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FAQ: Is There a Metal Detector That Detects Only Gold?

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FAQ:  Is There a Metal Detector That Detects Only Gold?

Quite often  we get a customer that is looking for a gold prospecting metal detector.  Some of them are experienced prospectors who know what they are looking for and how a metal detector works to find gold.  However, a large number of them are new to metal detecting and have little to no prospecting experience.  

It is important to understand what makes a metal detector a "gold prospecting metal detector".  For those of you that don't know. There is no such thing a a metal detector that only finds gold. There is a good explanation for this and that reason is because when you are metal detecting for gold, you want to dig everything.

As I stated in my last article titled. "FAQ: What does gold come up as on a metal detector?":   

"...the reason is because gold objects, whether naturally occurring nuggets, or the various man made gold objects, range across the board on a metal detector much like you find with aluminum and other metals. It comes in all shapes and sizes just like aluminum. Gold, however, throws another curve ball at metal detectorists. It comes in a wide variety of alloys. For instance "white gold" is not pure gold. It is typically alloyed with another metal like nickle, zinc, palladium, or silver...."  

Additionally, the size of naturally occurring gold varies widely.  So does gold jewelry.  And, as mentioned in my previous article, the size of a target plays a huge role in how it rings up on a metal detector.

So, what makes a good gold prospecting metal detector? 

Experienced gold prospectors know that most naturally occurring gold is small.  What the average person pictures in their head when they think of gold nugget is a piece of gold the size of a chicken nugget.  This is rarely the case.  Unless you are in an area where there are typically large nuggets, most gold will be found in small nuggets weighing in at less than a gram in weight.  This makes for very challenging metal detecting and requires a metal detector that is capable of detecting such small pieces of metal accurately.  Just about any metal detector can find a large gold nuggett.  Only specialty metal detectors do a good job at finding small sub-gram nuggets.

The operating frequency of a metal detector plays a huge role in how well a metal detector can find small pieces of gold.  Metal detectors with a higher frequency are more able to target small objects.  Since most metal detectors operate in between 7-15kHz, they are not the best choice for finding small gold objects.  Gold prospecting metal detectors typically operate between 40-100kHz and are better at finding small objects.  For example, the Minelab Gold Monster metal detector operates at a frequency of 45kHz and the Fisher Gold Bug II operates at 71kHz making both excellent metal detectors for detecting small gold pieces.  Whereas the Bounty Hunger Land Ranger Pro operates at only 7.69kHz and is not suitable for finding small objects.

When someone calls to inquire about a gold prospecting metal detector they need to have a budget in mind.  That being said, you are not going to find a good, cheap gold prospecting metal detector.  You can expect to have to spend between $700-$1,000 minimum to get a good gold prospecting detector.  And, if you really want to step it up, gold prospecting metal detectors like the Minelab GPZ 7000 will run you in excess of $7,000.  Obviously in that circumstance, you better be on the gold to make it a worthwile investment.  

It is important to remember the reason gold is so valuable.  Because it is not easy to find and can be even more difficult to recover.  Gold fever can infect even the strongest of minds.  I have had customers come in with the dream of striking it rich wanting to buy a metal detector that will only detect gold only to have their dreams smashed to learn that no such thing exists.  Bear in mind, these metal detectors do not make gold, they only find it.

I hope this clarifies the question for most people out there.  Good luck and happy hunting!

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  • Joshua Turpin