard metal mode, picks up every object. The second one is used for specified gold hunting. When looking for the best metal detector for gold, pieces of jewelry, coins, and silver, this device is a perfect choice as you can upturn the settings.

Gold Bug also has an exceptional ground balance functionality. The device uses continual ground balance with a readout relating to soil mineralization. This implies that you can find the areas of black sand where gold is regularly found in without sending readings out of control. The numeric identification display stipulates how possible it is to find the object you are searching for.

One significant attribute of this device is the no-motion pinpoint mode, a feature that is found missing in other expensive metal detectors. You don’t have to tote your detector to get a find. All you have to do is to hold it over a specific location to pinpoint the target and start the digging process. For people who wear reading glasses, the Gold Bug Metal detector is designed with an epic LCD.


  • Weighs 2.5 pounds
  • Frequency of 19.2 kHz
  • 1 – 9V power supply
  • Two search mode
  • Large target alert
  • 2 Tone VCO
  • Lightest weight
  • No-motion pinpoint
  • 1/4 and 1/8 inch headphone jack
  • Large LCD screen with 0 – 99 numeric identification display


  • Large LCD screen
  • Great ergonomics
  • Five years warranty
  • Sensitivity adjustment
  • Adjustable length of the shaft
  • Two search mode


  • It is not waterproof
  • No built-in flashlight
  • No vibration alert
  • No multi-tone audio capability

4. Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector

The main issue that most parents face when acquiring metal detecting devices for their children is the price-quality. The higher the price, the higher the chance of better quality. However, this works only with the best metal detector for Gold from a well-known and reliable brand. Most parents choose to buy a device from an unknown and small brand.

Unknown and small brands that offer devices for kids are mostly fakes. Once you start buying from a firm that turns out an imitation, you might neglect the price-quality rule. So your main job is to search for the best metal detector for Gold for your kids, from a well-known brand, even though it might be more expensive than you imagined initially. This way, you will acquire an original device, and even if your child would not make use of it for long, you might be able to resell it to other people.

The bounty hunter gold digger is one of the devices specifically designed for kids. They are high-quality products, and also spot finds.

Search Modes

This metal detector has two primary search modes; All metal and Discrimination. All metal search mode is perfect for searching for anything. Perhaps, kids should make use of this search mode to learn how the finding sessions work. Discrimination is ideal for areas that are highly littered and also for a more focused finding.

The size and frequency of the coil make this detector good for detecting gold rings. However, due to the device is not protected from water, it is not suitable to search for jewels on the beach.


  • 8 inches search coil
  • Fixed threshold
  • Operating frequency of 6.7 kHz
  • Weighs 2.6 lbs
  • Two search modes
  • Adjustable Discrimination
  • One year warranty
  • Adjustable shaft
  • Volume is fixed
  • Un-rechargeable batteries
  • Battery life of 20 – 25 hours
  • Automatic ground tracking
  • Headphones included
  • Adapted for gold prospecting
  • Analog display
  • 2 – 6 feet of depth reach
  • Two 9V PP3 Batteries


  • The shaft is adjustable
  • Lightweight enough for children
  • Simple analog display
  • Stylish and nice design
  • Very affordable price
  • Headphones are interchangeable
  • High quality


  • No pinpoint mode
  • No other available compatible coil

Best Mid-Level Metal Detectors for Gold

1. Minelab Gold Monster 1000

This metal detector has lots of productive comments by users who imply that, once they switched on the device, they were able to locate flakes and gold nuggets within a few hours of usage.

However, the best part of this device is its entirely beginner-friendly operation due to wholly automatic functioning. This device is turned on smoothly, and once turned on, the user can start detecting quickly, without any waste of effort and time.

This device is cool because most of the tools used for gold hunting are manufactured with professional treasure hunters in mind. Definitely, this makes a lot of sense as gold search is considered as one of the top activities in the detecting of metals. Aurum ore is most times situated at complicated spots, thereby making the search more difficult for the user and the device.

For that, some brands create more enhanced tools where each sneeze has to be tuned manually. Minelab, however, took a contrasting step to make a device which is suitable for experienced users, and the newbies in gold hunting. One can upgrade his or her skills, find some piece of gold, and also learn as they search while making use of this product.

New Features 

A recent feature of this product is Gold Chance Discrimination. This indicator can move from a low range to a large scale, matching the chance of finding aurum. The device has an operational frequency of 45 kHz, which allows a great sensitivity for gold and other tiny objects at the same time. In the kit, there are two coils, one of these coils is waterproof while the other is not. This enables the user to change the coil depending on the condition of the weather.


  • Dynamic frequency range of 45 kHz
  • Automatic noise cancel and ground balance
  • Adjustable length of the shaft
  • Two search mode
  • Gold chance indicator
  • Lightweight of 2.95 lbs
  • Headphones and speaker audio output
  • Lithium-ion or AAA batteries


  • Easy to start
  • Very lightweight
  • Highly adjustable
  • Noob-friendly
  • Fully automatic
  • Two coils in the kit


  • High price
  • Only two modes of search
  • Only one coil is weatherproof
  • One available frequency

2. Fisher Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector with 6 1/2″ Elliptical Search Coil

The Fisher Gold bug 2 is an enhanced version of the authentic Gold bug. This detector is specifically created for the hunting of slugs. The device is highly sensitive, and provides a maximum work frequency on the market, in the slot of aurum-finding single-frequency detectors. This utmost responsiveness makes the machine available in several conditions.

An excellent feature is the maximum conservation of the device from moisture and dust. As we all know, aurum is mostly found in exceedingly mineralized soil, so the possibility of distorted or fake signals are stronger. If the device is not shielded from dust, moist, and dirt, detection would rapidly be over on any area.

A top feature of the Fisher Gold Bug 2 is its exceedingly high working frequency; 71 kHz. However, this frequency is unusual, and recently, there is no other single-frequency device that offers this kind of frequency. The machine is likely to find even the tiniest gold dust and aurum pieces without any difficulty.

Strong differentiation has the tendency of rejecting both hot rocks and iron pieces, which makes detecting a lot more productive and comprehensive. For the ultimate comfort of the user, the device could be mounted on the chest or the hip. Another beneficial and vital attribute is the quartz-crystal secured electronics that shows reliability and stability in functioning.


  • Weighs 2.9 lbs
  • Shielded from dust and moisture
  • Search coil of 10inches
  • Ground balance is adjusted manually
  • 71 kHz operating frequency
  • Audio signal boost
  • Can be mounted on the chest or hip for more comfort
  • It is powered by two 9 volt batteries
  • Several options for audio identification
  • The working mode is all metal
  • Adjustable level of sensitivity
  • Pinpoint mode is excluded
  • Search coil shape and type – DD elliptical
  • Signal operation – no vibration
  • Waterproof coil (but the device is not)
  • Adjustable length of the shaft
  • Half inch plug for mono headphones and stereo


  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Great frequency
  • Strong discrimination
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof coil
  • Audio boost
  • Adjustable length
  • Mountable on chest or hip
  • Average cost


  • No pin mode
  • One available frequency
  • No vibration alert
  • No display

3. Fisher Labs GOLDBUG CC Bug Pro Combo Gold Metal Detector, Black

This Fisher Gold bug pro detector is exceptional among other gold prospecting devices for its mixture of high sensitivity to tiny gold nuggets, and the all-round function as the best metal detector for Gold.

This metal detector finds gold, with coins and relics too. The features and controls are modified to gold prospecting, which includes a particular discrimination control system, separate control over threshold and signal gain, and a modern ground balancing system.

The Gold bug pro combo is equipped with a 10″ DD coil and a small 5″ DD coil. The bigger coil is best for hunting relics by being capable of covering more grounds and also give better depth to search underground for buried treasures. The smaller coil, which is the 5″ DD coil, is suited best for hunting gold nuggets. The search coils are designed for accuracy. The small search coil makes it able to fit into a little space where golds are often buried. It makes pinpointing very easy and is best suited to penetrate a high mineralized soil where gold is usually hidden.

It is a fabulous and multipurpose detector for searching for relics, jewelry, silver and gold coins, amongst other treasures. The coil is compatible with the Gold bug DP, Gold bug Pro, F5, and Gold bug detector.

This detector comes with the advancement in metal detection technology, with an extreme target/ground information. It can spot even the tiniest gold nugget in mineralized soils. The device absorbs a new state of the art improved data and is a standout device for gold hunting with an all-purpose operating frequency of 19 kHz. The Gold CC bug pro combo makes adjustments a snap with many in-built features.

Simply switch modes when you are not in the field, and you are all set for relic hunting and coin shooting. The Gold CC bug pro combo finds more significant nuggets too. This device is a must-have for relic hunters, and its solid build makes it recommendable for a field covered with stubble.


  • 19 kHz Frequency
  • Weighs 2.5lbs
  • 5″ DD search coil
  • 10″ DD search coil
  • Simple user interface
  • Dual headphone jack
  • Static pinpoint
  • Arc-detector stand
  • LCD Display


  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Ability to find the smallest gold nugget
  • Unmatched target separation in iron trash
  • Computerized ground balancing
  • Independent control over threshold
  • Five-year warranty


  • One available frequency
  • Not cost-effective

Best High-End Gold Detectors

1. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector

The Minelab GPZ 7000 is one of the best metal detectors for Gold used in treasure hunting. It is well-known for its outstanding performance, which is why it is noted as the first metal gold detector for pure gold. This device has its search technology; Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT), which has greater sensitivity for finding tiny gold nuggets more than other detectors.

The GPZ 7000 has improved technologies, which gives the user a reliable tool for detecting gold in ground conditions, such as sandy soils or rocky lands, and all terrains.

This device has to be the best choice for every natural gold seeker and gold prospector. This is because this tool creates wealth opportunities for anyone that acquires it. Due to its extreme performance, it provides a reliable result in all countries, mostly Australia and Africa, unlike the other devices. This outstanding performance is due to the presence of the Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology, which, among its kind is the first, because you won’t find it in any other device.

Zero Voltage Transmission 

You should have it in mind that the best metal detector for gold and metal function according to two different technologies of searching:

  • Pulse Induction (PI) technology – provides more depth in mineralized soils
  • Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology – offers higher sensitivity at greater frequencies

All the former technologies have their pros and cons too at practical uses. This device has the specific ZVT technology, which joins the positivity of the two technologies at one device, so it gives a great sensitivity to spot the most available little gold nuggets available in VLF technology with up to 40%, unlike other devices who solely depend on the pulse induction technology.

The automatic ground balance feature enables it to work flawlessly in all conditions of the ground, such as rocky grounds or mineralized soils. It changes and readjusts the ground balance value of the tool in contrary to the searched ground landscape.


  • Waterproof coil
  • GPS locator Wireless Audio
  • Automatic ground balance
  • Noise immunity
  • Simple user interface
  • Two search technologies
  • Super – D search coil


  • Easy to handle
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • 14 inches Waterproof coil
  • Ability to withstand rain
  • Ability to detect gold at a depth of up to 40%


  • No pinpoint mode
  • No vibration signal

2. Minelab GPX 4500 Metal Detector For Relic And Gold Prospecting With 2 Search Coils

The Minelab GPX 4500 metal detector features lots of attributes, including DVT, MPS, and SETA Technologies. This versatile device is one of the proven best metal detectors for gold with lots of exceptional performance and features. With its enhanced technologies, this device penetrates highly mineralized soils deeper and better than primary gold detectors.

Integrating Minelab’s superior Dual Voltage Technology (DVT), Multi Period Sensing (MPS) and Smart Electronic Timing Alignment (SETA), this device has the capability of perforating mineralized soils deeper and better.

The device includes an 11 – inch Monoloop search coil, an 11 – inch DD search coil, a Minelab Koss headphone, a detecting harness, and a bag for rubbish and finds.

This device features six preset search modes for a simple switch-on-and-go search. The six modes of search can be modified and adjusted with your favorable settings. The target volume permits you to build up the strength of soft target signals. This is helpful for people suffering from hearing loss, in a windy weather condition, and to modify the audio volume when making use of external speakers. In mid soils, this offers an audio boost, and can also be used to filter noise signals in mineralized soils.

The Ground balance is turned off for neutral soils. This is a crucial feature for salt saturated soils or low mineralized soils. This setting works well for relic or gold hunters in sandy or loam soils. It also comes with an in-built amplifier for hearing deeper gold nuggets target signals quickly.


  • Weighs 5.3 lbs
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • 11 -inch Monoloop coil
  • 11 -inch Double D search coil
  • Bi-level frequency
  • Stabilizer control
  • Versatile timing
  • Headphones
  • Six preset search mode
  • Target Volume
  • Backlight
  • Iron reject function
  • In-built amplifier
  • MPS, DVT, and SETA Technology


  • It is lightweight
  • Adjustable turn control
  • Advanced pulse induction
  • Iron reject
  • High sensitivity
  • Three-year box control and coil warranty


  • The control box is not waterproof
  • It is not cost-effective

3. XP Deus Metal Detector + Wireless WS5 Full Headphones + Controller And 11 Inch Coil      

Professionals in treasure hunting opt for the XP Deus because it has been the best metal detector for gold and coins for the past ten years. This is a device that will guarantee confidence to anyone making use of it during a treasure hunting session.

You can also get lots of detections on a spot that is filled with findings. All the additional tools that are contained in the detector kit are mainly designed for the task. Even if you are a novice, you will be able to carry out your treasure hunting session without any difficulty, with more productivity and little effort.

Product Description

With an enhanced agronomic design, the XP Deus enables you to carry the detector and make use of the included tools easily and conveniently, without getting exhausted on time. It also has a new stem design that enables it to be folded quickly and stored whenever you want. Starting from the handle to the software and hardware, the entire device is specifically designed to provide full ergonomics to the person making use of it.

Instead of the usual straight stem, this device is released with a unique stem shape, which is less difficult to maneuver. Because of the advanced range of features, the XP Deus becomes the best metal detector for gold for professionals who wants to add a different device to their collection, for more comfort.

Convenience and comfort are the essential factors that anyone is assured when making use of this metal detector. An interesting part of this device is the addition of earphones in the kit. Indeed, this device would be a fantastic option for soon-to-be and experienced treasure hunters.


The XP Deus is a wireless detector that comes with WS5 or WS4 headphones. The following are the features:

  • Weight of 2 pounds
  • Waterproof Double D coil of 11 inches
  • Foldable stem for easy storage
  • Functional headphones in any weather
  • Modern foldable design shaft
  • Ability to charge headphones via a USB connection.
  • It could be updated to recent features with a PC
  • Headphones are created to filter nearby noise and equipped with an ear cup which enables more comfort in the wiring of the headphones


  • Regular update
  • Foldable stem for easy storage
  • Weatherproof pair of headphones
  • Portable
  • Strong battery
  • Discrimination speed


  • The control box is not waterproof
  • You will need to connect to a computer to update software

4. Minelab GPX 5000 Metal Detector Special With Pro-Sonic Wireless Audio System

Minelab metal detectors have been well-known to be among the best metal detector for gold in the market, and the invention of the Minelab GPX 5000 has proved the credibility of the brand’s reputation.

The GPX 5000 sets the pace in the world of gold detecting. With an excellent range of functions and features, the GPX 5000 is not only better than its predecessor; GPX 4500, it has its class.

Featuring exclusive technologies; Smart Electronic Timing Alignment (SETA), Dual Voltage Technology (DVT), and Multi-Period Sensing (MPS), this high-performance detector can find more gold than ever.

New Soil/Timings, New enhanced electronics, and a wide range of features, plus the ‘see-through ground’ mineralization ability, give you a crucial depth advantage over the other devices for detecting gold.

Using specific functions, features, and industry-leading peculiar technology certifies that the GPX 5000 run quiet and smooth even in a severe ground condition, while also maintaining sensitivity and excellent depth to gold nuggets.

With new timings, the eight enhanced timings on this GPX 5000 change the processing and the digital switching of electronics in the device. Each of the timing is designed for a favorable performance under some conditions. So anytime you choose a new timing, it feels like having a whole new detector.

The Minelab GPX 5000 is an excellent detector for the jewelry hunter and specialist relic who wants nothing but the best metal detector for gold and wants to find a piece deeper than ever. Easy for a newbie to an expert, you can switch on, and go with automatic functions and six factory preset modes of search.

Included in this device are a 100-ohm headphone, the GPX series battery harness and Mains charger, the finds and rubbish bag, a 12V vehicle charger, an Armrest wear kit, strap and cover, a coil wear kit, a detail instruction manual, and a three-year warranty.


  • Weighs 5.3 lbs
  • Lightweight Li-ion battery
  • Monoloop search coil
  • Round double D search coil
  • Fine gold timing 
  • Coin/Relic timing
  • Salt/Gold timing
  • Improved electronics
  • Six preset search mode
  • Audio adjustments
  • Backlight
  • Automatic ground balance
  • Motion control
  • Increased Rx gain adjustment
  • Iron reject adjustment
  • DVT, MPS and SETA Technology


  • Noise immunity
  • Two coils in the kit
  • Visual display
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Adjustable motion control


  • Comparatively heavy
  • No pinpoint mode
  • Affected by EMI in stormy weather

Buying Guide for Best Metal Gold Detectors

Since the discovery of gold by James Marshall in 1848, ay Sutter’s mill, Gold detecting in places like the United States has become an exciting treasure hunt. Searching for gold nuggets with a Gold metal detector is a fantastic hobby that comes with financial rewards and lots of fun as well.

But how do you know the suitable Best metal detectors for gold in the market?

This article is aimed at helping you make the right choices. Our most recommended Best metal detector for gold is the Fisher Gold Bug Pro, which is a perfect gold metal detector for beginners on a budget.

This guide is filled with lots of useful information that will enable you to make the right choice so you can start fishing for your gold.

How to Choose​ The Best Metal Detector for Gold

First of all, any metal detector will find gold nuggets when they are in the ground, not only restricted to gold detectors.

The job of a gold detector is to detect tiny gold targets in mineralized ground accurately.

So, what makes up a good, suitable metal gold detector?

Choosing the right detector is easier than you think. There are some factors to consider in selecting the best metal detector for gold; this includes:

Geographical location – where you will do most of your detecting.

Size – the size of gold prospects has been found in time past within that area. If you have no prior idea, it’s advisable you join a local gold detecting club or talking to locals.

Ground conditions – what is the extent of minerals in the ground?  Is there a lot of dirt? 

Other uses – do you intend on using the same detector for jewelry, coin, relic hunting? 

Budget – what is your budget for the machine?  You will need to ask yourself these questions before you embark on getting a gold metal detector.

I’m guessing your next question should be, what is the best metal detector for gold for your answers to the above questions?

Just because one metal gold detector costs more than the others doesn’t mean it’s the best metal detector for gold.  Let us examine the essential features of the best metal gold detectors.

Features of Best Metal Gold Detectors

Detector Technology

The first thing you should take note of is which technology to use – VLF or PI.

VLF is an acronym for Very Low Frequency and is the same technology used in detectors built for detecting jewelry, coins, and relics.

Detectors made with VLF technology broadcast at frequencies measured in kilohertz ranging from 3 kHz to 70 kHz.

There are reasons why you might choose a VLF over a PI

Below are five of them:

  • You’re a beginner.
  • You want to make use of the same detector to detect other things like jewelry, coins, and relics.
  • The sizes of your prospects range from small to medium-sized nuggets at depths under 8″ (most common).
  • The areas you hunt in are filled with lots of trash and need to discriminate.
  • Your budget is less than $2,000

PI is an acronym for Pulse Induction

It is a special gold detector designed for maximum depth in highly mineralized ground.

PI detectors emit pulses and are measured by pulses per second.

There are reasons why you may want to opt for a PI machine over a VLF:

  • You have gained experience as a gold hunter.
  • You want a specially built machine built just for gold nugget hunting.
  • Your gold nuggets are more massive and at greater depths. You aren’t so much interested in the smaller, shallower chunks.
  • You are prospecting in the highly mineralized ground with low trash levels
  • You have a budget of over $2,000

Now that we’ve differentiated between the two let’s talk about some other technical differences.

Operating Frequency

We have said earlier that VLF detectors are best when searching for small and average size nuggets.

The next question to answer is the operating frequency of the VLF.

As mentioned earlier, VLF machines range from 3 kHz to 70 kHz with the most known gold VLF machines in the 13-50 kHz range.

Another consideration is the size of nuggets.

This article is not about where to find different sizes of nuggets, but the highest elevations of your site Will house more significant chunks, while the smallest will be located at the lowest elevation – usually in a stream bed. ​

In places like the United States, larger nuggets are most often found in Alaska, medium in the Western States, and small in the Eastern States.

An inverse relationship exists between frequency and nugget size and also the maximum detection depth.

Both lower frequency VLF and PI detectors can detect larger nuggets at deeper depths – but will find it hard to detect smaller nuggets at shallow depths.

Categorically saying, higher frequency VLF machines are good at detecting smaller nuggets at shallow depths – and struggle to get greater depths.

So, which one is more preferable?

It all depends on your location and the prospects that have been found there before (and at what depths).

This also applies to the sizes of the coil. There’s a relationship between the coil size and target/depth size. Larger coils detect bigger targets at greater depths while smaller loops find smaller goals at shallow depths.

The same concept holds for coil size. Again there is an inverse relationship where larger coils get bigger targets at greater depths, and smaller coils get smaller targets at shallow depths. Smaller coils perform better on rocky areas where you need to penetrate around large rocks and squeeze into tight places.  They are more needed in highly mineralized grounds.


The ground mineralization is another factor that determines what range of frequencies to look for when choosing the best metal detector for gold. Gold is found commonly in areas of mineralization. Lower rate VLF and PI machines will perform well in zones of high mineralization than high-frequency VLF. For areas with extreme mineralization such as black sand in a stream bed, you will likely go for a PI as it can see through the ground.

Another vital thing to consider when dealing with mineralization in the ground balance.

Every gold detector has an automatic ground balance for tracking, but not all have manual ground balance. It is advised you invest in a machine that has both forms of ground balancing.


You also need to consider how much trash is on the ground in addition to the degrees of ground mineralization. Debris here represents anything that is not gold.

VLF detectors are equipped with electronic metal discrimination, meaning you can focus on right, gold signals while ignoring trash signals. PI detectors rarely come with discrimination. So, if you are sure you will be hunting in areas of high trash density, then you might need to opt for a VLF detector; otherwise, you will dig trash the whole day.

Accessories Needed for Gold Detecting

As you have gotten a brighter idea of which gold detector that fits you, there are few accessories prospector’s must-have with them for active hunting.

 These accessories include:

Plastic scoop to push away dirt/rocks over coil during recovery.

  • Pick- to navigate through rocky ground
  • Pinpointer or coil probe -to pinpoint those small nuggets quickly
  • Coil Cover -to prevent your coil from damaging.
  • Vials- to store your fine detected gold nuggets.
  • Shoulder harness- to carry the weight of the detector off your arm
  • Different coils -to perform better in the location of your hunting
  • Headphones- to quickly hear those gold signals that are faint.
  • Strong Magnet -to quickly collect iron trash and ‘hot rocks’ before digging up the prospect.

How Deep Can Gold Be Detected?

This largely depends on the environment, detector and the size of the gold nugget.

As a general rule, the best metal detector for gold can detect a nugget that is half the size of a grain at a depth of two inches. As the size gets larger, the depth also increases.

A gold nugget of a match head size, for example, can be detected at depths of up to 5 inches. More significant chunks can potentially be located at depths of over a foot if you’re making use of a pulse induction system.


Choosing the best metal detector for Gold could be challenging especially when you are still a newbie in the world of relic hunting. With a vast range of features, prices, and terminologies, the market for the best metal detector for Gold could be a confusing place. The key is to select a device that best suits your requirements and budget. Whatever your budget might be, I hope this article has assisted you in narrowing down your options.

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