In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best metal detectors for finding gold.
We’ve compared ease of use, weight, detecting ability, and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Metal Detector for Gold Nugget Prospecting?
More Detailed Gold Metal Detector Reviews
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector Review
This is one awesome piece of kit, and if I’m honest, it’s the best metal detector for gold on the market.
The Gold Bug Pro works on a 19 kHz operating frequency. It can detect a sliver of gold above all other metals such as a coin. That means you only need to buy one detector.
Let’s start with the search coils. This beauty has fast re-tune and biaxial coils that really pinpoint gold over other metals. They’re the standard 5″ DD round closed coils which are waterproof – a feature not all gold detectors include. I like this a lot as it makes river prospecting an option.
If 5-inch coils don’t satisfy there’s an option for an 11’’ DD waterproof search coil attachment too, but that doesn’t come as part of the package.
The audio is great on this detector. It has what they call ‘V-Break’ which is a variable breakpoint discrimination system.
You get to control its computerized multi-tone audio with mightily accurate precision. It takes some getting used to, but because it helps distinguish low audio tone iron and high audio tone gold it’s worth learning the language.
The visual ID system really helps to pinpoint target location and cuts out frustrating ‘digging around only to find iron’ time. Save your energy for the gold.
Ground balancing is essential for gold prospecting and is expected on this level of detector.
Good news then that the Gold Bug Pro has a real-time ground balancing system that’s fully computerized. It calibrates itself and indicates what minerals are in the soil to help you locate that elusive nugget.
The system monitors soil conditions, tracking down black sand areas where gold is often located. The Fe3O4 meter indicates the amount of mineralization present to make sure you don’t miss anything good.
The Gold Bug Pro also differentiates between large iron objects and smaller pieces like nails so you can get a good idea of what lies beneath the soil without digging.
It’s a soil reading machine as well as a detector and a great choice for those who really want to find that gold.
This machine weighs a tiny 2.5 pounds so you won’t get arm ache and give up inches away from the jackpot. It measures 10.2 x 6.2 x 28.5 inches and needs 1 9V battery.
The Gold Bug Pro is a top-of-the-range machine trusted by many detectorists – it’s seriously worth considering for its barely-there weight alone. In our opinion, it’s the best metal detector for gold you can find!
- Easily finds small nuggets
- Works well in highly mineralized soils
- Guides you to the right soils for gold prospecting
- Only the coil is waterproof
Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector Review
The Garret AT Gold Metal Detector is one of the best gold detectors for finding gold on the market!
This gold nugget metal detector was designed to uncover tiny gold nuggets in all terrains, particularly shallow freshwater areas.
It’s waterproof to a maximum depth of 10 feet in freshwater lakes and streams, so if you slip it should manage to survive a drenching.
The AT Gold has a 5×8 DD search coil which plenty big enough to pick up gold signals without wasting time and is comparable with other gold metal detectors.
It pushes out the higher kHz range that’s perfect for picking up gold signals whilst running on the All Metal Mode. This means it searches at the greatest depth but with great sensitivity. You’ll get as far down as possible with the best golden results.
The all-important ground balance is included as manual or automatic to optimize your experience and suit how you prefer to hunt.
This feature pushes The AT Gold onto the leader-board for highly mineralized soils – the type of gold is most likely to be found.
But what about discrimination you ask?
Well, the AT Gold discrimination modes are highly recommended for a serious gold hunter. It has two modes alongside the True All Metal Mode. Choose DISC 1 and DISC 2 modes for changeable tone ID.
Tones tell you what you’ve found without digging the find up. If you can interpret the tones you’ll leave nails, tin foil, and coke can tabs behind.
The AT Gold’s tones work on a continuous audio response, so you can keep reading the nuances your detector picks up and better understand what is beneath the soil.
Run it in All Motion mode to pick up signals and then switch to pinpoint mode when you’ve uncovered a likely target. Hold it steady to pinpoint the exact location and prepare for the dig.
The Garrett AT Gold measures 21.3 x 14.4 x 5.7 inches and weighs 6.7 pounds.
It’s not the lightest machine, but it’s not exactly heavy either. You’ll need 4 AA batteries to power it up.
Almost forgot to say you’ll receive Mastersound headphones as part of the package!
If you’re looking for a metal detector with all the features a serious gold hunter could ever need, the Garret AT Gold Metal Detector is an absolute must-have!
- A true all metal mode
- Can discriminate between metals with ease
- A top-notch ground balancing system
- Waterproof to 10ft
- It’s heavier than others
- It’s waterproof but not recommended for salt water
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector Review
This metal detector has been designed especially for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions. If you want a metal detector that won’t be overly sensitive to minerals in the ground, then this is a great one to consider.
Choose from Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode depending on the metal you are searching for. This helps users be more specific during their expeditions.
You can go on long hikes with this metal detector as it only weighs 3.7 pounds. This makes it super easy to carry around in a backpack without feeling weighed down.
- Easy to use
- Usually accurate
- Poor customer service and insurance policy
RM RICOMAX Professional Metal Detector GC-1037 Review
If you are interested in searching for iron, aluminum, gold, bronze, silver, and their articles, you can do it in ALL METAL Mode. Pinpointing where the targets are is simple too using the p/p mode.
This is certainly a low-maintenance metal detector that is easy to clean and does not require too much up-keep. It is also IP 68 waterproof, making it perfect for metal detecting in rivers and on the beach.
You will enjoy using the RM RICOMAX metal detector a lot, thanks to its large LCD screen. The screen layout also adds to its ease-of-use factor because everything is laid out functionally and in an orderly manner making every feature accessible.
- Great features
- Easy to use
- Good for finding gold
- Readings can be wild and inaccurate
MIYAY Professional Metal Detector Review
If you are looking for a suitable metal detector for adults and children, look no further. It works in many locations and can be used indoors, outdoors, and even when submerged 10 inches deep in water.
Its deepest readings will reach about 8.6 inches under the ground, which is a lot more than most hobby-grade metal detectors. Everything about its design has been thought about with the user in mind to allow for comfortable metal detecting over a long period of time.
This certainly makes a great gift for adults and children looking to start taking part in treasure hunting in their spare time! It is simplistic and perfect for beginners.
- Good for beginners
- Easy to use
- Great low-battery indicator
- Not very long-lasting
- Made using flimsy materials
OMMO Metal Detector for Adults & Kids Review
Coin-sized targets can be detected up to eight inches deep in the ground. This is great if you want to metal detect for lost rings and money on the beach. Larger objects can be detected as deep as three feet underground too!
Its adjustable stem can be adjusted from 30 inches to 40 inches, giving you plenty of room to play with its settings to make it as comfortable as possible for you. Have a play with the three different modes of operation. These modes will target different materials and objects, giving you more versatility while treasure hunting.
This is also waterproof up to 10 inches underwater and fitted with an LCD screen. These features are modern and innovative, perfect for hobbyist metal detector enthusiasts.
- Great for pros and beginners
- Useful features
- Poor battery life
How To Choose The Best Metal Detector For Finding Gold
Of course, your final choice will come down to preference and costs, but it doesn’t hurt to read reviews and take advice from seasoned metal detecting pros. We recommend checking out this helpful guide to gold detecting machines to help you find the best metal detector for gold that’s right for you!
You don’t actually need a specific gold detector to find gold, because all metal detectors will pick up its signal, but a specialist machine makes it more likely you’ll find the good stuff.
It’ll also help you locate the smaller, deeper buried pieces that standard machines find hard to register.
Gold detectors are usually priced higher than standard machines but because they do a better job the value is repaid in gold finds.
Look for features you think will help you, such as automatic ground balancing, continuous audio feedback, and technology that filters out the junk.
How The Technology Works To Find The Gold
If you don’t go to locations that gold is found in, you won’t find much even with a top-of-the-range model.
Research pays dividends so look up gold prospecting sites, their permissions, and don’t forget the rivers. Many gold rings are found in water.
Metal detectors work through conductivity. They push electromagnetic fields into the ground from the search coil and receive an electromagnetic field in return. The detector beeps to alert you.
Specialist gold-detecting machines will pick up all metals but they are tweaked to find the conductivity that gold creates, and to discriminate between that signal and the signals thrown up by other metals such as iron and aluminum.
A kilohertz or a kHz is the number of waves a metal detector can send into the soil. For example, 5 kHz sends 5000 waves per second.
The higher your kHz the more likely you are to find gold. High-frequency kHz has shorter wavelengths and find smaller targets with less conductivity, such as nuggets and flakes of gold.
That’s why gold detectors generally have a higher kHz capacity than lower-priced all-purpose models.
The mineralized soil is a problem because it causes confusion and endless hours digging fruitlessly for a target that isn’t actually there.
The soil is not simply ‘dirt’ – it’s a mix of chemicals, minerals, and all good things that bring life. This means it has a certain amount of magnetism – the same property metal detectors use to find metal.
It means your metal detector may be set off by deposits of minerals in the soil.
The old soil is often highly mineralized because rain forces iron compounds to the surface. Often this soil is red or black sand. It makes it hard to figure out what is a real signal and what is from the soil mineralization.
Gold is more commonly found in highly mineralized soil, and detectors with high kHz capabilities, such as gold detecting machines, are more liable to interference from the ground.
Isn’t that typical!
But don’t worry – it just means you need a good piece of kit to sort out the soil from the gold if you’re serious about gold nugget prospecting. The latest technology can overcome ground mineralization.
Ground balance capability for example picks up the mineralization of the soil and calibrates settings to ignore it.
The soil is literally full. It’s full of life, chemicals, minerals, and our human trash.
Metal detecting is mostly digging out the trash. Aluminum foil is my pet hate, along with nails, and those pieces of unidentifiable metals twisted into weird shapes.
Trash is everywhere, and if you want to find coins, jewelry, or more importantly, gold you need a detector that can sort out the trash contamination from the good stuff.
Look carefully at your metal detector’s discrimination capacity because that’s the bit that will save you hours of digging for Coke cans.
Going For Gold With Your Metal Detector
If you’re serious about finding gold a metal detector with extra gold-seeking capabilities is going to make your hobby a lot more successful.
Yes, they cost more, all good things do, but the trick is to get the best metal detector for gold you can afford and keep taking it out so you tune into its capabilities and really understand what those beeps mean.
Cheaper models have less sensitivity, but they can be easier to understand particularly for beginners. (See my guide to the best metal detectors for beginners here).
If you pay attention and keep heading out to the right places your investment will pay for itself. The high price of gold means even the smallest pieces can be worthwhile.
And once you have bought the detector, there isn’t much else to buy.
All you need to do is research the ground, history, and required permissions. That can be done in the public library for free.
Purchasing a gold-seeking metal detector might actually save you money. Try that line with your partner and see how far it gets you!
Good luck and Happy Hunting, my fellow gold diggers.
Q: Will my metal detector detect jewelry?
A: Only if the jewelry is made from magnetic metals.
Q: Will my metal detector be able to fund a missing phone in the sand?
A: This all depends on the ground conditions. Usually, metal detectors will not be able to find missing electronics.
Q: Is it illegal to metal detect on the beach?
A: No, metal detecting on the beach is legal as it is public land.
Q: Is using a metal detector fun?
A: Metal detecting is a fun hobby and often results in finding missing valuables or coins.
Q: Are metal detectors legal?
A: Metal detecting laws vary from state to state. It is best practice to research the law in your area before going treasure hunting.