An Abundance of Golden Opportunities
Many may be sceptical about the amount of undiscovered gold around the globe. But, with the advancement of technology and the increasing number of people trying to dig up and filter out gold wherever the opportunity may present itself, is there still gold out there? Based on recent news, definitely.
On August 20, 2020, BBC reported that two large gold nuggets were dug up by a couple of diggers in Southern Australia. The two nuggets have a combined weight of 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs). They were valued at approximately A$350,000 (US$250,000; £190,000). Just imagine digging these up just a few hours after you started using your metal detector!
This was not the first time relatively large gold nuggets were found in Australia, though. Approximately 75% of all the gold mined in Australia is in the Kalgoorlie region. In May 2019, someone struck gold while exploring Western Australia’s gold fields. With the help of a high-quality gold metal detector, an experienced lobbyist unearthed a 1.4 kg (49 oz) gold nugget, which had an estimated value of A$100,000 (US$69,000; £54,000).
There are more golden tales about people discovering relatively large, heavy, and highly-valued gold nuggets. These impressive finds have made metal detectors more popular in recent years and have increased the rental and purchase rate of different detectors, particularly gold ones. However, you need to know the ins and outs of a metal detector before starting gold prospecting. That is if you’re interested in becoming the next huge gold nugget owner.
How Does A Metal Detector Work?
Knowing how a gold metal detector works increases your chances of unearthing such a precious metal. If you search online, you will find a ton of choices that boast different features and capabilities. Choosing a suitable metal detector is crucial to success, but it’s equally important to have a good grasp of the basic functionalities of this device.
The ground has a variety of minerals, metal objects, and other substances. When a user hovers the metal detector’s search coil over a specific area, it transmits an electromagnetic field that energises the metallic objects under the ground. This energisation then causes the metal objects to retransmit their own electromagnetic field. When the search coil receives the retransmitted field, the user is alerted via a target response – a sound produced by the detector to stop the individual from moving away from that particular location.
Those who have just started learning about metal detectors may find it challenging to make sense of all the jargon right away, but you have to look at a few key terms:
1. Control Box
The metal detector’s electronics are in the control box, where electromagnetic signals are generated and received. The signals retransmitted by metal objects under the ground are processed here. It’s also the control box that converts the signal into a target response.
2. Search Coil
This transmits the electromagnetic field into the ground and receives the electromagnetic field returned by the energised target.
Any metal object detectable by a metal detector is called a “target”. A target is classified as “accepted” or “good” if it is the actual object that the device was set to identify or find.
4. Unwanted Target
Objects that are generally ferrous or magnetic (e.g. nails, bottle caps, and other metal wastes) are considered “unwanted targets”, although non-ferrous items are also included in this list. Metal detectors can be set to reject specific targets, which will prevent them from going off or producing a target response even if particular objects are within the electromagnetic signal’s reach.
It’s also helpful to understand a few detecting concepts as you continue to learn more about the capabilities of metal detectors:
One of the key characteristics that you should check when looking around for a gold metal detector for hire is the device’s frequency. This determines how well a specific detector can find an accepted or wanted target. Metal detectors that transmit high frequencies are generally more sensitive to small targets, while detectors with single frequency transmissions provide more depth for large targets.
This variable setting increases the detection depth in the mineralised ground. This is because different types of minerals exist in the ground, and they also respond to the electromagnetic transmission of the metal detector. For example, fine iron particles in red earth and salts in wet beach sand can interfere with the device’s effectiveness, which can prevent you from digging up that much-desired gold nugget. In addition, the Ground Balance setting removes ground signals that are masking small targets, resulting in more precise and more audible target signals.
The effectiveness of metal detectors is measured by their ability to identify targets buried underground based on these objects’ conductive or magnetic properties. Such an ability is called “Discrimination”. Remember that there’s a significantly larger mass of ground surrounding the gold nugget you’re trying to find. This means the gold metal detector can distinguish between the actual gold itself and the other minerals and substances around it. If the device can accurately discriminate a buried target, you can quickly dig out the junk, then proceed with the treasure hunt.
Minelab metal detectors are mainly known for their accuracy and reliability in gold prospecting. These detectors provide target identification numbers and target tones, which tell the user what type of target was detected by the device. Their newer detectors also have multiple frequencies, making them adaptable and sensitive to small targets and deep, large ones.
The Golden Choice: Picking the Right Metal Detector
Now that you know there’s still so much gold left to find and dig up – and your knowledge about metal detectors has meaningfully grown – it’s time to take a look at the gold metal detector checklist. Out of all the different types of metal detectors you can get, which one is most suitable for your quest to achieve a gold rush?
There is no definitive answer to which device is the absolute best metal detector for beginners or finding gold. Thankfully, you can narrow down your list by checking the following:
When choosing a metal detector, frequency, ground balance, and discrimination capability are the main characteristics you should assess. It would help if you asked yourself these questions when choosing a metal detector:
1. What can you detect with the detector’s frequency?
2. How quickly can you detect target objects in difficult ground conditions?
3. How comfortable will you be throughout the entire activity?
4. Can you use the metal detector in more difficult terrains?
Asking yourself the right questions will help you determine which device will work best. Different diggers and prospectors also have their preferences depending on their knowledge and skill level. What worked for one person may not produce the same results for another. You should also consider that these two individuals were likely in different locations when using their metal detectors.
Gold Prospecting Deserves Your Investment
It’s not just about choosing an expensive metal detector, but being committed enough to the task. You will most likely not find a gold nugget 15 minutes into the trip. It will take time, sweat, preparation, and energy to increase the odds of attaining your gold ‘medal’. Skill and grit play an essential role in helping you succeed in your treasure hunt. However, the type of device you spend money on also matters.
Cheap metal detectors will not perform as well as the more expensive ones. The materials and technology used in manufacturing high-quality metal detectors are naturally superior to those used in cheaper devices. If you want to find gold, you need to choose reliable metal detectors, such as the ones offered by Complete Prospecting. You don’t need to buy your own metal detector – you can easily rent or hire one! The best metal detector for gold is the one that was built for such an undertaking.
Digging up a gold nugget that will rake in a six-digit paycheque is an unquestionably thrilling and fulfilling achievement. There’s a growing number of people interested in finding gold and other precious metals or treasures. This is why metal detector manufacturers and designers are also inspired to improve their machines’ capabilities continuously. As a result, you can expect more advanced detector designs and features in the coming years. While you wait, keep on hovering your metal detectors on the ground.