In this post, we will list down the best metal detector for gold prospecting in 2020. These gold detectors can help you find treasure around you.
Metal detectors are great for treasure hunters and people who have a hobby for finding metals and treasures and especially gold.
If you always wanted to do some metal hunting but unsure of the way that this technology actually works. Here’s a little something for you.
How does metal detector technology work?
The metals detectors usually feature a circular base that contains a big transmitter coil, and next to it is a small receiver coil. As you start the sweep, the detector is activated, the battery’s electricity is needed for the outer transmitter coil which then creates an electromagnetic field which even penetrates the ground.
When this electromagnetic charge touches any metal object, the transmitter will do its job, and it will become animated at an atomic level, which then creates a magnetic glow circling that metal object. As soon as the transmitter is animated with the metallic object in the ground, the small receiver coil gets in action and starts to look for any change that can be identified with the charged ground’s magnetic field.
As the other magnetic current is sent from the metal object as it continues to react with the transmitter’s coil energy, a change is detected in the magnetic polarities. And turn a signal is transmitted to the loudspeaker, which features a tone based discrimination system based on the characteristics and specific strengths of the charged metal.
Also Read: Best Underwater Metal Detectors
Best Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting 2020
Now that you know how the metal detectors work let’s go ahead and look at some of the best metal detectors available in the market for gold prospecting.
Best Entry Level Gold Metal Detector
Fisher Gold Bug Pro – Best Beginners Metal Detector for Gold
The tools for metal detecting from the Fisher family have taken the gold prospecting to a whole new level by introducing precise prospecting, including the fantastic depth and Target-ID and all at fascinating and affordable prices. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro features fast retune speed as well as search coils, which are experts in creating excellent target separation that goes to incredible depths. V-Break technology is one of a kind, and the very first in the industry features the Variable Breakpoint tone discrimination system, this whole technology allows the user to be in control of the multi-tone ID system supported by audio. This feature is great for distinguishing iron targets with a unique low audio tone while the other metals like Gold, which are non-ferrite targets, are pointed out with high pitched audio tones. The dead accurate visual ID system combined with the tone discrimination system provides gold prospectors an unmatchable tool for locating gold targets without worrying about being confused with any iron targets that come in the way. The 40-Point Iron ID target range is very useful for differentiating between greater iron targets and smaller pieces like nails etc. The technique it uses for separating non-ferrous and ferrous targets merely is excellent. Other unmatchable features help in the realtime display, including the Ground Phase value and a Fe3O4 meter; both these help in indicating the percentage or amount of present mineralization. These features help a great deal in monitoring the changes that occur within the soil and eventually help to find and trace black sand concentrations; these specific concentrations are ideal for finding Gold. The most challenging ground conditions are handled by the highly effective Ground Balance system that is capable of balancing even salt. The Gold Bug is excellent for finding and prospecting all relics, coins, and metals. And it is the best metal detector gold and silver.
- Specialized discrimination mode for finding coins and relics
- Motion All Metal Mode
- Depth indication along with No-motion pinpoint
- Automatic Ground grab
- Constant readouts for ground conditions
- Constant mineralizations and Ground Phase readouts
- Features the very first V-Break (Variable Tone Breakpoint Discrimination system) in industry
- Adjustments for threshold
- Indicator for signal strength
- 2-Tone audio and Target-ID featuring V.C.O
- Manual adjustment feature for automatic ground grab
- Great sensitivity
- Headphones jacks 1/4″; (6.3 mm) and 1/8″; (3.2 mm)
- Comes with one 9V Alkaline battery
- DD Round Closed Waterproof Searchcoil (Gold Bug and Pro only)
- The operating frequency of 19 kHz
- Comes with a whopping 5-year warranty
- Lightweight (weighs only 2.5lbs)
2. Bounty Hunter TK4 – Best Under Budget Gold Detector
It is a very stylish and high looking Gold Metal detector that can find all kinds of metals, including iron relics, household items, coins, and even precious metals like silver and Gold. The Tracker IV has eliminated a lot of hassles of operation controls and switching between different modes as well as the most difficult aspect of operating a metal detector, and that is Ground Balancing. You only have two operation controls and worry about only one mode selection switch. There is an automatic Ground Trac which is built in the device, and it balances for mineralization while you search for metals. The Tracker IV can detect metals in extreme ground conditions, which means from wet salty beaches to the extremely mineralized inland sites with minimal operations adjustments and highly effective sensitivity systems; you can detect any metal that you want.
Easy to use knob control interface
It features an extremely easy to use knob control interface; the depth of detection is fantastic with the highly reliable power/sensitivity control. The discrimination control system will easily ignore undesirable targets. You can easily and very quickly switch between the All metal, discrimination, and tone mode with a flick of the mode toggle.
Detect all metals
You will be amazed at how much the Tracker IV will be able to detect; you can find almost any metal, including the household items, iron relics, coins, and all precious metals as well. The 8-inch search coil can be used underwater as well, and you can use Tracker IV in shallow waters as well. It is recommended for hunting relics, jewelry, utility applications, and prospecting.
World-famous metal detector
The discrimination circuitry feature of tracker IV is world-famous. The ease of use offered by this metal detector is entirely admirable, and it is loved by metal hunting fans all over the world.
- Rugged metal detector for detection in most difficult grounds
- All motion metal mode, two-tone audio mode, as well as discrimination mode for ease in use.
- Can detect objects up to 3 feet in size
- The preset ground balance of Tracker IV neutralizes response as per the mineral content present in the ground
- Features a tremendous distinguishing system, with the help of the notch control system you can easily target and distinguish the unwanted metals
- 6.7 kHz operating frequency
- Built-in speakers for audio broadcasting
- 3 Position mode switch
- ¼ inches jack for headphones
- Extremely reliable target strength meter
- Sensitivity control
- Can detect coins size targets that are up to 8 inches deep
- Can detect larger targets that are up to 2 feet in the ground
- Can detect all metals be it iron, steel, brass, or Gold.
Best Mid-Level Metal Detector for Gold 2020
Garrett AT Gold – Best Metal Detector for Gold
It features an all-metal mode and can be great for prospecting all metals. It can be used for detecting coins, relics, jewelry, organized hunting, and shallow water hunting. It also comes with waterproof headphones, and the headphones are supported with Garret MasterSound stereos. You can find almost all kinds of metals with this metal detector.
This is an excellent product for mid-level gold detection. Garrett AT Gold is entirely waterproof, compared to Gold Bug Pro which is not waterproof, Garrett’s AT Gold is perfectly capable of performing brilliantly on both dry land and underwater. The Pro version includes more features like audio mode, manual ground balance, digital target ID, and iron audio.
This metal detector is also waterproof for up to 10 feet in streams and freshwater lakes, so if you are hunting for metals and somehow drench your Garrett AT Gold, you will still have a safe metal detector at the end of the day.
The AT Gold features a high 5×8 DD search coil, which is big enough to catch signals without much delay and can be compared with other gold metal detectors as well. It has a great feature of pushing out the higher kHz range that is extremely good for finding the gold signals even if you are on All Metal Mode. You can search for metals with high sensitivity and excellent depth option as well. You will reach the best possible depths to find your Gold with Garrets AT Gold metal detector. You can set the ground balance feature manually or can use it in an automatic setting as per your requirement. The features in AT Gold have helped it to the leader board for highly mineralized soils, where the Gold is highly possible to be found.
The AT Gold is mainly a mid-level gold detector; it is not very simple to use as the Gold Bug Pro. However, Garret has strived to include a lot of features and adjustment functions, so you may need some time to learn how to operate the AT Gold.
A great example of features is the high-resolution iron discrimination feature. The AT Pro version is equipped to provide more than 40 iron resolution points, making it efficient to distinguish between trash and real targets, so you may need a little bit of effort in starting to learn to use this feature properly. The audio mode of Pro is also high and can help you gather a lot of information without having to look at the screen. Still, you need to learn to distinguish between the different noises first and learn the sounds from your actual target.
The pro features are great, but don’t mean that the AT Gold features are less than great. Once you spend your time getting along with it and learning the meaning of different sounds, you will fall in love with it. Particularly the clear Target ID and depth indicator are brilliant features of Garrett AT Gold. AT Gold also offers excellent sensitivity for smaller gold objects. This detector is a VLF detector, so you must not expect the depth of a pulse induction model. However, it is excellent for smaller nuggets that are found near the surface.
- It can find all metals including iron, steel, relics, and precious metals as well
- Discrimination modes for finding the desired metals
- Waterproof headphones and shallow water searching
- Great sensitivity for finding the desired metal
- 5×8 DD coil which is best for quickly catching signals
- Target ID and depth indicator are best features of Garrett AT Gold
- The automatic and manual ground balancing system
Minelab Gold Monster
When you are working out the performance of a metal detector, you will always have to think about the compromise between the frequency and sensitivity as higher frequencies are still sensitive towards the small gold nuggets while the lower frequencies are more prone to be sensitive towards the larger metal objects. The Minelab Gold Monster is equipped with an extra sensitivity of 45 kHz VLF performance, which is highly efficient and adaptable. There is another high-speed 24-bit signal processor that makes it a lot more active in use.
If you are good with metal detectors, you must know that most metal detectors can only find large nuggets that are just under the surface; however, the good versions are equipped to find even small gold nuggets that are available way down in depth. The excellent combination of performance and processor in Minelab Gold Monster 1000 has made it a great device for searching Gold with greater sensitivity. It has a great sensitivity towards Gold, which is not a common feature in other VLF detectors that generally make the mistake of false signals and excessive noises.
It features more improved discrimination of non-ferrous and ferrous materials and works really well with salty soils, which is not the case with other high-frequency metal detectors, making it a great choice for finding Gold. It features more automatic noise cancellation features as well as automatic ground balancing features. Moreover, it also features an entirely automated operation system, two search coils, and easy to use quick start.
It can detect all metals and has a higher sensitivity for gold objects. You can set the sensitivity manually, as well. The volume is also adjustable for up to 6 levels. The waterproof coils come with this device and can be drenched in water from 3 feet to 1 meter. The control box is also rainproof.
- Completely automatic operation
- Automatic Noise Cancelation
- Automatic Ground Balance feature
- Automatic Sensitivity adjustments
- Extra sensitive 45 kHz VLF performance
- Two waterproof search coils included
- Rainproof control box
- Adjustable volume
- Great discrimination system
Best Advanced Level Gold Detector
Garrett ATX – The Best Full Feeatured Metal Detector for Gold
Metal detector users must have experienced that using it on different terrains can be a great difficulty, and the performance of the detector is usually compromised on different terrains. However, if you buy Garret ATX, you will become a great admirer of it right away because it helps you search for metals in different terrains without ever having to change your coils for new sessions.
Garrett ATX is one of the most well-known metal detectors for users of advanced levels as it features pulse indication technology. This technology enables the users of Garrett ATX Pro to actually scan the location through each foot of land without changing and settings of modes or actual coils. Garrett ATX is great machinery with highly precise detection that will never have you regret your investment.
Garrett ATX features a great design, and it is highly unique from all other models in the market because it has a particular military-style look. The machine features a nice and matte surface; even if it falls in the mud or dust, the topcoat makes it easy to clean up. The body of this machine is quite elegant, but the machine is designed in a way that keeps it toned so that you don’t end up facing unwanted attention when using it. This metal detector is a bit heavier than others, but the design is so smart that the entire weight of the machine is used efficiently in making the product more productive in use. The design of Garrett ATX keeps it balanced, and the shaft particularly is developed for maintaining the balance, which adds in the weight, but also the efficient design of the device makes it easier for the user to handle the weight.
Garrett ATX is the perfect option for someone who does professional treasure hunting, but it can also be great for the people who are starting it to fuel their hobby. This is a perfect product for using on different terrains, bet it wet, sandy, or dry. The product is equipped with all the latest features which can meet all the preferences of users who want a worthy and convenient metal detector. It is easy to carry anywhere and easy to handle, as well.
Garrett ATX features a 12-inch DD coil as well as the military-grade cover case. This metal detector can be used in extreme conditions and locations. The coil can go underwater, which makes it perfectly good for use in shallow waters. The great sensitivity system allows the detector to find even the smallest gold nuggets.
- Features a 12 inches DD coil
- Extreme pulse indication metal detector
- Contains a mono deep seeker to search coil 20 inches wide
- The hardcover is military-grade and can be taken anywhere safely even in extreme conditions
- The travel case is included with the product
- Rechargeable AA alkaline batteries come with this device
- The product is waterproof for up to 3 meters
- Garrett ATX can be used on various different terrains
- The ground balance system is excellent which helps you to take the metal detector anywhere with you from extremely mineralized grounds to saltwater without ever switching any mode or coils
- It features a fully collapsible shaft, and you can use the detector with the half or fully folded shaft
- It comes with nonmotion and motion modes
- Headphones to be used on land
These features, along with the 13 sensitivity settings and 25 discrimination modes, make this detector well priced. It is used and recommended by the experts of the field as one of the best metal detectors with this particular flexibility and range.
How to Buy a Metal Detector for Gold?
Before buying metal detectors specifically for Gold, you must know that even the standard metal detectors will find Gold too. But having specifically the gold metal detector means that it is designed in such a way that even the smallest pieces of Gold in mineralized grounds can be found with the gold metal detector.
So, let’s have a look at why and how you can choose the best gold metal detector. Finding a good metal detector is quite easy; all you have to do is learn some basics before you go on to buying a metal detector. Consider the following factors first, and then we will go into technicalities.
- Where will you do most of the gold prospecting, location matters a lot
- The size of nuggets that you are after, you can talk to locals and professionals of the area to learn what kind of metals have been found and size in the location that you aim to prospect Gold
- Check the particular ground conditions, if there is a lot of trash on the ground or if the ground is mineralized
- Your budget is also important
- What are you aiming to search for? Jewelry, coins, or just relics?
Let’s get into some technical aspects now.
This is a number one thing to consider because you have to decide between the pulse induction technology and the VLF technology (VLF is very low frequency). VLF is used for detectors built for finding relics, coins, and jewelry. VLF detectors usually check at the frequencies measured in kHz (kilohertz).
Choosing a VLF over PI might be better, and here’s why:
- Choose VLF if you are new to metal detection
- You want to be able to use one metal detector for finding jewelry, medals, coins, and relics
- You are going for smaller and medium-sized nuggets that are around 8 inches deep in the ground
- Go for VLF if the target ground has a lot of trash and you need good discrimination system
- You are on a budget and want to spend less than $2K
PI is the pulse induction technology and is designed for finding the Gold that is a lot deeper and is available in more mineralized grounds. PI detectors check for pulses, and the measuring standards are by the pulses per second.
Choose a PI machine over a VLF for the following reasons.
- You are familiar with gold hunting
- You just want a detector designed for particularly for Gold
- You are aiming for larger pieces of Gold found in more depths
- The trash level is low, and the ground is very mineralized
- You have a budget of over $2000
Once you are clear that you want a VLF of PI technology in your metal detector, the next goal is to decide the operating frequency.
Operating frequency of VLF
VLF machine usually ranges from 3 kHz to 70 kHz, and most VLF machines have an operating frequency of 13-50 kHz.
Keep on to the next point to decide the best frequency range for your metal detector.
Mineralization is a factor that helps with determining the frequencies as well, and you need to know the mineralization extent of the ground you aim to be hunting on.
Mostly gold is found in highly mineralized areas, and the low-frequency VLF and PI detectors are better at handling the higher mineralizations. If you aim to hunt on the more mineralized ground like black sand in the stream bed, then PI is your go-to technology because it will see through the field.
Gold Bug 2, for instance, will give you a lot of false results if you are searching in areas of mineralizations. Ground balance is also another thing to consider when searching on the mineralized ground. A lot of detectors have an automatic ground balancing system, but some have a manual system as well. Better to buy the one which has both automatic and manual ground balancing.
The trash on your desired ground also comes in the way of deciding the best metal detector for you. Trash can be said for anything that isn’t what you are looking for. VLF detectors usually have the electronic metal discrimination system, so you can focus on your target item peacefully without getting signals from all other metals.
PI detectors don’t have much discrimination features. So, if you are going to use the metal detector on trash grounds that it is better to go for a VLF technology; otherwise, you will waste a lot of time in following the false signals.
There are a few important things that must be considered in addition to the basic technologies.
Have a look below:
- Plastic scoop to help with dirt and additional rocks when recovering the coil
- A pick that will help with hammering the rocky ground
- Pinpointer for rapid pinpointing small nuggets or coil probe
- Coil cover that will protect the coil from any damages
- Vials for keeping the fine Gold
- A harness to help with the weight of the metal detector
- Multiple coils for easy adaption of location for hunting
- Good noise-canceling headphones
- Magnet to pick up iron trash