Gold Prospecting: Ultimate Guide to Gold Searching Using a Metal Detector

Finding gold is probably the most exciting field of precious metal detecting. It can be a rewarding adventure and even bring you joy when passing the time.

Having the right information about gold mining can increase your chance of having a successful search. That means knowing all about the problems you can face while detecting gold, the technology for gold mining, and where to look for gold nuggets.

Gold Prospecting

Challenges of Finding Gold with Metal Detectors

Finding gold jewelry and nuggets with your metal detector might seem a straightforward activity, but it is a challenging task that you can ever undertake. It surely seems simple; you take your metal detector, swing it around until you hear a beep to alert that there is a gold nugget covered in the ground, and then dig it up.

While it can be straightforward, using your metal detector to find gold can be frustrating because of these problems:

  • Gold Nuggets Are Small

One thing you should always remember when hunting for gold is it comes in small nuggets, not the exciting softball-like nuggets we all dream of finding. Here you can detect gold that is smaller than a rice grain.

It can be challenging to detect such a small metal if you do not have the right metal detector.

  • Using the Wrong Metal Detector

The first thing you should note is there are metal detectors meant for gold hunting. All metal detectors can find gold, and brands will claim their models are good at detecting it, but the reality is there are machines specifically designed to spot these nuggets.

The standard metal detector that you take out to look for coins at the part might probably be ineffective when you take it out in gold-rich areas. These places have unique challenges, as you can find from the next points – they are places you can find gold.

  • Highly Mineralized Ground

One area you can find gold is the highly mineralized fields, and that is a problem in some way. Most places contain lots of iron, and that is where gold is found in plentiful.

Iron can make most metal detectors to send false signals and struggle to find the real treasure due to the high concentration of this mineral. Another problem you can face in the gold-rich area is hot rocks, which contain a lot of minerals that can make your detector sound the alert.

A metal detector with ground balance can solve this problem, but some might still face some shortcomings and make it impossible to ignore the signals sent by mineralized grounds. 

  • High Levels of Iron Trash

Another place you can find gold is an area with lots of iron trash, and that is also a problem when it comes to finding it. Early days miners left behind a lot of junk like nails, boot tacks, cans, shovels, bullets, snuff cans, and other materials made of metal.

A high amount of iron trash can be challenging even to the best detectorists, but you can avoid it if you have a gold detector.

Important Note: As you can see from the above problems, you need a metal detector that is extremely sensitive if you wish to find the small gold nuggets and one that can deal with highly mineralized fields.

Basics of Metal Detectors for Gold

Metal detectors for gold are usually classified into two: Pulse Induction (PI) and Very Low Frequency (VLF).

The VLF Detectors

The VLF gold detectors are designed to spot small nuggets near the surface. They come with small coils (a few inches) to ensure that they locate the signal from the chunk.

VLF machines cannot handle the highly mineralized and hot rocks ground, where you can find gold in plentiful. These metal detectors require you to move slowly when finding gold to ensure that you hear even the slightest of the signal from the tiny nuggets.

You can find medium and large gold nuggets using these types of detectors, but you often get the small metal. They are the best gold detectors if you intend to scan bedrock where the treasure lies about 1-inch on the surface.

VLF metal detectors usually miss the more abundant and deeply buried gold.

The PI Detectors

The PI detector can easily find the medium and large gold particles, but they fail to spot the small size. They are also the best metal detectors for handling mineralized fields. 

But which metal detector should you choose when hunting for gold? You need to realize that about 95% of gold comes in tiny nuggets.

The bigger particles are long gone and might not be available in your location. That is why most gold hunters use VLF gold detectors.

Where to Find Gold Near Me

We all want to find gold in those highly mineralized areas where we can get large nuggets, but those sites are hard to find. Some of them are long gone, and the ones left are not open to public mining.

So, which other places can one search for gold? Here are some of the locations and sites that you can visit to look for gold and enjoy the outdoor activity.

  • Historical town sites
  • Ghost towns
  • Abandoned sites
  • Old goldfields
  • Minerals exploration areas
  • Old mining sites
  • Picnic areas
  • Racecourses
  • Showgrounds
  • Beaches
  • Sports grounds
  • Camping sites
  • Battlefields
  • Swimming area
  • Around piers and jetties
  • Playgrounds and parks

You can find lots of treasures made of gold in most of these sites like gold jewelry, rings, and others. That is the reason why you should consider using the VLF gold detector as opposed to choosing the PI one.

Final Verdict

Gold prospecting can be a rewarding exercise if you know how to go about it by using the correct tools and mining in the right places. We have provided you with the information on the right gold detector and the places you can find gold.

You can use both the VLF and PI gold detector to find this treasure, with the VLF being ideal of hobbyist while the PI is perfect for a professional.