Best Metal Detectors For Gold

How To Choose A Metal Detector That Will Increase Your Chances Of Finding Gold?

The best metal detectors for gold can accurately pinpoint the location of the valuable material with extreme accuracy, basically taking the guesswork out of hunting for gold. However, not all detectors are suited to finding gold. There are dozens of models online, some of which are completely unable to distinguish between metals, notifying you even if they detect an iron nail. We will look at detectors that ca not only discriminate between different materials but also work for extended periods of time while partially submerged into water.

The possibility of finding gold and getting rich is always attractive and, while our ancestors used to go to rivers and pan the material, the technologies developed in the last decades can make the process of finding the precious metal much more efficient and reliable.

Furthermore, all the models included in this list have been thoroughly tested and are preferred by both seasoned gold hunters, as well as treasure hunters and archeologists. This having been said, you will still have to look at the advantages and disadvantages of every model in order to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider how you will use it and where you plan to go and hunt for gold. Once you have a plan, get the detector that works for you, but keep in mind that it is usually better to pay more and get a model that has more features. This way, you will be able to use it in other scenarios as well.

Which are the best places to go hunting for gold?

There are several ways to help increase your chances of finding precious metals using these devices. Seasoned gold hunters know that having the best metal detectors for gold can only help you find the metal if you know where to look and how to take it out of the ground when you come across it. Here are a few of the best places to look for gold:

  • Areas with black sand – If you live near a desert or an arid area, there is a big chance that you will find gold there. In order to establish where you should start searching you must first look for patches of black sand. This is usually iron ore and gold is often intermixed with it, although the pieces may not be much larger than a grain of salt;
  • Dried-up riverbanks – Dried-up riverbanks in arid areas often have gold nuggets buried underneath them. You can find these places by looking for round river stones that have been eroded by the flowing water;
  • Around deserted mines and quartz veins – These places usually contain lode deposits. While going to a deserted mine will mean that most of the gold has already been taken out, there is still a big chance that you will be able to find small nuggets that have either fallen of during transport and are now buried in the earth or small pieces of gold that have to be removed using a pickaxe;
  • Populated areas – If you’re interested in objects that are made from gold, then going to a park or the beach with the metal detector should be relatively productive. These places usually contain lost jewelry that people have either not bothered looking for or have given up on;
  • Around historical sites – Most archeological sites are off-limits for treasure hunters, however, there is nothing stopping you from hunting in the areas that surround these places. Try focusing on old settlements and the roads between them that may have been used for trading. Although chances are that you will find less gold here, when you do find an artifact it will be more valuable than the metal that it is made from;

Generally speaking, you can find gold in a very wide variety of places. If you’re not sure where to start, go online and look for geological maps of your area. These will show you where quarts, iron and gold veins are located, as well as old riverbanks.

Regardless of where you go hunting for gold, make sure that you do not enter private properties or areas that are owned by the government. Depending on where you live, you may be arrested and any gold you may have found taken away from you. Be sure to look at a map of your area and research the places that you want to go to beforehand.

Is it legal to hunt for gold?

Hunting for gold is in a gray area in terms of how legal it is. Simply looking for gold is pretty much harmless, however, keeping what you find is another story. Here is what you need to know in order to safely go hunting for the precious metal using a detector:

·         Location is important – Know the laws that apply to your area

You are free to do pretty much anything you want on your property, so nobody will stop you from looking for precious metals and keeping them if you limit your searches to your land. On the other hand, looking for gold in areas such as forests and rivers is another story. Generally speaking, you can look for gold anywhere except on someone else’s property. However, there are supervised areas from which you may not be allowed to take things. These are usually marked.

Keep in mind that these tips only apply for hunting for actual gold. There are no laws to stop you from taking the metal detector to a park or the beach and look for gold jewelry that others might have lost. When it comes to these particular cases, if you find a ring, brooch, or necklace in a public area, then it is yours to keep, provided that the owner is not around and actively looking for it.

Also, there is the issue of historical objects made from gold. If you go looking for precious artifacts, then take into consideration the fact that active archeological sites are usually off-limits to treasure hunters. This not only means that you will not be allowed to take what you find, but you will also be asked to leave if you try to use the metal detector. The same rules apply to sites that have guards or are under surveillance.

·         It depends on what you find – You don’t always get to keep what you find

There is a small chance that you may come across objects that have a particularly important historical value which you may not be allowed to keep, regardless of where you find them. These are usually found near archeological sites. This having been said, the only way to know if it is legal to keep the objects that you have found is to do ta bit of research online or to take them to a museum. Certain museums may even offer to buy gold artifacts from you in order to preserve and display them to the public.

What to look for in a quality metal detector for gold?

The single, most important feature of a quality metal detector that is designed specifically for finding gold is its discrimination feature. Not all metal detectors come with this function, and it is not vital to finding gold, however, it will help you save a lot of time and effort.

When you use the metal detector, its coil generates a magnetic field that penetrates the ground and travels until it hits an object that is made out of metal. The magnetic waves are then reflected back into the device where the receiver picks them up and notifies the use user that it has detected something. Models that feature a discrimination setting enable you to ignore certain metals. This way, the device will only let you know when it detects the material that you want it to.

Here are a few more things that will help you find the best metal detector for gold:

  • Battery consumption – Metal detectors do not require a lot of power, however, models that can scan deeper underground can easily deplete a couple of 9V batteries in under 24 hours. If you want to go on hunting trips that will last more than a day, it may be a good idea to look for detectors that have a longer battery life;
  • Telescopic stem – While hunting you will spend a lot of time walking back and forth until the detector finds something. If you want to avoid back pain, look for models that have telescopic stems. These can be shortened in order to make it easier for you to carry the devices, but you can also increase their length so that you can stand up straight while using them;
  • Waterproof coil – Hunting for gold may also take you around rivers and beaches. This means that you should consider getting a metal detector model that has a waterproof coil. Note that while this will allow you to submerge the circular section of the device, the control box may still be damaged by water and will have to be protected;

The Top 5 Best Metal Detectors for Finding Gold

1.    NALANDA Professional Metal Detector – An accurate metal detector designed for gold hunters and archeologists

Best metal detectors for goldWhen it comes to features, the NALANDA model is widely considered to be the best gold detector on the market. The device comes with 6 different detection modes to help you find 12 different metals. The discriminate function can set the detector to only look for specific materials such as gold, regardless if it is in the form of nuggets or jewelry. Furthermore, you can choose the CUSTOM detection mode that allows you to set exactly what metals you do not want to target, making it easy to only search for valuable ones such as silver and gold




  • 6 detection modes – The device can be set to only look for specific combinations of metals, ignoring materials that have little value;
  • 6 sensitivity levels – There are 6 sensitivity settings to choose from, including the pinpoint mode that can accurately identify the exact location of the target;
  • Large LCD display – The display of the device can simultaneously all the information that you need to know in order to operate the detector;


  • Not great if the target is too deep – The detector can find a coin that is buried 8” underground, but it may have trouble with objects that further down;

What makes it different

The NALANDA model offers a lot of flexibility in terms of choosing what to look for. The discrimination mode can be set to ignore specific metals in favor of the ones that you actually hope to find. This not only saves time but also prevents you from digging up trash like iron nails and tin cans.

2.    Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker – A professional metal detector designed for rugged terrain

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

The TK 4 is at the tops of all Best gold detector 2020 articles. The device is very accurate, durable enough to use on any type of terrain and surprisingly comfortable. Also, it can detect objects that are at greater depths when compared to other models, provided that they are large enough.




  • Increased detection depth – The device can find metals at a maximum depth of 3 feet;
  • Discrimination mode – By selecting the discrimination mode you can actively filter out metals that you are not interested in finding;
  • Waterproof coil – The coil will work even when submerged in water;
  • Designed for use in areas with minerals – The TK4 comes with a preset designed to compensate for minerals that may be found in some areas


  • No pinpoint function – The detector works great, however, it does not have a pinpoint function to help you determine the exact location of your target;

What makes it different

If you’re looking for a durable detector that you don’t have to worry about bumping on rocks or trees, then the TK4 is a great choice. Its waterproof coil makes it great for use in any environment and the indicators are easy to read even during the night.

3.    RM RICOMAX High Accuracy Metal Detector – A high accuracy mode that has a 10-inch detection coil

best metal detectors for gold More of a kit than a simple metal detector, the RM RICOMAX model also comes with a durable foldable shovel that is great to have when hunting for gold. In terms of performance and usability, the device can detect metals at a maximum depth of 7.1 inches and features a bright, intuitive LCD screen that makes operating it easy.






  • Large detection coil – The 10-inch coil helps the device detect metals more easily, basically enhancing its sensitivity;
  • Waterproof design – The coil is completely waterproof and will work even when submerged in water;
  • Pinpoint function – The pinpoint function can help you identify the exact location of the target;
  • Different material prompts – There are distinct audio prompts for each type of metal;


  • Control box not waterproof – Although the coil is waterproof, you will have to protect the control box when it rains. If water finds its way into it and touches the wires the device may stop working;

What makes it different

What makes the RM RICOMAX Metal Detector the best metal detector for gold and silver is the fact that it comes with a true discrimination mode that can specifically target valuable materials such as gold and iron. Furthermore, the 10-inch coil makes it considerably more sensitive than other similar models.

4.    Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector – A metal detector that is specifically designed to be used for gold hunting

best metal detectors for gold The Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is considered by many professionals to be the best gold detector if you’re on a tight budget.  From a design point of view, the model focuses more on functionality and efficiency rather than on looks. This having been said, the device is surprisingly affordable, especially when considering that it comes with a trash elimination feature that filters out items that do not have any value. Furthermore, a pair of quality headphones is also included in the package, so you won’t have to buy those separately.




  • Trash elimination feature – The trash elimination function allows to user to control what kind of objects the detector will ignore;
  • Included headphones – A pair of comfortable headphones are included in the package and can be used when hunting in noisy environments;
  • Automatic tuning – The device uses a smart chip in order to automatically tune itself when turned on;
  • Weather-resistant coil – The coil can be submerged in water, making the detector great for beaches and rivers;


  • Not entirely waterproof – Only the coil is waterproof, which means that if you use it at the beach, you will have to be careful, so the waves do not splash on the control box;
  • No discrimination function – The device can filter out trash, however, it does not come with the ability to ignore certain metals;

What makes it different

The Gold Digger is one of the more affordable models on the market. It is durable, reliable, and easy to carry. However, it does lack some of the features that other devices come with, such as the discrimination function.

5.    NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Pro series Metal Detector – An advanced metal detector that comes with advanced features and is easy to carry

The Pro Series Metal Detector from National Geographic is easily one of the more feature-rich models in this list. The device does not come with any additional accessories, however, it features a 10-inch waterproof coil, a pinpoint function, as well as 3 detection modes. Furthermore, the detector can find metals that are buried at up to 12 inches underground.





  • Easy to transport – The stem of the device is telescopic, and the entire detector can be collapsed down to 22 inches, making it small enough to fit in a wide variety of backpacks;
  • Multiple detection and sensitivity settings – There are 3 detection modes to choose from and 4 sensitivity levels, in addition to the pinpoint feature;
  • Great warranty – The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty, so if anything breaks, you don’t have to worry about having to buy a new one;
  • Simple controls and LCD – The LCD is easy to read and the controls are clearly marked and intuitive;


  • No true discrimination feature – The device does come with detection modes that help eliminate certain metals, however, it does not have a true discrimination feature that would allow the user to manually select which materials should not be targeted.

What makes it different

The Pro Series Metal Detector is a premium device. It is well built, durable, and comes with several quality-of-life features that are always great to have. This having been said, the fact that the model only weighs 2lb, comes with a pinpoint function and can fit in a backpack makes it particularly useful to have as a backup or to take with you when on trips.


All the models above are considered to be the best metal detectors for gold. Amateur gold-diggers, as well as industry professionals, use them in order to accurately identify the gold that is buried deep underground. This having been said, the devices can also be set to target a wide variety of other valuable materials such as copper, silver and bronze.

Focus on the features offered by each product and consider which ones you will actually need when you go hunting for gold. If you plan to spend more than a day searching, then you’ll need a device that can run for longer before the batteries run out. Also, you may want to consider getting rechargeable batteries in order to save money in the long run.

A lot of people tend to forget the fact that hunting for gold can be a very strenuous activity. The detectors do have a bit of weight to them and if you spend a day walking around, waving the device in order to find gold, and then digging it out of the ground, there is a big chance that you’ll start having back pain fairly quickly. Pay attention to the weight of a detector, as well as to how comfortable it is to hold.

In any case, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding at least a few gold nuggets in a day of hunting, provided that you have the proper tools and know where to look. There’s a lot of information online that will help you find hotspots such as closed down gold mines, old archeological sites, and places where historical battles took place.

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