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How to Find Meteorites, Gold & Other Precious Minerals with a Metal Detector?

By Michael Bernzweig

If you enjoy geology and love to see vivid photos of unique rocks and precious minerals, the hobby of unearthing these majestic items may be very rewarding to you. More and more, treasure hunters are making names for themselves by locating meteorites, gold and other precious minerals. They are buried in the ground—there for the taking! So, if you have a natural sense of curiosity and a bit of perseverance, you can foreseeably amass quite a valuable collection of rocks and minerals. Just educate yourself about metal detecting and the targets you’re searching for; then set out into the terrain!

Metal detectors provide an exciting means of locating gold and other mineral specimens. They have long been known as highly effective prospecting tools for finding larger mineral deposits. There are countless areas to search—some more advantageous than others. Dry arid climates are popular for meteorite detecting. Gold is often pinpointed in the ground, sand, iron ore fields, rivers/streams and even in the ocean water. Be sure to do your research and check with local clubs and dealers for the laws in your area before starting your hunt. Always be sure that you have permission to hunt on any private property. As you can see, there’s a wide range of treasure hunting sites to explore. It all depends on which types of rocks or minerals you decide to search for.

Prospecting Gemstones and Gold

Gemstones are highly collectible minerals. Many people use them for jewelry; others assemble them in a display case. Only crystalline gemstones are considered minerals (an inorganic naturally occurring substance with distinct chemistry). While a metal detector itself won’t target gemstones, an entire category of detectors is designated for gold prospecting. Gold is often found with other precious and metal-bearing minerals, including iron. These are called indicator minerals. Among the indicator minerals likely to be encountered with gold are Quartz, Magnetite, Garnet, Corundum (Sapphire), Emerald and (happily) Diamonds. So, it is indirectly that your metal detector will lead you to gemstones.

Where Should You Begin Your Search for Gold?

Anywhere gold nuggets have been found in the past, or any gold-bearing area. So, this is where research is key. Find out where past mining operations have occurred. Then, use your metal detector to search an area where you know others have found gold. Hoping to turn up prized gold with your metal detector? If you have the right tools and knowledge, you can find gold pieces, gold veins, gold shavings and gold nuggets. With the rising price of gold today, people can make a career out of prospecting gold with a metal detector and selling their finds.

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Finding Gold?

There are two main types of gold metal detectors. They are either high frequency VLF circuits that are very sensitive to gold or Pulse Induction circuits. High operating frequency detectors can detect smaller pieces of gold and gold nuggets easier than low frequency detectors. Gold prospecting metal detectors can be tuned to filter out most of the mineral interference. Pulse Induction detectors are best known for cancelling out the toughest ground mineral conditions. These models are also excellent for finding large gold nuggets at extreme depths. Be sure to take a look at our recommendations for the best gold metal detectors.

Become a Meteorite Man

Local legend may have it that a meteorite fell near the area you live. Perhaps there is even a large visible crater to add credibility to the story. You can use a metal detector at the site and hope for an overload hit, which indicates a large metal object. Characteristics that help identify true meteorites include attracting a magnet, showing some rust stains and a possible greenish tint. According to Discovery Channel’s series, Meteorite Men, you can cover acres of ground in plowed fields, forests, rolling hillsides, abandoned farms and on unmarked dirt roads hunting for space rocks. There are different types of meteorites; those that contain iron and nickel can be located with a decent metal detector.

What are the Best Meteorite Metal Detectors?

Experienced meteorite hunters recommend mid-range or high-quality gold detectors to track down these elusive space rocks. The XP DEUS and the Fisher Gold Bug 2 are great choices for locating Meteorites. When you hit a target with these models, they go off with a lot of intensity. These models are very sensitive to iron and nickel, the main components of Meteorites. On the flip side, they also have built-in ground balance controls. Ground balance is a good feature when hunting for gold, but when hunting for meteorites, it is possible to completely balance out small meteorites. Using the optional manual ground balance will help remedy this situation. If you think you’ll spend a lot of time prospecting for gold as well as meteorites, more expensive metal detectors can be well worth it. Read our recommendations for selecting the best meteorite hunting metal detectors.

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