Gold hunting is the most popular and adventurous hobby. Many people hunt for gold deep down the water or at water surfaces to fill their appetite of collecting gold nuggets. You can also hunt for gold, but for this, you have to purchase a metal detector specially designed for gold prospecting.
However, the market is flooded with gold metal detectors, so it is not easy to find the best machine for personal use. Also, different detectors are best for different environments, so it is recommended to know completely about these metal detectors before selecting one.
Therefore, to make things easier, we have added a buyer’s guide where you can find information related to the types of detection and the factors that you must consider before buying a particular gold metal detector.
And then we have a list of top ten metal detectors for gold so that you can find a particular product that fits your needs.
Before purchasing any product either online or offline, it is necessary to look carefully at every feature of it to make sure you are spending money on the right product. So, here in this buying guide section, we are going to focus on those things or factors that you should look at or consider before purchasing the best metal detector for gold.
Type of Detection
The first thing that is necessary to consider before purchasing a gold metal detector is the type of detection it comes with. One is the high-frequency VLF, and the second one is the pulse induction. These two types of detectors are commonly used for gold hunting.
The VLF detectors come with higher operating frequency when they are designed for gold prospecting. On average, a VLF detector has a frequency range of 5 to 15 kHz, but this frequency range is suitable for detecting other metallic objects, not for gold. So, for true gold prospecting, the ideal operating frequency is from 15 kHz to 75 kHz.
The reason for this increased frequency as compared to the average VLF detector is that higher the frequency, the better a detector will work to find small pieces of gold.
The benefit of using a VLF detector is that it is cheaply available. Also, its electronic discrimination system is powerful that eliminates other metallic objects and focuses only on the valuable treasure. But if we focus on its downside, then these detectors are highly sensitive to minerals. And due to this sensitivity, they constantly generate false signals which make the life of a searcher a mess.
On the other hand, pulse induction models are not sensitive to minerals like the high-frequency VLF detectors. And that is why; they can be freely used in those locations where the minerals are present in large quantity.
These pulse induction detectors are best for finding larger pieces of gold. They are not suitable to locate for smaller gold nuggets. Other than this, they are expensive as compared to VLF detectors. Also, they don’t have good discrimination power that can discriminate the junk items.
But here the question arises, which type of detector is best for gold hunting? And the answer will be no one. Yes! It is true. The reason is that both these detectors work perfectly fine in their suitable conditions so that no detector can work perfectly alright in all the scenarios. Therefore, it is necessary to know your requirements before selecting a particular detector type.
If your focus is at low-mineralization areas, then a high-frequency VLF detector is the ideal choice for you. You will get success in finding small pieces of gold. But as low-frequency metal detectors work well deep down the sea so you can go for a low-frequency product to find out the larger nuggets. Also, if there is much trash in the area which you are going to target, you should go for a VLF detector. Moreover, if you don’t have enough money to buy a PI model, then obviously, it is better to go for a VLF detector.
On the other side, if your focus is a highly mineralized area, then a pulse induction model is best to go with. Also, if there is less or no trash in your targeted area, you can go for a PI model. Moreover, if you have money to buy this expensive model, then you should go for it.
But there is also a new technology called Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology that is better than VLF and pulse induction. The reason for this that it provides depth as well as the sensitivity required to find gold nuggets. The Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector uses this ZVT technology. So, if you are fed up of VLF and PI models, ZVT technology is there for you.
As we have discussed earlier that higher the frequency, the more a detector will be able to find gold nuggets effectively. But higher frequency metal detectors can’t work deep down the water. If your only aim is to find the smaller gold nuggets, a detector with higher operating frequency is ideal. On the other hand, lower frequency detectors can do deep down the water and work effectively to find larger gold nuggets, but they might miss the smaller pieces of gold.
So, it all depends on your requirements and the place where you want to hunt for gold. For searching in shallow waters, a higher frequency detector is best suited. But for depths, a lower frequency gold metal detector must be used.
Discrimination feature is the most important thing that a gold metal detector must-have. It allows you to ignore different trash items to only focus on gold nuggets. So, here, VLF detectors come handy as they feature an electronic discrimination system that ignores the unwanted metals while searching for gold. On the other hand, pulse induction models are not designed to discriminate junk items. When these metal detectors dive into the water, they also catch trash along with gold due to having no discrimination system. But they do ignore trace metals in highly mineralized soil.
Therefore, if you are going to hunt for gold in a trashy area, then a high-frequency VLF detector must be your choice. On the other hand, a pulse induction detector is ideal to go with.
Ground Balancing System
Another feature that you must focus at when purchasing a gold detector is its ground balancing system. Most of the gold metal detectors feature an automatic ground balancing system. This automatic balancing system is useful, but in highly mineralized areas, you often need to adjust balance so that the iron can be filtered easily.
Therefore, in this situation, what you can do? The best way to solve this problem is to have a metal detector that features both the automatic and manual ground balancing system. With this, you will be able to use an automatic system or adjust the balance manually according to your needs and the type of ground or water you are dealing with.
It is also necessary to focus on the size of a search coil. If you are looking for a smaller search coil, then it will help you to find smaller pieces of gold effectively. Also, this small size coil discriminates smaller trash items quite effectively.
But, if we talk about larger coils, then they are best for covering large areas at once. Also, they are designed to search for gold deep inside the water. But there are chances of missing the smaller targets. Also, they don’t perform well in highly mineralized ground.
The cost of a gold detecting machine also needs to be considered. If you have less money to spend on a gold metal detector, then you should go for a high-frequency VLF detector.
If you have a good amount of money, then pulse induction models are there for you.
But if you don’t want to go for a high-frequency VLF or PI model, and need more advanced gold metal detector then Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector is an ideal choice for you. It is the most expensive gold detecting machine available in the market.
Best Metal Detector for Gold Reviews
1. Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector – Best Gold Metal Detector under $700
Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.4 x 5.7 inches
Item Weight: 6.7 pounds
Frequency: 18 KHz
This metal detector from Garrett is one of the best metal detectors used for gold hunting. It comes with an adjustable length from 42 inches to 51 inches, has a 5×8 DD search coil, and requires 4 AA batteries to start the operation.
It is an entirely waterproof product that is designed to find small gold nuggets on land and in water. But it is particularly designed to use in shallow freshwater areas. It can also be used for cache and relic hunting, and can also help you to find coins and other jewelry.
It can work underwater as deep as 10 feet. The searching coil helps you to find the gold nuggets in less time as compared to other gold detectors. Its 18 KHz operating frequency makes it more sensitive. Also, this high-frequency range makes it impossible to work in saltwater.
The Target ID and the automatic and advanced manual ground balance are included in its advanced features. It also features a true all-metal mode for great depth and sensitivity. Other than this, two discrimination modes help you to differentiate between the real targets and trash. The user gets more Tone ID information from targets for easy discrimination.
Also, keep this in mind that it is not a pulse induction model, but a VLF detector.
2. Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector – Lightest Metal Detector for Gold
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.2 x 28.5 inches
Item Weight: 2.5 pounds
Frequency: 19 KHz
This Fisher Gold Bug Pro metal detector comes with a 5-year warranty and has 19 kHz operating frequency. It is a highly sensitive metal detector that helps you to find gold nuggets with ease. The 5-inch DD fast retune speed, and biaxial search coils perfectly pinpoint gold around other different metals. Also, you can attach an 11-inch DD search coil that is required to buy separately.
This Fisher Cold Bug Pro features V-Break, which is the Variable Tone Breakout Discrimination system. This multi-tone audio ID system is a valuable addition to this gold metal detector. It helps you to find the difference between iron and gold with ease. When it catches iron, it produces a low audio tone, and in case of gold, it delivers a high tone.
Also, when the visual ID system meets the audio ID system, the detector becomes more powerful and accurate. With the visual ID system, you will easily find gold without digging the wrong iron targets.
Other than this, it’s ground balancing system is computerized and features real-time operation that calibrates itself to tell you about the type of minerals available in the soil. Also, the amount of mineralization is detected by the Fe304 meter.
It is also light in weight and requires one 9V alkaline battery.
3. Minelab Gold Monster 1000 – Heaviest Metal Detector for Gold
Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 5.1 x 9.8 inches
Item Weight: 6.8 pounds
Frequency: 45 KHz
This Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is the most sensitive gold metal detector that comes with an operating frequency of 45 kHz. It is a VLF detector that offers excellent discrimination modes and ground-balancing effectiveness.
The appealing thing about this metal detector is that it offers fully automatic operation. It comes with two waterproof searching coils, one is the 5-inch DD coil and the second one is the 10 x 6 inch DD coil.
The machine exactly targets the area and accurately pinpoints gold without giving false signals that can be generated due to the presence of other metal objects.
The sensitivity level is adjustable, but it is better to let the machine does what it can do with the automatic sensitivity. The easy-to-use controls make the unit easy to use, and digital electronics make signals easy-to-read.
The automatic noise cancellation feature helps you to focus on the weak signals generated due to the presence of gold.
The machine is not packed with features, but its highest frequency and technology make it an ideal gold metal detector.
Also, it weighs around 6.8 pounds and requires one lithium-ion battery to work.
4. White’s Goldmaster GMT Metal Detector – Best Gold Metal Detector under $800
Product Dimensions: 44 x 9.5 x 12 inches
Item Weight: 4.3 pounds
Frequency: 48 KHz
This White Goldmaster GMT metal detector is another perfect VLF detector for gold. It comes with an operating frequency of 48 kHz that makes it extremely sensitive to gold.
It has a waterproof 6 x 9-inch search coil that finds the exact locations of gold nuggets in streams and rivers. An iron target analyzer is there to keep you aware of the false targets. Also, it displays the level of magnetic minerals present underground.
It comes with both automatic and manual ground balancing modes. A basic digital display is without advanced features; however, you can have a visual display of the iron ID.
The control panel is straightforward. The manual controls are there for the experts so that they can control the detecting machine according to their preferences. But each option comes with a recommended initial setting so if you are a new user; then you can follow those settings to get your job done.
The best thing about this gold metal detector is that it allows you to continue your hunting for gold for up to 40 hours. It requires eight AA batteries that will give you the best and longest hunting time before getting a discharge.
5. Fisher Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector – Most Gold Sensitive Metal Detector
Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 12.4 x 7.2 inches
Item Weight: 2.9 pounds
Frequency: 71 KHz
This Fisher Gold Bug-2 is an extremely sensitive gold metal detector having an operating frequency of 71 kHz. It comes with a 14-inch elliptical closed search coil that works best to find treasures.
This metal detector might not be as advanced as other models, but in this price range, it is hard to find a good quality machine that can find small gold nuggets.
It comes with a 6-inch search coil that is waterproof and resistant to dust as well. It is also lightweight that makes it comfortable to use deep in the water for hours. Also, it is quite easy to use that even a beginner can use it without any trouble, but some features need the practice to master.
The audio-boost system helps you to hear the signals quite clearly. The iron-discrimination feature segregates iron trash from valuable metals. There is an iron-disc mode that ignores the iron targets and focuses on the real targets. Also, a three-position mineralization switch allows the detector to work effectively in extremely mineralized soil.
Other than this, the machine requires 2.9V batteries to become operational.
6. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector – Most Expensive Gold Metal Detector
Product Dimensions: 33 x 14.8 x 6.8 inches
Item Weight: 4.19 pounds
Search Coil: 40% Deeper Gold Depth
This Minelab GPZ 7000 is quite an expensive gold metal detector, but the features and technology justify that higher price. It comes with a Minelab’s Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) technology that is quite different than the high-frequency VLF and pulse induction technologies.
The best thing about this ZVT technology is that it offers both sensitivity and depth at an equal rate. It provides increased sensitivity along with an impressive depth, and that’s why this metal detector is unique from others.
Its Super-D waterproof coil helps you to find those gold nuggets that other detectors have missed while searching. Its precision-ground balance system correctly balances and automatically tracks the buried gold in the difficult mineralized ground.
The Minelab GPZ 7000 offers smooth and quiet detection of the gold. It only listens to gold nuggets and avoids the atmospheric noise with the help of 256 noise cancellation channels.
Other features include a wireless audio system, easy-to-use menu system, and GPS locating and PC mapping.
7. Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ Metal Detector – Designed for Deep Searching
Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 8.7 x 4.8 inches
Item Weight: 4.45 pounds
Frequency: 17.5 KHz
This Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ metal detector is not a highly sensitive machine but sensitive and smart enough to give you good results in highly mineralized soil. It has an operating frequency of 17.5 kHz and is a VLF detector, but offers great depth as compared to many models that come with ultra-high frequency.
It features a 10-inch wide search coil that helps you to cover the large area at a time. In tough ground conditions, the advanced ground tracking system along with the discrimination system helps you to search for gold with ease.
But the ground-balancing system is somewhat different from the other models. There are three ground tracking modes. One is the Alkaline, the second one is the Normal, and the third one is the Black Sand. In these three modes, the detector self-regulates the ground balance.
Other than this, you have a pinpoint mode that helps you to dig at the right place. And when you go into the discrimination mode, the machine ignores all the rubbish stuff and only targets gold nuggets.
It also provides clean and clear audio signals so that anyone gets notified about the presence of gold without any problem.
8. Teknetics T2 Classic Metal Detector – Best Gold Metal Detector under $500
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 6.5 x 40 inches
Item Weight: 3.5 pounds
Search Coil: 11-inch Bi-Axial Search Coil
If you are searching a good quality metal detector for gold at a good price, then this T2 Classic from Teknetics is the ideal choice for you. It comes with double filter discrimination modes for valuable searching in the areas surrounded by trash.
This high-performance metal detector is a highly sensitive machine that helps you to grab the gold nuggets while ignoring the unwanted metals. Its waterproof search coil is designed for shallow waters to find the hidden treasures. It is recommended for relic hunting, coin hunting, and gold prospecting.
Its pinpointing function is useful for detecting the exact location of the valuable metals. Your time is money, and this detector knows this well.
Its high separation ability helps you to look out for particular metals. The large LCD screen displays the magnetic mineralization bar graph so that you can detect particular metals with ease. Also, it’s ground balance system is up to the mark.
Moreover, it has a long battery life. Also, it is compact in size and light in weight.
9. Tesoro Silver uMax Metal Detector – Least Gold Sensitive Metal Detector
Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 8.8 x 4.7 inches
Item Weight: 3.25 pounds
Frequency: 10 KHz
This Tesoro Silver uMax metal detector is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty. It is a simple and easy to use metal detector that is designed for beginners. But even experts can use this machine to find the pieces of gold.
It is a lightweight product that makes it portable. Also, it is budget-friendly that is ideal for beginners. The metal detector features a microprocessor technology that makes it a perfect product to buy. Also, it’s pinpoint technology helps you to get the exact location where the treasure is buried.
If we talk about its search coil, then there are 8-inch concentric search coils. Also, the coils are interchangeable. Its audio function is also up to the mark that ensures you will never miss any signal.
Other than this, there are also discrimination mode and the all-metal mode available. Both of these modes work differently. The discrimination mode is there to differentiate between metals. And the all-metal mode gives signals on all metals.
But finding the exact location of a small hidden object is much difficult with this gold metal detector.
10. XP DEUS Metal Detector – Best Gold Metal Detector under $1300
Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 12 x 4.2 inches
Item Weight: 5.35 pounds
Frequency: 3.7 – 27.7 KHz
The last best metal detecting machine for gold is the XP DEUS. But it is not a high-frequency VLF or a pulse induction model; it is a multi-frequency detector that comes with a total of 35 frequencies. But there are five main frequencies: 3.7 – 4.4 kHz, 7.1 – 8.4 kHz, 10.5 – 12.4 kHz, 15.2 – 17.8 kHz, and 23.5 – 27.7 kHz.
This metal detector can be used for a wide variety of hunting, but the highest frequency range that is 23.5 – 27.7 kHz is ideal for gold hunting. It comes with both manual and automatic ground balance. Also, it features nine pre-configured factory programs. Its advanced discrimination system helps you to find gold with ease even if it is placed underneath the iron junk. Also, you have the option of extending the discrimination range. Moreover, you have a long battery life and a 5-year warranty with you.
The package includes full-sized wireless headphones, 11” x 35 DD waterproof wireless search coil with cover, and wireless remote control display screen.
But, despite its positive things, the wireless headphone of the metal detector is not of good quality.