6 Best Metal Detectors for Gold in 2021

6 Best Metal Detectors for Gold in 2021

gold mining metal detectors

The thrill of finding gold is a big rush and can be a highly profitable activity. But locating those shiny nuggets doesn’t come easily. Luckily there are many products on the market to aid your exploration. Having the best metal detector for gold can make the difference between striking rich and finding trash.

Not all metal detectors are designed to find gold. The right detector must also measure inductance and conductivity.

  • Inductance refers to the amount of current produced in the target
  • Conductivity refers to how easily the currents flow

Before you start, it’s best to check the rules and regulations for the area you intend to hunt for gold as some National Parks have different rules which may see you losing your loot. Check this link to see which rules apply: https://geology.com/usgs/gold-prospecting

To find the best selection, we delved into reviews and recommendations from people who have used the detectors and been successful in finding gold. We then whittled down our selection by looking at different considerations.

  • Budget
  • Beginner to advanced
  • Frequency measurements
  • Extra features

What Are The Best Metal Detectors for Gold?

Metal Detector
Better for Gold
Best from USA
Best Overall for Most People
Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Detector
Garrett at Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones and ProPointer at PinPointer
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Pros
Has a GPS tracking function to save hot spots
A great metal detector for gold that also performs well with relics and coins
With gold mode you can find nuggets even in mineralized soil and near salt water
Cons
Heavier than most on our list
Not suitable for near salt water
This unit is an all rounder so gold only performance is better with the Gold Monster 1000 but this is the better unit for more general usage
Frequency
Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT)
18 kHz
Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz
Made in
Australia
USA
Australia
Weight
7.32 lbs
4.2 lbs
2.9 lbs
Price
$7,999.00
$764.90
$949.00
Better for Gold
Metal Detector
Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Detector
Pros
Has a GPS tracking function to save hot spots
Cons
Heavier than most on our list
Frequency
Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT)
Made in
Australia
Weight
7.32 lbs
Price
$7,999.00
Amazon
Best from USA
Metal Detector
Garrett at Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones and ProPointer at PinPointer
Pros
A great metal detector for gold that also performs well with relics and coins
Cons
Not suitable for near salt water
Frequency
18 kHz
Made in
USA
Weight
4.2 lbs
Price
$764.90
Amazon
Best Overall for Most People
Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
Pros
With gold mode you can find nuggets even in mineralized soil and near salt water
Cons
This unit is an all rounder so gold only performance is better with the Gold Monster 1000 but this is the better unit for more general usage
Frequency
Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz
Made in
Australia
Weight
2.9 lbs
Price
$949.00
Amazon

6 Best Metal Detectors for Gold In-depth Review

1. Minelab GPZ 7000

Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Detector

If you’re serious about finding gold (and we mean super serious) then let us introduce you to Minelab’s GPZ 7000. This beast of metal detector will up your prospecting game to the next level. Before you look at the price tag, let’s go through some of the features and you will understand why Minelab has priced this device the way they have.

Minelab has coined the GPZ 7000 as ‘The Future of Gold Detection’ as it uses the ZVT (Zero Voltage Transmission) technology to detect up to 40% deeper than its previous models. It’s designed to find larger gold nuggets typically around 100 grams using the powerful sensitivity in its Super-D coil giving you the edge over other prospectors which may have failed in the same locations. This 14-inch coil is also waterproof up to 1m allowing you to hunt in rivers, shorelines, and in wet conditions.

A really cool feature of the GPZ 7000 is its GPS locating and mapping. This allows you to log your gold finds, see where you’ve already searched, and create your own ‘hot spots’ all using XChange 2 and Google Maps.

You can use standard wired headphones, but with its in-built Wi-Stream technology, this device can utilize a wireless, low-power digital audio output that gives you high-quality sound with near enough zero lag time. As soon as you get the faintest of signals, you’ll hear it.

The digital display has everything you need at the push of a button making the GPZ 7000 simple to set up and a breeze for adjusting settings on the fly.

All in all, if you want to find gold in a multitude of terrains and conditions, this device is the one for you.

Features:

  • Automatic ground balance
  • Full color LCD display (320 x 240 pixels)
  • USB interface for XChange 2 PC software
  • Gold Mode (High Yield, General, Extra Deep) Ground Type (Normal, Difficult, Severe)
  • Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery

What we love:

  • 8 hour battery life on a single charge
  • Comes with a pack of accessories
  • Has an easy to follow 6-step beginners setup

We don’t like this as much:

  • There’s no depth indication
Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Detector
  • SUPER-D COIL: Specially engineered for deeper detection, you can find nuggets passed over by other detectors.
  • GROUND BALANCE: Automatically adjust to weed out interference from mineralized ground so you can precisely find more gold.
  • ENHANCED NOISE IMMUNITY: With 256 integrated noise canceling channels, you experience smooth quiet detecting without distracting interference.
  • SIMPLE MENU: High tech doesn’t need to be complicated. All the detector’s functions are intuitively presented for quick mastery.
  • WIRELESS AUDIO: A WM 12 Wireless Module allows you to freely detect using your favorite headphones, the supplied headphones or the built-in speaker.

2. Minelab Goldmonster 1000

Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Metal Detector

With the Minelab Goldmonster 1000, the clue is in the name. This monster of a metal detector will set you back $899 but for good reason. Minelab is one of the leading companies in metal detection and has a few models made for gold detection on the market.

The Goldmonster 1000 uses an ultra-wide dynamic range of 45kHz VLF which is ideal for locating small nuggets and gold flakes as well as other metals. It features automatic ground tracking so you don’t need to adjust it every time you move locations. This unit comes with both a 10 inch elliptical and a 5 inch round DD coil which are both waterproof up to 1m so can adjust to your surroundings with ease.

It’s monochrome LED display lets you seamlessly change the detect modes from Deep All-Metal to Gold, adjust the sensitivity or switch to auto, and adjust the volume. It also shows you the strength of the current being received.

This metal detector can be easily collapsed and packed away for ease of travel and comes with a few accessories in the box. As well as the unit itself, you get a pair of headphones, digging tool, AC charger, and carrier for a replaceable charger.

All in all, the Minelab Goldmonster is a great tool if you’re a keen hobbyist and want a metal detector that’s easy to use, comes with accessories, and will adjust to different environments.

Features:

  • Ultra-wide dynamic range 45kHz VLF
  • Gold Chance Indicator (high/low)
  • Internal speaker or headphones 3.5mm (1/8″)
  • Noise cancel
  • Automatic ground balance

What we love:

  • It is pretty lightweight
  • Automatic settings for beginners
  • Comes with headphones

We don’t like this as much:

  • Lack of audio threshold
Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Gold Detector
  • FULLY AUTOMATIC: The Gold Monster detector does it all for you with automatic noise cancelling, auto-ground balance and automatic sensitivity.
  • EASY-TO-USE CONTROLS: The touchpad interface provides a gold chance indicator, 3 detection modes, sensitivity options and adjustable volume controls.
  • ADAPTABLE FORM: The Gold Monster 1000 enables detecting on wide ground and in confined spaces. To fit your height, simply adjust the telescoping shaft.
  • WATERPROOF COIL: Follow the gold without worry. The Gold Monster 1000 coil is waterproof to 1 m (3 feet) and comes with a rain proof control box.
  • DISCRIMINATION: Improved ferrous/non-ferrous identification enhances searches in conductive (salty) soils for more precise detection.

3. Garrett AT Gold

Garrett at Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones and ProPointer at PinPointer

Another key name in the metal detector game is Garrett. The AT Gold is designed for those who want a metal detector with multiple features. It retails for around $750 and is ideal for intermediate detectorists who want to immerse themselves further into their hobby.

The great thing about this detector is that it is easily adjustable for different terrains. You can switch between manual and automatic ground balance or take advantage of its special Ground Balance Window. This allows you to spread the ground balance to reduce response to variations in the terrain. Plus it can be submerged up to 10ft if you’re willing to get stuck into underwater detection.

The AT Gold display has all the information you need and more. It will show you the depth, mode setting, and battery life, but will also give you a digital target ID. This will tell you what type of metal the target is by giving you a number.

This detector runs on an 18kHz VLF frequency and comes with a 5 inch DD coil. It runs on AA batteries so you’ll have to stock up as these can drain on a long day out detecting. In the box, they provide you with a pair of headphones, a waterproof ProPointer, and batteries to get you started.

The AT Gold is for those who want to take their detector to different environments and have the option to detect underwater. It is extremely easy to use and the display makes it plain what your target is most likely to be.

Features:

  • Fast track ground balance
  • Adjustable threshold
  • Ground balance window
  • Graphic target analyzing
  • Electronic pinpointing

What we love:

  • You can fully submerge it in water
  • They include a pointer
  • Only weighs 2.8lbs

We don’t like this as much:

  • The headphones are not waterproof
Sale
Garrett at Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones and ProPointer at PinPointer
  • This package includes a Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with 5x8 DD Search Coil, Mastersound Headphones, Garrett ProPointer AT Pinpointer and AA Batteries
  • Highly Recommended - Prospecting, Coin, Jewelry, Cache Hunting, Relic Hunting, Organized Hunts and Shallow Fresh Water Hunting
  • Target ID Cursor Segments 20 | Iron Discrimination Segments 44 | Search Modes 3 | Sensitivity/Depth Adjustments 8
  • Electronic Pinpointing Yes | Frequency 18 kHz | Audio Tone ID Levels 3 | Standard Searchcoil 5" x 8" ( 14x20cm) DD PROformance
  • Length (Adjustable) 42" to 51" (1.06m - 1.29m) | Total Weight 3.03 lbs. (1.4 kgs.) | Batteries 4 AA (included) | Warranty 2 Year, Limited Parts/Labor

4. Nalanda MD056

NALANDA 18 kHz Metal Detector with 5 Detection Modes, Outdoor Gold Digger Handheld Metal Finder with Adjustable Sensitivity Waterproof Search Coil LCD Display (Included Foldable Shovel and Headphone)

The Nalanda MD056 is our choice for those who are looking to expand their gold finding skills but don’t have the budget to go straight for a Minelab. It retails for around $140 so won’t break the bank but will aid you in discovering the treasure you’ll want to make bank.

This 18kHz high sensitivity VLF metal detector uses its 8.5-inch coil to find small particles of gold in shallow areas. The coil is waterproof but the digital control box is not, so you can’t fully submerge it like the Garrett AT Gold.

The digital control box will give you all the information you’ll need when out in the field. The backlit LED display will show you which type of metal you’ve targeted, an indication of depth, has an in-built speaker, and will tell you when your batteries are running low.

With five different detection modes to choose from, including pinpoint mode, custom mode, and memory mode. In memory mode, you can select which specific metal you want to target so you’re not wasting your time digging up lost cutlery.

In the box, you also get a pair of headphones that you can assign one of four different alarm tones and a multi-function folding shovel to aid you in digging up your new discovery.

With the digital display, different modes to choose from, and pinpoint option, the MD056 is easy to use and takes the stress out of operating if you’re not confident in the mechanics of gold detection. That combined with the price tag makes the Nalanda an attractive option for beginners-intermediate detectorists.

Features:

  • 3-speed adjustable volume
  • 5 segment depth level; 2”/4”/6”/8”/10”
  • Pinpoint precise positioning function
  • Preset ground balance
  • Memory mode

What we love:

  • Adjustable rod
  • The coil is waterproof
  • Detailed display for amateurs

We don’t like this as much:

  • It needs six AA batteries
NALANDA 18 kHz Metal Detector with 5 Detection Modes, Outdoor Gold Digger Handheld Metal Finder with Adjustable Sensitivity Waterproof Search Coil LCD Display (Included Foldable Shovel and Headphone)
  • 【18 kHz High Frequency / 10'' Waterproof Search Coil / metals discrimination 9 kinds 】With Automatically Ground Balancing and adjustable sensitivity, this 18kHz high-sensitivity detector easily and accurately locates even the tiniest pieces of gold. The 10'' waterproof search coil will detect 9 kinds of metals including Gold, silver, copper, coins, artifacts, jewelry, etc. in no matter beach, shallow cave, rivers where a lot of gold is located.
  • 【5 Detecting Modes includes Discriminate Mode(Disc) etc.】①All METAL - the metal detector notifies you whenever it sees any metal. ②Disc mode - you can utilize this metal detector to discriminate other types of metal for a specific one. ③MEMORY - remember some kind of metals you choose, and it will only respond to this metal. ④CUSTOM – be free to choose the combination of metals that do not need to be detected.⑤PINPOINT - This mode aids in the detection of metals.
  • 【75 * 55mm LCD display / 4-Discrimination mode Tones】The LCD display, showing possible metal type, target depth, sensitivity level, battery level, volume (3 levels adjustable), backlit cursor and target ID display. Low power - a red light will be displayed to remind you to replace the battery (Please note: the control box is not waterproof). The sound discrimination system will sound four frequency tones to help you discriminate the targets.
  • 【Length-Adjustable 44'' to 54'' / Coins Depth Indication 2'',4'',6'',10''】The Nalanda detector is detachable and length-adjustable, suitable for adults and also children. Earphone included in the Package can help to find target metal easily. 18kHz high-sensitivity also make our detector grade up the depth indication to 10''. 5 Sensitivity Levels to have a deeper indication(2〞,4〞,6〞, 8〞and 10+) of target metal.
  • 【12-months Warranty / with Full Accessories】What you will get: 1x metal detector, 1 multi-function foldable shovel, 1 x headphone, 1 x professional manual. 12-months warranty. *Any of the technical issues, please feel free to contact us to get a satisfactory solution.* Now start your treasure hunting with just 1x9V battery (not included) for up to 40 hours.

5. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter are known for their entry-level metal detectors perfect for new enthusiasts and hobbyists. The Tracker IV is a great addition to their range. There’s no fancy gadgetry, digital display, or knobs galore on this product. It is designed to be as straightforward as possible. This is why we’ve chosen it as the best metal detector for beginners.

It is only a 6.7kHz VLF detector so keep in mind that it will only find the gold that is on, or pretty close to the surface. It is also a motion metal detector which means it has to be moving to detect metal. Simply holding it over a target won’t trigger a signal.

The control box is the most simplistic on our list. There’s a target indicator dial, headphone input, sensitivity knob, discrimination notch knob, and a discrimination tone switch. That’s it. The lack of features makes the Tracker IV easy to operate with no complicated buttons or displays.

It retails at around $85. For that low price, you sacrifice any of the box candy you get with our other picks. No alternate coils, multi-tools, or headphones which you should invest in as there’s no volume control on this model.

There are three search modes included in this device, All-Metal, Tone, and Full Discriminate so you can adapt to different environments. A major demerit to the Bounty Hunter is that you can’t adjust the ground balance. This will seriously limit the number of different terrains you’ll be able to use it on.

Overall, the Tracker IV is an ideal introduction to the world of metal detection. It’s the price point, minimal features, and build quality make for a quick learning curve to give you a taste of treasure hunting.

Features:

  • 8-inch waterproof coil
  • 3 operation modes
  • Built-in speaker
  • Low battery indicator
  • Analog meter

What we love:

  • Two-tone audio mode for discerning trash signals
  • Batteries can last up to 30 hours
  • Ready to use straight out the box

We don’t like this as much:

  • No ground balance adjustment
Sale
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
  • Rugged metal detector ideal for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions
  • Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode
  • Preset ground balance neutralizes response to mineral content in the ground
  • Disc/notch control distinguishes between targets and unwanted metals
  • Rugged metal detector ideal for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions

6. Fisher Gold Bug-2

Fisher Gold Bug 2 Pro Metal Detector

At a whopping 71kHz, the Gold Bug 2 from Fisher is one of the highest frequency detectors under $1000. It is designed with extreme sensitivity to the smallest gold nuggets over a multitude of terrains.

This model is built for one job, detecting gold. It doesn’t come with a fancy digital display, automatic ground control, or pre-sets. The analog control box has three dials, two switches, and a headphone input.

A beginner may feel a little out of their depth with the Gold Bug 2 but for detectorists who don’t need high-tech buttons and meters, and know how ground control works this model could be ideal. It comes with a 6.5-inch elliptical coil that comes in handy when navigating through rocky landscapes.

It has three operating modes including an audio boost and iron discrimination mode which will reject any targets made of iron. We would recommend using it with headphones because of the sensitivity in its iron discrimination mode, you may not hear the faint changes in frequencies if you’re searching in a loud environment like next to a river.

A downside for some is that the coils are waterproof but the control box isn’t so you can’t submerge it if you want to search a deep riverbed.

With a price tag of just under $700, this model is designed for those who are on a mission and know how to find gold. The fine adjustments you can make to the ground control means you can take this detector anywhere and make it work for you. If you’re serious about finding gold, you should really consider the Gold Bug 2.

Features:

  • Ultra-high 71kHz frequency
  • High precision dual control ground balance
  • Deep target audio boost
  • 3 operating modes
  • Built-in speaker

What we love:

  • Made in the USA
  • Only needs two 9V batteries
  • Simplistic control box

We don’t like this as much:

  • No presets
Fisher Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector with 10" Coil, 6.5" Coil by Fisher Labs
  • Powerful 71 kHz Operation for extreme sensitivity to small gold nuggets
  • 'IRON DISC'' mode rejects iron (trash) targets and hot rocks.
  • Both 6.5 inch and 10 inch coils included.
  • Only 2.9 pounds and convertible to hip mount or chest mount
  • Dual-knob ground control for coarse and fine adjustment.