Can Metal Detectors Detect Gold?

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When you own a metal detector, you have a whole new world at your fingertips. From your backyard to the beach to the forest trails you love to wander, your detector opens up a world for you to discover.

There are a lot of things that a metal detector can find: rings, coins, bullets, and more! But there are, of course, limitations to the powers of the detector.

Can metal detectors detect gold? If you’re hoping to strike it rich by finding real gold jewelry on your next adventure, you might want to read our in-depth guide today to ensure that you are setting realistic expectations.

Can Metal Detectors Detect Gold?

The short answer is yes; there are metal detectors that can detect gold. Gold, like other metal compounds, can be found using a metal detector that is optimized for the conditions where gold is found.

Why Can’t All Metal Detectors Detect Gold?

Simply put, metal detectors work by creating a small magnetic field that then responds to objects hidden in the ground. The response that you receive from the metal detector depends on many things:

  • The frequency of the detector.
  • The conductivity of the hidden materials.
  • Type of soil or ground
  • Size of the object
  • The depth of the object.
  • And much more!

This is why not all metal detectors can consistently or accurately uncover grains of gold or gold nuggets.

Detectors that run at lower frequencies are not as good at finding gold because of the size of gold and its low conductivity. On the other hand, higher frequency metal detectors are generally better at finding gold because they can identify smaller materials more accurately and gold also has better conductivity with higher frequency waves than lower ones.

The detectors that are best at identifying gold are multi-frequency or PI-type detectors. These are two of the most expensive kinds of metal detectors, but they have the best features for conditions that accompany searching for gold.

That is because gold is nearly always found in areas of high mineralization. This means there are a lot of minerals like salt in the ground around where gold is, so it can be hard to get property conductivity which would allow metal detection to occur. Machines that are optimized for searching for gold will be able to overcome that mineralization and still accurately locate gold.

Gold Nuggets vs Gold Grains

Gold Nuggets vs. Gold Grains

If you are planning to hunt for gold, you should decide if you want to look for tiny grains or if you are going to be hunting for larger nuggets. Typically, a machine that can detect smaller grains is less expensive than those that would be able to reach the depths and size of larger nuggets.

Small grains can often be found in the top one to two inches of the ground in gold-rich areas, and that is why this is a big difference. Larger nuggets, on the other hand, can be found at depths of five inches or more due to the settling of these larger materials.

A pulse induction machine can find gold at depths of well over one foot, but they are also not very discerning, so they will detect many other things along the way as well!

Gold Jewelry vs. Gold Nuggets

What type of gold do you want to find? If you are hoping to find real, pure gold, the above information is what you should pay the most attention to.

If you are searching for gold jewelry like 14k necklaces or 24k earrings, you might not need a metal detector that is as high-end as those explained above. While gold jewelry has a high percentage of real gold in it, they are not made out of pure gold. Instead, gold jewelry is mixed with other metals and materials to create a more durable final product.

Since jewelry is a mixed-component metal in this way, it’s likely that even a VLF, single-frequency detector that you can afford on a budget will be able to find it! In fact, this type of metal detector is recommended as the best type for finding coins and jewelry.

Get Going On Your Gold Rush!

Can metal detectors detect gold? Yes, they can, but there are a number of limitations that you should be aware of.

First, gold jewelry is easier to find than gold nuggets or grains. Second, gold nuggets and grains can usually only be tracked with higher-grade equipment.

Detectors with higher frequencies generally have more success at detecting gold, but you can find some small gold or gold jewelry when using a budget VLF model in the right conditions.

No matter which type of gold you are searching for, there is a type of metal detector that can help you detect it quickly and efficiently!

9 responses to “Can Metal Detectors Detect Gold?

  1. […] low-frequency detectors penetrate further into the ground, but have less sensitivity to low-phase metals such as gold. Conversely, high-frequency detectors are exceptional at finding the smallest piece of metal, but […]

  2. Paul says:

    Hi. I’m new to all this.. I’m wondering. I got a metal dector a discovery 3300.. and I’m wondering if it can pick up gold or find any since I don’t know how that works?

    1. The Metal Search says:

      Hi Paul,
      I’ll suggest you read the Discovery 3300 review to know more about it as you are a beginner.

  3. Madison Martin says:

    My mom lost one of her gold rings, and she was wondering, would a metal detector be able to detect gold under ice? Or would she have to wait until the ice melts to go and try and find it? She thinks that she dropped it in a parking lot and it’s winter here so the parking lot is covered in ice. We don’t have a metal detector, but she’s still wondering. Plus she really really wants to find her ring, she never looses stuff, but when she does she really hates it, and it’s really bugging her that she lost her ring. Thanks

    1. The Metal Search says:

      Hello Madison,
      Yes, you can find it under the ice as well if it is not too deep. You know all metal detectors can not detect gold, so make sure your one has the ability to detect it.
      Thank you!

  4. Vahid says:

    Does this mean high frequency gold detectors such as fisher gold bug 2 cant find and detect coins and gold jewelry?
    Please note; i am a beginner, and just want to start with this hobby, to find gold jewelry and coins , which is the best detector?

    1. The Metal Search says:

      Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a good detector. If you want to know more about it, this article will help you to make the decision.

  5. Daniel Grillo says:

    While the best pulse induction models are outside many people’s budgets, high-frequency VLF detectors are often considerably cheaper. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably best to stay away from PI detectors unless they are absolutely necessary for your hunting environment (a good example is if the ground is highly mineralized).

  6. Adeshina Garuba says:

    Pls can anyone help me with the smallest metal detector because I am very poor and my mother is old she can work, so I want to start prospecting for gold too, my WhatsApp number is +2348128994077 People pls help me, May the Almighty God help you too.

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