12 Best Metal Detectors for Gold and Silver

Discover the Best Metal Detectors for Gold and Silver

Metal detectors that are specifically designed to find gold will also be very good at finding silver. The reverse, however, is not always true. 

Frequency is very important when choosing a metal detector. Frequency is the number of waves per unit of time, measured in kHz, or kilohertz. In metal detectors, this is the number of waves sent into the ground to find targets. Silver can be detected with lower frequency metal detectors, but gold can only be consistently found with higher frequency metal detectors or pulse induction metal detectors. 

Silver is a highly conductive target.  Low frequency detectors have longer wavelengths and are great at finding silver. High frequency metal detectors have shorter wavelengths and are better at finding low conductivity targets like gold. So, inherently, gold metal detectors will be one of the best choices to help you find both gold and silver.  And in this article, I’m going to break down twelve detectors that can help you do this job successfully.

And to better help you, please use the interactive guide below, which allows you to directly compare some of the top metal detectors available on today’s market:

XP Deus Wireless2 XP Deus Wireless$$$11” DD Coil
Garrett AT Max$$$Waterproof to 10 feet
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IVBounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV$8” Waterproof Coil

1. Minelab GPX 5000

The Minelab GPX 5000 is one of the most advanced gold prospecting and deep relic metal detectors on the market. It is one of the best metal detectors on the market for gold, silver, and coins. The GPX 5000 is a pulse induction (PI) metal detector featuring Minelab’s Multi Period Sensing (MPS) technology. MPS transmits pulses of different time periods. 

It also samples the received signals at multiple intervals allowing target signals and ground signals to be separated. This helps remove the ground signal from even the most highly mineralized soil, while still giving the machine the sensitivity to both small and deep gold pieces. Most gold is found in mineralized soils, so this advanced PI technology is immensely helpful. 

The GPX 5000 also uses Dual Voltage Technology (DVT), which uses pulses of 2 voltage levels to enhance the effectiveness of MPS. DVT works in conjunction with the different time period pulses of MPS to increase the amount of power transmitted to the ground. DVT further allows the ground signal to be removed, increasing detection sensitivity and depth. 

Smart Electronic Timing Alignment (SETA) is a complex method of matching the individual timings with continuous measurements from the surrounding electromagnetic environment. This gives the advantage of improved detector performance by removal of noise signals.

The GPX 5000 comes with a transflective visual display with white backlight that is adjustable and has automatic time out. It comes with 6 detect modes that are programmable:

  • General
  • Deep
  • Hi-Mineral
  • Patch
  • Hi-Trash
  • Pinpoint

Discrimination contains iron rejection and the machine has variable audio tone control. Timings include:

  • Normal
  • Sensitive
  • Extra
  • Enhance
  • Sharp
  • Sensitive Smooth
  • Coin/Relic
  • Salt/Gold
  • Fine Gold

This further allows the user to customize the detector to the search environment and desired targets. The GPX 5000 comes with an 11” round Double-D search coil, and 15’ x 12” Monoloop search coil and Koss 100-ohm headphones. Ground balancing includes general, specific, and off. Sensitivity, noise cancel, threshold, and target volume are all adjustable. The battery is rechargeable and provides approximately 12 hours of use. This is a slightly heavier metal detector (as most PI machines are) at 5.3 pounds. 

Minelab offers a 3-year warranty on the GPX 5000.

Below, please take a brief moment to view some of the best selling metal detectors available on Amazon (and see how well they stack up to the detectors we discuss throughout this article):

1) Garrett AT MAX
2) Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
3) Bounty Hunter Gold Digger

2. Garrett AT Gold

The Garrett AT Gold is a great, versatile gold and silver detector. The AT Gold is a single frequency VLF metal detector operating at an adjustable 18 kHz. This does not mean it is a multiple frequency machine, but that it can be slightly adjusted to help balance electromagnetic interference and soil mineralization. This metal detector is great for jewelry, gold, coins, relics, and shallow fresh water. It can be used in saltwater areas, but it may produce extra chatter and is not generally recommended. The AT Gold is fully submersible up to 10 feet. The LCD screen on the AT Gold does not have a backlight, but it is not necessary unless hunting in low light.

The AT gold metal detector features 44 iron discrimination segments. It does not have adjustable volume, and notch discrimination is preset. This model has 3 search modes, all Pro Audio. It features 8 sensitivity and depth adjustments. The AT Gold has Iron Audio, which is hugely helpful in identifying iron targets so you can avoid digging unnecessarily. This model has automatic and manual ground balancing and digital target ID. It comes with a pinpoint mode to help zero in on targets. 

The AT Pro is a lightweight model, at just 2.8 pounds. It comes standard with a 5” by 8” Double-D PROformance™ search coil and operates on 4 AA batteries. Minelab offers a 2-year warranty on the AT Gold. 

3. Bounty Hunter Tracker IV

The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is the best budget friendly gold detector. This model does not have an LCD screen or complicated controls. It is extremely easy to use right out of the box. There is a mode selection knob and 2 operating controls. The control box features numbers which correspond to different metals, and an indicator needle that shows which number the target is most likely to be. The control interface allows users to move between modes and eliminate targets with discrimination control. 

Bounty Hunter Tracker IV

Ground balancing is automatic on the Tracker IV and it operates at 6.5 kHz. While this is not an ideal frequency for gold hunting, the Tracker IV does a good job of finding nuggets. It will not be as successful as other detectors at finding small bits of gold of very fine gold jewelry but is still a great beginning metal detector. It features 3 operating modes: Motion All-Metal, Full Discrimination, and Tone Discrimination. This metal detector can be used with headphones. 

The Tracker IV comes with an interchangeable 8” open search coil. The search coil is waterproof, but the control box is not, so be cautious near water. Bounty Hunter offers a 5-year warranty on the Tracker IV. 

4. Garrett ATX

Garrett’s ATX is one of my favorite metal detectors. This is a PI metal detector that sends out 730 pulses per second. The more pulses per second a PI machine sends out the more sensitive the machine is. This metal detector is excellent at finding small, lower conductivity metals like tiny gold nuggets and fine gold jewelry. It is also excellent at finding silver, coins, and relics. The ATX is an all-terrain, rugged metal detector with a military style design. The controls are easily accessible with one hand and it has several advanced features. This metal detector is excellent in saltwater conditions and highly mineralized soils.

Garrett ATX

Ground balancing is done with Fast Track technology, allowing the user to quickly balance ground mineralization. It has 4 automatic ground balance settings: off, slow, medium, and fast, allowing users to control the amount of noise from difficult grounds. Fast Track lets the machine do the work for you. The ATX has a pinpoint mode to help zero in on targets. It features 25 audio threshold settings, 25 discrimination 13 sensitivity settings, and has natural immunity to electromagnetic interference. It also features Iron Audio (only with the Double-D search coil; users have a choice of search coil when purchasing the ATX).

Unlike most metal detectors, the ATX does not have an LCD screen. The control panel is still easy to use and change settings. Search modes can be non-motion or motion, unlike VLF detectors, meaning this detector does not have to be in motion for the search coil to detect targets. It operates on 8 AA batteries, and can be used with rechargeable batteries. It is heavier than most VLF metal detectors, as are most PI machines, at 6.9 pounds. The ATX is fully submersible up to 10 feet.

Garrett offers a 2-year warranty on the ATX.

5. Fisher Gold Bug 2

Fisher’s Gold Bug 2 is one of the most sensitive gold prospecting detectors on the market. It operates at a frequency of 71 kHz, so it is extremely sensitive to small gold nuggets and thin gold jewelry. This model does not have an LCD screen, but uses knob controls to adjust sensitivity, ground balancing, and volume. The Gold Bug 2 features Iron Discrimination Mode or iron and hot rock rejection. It features 3 search modes: Iron Discrimination, Normal Mode, and Audio Boost Mode. Audio Boost Mode is great for deep targets or for detectorists who are hard of hearing.

Fisher Gold Bug 2

Ground rejection can be adjusted with a dual knob control that electronically tunes the internal components to ignore ground minerals. Headphones can be used with the ¼” jack. The control box is ruggedly built and features quartz-crystal locked electronics which are resistant to moisture and dust. The unit is lightweight, at just 2.9 pounds, but can be converted to hip or chest mounted configuration. The Gold Bug 2 uses 2 9-volt batteries. 

Fisher offers a 5-year warranty on the Gold Bug 2.

6. Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Minelab’s Gold Monster 1000 is one of the best metal detectors for gold nuggets. This metal detector operates on very low frequency (VLF) technology. The Gold Monster 1000’s frequency is an ultra-wide dynamic range 45 kHz. This metal detector has 2 detect modes: Gold (iron reject), and Deep All-Metal. Ground balance is done automatically with Easy-Trak. Noise cancel, sensitivity, and volume are all adjustable. The Discrimination settings on the Gold Monster 1000 feature a Gold Chance Indicator, showing low or high chance. 

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

The Gold Monster 1000 has improved ferrous and non-ferrous discrimination which allows the machine to better cope with highly conductive soils like saltwater. The LCD screen on the Gold Monster 1000 is a monochromatic display. This metal detector comes with 2 waterproof search coils: a 10” Double-D and a 5” Double-D. The Control box is not fully waterproof but is weather and splash proof. This unit operates on 8 AA batteries. Regular 3.5 mm headphones can be used with this metal detector. 

Minelab offers a 2-year warranty on the Gold Monster 1000.

7. Fisher Gold Bug Pro

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a great metal detector for finding gold and silver. It operates at 19 kHz, so it is sensitive enough to find gold nuggets in highly mineralized soil conditions. It features V-Break™, the metal detecting industry’s first Variable Breakpoint tone discrimination technology. Unlike some of the other detectors we have discussed, the Gold Bug Pro features an LCD screen with numerical display. The Gold Bug Pro has Ground Grab® computerized ground balancing, which offers real-time ground balancing. This helps the machine adjust to changes in mineralization easily and quickly.

Fisher Gold Bug Pro

The Gold Bug Pro features voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) Audio in All Metal and Discrimination Modes, and independent control over threshold and gain. Ground condition readouts are continuously displayed. Ground Phase shows the type of ground mineralization present and Fe3O4 graphic shows the amount of ground mineralization. This metal detector also has a pinpoint mode, and dual headphone jacks. 

The user interface on the Gold Bug Pro is simple to use for most detectorists. The unit is very lightweight at just 2.5 pounds. It comes with a 5” Double-D waterproof search coil. The control box is not fully waterproof, so caution should be exercised around water to avoid damage. Fisher offers a 5-year warranty on the Gold Bug Pro.

8. White’s Goldmaster 24K

White’s Goldmaster 24K is a great metal detector for both silver and gold. The Goldmaster 24K operates at 48 kHz and comes with White’s XGB ground balancing system. This system works very well in highly mineralized soils. For more advanced users, TracLock and Ground Grab can be used to ground balance. This model has a large, backlit LCD display with target graph showing Ferrous, Gold, and High Conductor ranges, mirrored with numerical target ID.

Users who prefer dry washing, panning, or sluicing, the 24k Ground Scan mode shows where paystreaks in streambeds and washes are. The Goldmaster 24K features 10 levels of adjustable sensitivity, adjustable audio with Boost, adjustable discrimination, variable self-adjusting threshold (vSAT), and Tone ID mode. It also has a pinpoint mode. Sensitivity can be adjusted to help balance high levels of ground mineralization. Iron Cancel will silence hot rocks and iron rich targets. Ground Scan can be used to show the strength of ground mineralization, ground type, and paystreaks. 

The Goldmaster 24K comes with a 6” by 10” waterproof Double-D search coil and operates on 8 AA batteries. It weighs 3.6 pounds, is dust proof, and weatherproof. It is not fully submersible, however. White’s offers a 2-year warranty on the Goldmaster 24K.

9. XP Gold Maxx Power

XP’s Gold Maxx Power is an exceptional metal detector for small targets in difficult soils. It operates at a frequency of 18 kHz, so it is sensitive to small bits of gold and fine gold jewelry. This model also has a frequency shift mode. The Gold Maxx Power features Multi-Tones Mode, Iron Level, and Iron Threshold adjustments. This model does not have an LCD screen, and the control box sits behind the armrest. XP decided to use instantaneous sound signaling instead of LCD screen because LCD screens cannot respond in real time and have difficulty capturing weak signals. 

The Gold Maxx Power has 4 control knobs: Sensitivity, Iron Threshold, Ground, and Iron Volume. It uses a 24” by 11” elliptical search coil to improve selectivity in trashy areas. This model can be used with wireless headphones. Analog filters improve the detection of targets in iron-rich areas. It also comes with a hip mount. This model has multi tone discrimination in all metal mode and volume control for low tone (iron volume). The Gold Maxx Power is a lightweight machine at just 3.54 pounds.

XP offers a 2-year warranty on the Gold Maxx Power.

10. Minelab Equinox 800

The Minelab Equinox 800 is one of my favorite metal detectors. This detector is unique because it uses Minelab’s patented Multi-IQ technology. Multi-IQ is a simultaneous multiple frequency technology that allows the Equinox 800 to use a range of frequencies at one time, or 5 frequencies individually (SFx8). This gives the Equinox 800 5 individual transmission frequencies in a single metal detector without having to change search coils.  The individual frequencies in SFx8 are:

  • 5 kHz – Great for large silver coins
  • 10 kHz – Good for small Roman hammered coins
  • 15 kHz – Great general treasure hunting mode
  • 20 kHz – Perfect for general treasure detecting and gold prospecting
  • 40 kHz – Optimum sensitivity to very small gold nuggets and fine jewelry

There are not too many true multiple frequency metal detectors on the market, so the Equinox 800 really stands out. This metal detector has 4 detect modes: park, beach, field, and gold, and 8 custom search profiles (2 for each detect mode). This allows users to save their favorite settings in the custom profiles. The Equinox 800 has automatic and manual noise cancelling, automatic and manual ground balancing, adjustable sensitivity, adjustable threshold volume, level and pitch. Target ID contains a 50-segment notch discrimination with 4 target ID tones. 

The Equinox 800 comes with a monochrome LCD screen with adjustable brightness. It comes with rechargeable built-in battery pack and can operate for approximately 12 hours per charge. This model is lightweight, at just under 3 pounds. It comes standard with an 11” Double-D Smart search coil with skid plate. The entire unit is fully submersible up to 10 feet, making it perfect for rivers, streams, beaches, and shallow lake water. This model can also use Bluetooth headphones and coms with aptX™ Low Latency headphones (not waterproof). 

Minelab offers a 3-year warranty on the Equinox 800.

11. Nokta Makro Gold Racer

Nokta Makro’s Gold Racer was designed to be a gold hunting beast. This metal detector operates at 56 kHz, so it is simple to find even the smallest piece of gold of thin gold jewelry with this metal detector. It is also extremely good at discriminating in highly mineralized soils, which is common in gold fields. The Gold Racer comes with a 10” by 5.5” Double-D waterproof search coil, which is interchangeable with other Nokta Makro coils. The LCD screen features numerical target ID, a backlight, and an LED flashlight. The Gold Racer has 3 search modes: All Metal, DISC 1, and DISC2. It also has 3 ground balancing settings: automatic, manual, and tracking. The sensitivity is also adjustable.

Nokta Makro Gold Racer

The Gold Racer is a lightweight metal detector weighing just 3 pounds. It operates on 4 AA batteries. The Gold Racer features intelligent self-adjusting threshold, or iSAT, intelligent masking, or iMASK, audio boost, tone break, and improved ergonomics for greater comfort. The Gold Racer can be used with wireless headphones. This model also features a pinpointer and depth indicator. The controls are simplified on this metal detector making it easier to use than previous Racer models.

Nokta Makro offers a 2-year warranty on the Gold Racer. 

12. XP Deus

The XP Deus (pronounced day-uhs) is a great all-purpose metal detector. It has exceptional speed, comfort, and performance, and is the first metal detector to be completely wireless. It can be customized with 3 wireless elements: the search coil, digital LCD display remote control, and headphones. These 3 wireless devices communicate by a digital link designed to give crystal clear audio while offering efficient power consumption. The stem is completely foldable, so it is easy to store and go.

XP Deus

The XP Deus metal detector comes with a wireless LCD remote control, which has a backlight and hip mount case. The menu includes iron level, audio tones, notch, discrimination, audio response, and other advanced features. The Deus has 4 ground balancing options: tracking, pumping, manual, and beach. This metal detector operates at 4 frequencies: 4 kHz, 8 kHz, 12 kHz, and 18 kHz. The full detector is built into the search coil. The signal is digitized and instantly analyzed at the source by specialized circuitry. 

The XP Deus’ software can be upgraded via USB plugged into the remote control and a computer. The only weight from this unit is from the stem and coil, which is only 2 pounds. The Deus comes with a 9” by 11” Double-D waterproof search coil and rechargeable battery pack. There are also different package variations for the XP Deus with choice of search coil and different accessories. This model is great for beginners and has enough features and technology for more advanced detectorists. 

XP offers a 5-year warranty on the Deus. 

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