Best metal detector for gold (Top Picks for 2023)

Whether you’ve lost a ring or dream of finding buried gold in your backyard a good detector can help in all kinds of ways. Metal detecting is a well-established hobby that requires patience and a sizable initial investment.

Best Overall 2023

Minelab Equinox

Complete versatility meets exceptional tools for finding gold.

Best Budget 

Fisher Labs Gold Bug

An easy-to-use detector specifically designed for Finding gold.

Best Waterproof


Deep waterproofing meets good penetration and custom profiles.

Based on 100 hours of independent research, testing, and spending a lot of time doing it we’d say the Fisher Labs Gold Bug is the Best metal detector for gold in 2023. It offers boasts features in this affordable price range. During my research, I was able to meet expert detectorists to find out their recommendations as well.

In this article, I’ll explore the Best metal detectors for gold in the marketplace with their features, pros and cons, price, and how you can buy them.

metal detector for gold comparison table

Metal Detector ModelFrequencySearch Coil SizeSpecial FeaturesWeightPrice Range
Minelab GPZ 70001.5 – 100 kHz14″ x 13″Super-D Coil, GPS, Waterproof up to 1m7.32 lbsHigh-end
Garrett AT Gold18 kHz5″ x 8″All-Metal Mode, Digital Target ID, Waterproof3.03 lbsMid-range
Fisher Gold Bug Pro19 kHz5″V-Break, Ground Grab, Fe3O4 Meter2.5 lbsBudget-friendly
Minelab Equinox 800Multi-Freq11″Multi-IQ Technology, Wireless Audio2.96 lbsMid-range
Nokta Makro Gold Kruzer61 kHz5.5″ x 10″Waterproof, Built-in Wireless Module3 lbsMid-range

How to choose Best metal detectors for gold in 2023

Choosing the best metal detector for gold can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. Gold, with its unique properties, requires specialized equipment for successful detection. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision and find the perfect metal detector for your gold prospecting adventures.

Budget Considerations

Determine your budget and stick to it. Gold detectors come in various price ranges, so it’s essential to find one that meets your requirements without overspending.

Sensitivity and Depth

A sensitive detector is essential for detecting small or deep targets. Choose a model with adjustable sensitivity settings to fine-tune your detector’s performance.

Warranty and Support

Ensure the detector you choose comes with a good warranty and reliable customer support. This will give you peace of mind in case of any issues.

Best metal detectors for gold in 2023

The Garrett AT Gold and Fisher Gold Bug Pro are excellent choices for finding gold with metal detectors. During our testing, we found they are fully waterproof, easy to use, and great features normally found on more expensive detectors. All relate to the great brand reputation and I know a lot of people using them are happy with their performance.

As usual, I’ll get the opportunity to work with top-rated metal detectors for gold hunting. I and our experts have compiled a list of the best detectors based on performance, features, and user reviews. Find your treasure today!

Fisher Labs Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

Fisher Gold Bug Pro

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a game-changer for gold prospectors. Its sensitivity and ability to detect small nuggets make it a top choice. The lightweight design and easy operation of the Fisher Gold Bug Pro make it a favorite among both beginners and experienced gold hunters. Its fast target response and precise discrimination help you find gold with confidence.

“I’ve been using the Fisher Gold Bug Pro for a year now, and it’s been a game-changer in my prospecting journey. The sensitivity to small gold nuggets is impressive, and its lightweight design makes long hours of detecting comfortable. The visual and audio target ID system is a time-saver, helping me distinguish between trash and valuable finds. This detector has helped me strike gold more often!” John Stelle

One specific downside of the Fisher Gold Bug Pro is its sensitivity to highly mineralized soil. In areas with significant mineralization, this metal detector may struggle to maintain stable performance, leading to false signals and reduced depth penetration for small gold nuggets.

Garrett aT gold metal detector

Garrett AT Gold

Garrett AT Gold’s high sensitivity to small gold nuggets and reliable discrimination features make it a standout choice. I’ve personally used it in various terrains, from rocky streams to desert landscapes, and it consistently delivers.

The waterproof design is a bonus, allowing me to search in shallow waters without worries. The digital target ID system helps distinguish trash from treasure accurately. Overall, the Garrett AT Gold is a reliable companion for serious gold prospectors, offering both performance and durability.

One specific downside of the Garrett AT Gold metal detector is its relatively high price compared to some other models on the market. While it offers excellent performance for finding gold, it might not be the most budget-friendly option for beginners or casual hobbyists.

minelab gold monster 1000 metal detector

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

I like the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 for several specific reasons. First, its exceptional sensitivity to small gold nuggets impresses me. The detector can detect tiny gold flakes that many others might miss, making it perfect for prospecting in gold-rich areas.

I love Its easy-to-use controls and simple interface makes it ideal for both beginners and experienced detectorists. You can quickly adjust settings and get started with a minimal learning curve. The lightweight and compact design of the Gold Monster 1000 is great for extended detecting sessions. It’s easy to carry and maneuver, even in rugged terrains.

All these factors combined make the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 one of my top choices for gold prospecting. I feel some downside like the price point is relatively high for the performance it delivers. I expected better accuracy and reliability given the investment.

XP Deus ii ws6 master

XP Deus II

The XP Deus II offers complete wireless functionality, including the coil and headphones. This eliminates tangling cords and allows for greater freedom of movement during metal detecting.

The XP Deus II is incredibly lightweight, making it comfortable for long hours of detecting. The ergonomic build reduces arm fatigue, which is crucial when searching for gold in rugged terrains. With customizable search programs, you can fine-tune the detector’s settings to suit your specific needs and preferences, ensuring optimal performance for gold prospecting.

Unlike some other metal detectors, it lacks user-friendly controls, making it challenging to adjust settings on the go. Additionally, its weight distribution feels unbalanced, causing fatigue during extended use. Lastly, the Deus II’s battery life falls short of expectations, requiring frequent recharging on longer outings.

minelab sDC 2300 gold metal detector

Minelab SDC 2300

The user-friendly interface and minimal controls make it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced detectorists. The SDC 2300 is built to withstand tough conditions. Its robust construction means it can handle the rigors of gold prospecting in remote and challenging terrains.

The small coil size allows for precise targeting in tight spaces, making it ideal for gold hunting in rocky or heavily vegetated areas. It Minelab SDC 2300 lithium-ion battery offers extended hunting time, reducing the need for frequent recharges.

There are a few downsides that I noticed in Minelab SDC 2300. The detector is quite heavy, and the design isn’t very ergonomic. Carrying it for extended periods can be uncomfortable, especially during long treasure-hunting sessions.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Metal Detector for Gold

Gold prospecting is an exciting and potentially rewarding hobby, but finding the right metal detector for the job is crucial. With various models and features available, here’s a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the best metal detector for gold:

1. Frequency Matters:

Gold detectors operate at higher frequencies (typically 18 kHz and above) than standard detectors. Higher frequencies are more sensitive to small gold nuggets. If you’re hunting in highly mineralized soil, consider a multi-frequency detector for better performance.

2. Ground Balance and Mineralization:

Look for a detector with an adjustable ground balance. Gold often hides in mineralized soil, so the ability to balance the detector’s sensitivity to ground conditions is essential. Some detectors offer automatic ground tracking for convenience.

3. Discrimination and Target Identification:

Discrimination allows you to filter out unwanted targets like iron, nails, and pull tabs, focusing on gold signals. A visual target ID display or audio target identification feature helps you differentiate between various metals and target sizes.

5. Size and Weight:

Consider the detector’s size and weight, especially if you plan to prospect for extended periods. Lightweight and compact detectors are ideal for long outings and hiking to remote locations.

6. Waterproof or Water-Resistant:

If you intend to prospect in rivers, streams, or wet conditions, choose a detector that is waterproof or at least water-resistant. Submersible detectors allow you to search in water bodies, increasing your chances of finding gold.

8. Coil Configurations:

Detectors come with various coil sizes and types. Smaller coils are better for pinpointing small nuggets, while larger coils cover more ground but may miss tiny targets. Some detectors allow you to switch coils for versatility.

9. User-Friendly Interface:

Look for a metal detector with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, especially if you’re a beginner. Clear displays and simple controls make your prospecting experience more enjoyable.

FAQ: Best metal detector for gold

What’s the Price Range for Quality Gold Detectors?

Gold detectors vary in price, with entry-level models starting around $500 and high-end detectors costing several thousand dollars. The price often reflects the detector’s sensitivity and advanced features.

Can I Use a Gold Detector for Coin and Relic Hunting?

Gold detectors can be versatile and used for other types of metal detecting. However, they are optimized for gold, so they may not provide the same performance as detectors designed for coins and relics.

Are Gold Detectors Waterproof?

Many gold detectors are waterproof or at least water-resistant. This feature is essential if you plan to prospect in streams, rivers, or wet conditions.

Can I Use a Regular Metal Detector for Gold Prospecting?

Regular metal detectors may not be optimized for gold prospecting. While they can detect larger gold items, they may struggle to find smaller nuggets. It’s best to invest in a dedicated gold detector for more effective results.

What Are the Key Features to Look for in a Gold Metal Detector?

Look for features like high operating frequency, adjustable ground balance, advanced discrimination, and target identification. Waterproof and compact designs are also important, especially for prospecting in rivers and creeks.

What Makes a Metal Detector Suitable for Gold Prospecting?

Gold detectors are specifically designed to detect the unique properties of gold, such as its conductivity and size. They operate at higher frequencies and are highly sensitive to small gold nuggets and flakes.



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  • John Steele

    I started Metal Detecting hobby back in the early 89's. My first detector was a Whites 5900 DI.. I am fully dedicated to the art of detecting and always feel great pleasure in sharing His knowledge an...