Do Gold Detectors Really Work?

Gold detectors are metal detectors that have been specifically designed and calibrated to detect gold. And with one, you can go out hunting for gold, whether it be in its pure form, or finding old pieces of gold jewelry or similar out in the middle of nowhere.

Maybe you could end up with an old and valuable family heirloom, or something worth a little money. Who knows! 

But do gold detectors really work? Well, as long as the gold detector has been well-designed and is legit, then yes. They really do work! 

The better question is how do they work? We can explain. 

Metal detectors in general work by the transmission of an electromagnetic field that goes into the ground, and they then analyze the return signal. This electromagnetic field induces loops of electrical current, and these are better known as eddy currents.

These eddy currents are conducted through metals, and they generate their own electromagnetic field which is then received back by the detector. 

So essentially, if the electromagnetic field procured by the detector comes across a metal, the eddy currents are conducted and create their own magnetic field, which the detector then picks up. 

Now, gold detectors have been specially calibrated to detect gold and not just any metal. So the way they work takes the entire process a whole step further, by also measuring the inductance and the conductivity, in order to confirm that it’s gold. 

The inductance is the number of eddy currents that are produced in the metal (in this case gold) detected, and the conductivity is how easily those currents are able to flow.

And when you mix these two together, measuring the size of the eddy currents and how fast they travel, you get the time constant of the target. 

The time constant of different targets will be different, and you can then calibrate metal detectors to search for a certain range of time constants, in order to find the type of metal you are looking for.

So, for example, aluminum foil has a very short time constant, and gold coins have a longer time constant. Then, metals such as steel or iron have an even longer time constant. 

This is why gold detectors work by being set to search for a middle range of time constant, which will usually result in finding gold. 

Of course, this doesn’t make the gold detector perfect. It won’t always detect gold, and sometimes it might detect other things. Basically, it’s not a foolproof way of detecting gold.

However, most gold detectors can be re-calibrated on the go, so that you can adjust that range of time constants as you go along, to narrow down the search and get more accurate detections of gold. 

Now that we’ve explained how gold detectors work, therefore proving that they do work, it’s worth mentioning that not all gold detectors work the same. Some gold detectors will be better than others, due to the design and capabilities, and therefore they will be more effective at finding the gold you’re after.

If you get cheap beginner’s gold detectors, sure, you’ll find some gold. But you won’t really find that much. If you’re serious about your gold searching, you will need a slightly more expensive and advanced gold detector, which is able to find the small nuggets of gold and the big pieces of gold jewelry. 

What is the best Minelab Gold Detector?

If you’re serious about your gold finding, then you’re going to have to get a good and effective gold detector. A cheap and simple one might do the trick for finding gold now and then, but it really won’t cut it for those that want something advanced and that works in a reliable way. 

For the best gold detectors, Minelab is the absolute best brand to go for. It is one of the most trusted and popular brands amongst detectorists, and it is by far the most recommended if you want a reliable and trustworthy gold detector with top capabilities. 

The brand started in 1985, with Ron Shore selling metal detectors from his basement in Chicago, while he perfected the designs and improved their capabilities. But by 2011, the brand was already popular and well-known, and it is now the best-selling brand for all metal detectors, including those used for gold. 

But out of all the Minelab gold detectors, which is the best?

The truth is, the answer depends on exactly what you’re looking for, as different gold detectors cater to different needs and preferences. There is also the price range to consider, as the more affordable ones will be better for entry-level, and the top range will be the best for professional gold detectorists. 

But if we’re taking everything into account and choosing the overall average best, then we’d have to go with the Minelab Vanquish Series. 

This gold detector is perfect for entry-level, while also having advanced capabilities for consistent efficiency when detecting gold. It features Multi-IQ technology, a waterproof V10 coil, and audio control, and a pinpoint mode. It is also designed to be lightweight and compact so that it is easy to use and carry around. 

Overall, this gold detector is ideal for those that want precision in their search, as it can be easily adjusted to narrow down the search and pinpoint the type of gold that you are hoping to find. 

What is the best frequency for detecting gold?

One of the most important things, when searching for any kind of metal, is to use the right frequency so that your detector is actually able to detect what you want to find. 

It is never fully accurate, and the best course of action is to slowly adjust the frequency as you go, in order to narrow down the search. 

But as a general rule, the best frequency for detecting gold is somewhere above 14 kHz. 



Written by Gavin Bowler

Keen history and blogging enthusiast. I love metal detecting. Read more of Gavin's articles.