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Metal detector for gold prospecting
What makes gold prospecting so fascinating for the layman? On the one hand it is the search for the hidden, on the other hand perhaps the prospect of getting rich with a chance find. In view of the high gold prices, which in the recent past have been more than 1,000 US dollars per troy ounce (around 31 grams), the search for gold seems all the more worthwhile. The problem: Gold nuggets should just lie around on the surface of the earth, you have to look for them in the ground.
In view of this fact, it seems an almost logical consequence to resort to a metal detector when looking for gold. It is known, especially from the field of treasure hunters and probe goers, that they have already achieved considerable success with the help of such detectors.
Metal detector: hardly suitable for prospecting for gold
But is this technique suitable for prospecting for gold? In general, two versions have established themselves in the field of metal detectors – on the one hand the PI method (pulse induction) and on the other hand the VLF method (low frequency method).
With the VLF process, a low-frequency current is continuously emitted. This creates a magnetic field that is radiated into the ground. If the magnetic field hits metallic or correspondingly conductive materials, the magnetic field is disturbed. This disturbance can be measured and output via an acoustic-optical signal. Another principle is used for pulse induction. Instead of a continuous current, the probe periodically emits a magnetic field. If this hits metallic objects, eddy currents arise, which are perceived by the receiving coil (after switching off the magnetic field).
If you delve deeper into the technical framework conditions of the two processes, not only areas of application become clear. The technical limits can also be assessed. A metal detector that works according to the VLF principle only has a smaller penetration depth, which ranges from a few centimeters to approx. 1 meter, depending on the coil. The more specific the search results should be – i.e. a distinction has to be made between individual metals (e.g. ferrous and non-ferrous metals) – the lower the penetration depth. There is also another problem: the deeper metal finds are in the earth, the larger they have to be in order to trigger a signal on the detector.
On the part of the pulse induction – compared to the VLF method – significantly greater penetration depths are achieved. However, discrimination (i.e. differentiation between metals) is not possible here. What are the consequences of these framework conditions for
Use of a metal detector when looking for gold?
Gold prospectors with metal detectors have a fundamental problem: The small size of nuggets or flakes. Especially in Europe and here especially in Germany, it is almost exclusively these low grain size spectra in which gold can be found. Commercially available metal detectors are generally no longer suitable for searching for such metal particles – especially since their penetration depth is often too small. The use of detectors with high frequency ranges promises much more success. Frequencies from 18 kHz or more are used here (some devices use frequency ranges of more than 70 kHz). Some of these metal detectors were developed explicitly for the search for gold, but their performance and price range are well above the standard detectors.
Gold prospecting with metal detector under water:
Note: When searching for gold, the use of detectors is not just thought of on dry land. The detection of soap deposits in particular often takes place in streams and river beds. For this purpose, manufacturers meanwhile offer separate UW detectors that are based on both the VLF and the PI method.
What can you find with a metal detector?
What is a metal detector?
A metal detector – often also called a metal probe or metal detector – is, as the name suggests, a device for finding metallic objects. Searching with a metal probe is often called “probing”.
Who uses metal detectors and what for?
Everyone knows metal detectors – these devices for treasure hunters and archaeologists, right ?!
Definitely: Treasure hunters and archaeologists often rely on a metal probe to locate their finds. But not only these groups of people use such metal detectors. Think of the airport or other public places where security checks take place. There you will also be searched for metallic objects on your body with the help of metal detectors. But they are also used, for example, in the food industry. There they prevent metal parts from being in the food and causing extreme damage to the consumer after purchase. Metal detector technology is obviously widespread. However, this website should be about those metal detectors that you can use for your personal “treasure hunt”. And when it comes to the term treasure hunt, it does not matter whether you are looking for a lost object in the garden, searching a field or ruin in your area out of interest, or digging up ancient finds in historical places after thorough research. The only condition is to find any kind of metal. How these metal detectors find the “treasures” and what different types of metal detectors there are can be found in the chapter on how they work.
By the way: the use of metal detectors is good for your health! How?
You spend some time away from TV, computer and smartphone in the fresh air and are on the move. A good way to make the regular walk more interesting and to find motivation.
How deep can you search with metal detectors?
The search depth of a metal probe depends on various factors. On the one hand, the functionality of the metal detector is crucial. You can find information on this under How it works. Furthermore, the search depth depends on the size of the metal probe. The larger the probe, the greater the transmission power and, accordingly, the search depth. But the nature of the soil also influences the depth. Since you are moving the metal probe a certain distance above the ground, you lose a greater part of the depth on very uneven floors than is the case with even floors. Other factors are the mineralization of the soil or the water content. In addition, the size and material of the find are also important. So it cannot be determined exactly at what depth you will find objects. But it is quite possible to find a coin at a depth of 20cm to 50cm. Larger objects are also located deeper accordingly.
What do you find with a metal detector?
The question of what you will find with a metal detector is difficult to answer. In general, of course, all metallic objects, as already described. It depends, of course, on where you are looking and, in part, on your choice of metal detector. Of course you can track down all kinds of metals, but you can also find gold if the nuggets are big enough. For example, you can look for rings or chains on the beach. If you are in an area with a large gold deposit, you can of course find gold with the metal detectors!
In which places can finds be expected?
Basically, a metal detector can be used to search for hidden objects anywhere. Fields are often ideal for exploring, for example. Places with old, perhaps even vacant buildings and ruins also seem very interesting. However, if you are looking for certain treasures or items from a certain period (e.g. Roman coins are popular), then you should find out about good search locations beforehand. Historical maps are suitable for this, in which, for example, old trade routes are shown. These historical maps can be overlaid with today’s maps so that you can find great places to explore in your area. Two programs that are suitable for this task are Google Earth Pro and the Geoportal.