How to Find Gold with a Metal Detector

As children, we all heard stories of long lost treasures out there in the world for us to discover. We longed to be able to go on a grand adventure to hunt down a big red X on a map that would lead us to fortune. But, for some people, it's not all about the fortune. It's about the thrill of the hunt. ​You too can get a share of it by getting into metal detecting first.

Tips For Using A Metal Detector To Find Gold

Your metal detector is a sensitive and powerful piece of sensory technology. Since its only purpose is to detect metal objects, it is important that you do not wear anything metallic while going gold hunting. This will cause your metal detector to give you a false reading.

Once you're ready to begin, be sure to tune and ground balance your detector. This allows it to get acclimated to the ground conditions.​

Also, remember to use coils appropriate for the ground conditions and the gold size for which you're searching.

The Search Begins!

Once acclimated, sweep slowly for 5 seconds while keeping the coil parallel to the ground.

Keep your coil close to the ground and overlap your sweeps for the best coverage. Once you receive a signal, continue sweeping at different angles until you pinpoint your target's location.

Begin digging at the target location, being mindful to scan each load of removed dirt until you've found your target.​

Repeat this process until you have found and excavated all your signal targets. ​

Check out this article on how to read metal detectors properly.

How Can I Increase My Chances Of Finding Gold?

While every experienced gold hunter has their own individual tricks of the trade, all experts in hunting gold agree on one golden rule of gold hunting:

The best way to find gold is to go hunting where gold has already been found in the past.

This can be the most monotonous portion of gold hunting. It requires you to do your homework and research geographical history.

The best place to research areas known for producing gold is the Internet.

Your first step should be to go online to see where prospectors have found gold in your area. Once you've done that, find a topographical map to make an expedition plan and visually scout the area.

It will be helpful to find out the terrain of the area, as you will have to climb or walk it for long periods of time.

Coil Handling

Not only will the terrain test your endurance, but it will also test the endurance of your metal detector. Therefore, a coil cover is a must. Specific terrains will prove to be a challenge for certain coils. Using the correct coil with a specific terrain is crucial for successful gold hunting.

Another thing to keep in mind - the frequency of your metal detector also affects the depth at which it can sense gold. The higher the kilohertz (kHz), the more likely your detector will find a deep gold nugget.

Before heading out to the area, keep in mind that there are guides online that can help you learn proper coil handling techniques. Correct use of different coils will increase the chances that your detector will be able to sense deep gold.

Depending on the terrain of the area, there are specific places to check first for hidden gold.

How Should I Adapt To Different Terrain?

One type of terrain you could encounter is mountainous terrain. Mountainous terrain has many challenges, with steep inclines, rough climbs, and lack of clear paths. In addition, you can expect hidden caves, holes, and mines. This video shows you how to prospect for gold in mountainous terrain:

If you find yourself gold hunting in the mountains, the first place to focus on is any rivers or streams in the area. The second best place to hunt for gold is near any old mines or ore-hauling roads. Please do not enter any old mining tunnels due to safety concerns.

If you find yourself hunting in a desert area, first check exposed bedrock or crevices. Gold is often found there. Another place you could check would be washes. When deserts experience flash floods, the flood will move the gold through washes and will gather as they get stuck.

While you're out hunting, always be careful of the surrounding wildlife. Gold hunting is an exciting quest, but just like any quest, you can expose yourself to real dangers.

If you stumble upon coins by any chance, don't throw them away. You can always clean them and have an appraisal if you are lucky.

Happy hunting and strike it rich, adventurers!

  • Updated October 30, 2019
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