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Gold Prospecting Basics
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Will This Metal Detector Find Gold?

This is a frequently asked question about metal detectors.  Here is a simple answer:  Most any metal detector will detect gold - along with just about any other type of metal.  So, the simple answer is yes.  However, there are many other factors to consider when looking for a detector that will find gold better than the next.

The Fisher Gold Bug II is a popular gold prospecting metal detector.

The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is a good gold prospecting metal detector too.         

It is important to understand what a metal detector that is tuned in to specifically find gold is doing versus just a any old metal detector.   For instance, a gold ring will be detected by just about any metal detector.  However, seasoned prospectors looking for natural gold know that most of the gold out there is found in very small pieces.  When gold prospecting with a metal detector you need a detector that will find those small, sub-gram gold nuggets (often called "pickers").  In order to do that you need a detector that operates at a higher frequency (20 kHz or more).  Most of the detectors used for gold prospecting operate at 40 kHz or higher frequency.

The Fisher Gold Bug metal detector is a great machine that can be used to find gold nuggets and other items.

Why does the kilohertz matter in a gold prospecting metal detector?  Because, the higher the frequency, the better the detector is at finding small, shallower targets.  The lower the frequency, the better they are at finding deep, large targets.

Is there a detector that only finds gold?  No.  There is not.  That is because gold, depending on the size, shape, etc. will ring up all across the spectrum.  Meaning that a small gold nugget may look and sound much like a small piece of foil.  A large nugget on the other hand will look and sound more like a coin (which are on the opposite end of the spectrum).  Essentially, seasoned gold prospectors know that when you are prospecting for gold, there is typically not a whole lot of metal garbage to contend with. Therefore they are digging EVERY target they encounter.  When prospecting for gold with a metal detector, you will dig up tiny pieces of lead buckshot and lead bullets - and anything in between.  

For more information on this, click the following link to read my article on How Gold Shows Up on a Metal Detector.

To summarize:  Almost any metal detector will find gold.  The ability of a metal detector to better find gold depends on the kilohertz.  And, there is no such thing as a detector that finds ONLY gold....not yet anyway.

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

Stay tuned to our blog for upcoming articles and episodes by following us on your favorite social media outlet to stay informed of releases:

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