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What’s The Best Gold Prospecting Metal Detector?

by Michael Bernzweig

So you want to find gold with a metal detector? Locating that elusive gold nugget or gold flake can become a reality with the correct equipment. Unlike treasure hunting for coins, jewelry or relics, selecting the correct equipment for gold prospecting requires careful consideration. If you are looking to locate gold nuggets or flakes, read on.

Are you are looking for large quantities of buried gold coins or gold bullion? If this is the case, then what you are looking for is a Two Box or Deep Seeking metal detector like one of the following:

Here are links to the most popular gold prospecting models that we offer. If you are a first time prospector, be sure to consider how often you plan to use the equipment and your budget. In addition to the metal detector, you will want to select a quality set of metal detecting headphones, a pick or trowel and a carry bag.

Entry Level Gold Prospecting Metal Detectors:

Mid Level Gold Prospecting Metal Detectors:

Top Gold Prospecting Metal Detectors:

metaldetector.com product specialist Moe visits the Minelab facility in Las Vegas, NV for product training on the new Minelab GPX 4500 Gold Prospecting metal detector. Pictured from left to right, Moe, Kevin Hoagland, Minelab USA Dealer Specialist and Jim Drummond, Minelab USA President.

So how deep will my gold prospecting metal detector go?

A better question might be how deep do you really need to go? Modern prospecting detectors can discover gold as small as a half a grain. As the size of the target becomes larger, gold nuggets can be located at significantly greater depths. A single grain nugget can be unearthed at a depth of 1-2 inches. A match head size nugget can be located at a depth of 3-5 inches. A nugget the size of a US half dollar can be located at depths of 9-11 inches. Larger nuggets can be located at depths over a foot with a Pulse Induction style detector.

Gold Prospecting search coil types and sizes.

Searchcoils come in two types: Concentric and Widescan. Concentric are preferred for discriminating. Widescan are less affected by ground mineralization. In general, larger searchcoils will give better depth with larger nuggets and better ground coverage. However, sensitivity to smaller nuggets may be sacrificed. Smaller searchcoils will offer greater sensitivity to smaller objects and improved target separation in trashy soil.

What are the Types of Gold Prospecting Detectors?

In general, gold detectors come in two flavors. They are either higher frequency VLF circuits that are very sensitive to gold or lower frequency Pulse Induction circuits. The VLF circuits are very sensitive to gold, but they are also sensitive to minerals in the soil. Unfortunately these minerals are common in highly productive gold prospecting regions of the world. The good news is that these detectors can be tuned to filter out most of the mineral interference. Pulse Induction detectors main strength is in ignoring the toughest ground mineral conditions and finding large gold nuggets at extreme depths.

Do I need to Ground Balance?

Most gold prospecting detectors feature manual ground balance controls. This feature will allow the machine to be adjusted to filter out the general iron content of the ground. Don't be intimidated by the need to ground balance, after you have done it once or twice, it will become second nature. Metal detectors that feature automatic ground tracking will require less adjustment and produce less false ground signal noise.

Will my gold nugget detector discriminate out junk metals?

Nugget detectors are designed to find all metals. While finding the smallest nuggets, these detectors will also locate trash metals as well. Most of these units have the ability to tune out common iron and steel junk items. Pulse induction detectors are not designed to filter out trash items.

Go where the gold is!

You can purchase the best gold metal detector in the world, but if you do not spend the time to locate the correct site, your efforts will not produce gold. Be sure to put yourself on proven nugget bearing ground. A little bit of time spent researching will pay you back many times over. Gold producing areas are well documented and can be researched through the library, the internet, or one of the many excellent books on nugget hunting. Always be sure to check the land ownership and contact claim owners if need be for permission to nugget hunt a specific area. Above all, have fun and may your efforts yield golden rewards.

© 2008 Detector Electronics Corp

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