Yes, all metal detectors can detect gold. Gold is arguably the most sought-after material by metal detecting enthusiasts. From gold prospectors hunting fine gold flakes and gold nuggets to the beach and field hunters searching for gold coins and rings, we all have a little gold fever.

If you’re interested in learning more about metal detecting for gold I’ve gathered a series of questions and helpful resources below to help you learn more.

How do metal detectors detect Gold?

Metal detectors transmit an electromagnetic field from their search coil. When the electromagnetic field enters the ground and comes into contact with gold, the gold target becomes energized.

The conductive metal reflects that energy and creates its own electromagnetic field commonly referred to as an eddy current. That signal is picked up by the metal detector’s search coil and creates an audible response at the corresponding frequency.

How does the coil shape impact detecting gold?

Coil shape impacts the depth and sensitivity of your metal detector’s emitted electromagnetic field. Larger coils will detect bigger targets deeper in the ground while smaller coils see smaller objects at a shallower depth. 

If you’re searching for gold dust or pickers you’ll be better suited with a small, high-frequency search coil. A larger coil is better suited for coin or ring hunter and would pass over smaller gold pieces you wouldn’t want to miss while prospecting.

What metal detectors are good for detecting Gold?

There are two kinds of metal detectors commonly used for detecting gold, Very-Low Frequency (VLF) and Pulse Induction (PI). Each type has its pros and cons but to keep things simple:

VLF Metal Detector Pros:

  • Can be more sensitive to small gold pieces
  • More Affordable than Pulse Induction Detectors

VLF Metal Detector Cons:

  • Are more sensitive to soil mineralization at higher frequencies

Pulse Induction Metal Detector Pros:

  • Can detect gold targets deeper in the ground
  • Have better discrimination against soil mineralization and hot rocks

Pulse Induction Metal Detector Cons:

  • More Expensive
  • Lower sensitivity to small gold pieces

To determine the best metal detector for your goals, you’ll need to consider the size and shape of your targets.

If you’re searching for small gold targets, you’ll want a high-frequency metal detector that is better at detecting fine gold pieces. If you’re searching for larger targets like gold coins or gold rings, you’ll be able to go with a VLF metal detector with a lower frequency that can go deeper into the ground with a larger coil. 

Metal detectors for prospecting small gold pieces and pickers

Detectors focused on small gold flakes and pickers need to have a high-frequency and a small search coil. That combination will maximize the sensitivity of the metal detector while sacrificing depth.

This gives you the best chance to detect fine gold targets that larger coils with lower frequency models would pass over. Most of the options you’ll find for these types of targets will be VLF metal detectors.

Popular Options Include:

Fisher Gold Bug 2

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Garret Goldmaster 24K 

Nakota Makro Gold Finder 2000

Nakota Makro Gold Kruzer

Metal Detecting Gold Coins and rings

A larger target lets you leverage a larger coil with a lower frequency. This combination will let the metal detector emit its electromagnetic field deeper into the ground but sacrifice sensitivity to smaller gold flakes.

If you’re planning to hunt for coins in farm fields, on beaches, or in parks a VCF or PI Metal detector with a frequency above 14Kz will help you pick up gold coins and rings.

Garrett AT Gold with 5” x 8” DD Search Coil

Minelab CTX 3030

Minelab Gold Monster 1000 with a 10” Coil

Recommended Videos to Learn more about metal detecting for gold

For visual learners like myself out there, I’ve collected a few videos that explore this subject further: 

Metal Detectors For Gold & Gold Nugget Prospecting Metal Detecting Videos Finding Gold XV

In this video, Matt Mattson shows you first-hand how to use metal detectors to search for gold nuggets in old river bed tailings. He goes through using three different metal detects that are still popular options today including the Fisher Gold Bug 2.

How to choose the best prospecting metal detector for you – Gold nugget metal detector review choice

Chris Ralph tells it like it is in this longer, well-thought-out video from the perspective of an experienced prospector. It’s worth the watch before making your purchase as his 10 considerations can help you iron out your real needs. 

How To Find GOLD Using the Fisher Gold Bug 2!

Learn more about using one of the most popular gold hunting metal detectors, the Fisher Gold Bug 2. This video also goes through some good information that would be worth listening to if you’re new to using metal detectors.

Use ANY Metal Detector to Find Alluvial Gold!

While a specialized detector can help you find smaller targets, you technically don’t need a specific metal detector to find alluvial gold. This video expands on how to use any metal detector to satiate your gold fever.

How To Find Gold Metal Detecting Where To Find Gold Metal Detecting Metal Detecting Gold How To

Another great video by Matt Matteson expands on how and where to find gold. In this video, you’ll get first-hand examples of reading the land to better select where to spend your time detecting.

Great Tips That Work ! Finding Gold Nuggets Prospecting With a Metal Detector

A collection of tips for finding Gold from I Brake For Bedrock on Youtube. In the video, he uses the Fisher Gold Bug 2 and GPX 5000 with a Nugget Find EVO Coil.