How to find Gold with a Metal Detector

Finding Gold with a Metal Detector is more than possible! Whether you are a Beginner or a Professional, there are tons of Gold out there! Do not underestimate yourself. Hunting for Gold is different from searching for Coins or Jewelry.

Using Metal Detectors designed for finding Gold, you can expect finding Nuggets in stream beds or in deserts.

Not every Detector is made for detecting Gold. Therefore, you should choose the right detector for maximum Success.

Moreover, not every location is perfect for finding Gold. You should definitely go for locations where Gold is known to exist




What’s the Best Metal Detector for Gold? – Required Features

When you want to go for Gold, your detector should have automatic ground balancing capabilities. Especially in highly mineralized ground, it is necessary to have Ground Balancing. Otherwise, there are too many signals. Eventually, your detector will only scan for the targets like gold nuggets without any distraction.

Furthermore, it is important that your Detector has a Discrimination Function. This means, you can discriminate or filter out specific metals you don’t want to go for.


Get Familiar with new Techniques

In case, you have always been a Coin Hunter or loved scanning the beach, you have to think differently now.

Most importantly, when it’s your first time metal detecting for gold, you should scan areas where gold has already been found. The chances of Finding Gold are not only higher but there are probably more like-minded people to connect with while Treasure Hunting.

Connecting with other People is crucial, because as a Beginner you have to learn many new things and techniques. Learning from People who have already found Gold is way better than trying it several times without help.

If you have just bought yourself a Metal Detector designed for finding Gold, it is recommendable to hunt in the All-Metal Mode at the beginning. By doing this, you will get familiar with your device.

At the same time, you can practice using a Pinpointer in case you have one. It is not necessary to have one but it helps locating a Gold Nugget and you save a lot of time.

Patient Treasure Hunters do always win! Thus, keep trying and please do not give up. Treasure Hunting needs Passion and Patience


Gold! – Let’s get right into it!

If you want to hit the mother lode, there are basically millions of dollars under earth.

The Deserts of Western United States, Australia, Alaska, Mexico and Africa are well-known areas for prospecting Gold

Step 1 is to use a Metal Detector which has ground balancing. As already mentioned, this is crucial to discriminate any confounding factors like iron in mineralized ground. Therefore, set the Discrimination to Iron rejection. You obviously do not want to detect iron when metal detecting for gold nuggets, right?

Step 2 is to scan not too fast. The slower you search, the deeper signals you get. You are not in a rush! No matter how many useless targets you dig, keep going and never lose hope

Step 3 is to put the potential target in a Gold Pan for further observation. If Gold is trapped in rocks, use your rock hammer to carefully take off the Gold

Step 4 is to scan the content in your Pan again. You can also use a Pinpointer to locate small Nuggets easily

Step 5 is to scan more of the area. As soon as you find Black Sand, there is a high chance of finding Gold too. Black Sand is a special form of Sand which often contain a magnetic mineral which is called Magnetite. Never discard Black Sand until you are completely sure there is no Gold in it. You can also use a magnifying glass to spot the tiny gold pieces.

Proper Earphones are usually quite good when Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets, because you are able to notice even faint signals. Being outside, there are many disturbing noises when you want to concentrate on detecting.



Top Locations To Find Gold Nuggets

You should definitely search in streams. Oftentimes, they were created by the melting of huge glaciers and therefore contain many nuggets.

Make sure to get some gum boots and have fun! People have discovered tons of Gold in Streams and you can do too!



Detecting in and around Old Mines and Tunnels can be awesome too!

There is always the chance that someone dropped Gold or missed a vein long time ago. As soon as you find an old Gold Mine, start using your Metal Detector to scan the material lying on the floor.
You never know! Maybe you are the first person searching there and find Gold. Back then, mine workers weren’t equipped with high technology Detectors. It is your Chance!


How To Search Old Mines

In order to search Old Gold Mines, attach a large search coil to the detector. By doing this, you can reach maximum depth penetration.

Following to this, do the Ground Balancing for local conditions. If you are not sure how to do it properly, have a close look into the manual, you will definitely find an answer.

Also important is to scan slowly. Otherwise, your detector isn’t able to detect accurately in depth. Moreover, make sure you don’t get any false signals coming from your equipment.

Pay attention to the roof of mine tunnels, there can be pieces of rich ore

As soon as you are not sure whether it is Gold or just a rock full of iron, use your rock hammer to examine the target. Have a close look at ore lying around in the mine. Oftentimes, these Ore rocks can contain Gold. Scanning them thoroughly could be profitable!

Mine Dumps Are Incredible

Mine Dumps are locations were ore from a mine was stored before transportation. The great thing here is that the material is already laying outside, so you do not have that much work.

You can take your Metal Detector and scan the area, maybe someone has left Gold or overlooked some.

Additionally, scanning the roads can be profitable too. Mine Rocks were often used to build roads in the mud.

When you have a signal within a big rock, start breaking it up. Gold could hide in there! Moreover, you don’t have to transport worthless rocks when breaking relevant pieces out before.

You can have a look at Dredge Tailings too. Gold Dredges are big machines that extracts gold from gravel, sand or dirt.

They work as follows: A gold dredge excavates material using steel buckets. Thereafter, the material is sorted by a huge rotating steel cylinder. By doing this, oversize material gets sorted out and stored behind the dredge. Undersized material like Gold can go through for further washing.

The material deposited behind the dredge can still contain precious metal! If a rock is too big for the cylinder, it doesn’t mean there is no Gold inside.

Oftentimes, these machines were installed in river valleys. Try to get access to an area like this and start searching. Good Luck!



Be a Pro – Surface Suction Dredging

Gold Dredges have always been used to extract Gold. Nowadays, there are several modern dredges. They are basically mounted on flotation devices which float the engine pump and other components above the water. The machine sucks up sand, gravel and rocks from stream beds.

The sluice box, which is a part of the dredging machine too, sorts out large rocks and other materials. Therefore, Material is pulled up because of the suction hose and gets onto the riffles in the sluice box. Heavier material like gold gets trapped there. Some states require a dredging permit, some do not allow it at all


Above all, please have in mind how dangerous it can be to enter a mine. Sometimes, they are not well obtained and you risk your life by entering it alone.

Moreover, make sure to have permission before entering an Old Gold Mine. Maybe someone bought this Mine and you are on private property.

You can get yourself a Prospecting Permit for a few dollars. Do not miss it!


5 thoughts on “How to find Gold with a Metal Detector”

  1. This was super interesting. I didn’t know there was still gold to find. But it makes sense. The earth is plentiful in natural resources. This sounds like a fun hobby to take up! And possibly lucrative. You have some really good points and safety tips. Thanks for sharing this article!

  2. Hi Nick

    Thank you for this interesting article on finding gold by using metal detectors. It is amazing where gold can be found and you have highlighted the best areas to find gold. It is very fortunate that gold is relevant inert and is often found free and not bonded chemically with other elements, as this would make detection difficult. I always  find metal detecting fascinating as it is like going on a massive treasure hunt. All you need is to live in an area where you know gold is present and have the right equipment. It is also important to check the area that you use the detector is not private or that you have the land owner’s permission. Otherwise it can be problematic and can lead to trouble. I have heard of lot of people in the news taking people to court because of what they find on other people land.

    Looking for gold sounds so interesting.



  3. Hi Nick; being able to source a metal detector that is specially made to detect Gold is worthwhile. One always believe that all metal detectors are alike. Reading your post I gained new education. 

    There could be some densely populated areas that had not been mined where the precious metal is waiting to de detected. I imagine that Gold hunting adventure must be a funfilled experience for those involved.


  4. Wow! Thank you Nick for sharing this amazing and well structured guide on how to find gold with a gold metal. I must admit that I learnt so much from this article even as a novice when it comes to gold mining. Many of the tips you shared also apply to real life situations and can actually help reach any goal. I know about metal detector and I have actually built one too as an electronic and electrical student (an iron detector anyways). Thanks for the tips and location to find gold.


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