best underwater metal detector for gold (2024)

Hobbyist treasure hunters finding valuable metal objects underwater can discover lost jewelry, coins, or other valuable items while enjoying their underwater adventures. For precision in targeting to save time and effort, a great underwater metal detector for gold can significantly increase productivity.

We’ve tested dozens of metal detectors, ranging from commercial mining to historical research. After considering the precision, durability, and smartness enough for most people We’ve shortlisted the top 3 best underwater metal detector for gold.

I’ve researched more than 54 models and tested 30 to find out the best option for your needs. The best underwater metal detector for gold that I and field professionals recommend is Minelab Equinox. It is best because of its high quality, ease of use, and affordable in Price. I checked and found that thousands of people using them for a long and they are happy with their performance.

How we tested and Picked – Underwater metal detector for gold

Here are some typical steps for testing underwater metal detectors for gold:

  • Research and Reviews: I read expert reviews, user opinions, and forums to understand various underwater metal detectors.
  • Consult Experts: I consult various experienced metal detectorists or gold prospectors to Seek advice and practical insights before making a final purchasing decision.
  • Depth Testing: I perform in-depth tests to evaluate how deep the detector can accurately identify gold targets.

What is the best underwater metal detector for gold in 2023?

I found and tested several reputable metal detectors known for their effectiveness in finding gold underwater. In this segment, I will talk about a few popular options that were highly effective in finding gold underwater as of 2024:

Garrett AT Pro

The Garrett AT Pro metal detector is the best Value option and remains a top value today. I used and found it is highly recommended by many detectorists due to its versatility, durability, and range of features.

I love The AT Pro because it is fully waterproof up to a depth of 10 feet. I checked its reputation for quality and customer support and found it satisfactory in all terms.

Ergonomic Design: The AT Pro is designed to be lightweight and ergonomic, making it comfortable for users to carry and handle for extended periods.

Battery Life: Some users have reported that the AT Pro’s battery life can be relatively short, especially if using it continuously for long periods.

Minelab Excalibur II

This is a widely respected choice among underwater detectors. It’s known for its waterproof design and ability to function up to 200 feet underwater. It offers excellent sensitivity to small gold items.

Minelab Excalibur II is specifically designed for underwater and beach hunting. I checked and found that it offers superior sensitivity to small targets, including gold jewelry and coins, even in challenging saltwater environments.

The Minelab Excalibur II’s greatest feature that some noticed is its exceptional underwater performance.

I found a significant drawback of the Excalibur II is its price. It tends to be relatively expensive compared to many other metal detectors on the market.

Fisher 1280X-8 Underwater All-Purpose Metal Detector

The Fisher 1280X-8 is loved by thousands of customers for its versatility and performance in various environments, especially underwater. I love Its submersible design allows users to explore both freshwater and saltwater locations

I appreciate its ease of use, adjustable settings, and reliable target identification capabilities. Additionally, its durable construction and long battery life contribute to its popularity among metal-detecting enthusiasts.

Easy to Use: The detector is user-friendly, making it suitable for beginners while offering enough features to satisfy more experienced users.

Weight: Some users find it slightly heavy, especially for prolonged use. This could potentially lead to arm fatigue during long detecting sessions.

How to Choose the Best Underwater Metal Detector For Gold

Waterproofing and Submersion Depth

You have to ensure the underwater metal detector for gold is fully waterproof and suitable for submersion to the depths you plan to search. Different models have varying depth capabilities, so choose one that fits your intended use (e.g., shallow water, scuba diving depths).

Sensitivity to Small Gold Items

Look for detectors with high sensitivity to small gold nuggets. Gold is often small and can be challenging to detect, especially in mineralized soils, so a high sensitivity level is crucial.


The best underwater metal detector for gold often operates at higher frequencies (around 18 kHz or more) because gold responds well to these frequencies. However, for underwater use, a lower frequency may be necessary to penetrate mineralized soils and water.

Ground Balance

The underwater metal detector for gold with good ground-balancing capabilities. In mineralized soil, ground balancing helps the detector distinguish between mineralization and metal targets, improving accuracy.

how to use an underwater metal detector for gold

Using an underwater metal detector for gold involves some simple steps and considerations to maximize your chances of success. As per my experience, successful underwater gold detection often requires practice and patience. Here’s a general guide on how to use an underwater metal detector for gold:

Firstly, Select the Right Location Research and choose a location with a history of gold deposits. Assemble your equipment with the necessary accessories and ensure the detector is powered and the batteries are fully charged.

Then set up your detector to calibrate it to suit the specific mineralization of the ground or water you’re searching in. After that Start Detecting by walking slowly and swinging the coil back by keeping it close to the surface.

You must Pay close attention to each signal that may indicate the presence of a metal target. Be aware that the signal’s pitch and strength can give you clues about the type and size of the target. Once you’ve pinpointed the target, use a scoop, sand scoop, or your hands to dig carefully in the area indicated by the pinpointer.

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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...