Most seasoned metal detecting hobbyists agree on one thing about the gold prospecting game – finding gold just can’t be done without the absolute best metal detectors. There’s no two-ways about it, investing in cheaper machines won’t get you anywhere if what you’re looking to find is gold.
The reason why gold targets are particularly difficult to find lies in several factors, but two major issues stand out the most. Firstly, gold nuggets are found in notoriously small sizes, which makes them all the more difficult to find with low-end metal detectors. Big nuggets can be found from time to time, but on average, you’ll be looking to get gold finds not more than 1 gram in mass. Secondly, gold nuggets can only usually be mined in ground conditions that are highly mineralized; interference from different metals such as iron and other underground relics can very easily throw off metal detectors not powerful enough to specifically target gold.
This review aims to ease the burden of any budding enthusiasts who are willing to invest some money in finding the best metal detectors for finding gold. Here are some of the most popular machines used by the vast majority of the gold prospecting metal detecting community.
Best Metal Detectors For Finding Gold
1. Fisher Gold Bug 2
You would be hard-pressed to find metal detector more popular for gold prospecting than the Gold Bug 2. It’s been an industry standard for over two decades to date. Very few metal detectors (and market products, in general) remain this popular for this long – a testament to its quality as a gold-finding machine.
Its popularity stems from its amazing sensitivity. No gold nugget is safe from the Fisher Gold Bug 2, regardless of how small they may be. Reports say that the Gold Bug 2 can find gold nuggets so minuscule they hardly even register on any weighing scale, even digital ones.
If there’s a downside to owning a Fisher Gold Bug 2, it’s that its sensitivity is sometimes so high, it sometimes has trouble with ground conditions that are too mineralized. Although the same can be said for many other detectors, using the Gold Bug on the hottest ground conditions would sometimes result in it not working.
Nevertheless, most veterans who have had experience using this beauty often stop buying models, even the newest or most up-to-date ones. The Fisher Gold Bug 2 has everything they would ever hope to need in a gold metal detector. The proof’s in the sheer volume of gold they get from prospecting using the machine.
One quick tip for the Gold Bug 2 is to make sure you’re hunting for gold in shallower areas. This detector does not do too well with depths and so looking for gold in areas where you’d think to find them about a few inches underground would be ideal.
2. Fisher Gold Bug Pro
One of Fisher Labs’ newer creations, the Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a quick, simple, and highly effective gold metal detector. It works especially well in shallow hunting grounds and is one of the most straight-forward machines any hobbyist could ever hope to use. Finding gold is quick and easy with this machine.
Just like most other detectors that aren’t reliant on something as powerful as pulse induction detection, depths are not the Gold Bug Pro’s strong suit. However, it handles highly mineralized ground conditions exceptionally well and has astoundingly accurate target discrimination. Avoiding iron and other false positives has never been easier.
If planning to get this detector, it is recommended to get the optional 5 inch by 10 inch double D coil. Its sensitivity is top-notch and its shape is convenient for really getting into hard to reach nooks behind bushes and foliage.
3. White’s GMT
The GMT is certainly one of White’s best known metal detectors. Some enthusiasts would go as far as to say that the White GMT is even better than the popular Gold Bug 2. This claim is not to be taken lightly, the GMT’s sensitivity truly is something to behold.
It has automatic tracking so it adjusts to the conditions of the ground you are currently scanning. This is ideal for environments when ground conditions are varied and complex.
Like the Fisher Gold Bug 2, the White GMT has been a market favorite for quite some time now. Also like the Gold Bug 2, it has been favored by many a gold prospecting veteran in lieu of the newer models sold in the market. It’s widely known to work just as good (and sometimes, even better) than its more contemporary competitors.
As old as this model is, it still has a nifty graphic display and was actually one of the earlier models to adapt such a feature. This gives users a choice between visual and audio indications.
4. Garrett AT Gold
Garrett doesn’t fall behind in churning out gold prospecting detectors. The AT Gold has been known to be one of its best-selling models and has the technical and functional capabilities to earn its reputation. This model was Garrett’s answer to last decade’s sudden spike in gold prices and so has been an industry favorite for a little bit over a decade.
This gold metal detector has a lot of useful features and customizable settings. It comes with different and varied options when it comes to detector coils. It can also be personalized as a purchase, seeing as buying the Garrett AT Gold as a bundle package gives you amazing deals with supplementary add-ons and attachments that go with the machine.
Aside from all this, it might be useful to note that the Garrett AT Gold is waterproof. A lot of gold nuggets can be found in bodies of water, from streams and from small ponds and creeks. This actually sets it apart from the vast majority of its major competitors; not a lot of gold detectors were particularly designed to be waterproof.
5. Garrett ATX
The Garrett ATX was Garrett’s first attempt at creating a gold metal detector that utilizes pulse induction detection. This technology is famous for its amazing sensitivity and range, easily getting through depths that most other machines can’t dream of detecting through. It’s been said that this model was Garrett’s shot at competing with the ever-popular Minelab series of metal detectors.
One of its bundle packages, named the “ATX Deepseeker” package, gives buyers a supplemental 20-inch double D coil that punches even deeper when coupled with the pulse induction technology of the machine. This gives you signal penetration power unlike any other machine can provide.
Another interesting thing to note was that Garrett’s first attempt at a gold detector was also the industry’s first attempt at creating a pulse induction detector that was also waterproof. Its resistance to water goes as deep as 10 feet. This makes the Garrett ATX perfect for any submerged gold prospecting escapades. On a lesser but equally more convenient note, its waterproof-ness also lets you use the machine in the rain without worry.
Perhaps one con of this machine is that it is a tad bit weighty for some users. Some users find it difficult to swing and detect for long periods of time. Although this was done this heavy to make it extra durable, some consumers might prefer it to be a bit lighter.
All-in-all, it’s a great machine and should seriously be considered by any enthusiast looking to take gold prospecting seriously.
A lot of the detectors mentioned in this list are older models – industry standards that have stood the test of time. Still, one can’t argue that a lot of the newer models of detectors have come with technological advances that make them just as viable a choice as the older models.
Nonetheless, the detectors mentioned above are all more than capable to get you what you what at the end of the day – gold nuggets!