When you own a metal detector you will have a whole new world at your fingertips. There is nothing more exciting than hearing the Bleep! Bleep! Bleep! The sound of your metal detector speeds up after locating treasure buried below the ground. There is a lot of fun that comes with finding relics that have been buried underground. The big question you may be asking is this; can metal detectors detect gold and if yes, how deep can they detect? The purpose of this post is to answer this two-part question.
Can metal detectors detect gold?
The short answer is yes. It is, however, good to note that not every metal detector out there will be able to detect gold. Gold is a metal compound but for it to be detected using a metal detector you will need to use a detector that has been optimized to detect gold.
Metal detectors basically work by creating magnetic fields that respond to objects that are hidden in the ground. The response they get is dependent on several things:
- Frequency of a metal detector
- Type of ground or soil
- Conductivity of hidden materials
- Size of object
- Depth of the buried object
It is for these reasons that not all metal detectors can be able to accurately and consistently uncover buried gold nuggets or grains of gold. If your metal detector, for example, has a low frequency, it will not be ideal for detecting gold. High-frequency detectors are ideal for finding gold since they can identify small materials accurately. It is also good to note that gold has better conductivity with higher frequency waves.
When searching for a metal detector for detecting gold, you need to focus more on the multi-frequency types of detectors. Needless to say, these detectors are expensive but will have the features needed to search for gold. Gold is found in areas with high mineralization. What this means is that there are many more minerals in the area such as salt. As a result, conductivity is impeded and detecting gold can be hard. Machines that have been engineered to detect gold have the features needed to overcome the challenges posed by mineralization.
All this considered, whether you are hunting for gold in your local area or near a mine, you will do best to get a higher frequency metal detector. Otherwise, you will end up only finding other materials. You must also keep in mind that finding gold is one-part skill and 99 parts luck. Don’t be too ambitious.
How deep can you detect gold using a metal detector?
The realistic depth to detect fair-sized gold nuggets using a high-frequency metal detector is 1.5 meters (60 inches). Most metal detectors will only detect gold at depths of 0.15 to 0.25 meters (6 to 10 inches). It is highly recommended to search for gold near the surface before bothering yourself with the deeper nuggets.
If you want to detect gold at deeper depths than 1.5 meters you will definitely need to get specialized equipment. This equipment will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t have that much money to spare but still wish to go deeper in a hot spot area or in a goldfield, your best option is to scrap the surface using a bulldozer then go in with the metal detector to find the gold nuggets at deeper depths.
There are many factors that impact how deep a metal detector can detect gold. The main ones are:
- Size of the object. The bigger the gold object is the easier it will be to detect.
- Amount of discrimination you have set. If not calibrated properly, the metal detector will be unable to detect gold. It is also important to remember that you will not be able to find deeper targets if the area is filled with junk metals.
- Metal composite of the area. Metals like copper, silver and brass have a higher electric conductivity. Stainless steel and gold, on the other hand, don’t have adequate metal conductivity. It will be harder to detect gold in an area that is filled with other metals that have a high electric conductivity.
- Sensitivity settings of the metal detector. When the settings are set at the right level, even small objects such as gold nuggets can be found at substantial depths.
- How to detect gold with a metal detector
In the old days, finding gold meant that you go to the river with gold planning kits and filter small gold nuggets. Modern technology has, however, changed all this. You can find hidden gold using a metal detector. You can find a lot of lost things such as gold necklaces, rings and all manner of jewellery. However, to increase your luck, you will have to use the right metal detector, a gold metal detector.
The gold metal detectors have two standard types of coils: wide scan and concentric. Wide-scan coils do not penetrate deep but they are more accurate when it comes to detecting gold. The concentric coil has a deeper penetration in sand or soil and can locate gold that is buried up to 3 feet deep. The wide-scan coil is ideal for the coastal area and when it comes to general prospecting. If you want to search for gold in a forested area, your best option will be the concentric coils.
Another thing you have to consider is whether to use VLF or PI technology. VLF provides the coil with an induction balance. The energy used to detect gold goes up and down the coil thus giving the detector more sensitivity levels. You get better detection. The technology also registers miscellaneous minerals and trash. PI, on the other hand, gives a quick energy burst to the coil. This makes it easy to find gold veins but it will be harder to find small-sized items like small nuggets and gold coins.
With these considerations, you will be set to start your hunt for gold. You will, however, need to be patient because finding gold is not easy. Be consistent and appreciate the small victories along the way.