Do Gold Detectors Really Work?

Some gold hunters especially amateurs often think that there is something special about “gold detectors”. The fact is, there is really nothing so special about it whereas gold detectors are standard metal detectors or LRL (Long Range Locators) with some slight modifications made specifically on their “operating frequency”.

When it comes to electronic gold detectors, there are two general types of products for you to choose from which can be VLF (Very Low Frequency) or PI (Pulse Induction).


The VLF gold detectors has an operating setting of higher frequency as compared to what standard metal detectors use. The reason is that, gold is best detected at high operating frequencies. Thus, if you want a reliable gold detector then you should only choose units that operates at around kHz. At this range of frequency, the tool is quite sensitive to small gold nuggets. Detectors that are designed to find coins and relics will most likely ignore small sized gold nuggets which is a huge disappointment for gold seekers. It is important for you to know that it is quite interesting to detect and uncover big 1-ounce nuggets but in reality, such sizes are extremely rare that most gold nuggets that can be found are way much smaller.

The Search Coil plays the most important part of a VLF detector. So if you bought a certain unit of this kind, you should expect that the package has a set of search coils with different sizes. They have to be of varied sizes because it has something to do with the settings of the device’s sensitivity to gold. Avid metal detectorists already knew that large size search coil has deeper penetration and it can easily detect large objects but ignores the small ones. If you are a gold nugget hunter, using a small search coil is a much preferred choice because it increases the unit’s sensitivity to gold. It also has a better performance than the large search coil when detecting on areas with highly mineralized soil. Although, the downside of using a small search coil is less penetration and it would really take a lot of time to cover the ground.

Another huge downside of the VLF is that, it poorly performs on areas with highly mineralized ground and a lot more worse under the presence of hot rocks. In most cases, the equipment will go erratic giving out a lot of false feedbacks. Some latest VLF models can be fine-tuned which has something to do with the sensitivity but this hugely affects the penetration of depth which is terribly not good.


Sadly, VLF is now considered by many as an old technology particularly when Pulse Induction came out to take its place. The main reason why most detectorists prefer PI detector is due its capability to penetrate deep buried objects with amazing accuracy even at a highly mineralized type of ground condition. In comparison, VLF detectors can only detect gold nuggets at a depth of around 6 to 12 inches while PI detectors can impressively detect such object up to 2 feet or even more.

Perhaps the only downside of a PI over VLF are its price and handling. Not all detectorists can afford to buy their own PI detector due to its very expensive amount of price. The best once are of course the newest models and they usually cost around several thousands of dollars. When it comes to handling, PI are heavy unlike the VLF which can be swung all day with less fatigue.


Unlike VLF and PI, LRL works in a different manner which involve vibrations. Detectorists who are using this type of tool claims that all objects has their own specific and unique vibration. So in order to detect gold, all they have to do is to tune their locator in the same level of vibration as the gold. However, most individuals often gave up on this tool due to its inaccuracy especially when used by the amateurs. Worst, many individuals claims that these simple type of detectors are fraud. Regardless of this issue, the few people who claim that it works for them often explains that their success comes from their deep understanding about how their tools works.

How Gold is detected by Electronic Detectors?

As already explained above, electronic detectors send frequency signals that penetrates through down the ground. But, there are a few more occurrences that follows through. If the signal happens to hit a target underground, it will bounce back into the antenna or search coil acting as both the transmitter and receiver. At this point, the signal received will be processed by the unit’s circuitry converting it into an audible or visual output.

Aside from the operating frequency signal of the electronic detector, the type of object buried under the ground also plays an important factor. Generally, metals are classified into two major categories known as the “non-ferrous” and the “ferrous”. Gold do belong under the non-ferrous type. Other types of metals on this category includes nickel, lead, zinc and silver. Ferrous, the second group are materials that often contain iron and tin. The main difference between these two groups is that, metals under the non-ferrous category are a much better conductor than the ferrous type.

Manufactured electronic gold detectors are now equipped with a technology known as “discriminator”. This is an improved part of the unit’s circuitry that processes the received signal classifying it as either non-ferrous or ferrous automatically. When the object found is classified as ferrous then the detector will simply ignore it.

Moreover, finding the best gold detector is the real challenge. If you have been researching by reading several forums and reviews, you will notice that they have different and conflicting personal opinions. This leaves you a tough decision. Anyway, I would not be recommending any specific model on this post but I do suggest that you should stick your choice among these top popular brands: Fisher, White’s Electronics, Garrett, Kellyco, AccurateLocators and Minelab.
As for my final words, “the real success of finding gold underground is not all about the detector but how to operate and understand what exactly it is telling you.”
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Is Metal Detecting A Good Hobby?

Asking the question "Is metal detecting a good hobby?" from a metal detector hobbyist, expect the answer to be "Yes". It is really a very enjoyable outdoor activity but there's actually more than that. Unlike any other outdoor activities, metal detecting has a lot more to offer. It is actually very exciting, fun and can be very rewarding.

If you are the type of person who loves taking challenges then you will surely find metal detecting as an interesting hobby. These challenges involves physical, mental and emotional aspects. It obviously involve physical because it is an out-door activity where you need to walk around while holding your equipment but the hardest part is digging a lot of various places pin-pointed by your MD (metal detector). Your mental ability is also required because you will need to do some investigative researches particularly about the places where you are going to metal detect. And for the emotional aspect, this hobby actually requires a lot of patience. You may be surprised to know that individuals with less patience do often easily give-up on their first day of try.

Despite the challenges that are involve, metal detecting always comes with good rewards. This means that either you found something valuable or just pieces of junks, you still reap many other benefits which we are about to discuss below:

1. Gain Profit

If you want to consider metal detecting as your hobby, you should not view it as a stable source of money. Since it is just a hobby, any valuable items that you find must be treated as a “reward” which means, you don’t get it every time you go out there in the field.

Although, some experienced individuals go extreme by treating this activity as a serious form of business or their day job. They are called “Professional Metal Hunters” where they choose metal detecting as their preferred profession over their regular jobs. For some reason, they are earning more money as compared to their regular job while others choose this kind of job because they simply enjoy it.

A professional metal hunter can actually find dozens of precious old coins, rings and relics that can be sold for a good price. But for amateurs, luck plays an important role to find their first single piece of precious item.

2. Good for your Health

As mentioned above, you will still reap something in return regardless whether you find something or nothing and this is “good health”. Since metal detecting is an outdoor activity, you get to visit various places allowing you to breathe fresh air. Aside from this, there will be a lot of walking around and diggings involve which is a great form of exercise for your body.

3. Stress Reliever

Many individuals claims that they are able to relieve their stress through their hobbies. It makes them feel more relax allowing them to forget the busy world of their work. When it comes to metal detecting, it actually offer such kind of treatment. Majority of individuals who are involved on this hobby claims that they tend to relieve their stress due to their full interest and engagement diverted so much on this activity.

According to most experts, stress can be easily relieved by performing simple physical exercises. Metal detecting is actually a physical outdoor activity involving constant body movements especially walking around the field, bending and crouching. Aside from the physical aspect, you also get to breathe fresh air from the natural environment which will make you feel so energized.

4. Good Way to Spend your Time with your Family or Friends

If you have some kids then you might want to try and introduce metal detecting activity to them on their coming summer vacation. You have to know that children are always full of curiosity which makes this type of activity perfectly suitable for them. Surprisingly, even adults are affected by the curiosity involve. This curiosity often occur when your equipment found something buried under the ground. Everybody wants to know what could be it and hoping to be a piece of precious item such as a diamond ring or gold coin. This is the most engaging part of the activity that will surely keep the whole family to participate.

If you are one lonely guy who simply wants to make some friends then you should also give metal detecting hobby a try. How? Again, the answer is due to “curiosity”. As you go around various places to metal detect especially on the parks and beaches with people around. You should expect that there will be some individuals who will approach you and ask about what exactly you are doing. In most cases, this is often the beginning of a friendship. Others who are already long involved on this activity who notices you around might even ask you to join their club or organization.

5. Gain Knowledge about your Local History

Another interesting aspect about metal detecting hobby is that you get to learn about your local history. This is actually one of the basic and most important step to achieve successful findings. Why? It’s because knowing about your local history gives you some hints or clues about the best places to metal detect.

Aside from historical places, you also get to learn historical relics of the past. Let’s say, you have uncovered a military badge. At first, it is most likely that you don’t know anything about it. Thus, you will end up conducting your own research. Thanks to the internet, searching for such kind of information is now an easy task.

6. Coin or Artifact Collector

As you tend to recover old coins, relics or artifacts, you may end up being enthusiastic about keeping them as your collections. Majority of individuals with this hobby often chooses the path of being a collector rather than to make profit out from their precious findings.

Wrong Notions about Metal Detecting Hobby

Unfortunately, majority of individuals doesn’t know anything about metal detecting activity. Others don’t want to give it a try because of the false notions spread by people who really knows nothing about this type of hobby.

Here are the following wrong notions about how outsiders view this type of activity:

- Metal detecting hobby are only for old or retired individuals who has nothing to do with their time.

Correction: This outdoor hobby has no age limitation. You don’t really have to wait until you reach the age of 70 before you can have your very first MD. In fact, most organizations are composed of many young members. Even children do love to play with MDs. The only reason why older people particularly retirees are more well suited for this activity is that, they have more free time on their interests.

- They only care about making profit from their findings

Corrections: Some individuals who follow this path often end up giving up because their true interest is all about making money. Yes, you can make money from this activity which can be very rewarding. However, the interest must come from doing the activity itself and not from the money.
Some hobbyist don’t actually metal detect just to make money. It is more about gathering their set of collections.

- Spend thousands of dollars on their machines

Corrections: It is true that most advertised MD products costs around thousands of dollars. But, you have to know that cheap metal detectors also do exists and they are also quite effective as the expensive once.

- There are only few and secretive hunting grounds

Corrections: Perhaps, majority of outsiders views metal detecting as a form of treasure hunting. The main difference between the two is that, treasure hunters aims to recover large pile of treasures hidden in secretive places. On the other hand, metal detectorists can perform their activity at any place they want. There is no secret locations because they are targeting lost items that were accidentally dropped by people in the past.

- It is so completely boring that you are much better off watching a paint goes dry

Corrections: Some people will say that it’s a boring type of activity due to their lack of interest. But coming from individuals with interest, they will say it is quite interesting, engaging and fun. Why?

Here we are again with the topic about “Curiosity”. This is actually a human characteristic that can be quite hard to resist. This means, it is our human nature to uncover secrets. So when it comes to metal detecting particularly on a situation where you have detected something under the ground, your curiosity comes into play. You consciousness will suggest, “It could be a piece of gold or diamond”. As a result, this will cause your interest to dig it just to satisfy your curiosity.

- You need to be a techy individual to know how to operate a MD

Corrections: Back in the old days, technical knowledge may be necessary to operate a MD but today, MDs are now designed to be “user-friendly”. In fact, you don’t even need to read the manual. All what you just need to do is to figure out how to turn the Power ON and OFF. Once turned ON, you can now start using the equipment. It’s all that simple as opposed to what outsiders claim as you must be a rocket scientist to be able to operate a MD.

Moreover, the best way to for you to know if you have the interest in metal detecting is to try it for yourself. And as a tip, you should start by using reliable but cheap metal detectors. If there are Metal Detecting Hobby Shops near your place the better. It’s because you can try to borrow their equipment for a certain amount of fee they charge.
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Best Metal Detector Under $200 and $100 Range

As beginners of metal detecting hobby, an investment is really required where you have to buy your own metal detector. How can you find valuable items if you do not have this kind of tool?

If you do not have enough money then the best suggestion is to save it until you have $100 to $200 budget to buy the best and cheap metal detector that are available in the market.

Best Metal Detector Under $100 Range

When it comes to under $100 budget, most of my recommendation are of the Bounty Hunter Products. Their cheap but reliable metal detectors ranges from $50 to $100 only.

Here are my following recommendation of best MD products under the range of $100 budget:

1. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

- The most reputable cheap MD recommended for complete beginners by almost anyone with metal detecting experience. It actually offers a user-friendly features where it only requires a few setups and its ready to use.

2. Winbest Pro Edition Metal Detector by BARSKA

- Another cheap metal detector that is perfectly designed for both novice and professional. According to majority of users, this tool is too sensitive enough to detect tiny objects such as small nails and needles.

3. Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector

- A MD that is designed for both complete beginners and kids. Any first-time users can easily understand how to operate it properly. It is also built out from lightweight materials which makes it easy to be carried around even by children.

Best Metal Detector Under $200 Range

Under the range of $200 budget, you can actually buy a better quality of MD as compared to the $100 budget. It offers better functionality features and made out of more durable quality materials.

Here are the following best metal detectors that I recommend under the $200 range budget:

1. Fisher F2 MD

- Fisher F2 has a lot of quite amazing features that are helpful in locating buried targets. It actually has an impressive accuracy at sorting various types of metals. Thus, it is the perfect tool for coin-shooters and relic hunters.

2. Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector

- Garrett ACE 250 is another MD that is comparable to the Fisher F2 MD. Many metal detector hobbyists are actually praising this machine due to its accuracy in locating valuable targets.

3. Tesoro Silver uMax

- Some individuals prefers to use analog or manually operated machines. If you are one of them then you should choose the Tesoro Silver uMax. But, what really makes this tool quite impressive as compared to the other MDs is its capability to detect buried metallic object and pinpoint the exact spot to dig.

Overall, those are my recommendations of best metal detectors under $100 to $200 price range.

If you have other metal detectors that you would like to suggest then feel free to do so by using the Comment Form provided below.
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Ground EFX MC1 Youth MD Review

"Ground EFX MC1 Youth Metal Detector" is another cheap metal detector that is best suited for kids or children. It's because the manufacturer of this equipment have ensured quality and durability to ensure rigors of child use.

The best part of this tool is that, it's not just a simple tool. It comes with an impressive eliminator functionality that rejects all unwanted targets. Other than the eliminator feature, it also has a visual target indicator with battery test.

When it comes to detecting a certain buried item underground, the manufacturer claims that this tool can detect coins for up to 5 inches deep. Larger objects can be picked by the search coil at a maximum depth of 24 inches.

The circular search coil has a 6.5 inches diameter size and it is waterproof. Take note, only the search coil but not the control box. According to the manufacturer, the search coil can be submerged underwater for up to 24 inches deep.

Length of the unit can also be adjusted to suit the height of the operator. It can actually be adjusted from 26 inches to 36 inches total length.

And just like any standard metal detector, Ground EFX MC1 Youth MD will react to a buried target through its "Volume Level" and "Signal Strength". This means that, the louder the audible sound or the stronger the signal, it means that the item is just under the search coil.

Product Features of Ground EFX MC1 Youth MD

- Designed to withstand rough handling.

- Waterproof search coil (measures 6.5 inches). It can be submerged for up to 24 inches deep underwater.

- Audio sound volume alert depends on the signal strength.

- Simple Eliminator function that rejects unwanted targets.

- Visual target indicator for visual cue along with battery test.

- Operated by two 9 volts batteries (not included in the package).

Pros and Cons of Ground EFX MC1 Youth MD


The best positive feature that I can say about Ground EFX MC1 Youth metal detector is its durability. It is indeed tough enough to handle rough handling which will surely going to last for many years.

Other than its durability, the manufacturer did a great job in making a very simple tool that the kids can easily operate without problem.

And, it isn't just no ordinary metal detector because it can detect coins and other metallic objects buried several inches deep from the ground.


So far, I haven't encountered any flaws of this detector.

Where to Buy?

Overall, Ground EFX MC1 Youth metal detector is one of the best cheap metal detectors for kids. Some says that it's the perfect gift for kids as birthday present or holiday gift.
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Elenco Metal Detector with Beep Alert Review

One of the most suitable metal detector for kids at the age of 5 to 8 is the "Elenco Metal Detector with Beep Alert". It has been designed by the manufacturer with lightweight materials that is easy for your kids to carry around. This allows them to spend longer period of metal detecting activity until they get completely tired.

Some kids are tall while others are small. Regardless of their height, they can still use this tool at the comfort of their own by adjusting the unit's length. The stem can actually be extended from 24.5 inches up to 39 inches.

When used and the search coil has found a certain metallic object, an audible beeping sound will be generated by the detector. Other than its audible alert, there is also an LED indicator at the handle. Thus, there is no need for a headphone.

The unique feature of Elenco MD is its foldable sensor ring or search coil. You can actually fold and swivel it for easy storage.

Elenco Metal Detector Product Features

- Lightweight metal detector.

- Designed for kids at the age of 5 to 8.

- Folds and swivel sensor ring for easy storage.

- Generates an audible alert when a target is found. It also has an LED indicator in the handle.

- The unit's length can be extended from 24.5 inches to 39 inches.

- Operated by a 9 volt battery. (Not included)

Pros and Cons of Elenco Metal Detector with Beep Alert


The last time that I checked the price of Elenco MD at Amazon, it was at $27.49. A very cheap metal detector indeed for kids.

Testing its reliability on my testing ground, I'm impressed that it does really work. It was able to detect coins, nails and other sorts of metallic scraps. I think this capability of a simple metal detector is already good enough for kids to enjoy metal hunting on their own.


The first product that I ordered didn't worked. It probably got broke when it was delivered or it can be a manufacture-defect. At first, I'm thinking of asking for a refund but I decided to ask for another replacement to prove my speculation.

Well, I was right. The first product was damaged because the second unit works perfectly just fine.

Another issue is about the quality of the materials used. It is indeed lightweight, but it can easily break away. Thus, this tool is only best recommended for kids who knows how to take good care of their equipment.

Where to Buy?

Overall, Elenco Metal Detector with Beep Alert is another cheap metal detector that can offer hours of entertaining outdoor activity for your children or kids to enjoy.
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Metal Detecting Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Metal detecting isn't actually an easy type of activity where complete beginners need guidance from the experts. Otherwise, this often leads to their lost of interest due to repeat failures.

If you are a newbie, I suggest that you should take advantage of these metal detecting tips and tricks which will surely be of a great help.

Cheap Metal Detectors

Tip 1: Cheap Metal Detectors are Best for Beginners

- You don't want to spend huge amount of money in buying an expensive metal detector only to find out that you do not have any interest on this type of activity. It's a complete waste of money. So in order to avoid this, beginners are advised to choose cheap but reliable metal detectors.

Tip 2: Discrimination Feature

- A reliable MD must have a good discrimination feature. This is to allow you to avoid trash and only recover those worthy items.

Tip 3: Auto Adjust Ground Balance and Sensitivity Settings

- MD with manual Ground Balance and Sensitivity Settings can be a hassle for a complete beginners. So MDs with auto-adjustment feature is best suggested.

Operating your Metal Detector

Trick 1: Sweep the Search Coil Slow

- If you sweep the Search Coil of your MD at a constant slow speed, your equipment will be able to process transmitting and receiving the emitted electromagnetic field a lot more efficiently. But if you do it fast, you will miss some of the signals which is the same as missing your target.

Trick 2: Pin Pointing the Target

- Set your MD to its pinpointing setting then sweep the Search Coil in an X pattern. Notice where the strongest signal and keep repeating the process until you are able to mark the strongest signal at the middle of the X pattern. That will be the digging spot.

Trick 3: Take Note of the Sounds

- Each metal produces slight different sound with other types of metals. This is actually a skill that develops through time as you gain more experience.

Trick 4: Setup your Own Testing Ground

- Go into your backyard and bury different kinds of metals then perform a test on your equipment. This will give you a more actual understand of your tool on how it reacts to various items and varied depths that it can achieve.

Trick 5: Junks Covering Valuable Items

- At some point, junks or trash are covering valuable items underneath them. You have to know that on this kind of situation, the unwanted object can mask quality signal from the valuable item. Unfortunately, you need to dig everything just to make sure that no gold are underneath any of those junks.

Trick 6: Read and Understand the Manual

- If there is something that you don't know about your MD then you should read and understand it completely from the written user-manual.

Good Places to Metal Detect

Tip 1: Where People Gather Around

- Simply imagine all places where people gather and spend their time. Some of these places are on beaches, parks, play ground and street. You have to know that treasure are found where people loves to hung around.

Tip 2: Abandoned Places

- Go to the library and ask for an old map. You can also download it on the internet if its available. Then, use the map to locate all abandoned places that you are free to metal detect today.

Tip 3: Talk to Old People

- There are actually some places that cannot be found on any local information such as in the library, books and internet. Only older generations knew them so you might also want to consider talking to them.

Tip 4: Take Note of any Gathering Events in your Area

- Listen or pay attention to any of your various local medias about gathering events in your area. You have to know that wherever people gather around, they tend to lose things which makes it perfect for you to conduct metal detecting.

Tip 5: Use Google Maps

- If you are not familiar around a certain area or place that you would like to metal detect, Google Maps will come in handy. Through this tool, you will be able to easily locate good places to detect.
metal detecting

Overall, by following these metal detecting tips and tricks for beginners, your success of finding worthy collections is just up ahead.
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Can a Metal Detector Find Diamonds?

Some people are too curious to find out if "metal detector can find diamonds or gems". The answer is "no", unless the diamond or gem has a metallic part such as rings, earrings and pendants. But if your intention is to use a metal detector to directly locate raw diamonds, it will not work.

Although, some prospectors makes use of metal detectors in searching raw diamonds. They actually do it by detecting the "volcanic pipe". Some other indicators are also minerals for gold which are detectable by MDs that can lead to raw diamond deposits. The two common minerals which are good indicators of gold are the Garnet and Magnetite. Other minerals as good indicators of diamonds are the black picroilmenite, chromium garnets, glassy green olivine and magnetite.

If it happens that you found gold, there are good chances that the rocks nearby have diamond deposits. Other than diamonds, there could also be pure valuable crystals of garnet. These are precious gemstones that comes in different colors which can be shades of green, red, yellow and orange.

Since gold have a strong connection into the locations of diamonds, prospectors often use "gold metal detectors". These type of equipments operate at a higher operating frequency as compared to the standard MDs. It's because theory states that, the higher frequency - the greater the sensitivity of the MD to detect small gold such as nuggets.

Where Can You Find Raw Diamonds?

Diamond is actually one of the most precious and expensive stone in the world. It is a type of gemstone that had undergone a natural process which involve metamorphosis of coal. So where can you find them?

Raw diamonds can only be found on places where there have been volcanic eruptions. And in most cases, streams, rivers or glaciers carries them away.

A raw diamond is best described as "inconspicuous rock". They are completely far different from a well-cut and polished versions of diamonds. Due to this reason, inexperienced diamond hunters can easily miss them on their search.

Metal Detecting Diamond Accessories

When it comes to processed diamond accessories such as rings, bracelets, earrings and other jewelries, they are attached to a metallic part. These metallic part of the jewelry will be the once that the metal detector can detect.

Did you know that based on statistics, for every person who lose a diamond ring, there are also other 30 individuals who lose other gemstones. This gives you more chances of success recovering processed diamonds and other precious gemstones as compared to hunting the raw or unprocessed form of diamonds.

Reliable but cheap metal detectors will work perfectly fine in searching for lost or missing jewelries. It's because the majority of jewelry accessories are made from silver, platinum and copper which are metal properties that can be easily picked up by any MD.

Overall, metal detectors may not directly able to detect a diamond but through other metallic properties having connection to it, diamond-hunters will still be able to find them.
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