The Best Metal Detector for Finding Gold (And 4 Runners Up)

The Best Metal Detector for Finding Gold (And 4 Runners Up)

Many people who like using metal detectors often ask what the best metal detector for finding gold is. Of course, the thrill of digging gold is not only enjoyable but can also be a profitable activity. However, not all metal detectors are designed to detect gold, so you need to find the right one for your activity.

The best metal detector for finding gold is the Minelab Gold Monster 1000. While this device is relatively expensive, the balance of performance/technology to price is outstanding. Tuned specifically for gold hunting the 45kHz VLF combined with a 24-bit signal processor filters excess noise and false signals.

As mentioned, the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 costs an arm and a leg. Fortunately, there are other metal detectors available online that are less expensive than the one from Minelab.

What is the Best Metal Detector for Finding Gold?

Finding the elusive gold nugget or even a gold flake is close to reality if you have the suitable device with you. Unlike coins, relics, and jewelry, a metal detector for gold requires careful and thorough consideration.

A regular metal detector transmits electromagnetic waves into the ground for it to find metal objects. Once the electromagnetic waves hit metal, the metal will generate its electromagnetic field. Once the search coil of your metal detector receives these signals, it will alert you that it found a target.

On the other hand, metal detectors for gold take one step further in terms of the process. After receiving electromagnetic waves from a target, a gold detector will measure its conductivity and inductance.

Why is important to get a gold specific detector? Iron and gold have a similar response to the preferred 45 kHz frequency. A gold specific machine will use a high speed signal processor to differentiate iron from gold.

Metal Detecting Tip: Water and gold fit together like a hand in a glove. It’s critical to get a detector built for wet, sandy saltwater conditions. Make sure your detector is durable and has a great warranty.

By measuring the number of electromagnetic waves and how fast they travel, metal detectors for gold will be able to calculate a target’s time constant.

Moreover, gold falls within the middle range time constant, which your detector can find once calibrating its settings. (source)

The Minelab Gold Monster 1000

When it comes to calculating the time constant and detecting gold, the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 does best. Minelab proved that you could expect nothing less from it as it is among the best companies to develop metal detectors. This particular device is often the answer when people ask for the best metal detector for finding gold.

Wondering what the Gold Monster costs? Here’s a link to Amazon for current prices and check out the reviews. – Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Metal Detecting Tip: When searching close to a beach, search parallel to the waterline. A great detector like the Gold Monster 1000 will ground balance better.

The Gold Monster 1000 is a bit on the pricey side.  But you can make the most out of your investment since it is packed with excellent features. It has an very low frequency (VLF) of 45kHz. This frequency is highly ideal for detecting gold flakes and gold nuggets.

Additionally, this metal detector boasts itself for its automatic ground tracking feature. With this option, you no longer need to adjust the device’s settings every time you move to different locations. (source)

The unit also comes with two DD coils — the first is a 10-inch elliptical coil, and the second is a 5-inch round coil. Both coils are waterproof when submerged up to one meter deep. For this reason, you will be able to adjust to your surroundings easily.

Get a free copy of the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 user guide – HERE

Changing the settings of the Gold Monster 1000 is very easy, thanks to its monochrome LED display. For this reason, you can change from Deep All-Metal to Gold modes with just a few taps. The LED display also allows you to:

  • switch the detector to auto
  • adjust the sensitivity settings
  • adjust the volume

Even better, you can easily collapse and pack away the Gold Monster 1000. This way, you can easily bring it to any site where you want to look for gold. (source)

Find out more about essential metal detecting gear with these articles

Next Best Metal Detectors for Gold to the Gold Monster 1000

There is no denying that the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is expensive. For this reason, some hobbyists think twice about getting this unit for their gold-finding journey.

Fortunately, there are less expensive devices that come next to the best metal detector for finding gold.

  1. Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

If you are looking for a metal detector for gold that does its job well, the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector is an excellent choice. It balances its advanced features with user-friendliness. Even better is that it works well on almost every terrain type that you can search for gold.

This device has Garrett’s digital target ID, Iron Audio, and preset search modes in terms of features. The digital target ID feature helps you in identifying materials within a range of 0 to 99. Additionally, it has a higher search frequency of 15kHz. For this reason, it allows you to detect higher-precision materials, such as gold nuggets.

  1. Minelab Excalibur ll

The gold detector sits very closely which is the best metal detector for finding gold is another device from Minelab. The reason is that Excalibur ll can detect gold nuggets even in small and high-interference terrain.

What makes the Minelab Excalibur ll different from regular metal detectors is its multi-frequency feature. This frequency option helps you detect highly conductive gold easily. It also features four operating modes, allowing you to adjust the device and suit it to different circumstances and environments.

That said, you can use this gold detector in places with clean soil and little interference and terrains with mineralized soil or hot rocks. These interferences can disrupt the signals generated by gold, so having a device that works well even in such environments is a good thing.

Moreover, this metal detector is weather-resistant. You can even use it underwater. So, you can use it in places where rain suddenly pours. (source)

  1. Fischer Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector

What is the best metal detector for finding gold when you are on a tight budget? The answer is the Fischer Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector . This unit is built for gold searches. Features include the “Iron Disc” to reject iron finds and 71 kHz for excellent sensitivity.

Comfort should always be a consideration, at just under 3 pounds the Gold Bug-2 is easy to swing all day. a fantastic choice if you want to increase your metal detecting searches.

Metal Detecting Tip: Read the instruction manual before you buy a metal detector. Here’s a copy of the Fischer Gold Bug 2 Manual

The Gold Bug-2 is good for hunting gold because it features Analogue Discrimination Technology. For this reason, the device automatically excludes low-value metals from its searches. You can also ensure that this metal detector will last for a long time as it is made with a dependable construction and design.

Moreover, the sensitivity setting and discrimination feature of this device makes it more capable of detecting gold. By adjusting the metal detector’s sensitivity and turning the discrimination setting to low, your metal detector will ignore invaluable targets like foils and nails. In addition, it will allow the device to increase its depth level. (source)

  1. Garrett Goldmaster 24K

If you are trying to expand your skills in finding gold, you need to check out the Garrett Goldmaster 24K. The Goldmaster comes with a 6″ x 10″ DD coil and quick ground balance. The Garrett brand has a proven history in the portable metal detecting world with multiple patents.

Get a free copy of the Garrett Goldmaster 24 manual – HERE

Something that the Goldmaster provides excels in is ground balancing on the go. Called XGB the unit is more stable in differing ground conditions like “Hot Rocks” and highly compacted soilds.

Using 48kHz power and 8 AA rechargeable batteries the Garrett Goldmaster reaches deep into the ground to find hidden nuggets.

The search coil is fully submergible and the control display is rain resistant providing the protection needed in extreme environments like arid plains or salty beaches.

Check out this article on all the gear available for gold hunting. Link – Gear for Gold Hunting

Vince from

Factors To Consider Before Purchasing a Metal Detector

It is easy to find the best metal detector for finding gold with just a few taps on your phone. However, if you do not know what factors you need to consider before purchasing a gold detector, you might end up making a costly mistake. To avoid that, make sure you understand the factors you need to consider before purchasing a metal detector.

The Price

Just like any other item, expensive detectors can provide more features than budget-friendly ones. So, before you go looking for the best metal detector for detecting gold, you first need to set a budget that you are willing to spend.

Moreover, getting a budget-friendly metal detector is ideal if you check the features before finally purchasing it. This way, you can ensure that the detector you bought is good for finding gold and other valuable metal.

Where You Will Use the Detector?

If you want to detect gold, you should, of course, purchase a metal detector that is made specifically for locating small pieces of gold. However, metal detectors have several purposes, such as finding coins, relics, and jewelry. For this reason, you need to ensure that the detector you are purchasing is specifically designed to detect gold.

How Often You Will Use the Device?

Will you use your detector occasionally, or will you spend more time finding gold and other objects? If you are going to use the device often, you should go for a high-end, feature-packed unit. But if you cannot devote time to using your detector, getting a less expensive one is ideal. (source)

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.


  1. Fernando García Delgado, The Best Metal Detectors For Your Money, Money.Com, Accessed September 3, 2021.
  2. Review Guide Of Best Metal Detectors For Gold In 2021, IPS News, Accessed September 3, 2021.
  3. Sondra Bernzweig, How To Select A Metal Detector, Metal Detector.Com, Accessed September 3, 2021.
How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect (With 3 Tips to Use a Metal Detector the Right Way)

How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect (With 3 Tips to Use a Metal Detector the Right Way)

How far can a metal detector detect is always a question for many. Most people who are not familiar with this device think it can detect very high depths regardless of the ground condition. However, several factors affect how deep a metal detector can sense metal in the ground.

The accepted depth a metal detector can detect is a relationship to the size of the metal detector coil diameter. So, a 12 inch diameter coil can detect 12 inches deep. Other factors such as: size of object, type of soil and the detectors sensitivity also contribute to depth of detection.

The detector’s frequency and discrimination also affect its ability to detect metal buried deep.

If you are new to using metal detectors, there are some tips that you can check out so you can use your device correctly. However, you need to remember that laws cover this practice, which you need to know before you start detecting and digging.

Finding Out How Far a Metal Detector Can Detect

A metal detector has a search coil that transmits an electromagnetic field into the ground to detect buried metals. Any targets reached by that electromagnetic field are energized, causing them to send their electromagnetic fields. Then, the detector’s search coil will then receive the retransmitted field and produce noise to inform you that it detected a target.

However, how far a metal detector can detect is always a question.

The truth is that there are no exact figures to answer this question. But several factors can affect the depth that your device can reach when detecting metals.

  1. The size of the target detected

If your metal target is large, the metal detector can detect it deeper than the smaller ones. The reason is that larger metals have more surface area. For this reason, it causes more disruption in the electromagnetic field created by the metal detector’s search coil.

Additionally, the device can detect circular targets buried deeper as they also possess more surface area.

  1. Type of soil

The type of soil you are detecting metal from can significantly affect the depth of detection. If you are detecting from mineralized soil, your metal detector will probably face some issues.

Soil mineralization happens when there is a high amount of metallic particles and minerals present in the soil.

So, if you are looking for metals buried in this type of soil, your detector will find it difficult to find what you seek. Such is because mineralized soil generates a magnetic response when metal detectors detect it.

One soil type leads to something called “Hot Rocks” which is highly mineralized soil.

Hot Rocks Metal Detecting
Hot Rocks Metal Detecting

Moreover, how far a metal detector can detect from mineralized soil will depend on the soil’s mineral level. The higher the mineral level there is, the shallower your metal detector will detect.

  1. The metal detector’s sensitivity

The sensitivity level of a metal detector depends on its manufacturer. For instance, the Garret Ace 250 has eight sensitivity settings. For this reason, it has better target precision and deeper reach.

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector

Metal Detecting Tip: Selecting the correct sensitivity is critical. Learn more about what sensitivity is and how to set it. How to set the sensitivity on a metal detector

But generally speaking, the size of the search coil directly influences how deep your device can detect. If your detector has a large coil, the more detection depth it will have. But it will also have less sensitivity to small targets.

  1. The detector’s frequency

One thing that differentiates one metal detector from another is the frequency it operates at. The operating frequency is the number of ground-penetrating EM or electromagnetic waves the detector can transmit every second.

Metal Detecting Tip: I’m often asked about the best frequency for metal detectors so I wrote up this article – Best Frequency for Metal Detectors

Moreover, this factor also affects how far a metal detector can detect.

Manufacturers measure detector frequencies in kHz or kilohertz. So, if your metal detector states that it has a frequency of 7kHz, it can transmit 7,000 electromagnetic waves per second.

Many of the metal detectors on the market have frequencies ranging from 7kHz to 25kHz.

They also operate under either single-frequency or multi-frequency. Low-frequency detectors are ideal for detecting deeply buried, large, and highly conductive metals. Meanwhile, multi-frequency detectors are more sensitive to small and less conductive metals.

  1. Discrimination

How far a metal detector can detect will also depend on its discrimination. This term describes the machine’s ability to differentiate metals accurately based on their magnetic properties and electrical conductivity.

Metal Detecting Tip: One of the biggest technology improvements is discrimination on metal detectors. Read all about it here – How to Set the Discrimination on Metal Detectors

If your detector discriminates against unwanted objects, it will detect metals buried deeper, such as coins. (source)

3 Tips to Using a Metal Detector Correctly

People often use metal detectors for two reasons — to find lost items or as a hobby. But if you want to find objects buried in the ground, you need to know how to use metal detectors the right way. Knowing how to use your device correctly will affect how far a metal detector can detect.

That said, here are three effective metal detecting techniques:

Apply Preset Search Modes

If you are not sure how to use your metal detector’s adjustable and advanced settings for maximum target detecting, the preset search modes are available for you. These presets have the right parameters to help you detect a particular object. You can also use them for metal detecting in a specific place.

You will often see these search modes labeled as:

  • Relics or Artifacts
  • Coin and Jewelry
  • Beach
  • Field
  • Park
  • Gold

Create Your Search Profile

There are times when presets will not work well. Of course, manufacturers cannot always predict the suitable search modes for your site. Fortunately, some detectors allow users to create their search mode and save it for future use.

In the long run, you will develop your knowledge and skills about metal detectors. Once you have enough knowledge, you can set the best sensitivity, discrimination, and ground balance settings to improve your detector’s performance. Knowing these advanced settings can also enhance how far a metal detector can detect.

The Right Way to Sweep

Sweeping your metal detector is the best skill you need to master if you want to use your device the right way. Sweeping or swinging is the act of moving the detector’s coil side to side when searching for targets.

Metal Detecting Tip: Use the right sweep technique – means OVERLAPPING.

Slow Sweep and Overlap - Metal Detecting
Slow Sweep and Overlap – Metal Detecting

Moreover, the best way to search objects using metal detectors is to sweep them slow and low. It would help if you overlapped your sweeping pattern to ensure that the detector is not missing any ground. Also, you should never tilt or lift the coil parallel to the ground as this action could affect how far a metal detector can detect. (source)

What You Need to Know Before Using a Metal Detector

While metal detecting is a mere hobby for many people, some laws cover it. These laws vary from one state to another. So, before you start digging, you need to ensure that the government allows metal detecting in the area you are in.

Moreover, Federal law does not allow metal detectors within the US federal properties and national parks. It is also important to note that you should never hunt for targets in historical and archeological areas.

Meanwhile, national forests allow metal detecting, rock collecting, and gold panning even if you don’t ask for permits. But the best thing to do is always to check and ask the office of the local park rangers to be sure.

In addition, the officials you need to contact to ask for permission before metal detecting will depend on the site. If you plan to hunt at a park, asking permission from local officials or park rangers will allow you to know your restrictions. Similarly, you need to get permission from landowners if you are planning to hunt on private property. (source)

Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip


  1. How Metal Detectors Work, Mine Lab, Accessed September 2, 2021.
  2. Simon Owen, How To Use A Metal Detector Like An Expert Detectorist, Tech Metals Research, Accessed September 2, 2021.
  3. Simon Owen, Metal Detecting Laws You Need To Know Before You Go, Tech Metals Research, Accessed September 2, 2021.


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Virginia [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Virginia [Maps, Laws and More]

Heading into “The Old Dominion,” you have to understand that Virginia has a long and rich history. Aside from famous Virginians such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, among many more to have risen to the highest levels of society, many great people live in the state. I thought if I could find a lost treasure left behind by a great person, then that would make our family trip into Virginia that much more exciting.

We started our adventure with a tour of some of the best state parks the United States has to offer. Virginia has some strict regulations for metal detecting, though, so I had to call ahead to the parks to ensure I could get written permission (a permit) to use my metal detector.

After calling ahead to ensure we had permission to metal detect, we carried on with our adventures through Virginia. I’ve compiled a list of my seven favorite state parks to treasure hunt in and some info about laws, clubs, great finds, and more. This way, you’ll be well-prepared for treasure hunting in the state. Let’s start with the seven parks.

1. Bear Creek Lake State Park – Nestled In Virginia’s Woods

Our first stop was smack in Central Virginia’s Cumberland State Forest at Bear Creek Lake State Park. This gem hidden in the middle of the woods is a fantastic getaway for you and your family. There are plenty of things to do for all, which I’ll mention in a moment.

Metal Detecting at Bear Creek Virginia
Metal Detecting at Bear Creek Virginia

The staff at this park are friendly and professional. If you consider the environment and leave no trace, there shouldn’t be much issue getting a permit from the park manager to detect metal. Although the beach is closed from time to time for clean-up following storms, make sure you call ahead.

As mentioned, there are a lot of great things to do at this park. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boat rentals
  • Playground
  • Lakeside snack bar (open on weekends)
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Archery

Here’s how to find the Bear Creek Lake State Park –


2. Holliday Lake State Park – Forests And Nature

Close to halfway between Lynchburg and Richmond, you’ll find another central Virginia State Park called Holliday Lake State Park (yes, that is the correct spelling). Another forest park, Holliday is deep in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. If you like nature, this is the park for you.

The beach is decent at Holliday Lake SP, but there’s more to do than just swim here. You can fish and camp and boat too. Here are some of the park’s compiled highlights:

  • Camping
  • RV camping sites
  • Swimming beach
  • Fishing
  • Picnic shelters
  • Boat launch
  • Hiking

You can find this incredible park here –


3. Hungry Mother State Park – Western Virginia’s Best Kept Secret

When you look at some of those travel sites and see how some people stay in different kinds of buildings, I’m often fascinated by the construction. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to stay in a yurt for a night when we went to Hungry Mother State Park.

The park boasts some other great features as well; just remember to call ahead for your permission to metal detect. Here are a few of the park’s amenities and activities:

  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Yurts
  • Boat rentals
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming Beach
  • Hunting

You can find the Hungry Mother State Park here –


4. Twin Lakes State Park – A Premiere Central VA Park

Another central Virginia State Park, Twin Lakes State Park, is southeast of Holliday Lake State Park, near a town called Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia. We liked this park because it has a lovely sized beach, so we were not falling all over other families when we had our beach day.

Twin Lakes has more than just a sandy swimming beach; there are plenty of things to do at the park. Here are some of the park’s activities and amenities:

  • Camping
  • Cabins
  • Swimming beach
  • Hiking trails
  • Fishing

You can find Twin Lakes State Park here –


5. Claytor Lake State Park – Bigger Lake, Bigger Adventure

Virginia has plenty of large water bodies, and Claytor Lake is one of them. The lake boasts 4,500 acres of water has about three miles of State Park frontage. There is no shortage of places to stay, with three lodges, 15 cabins, yurts, and camping available. However, when you call ahead for permission to treasure hunt, ensure you reserve your preferred accommodations.

Claytor Lake State Park offers plenty to do. The park offers hiking, fishing, boating, camping (as mentioned), swimming, and more.


Metal Detecting Tip: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years metal detecting is not to get discouraged. There will be times when you find little to nothing. There will be times when all you find is garbage. Don’t let those times get you down. Instead, try documenting them in a journal and move to a different location each time. You’ll find your luck soon turns around. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article:

6. Lake Anna State Park – The Pride of Spotsylvania

The first time I went to Lake Anna SP, I stayed at one of the six cabins. However, I understand that the park now also offers yurts as an alternative which I find pretty interesting.

The park also offers camping, and although RVs up to 60 feet are allowed, the best you can get is electric and water hookup. There is a community bathhouse with hot showers, though.

Lake Anna State Park allows fishing and is well-known for its largemouth bass fishing. Swimming is permitted during the day at the beach, and there are also some very nice hiking trails to keep you occupied.


7. Smith Mountain Lake State Park – Blue And Turquoise Waters

In Huddleston, Virginia, you will find Smith Mountain Lake State Park. This beautiful park resides on Smith Mountain Lake’s north shore, Smith Mountain Lake being the state’s second freshwater lake.

The lake itself is beautiful and perfect for boating, swimming, and other water-borne activities. The beach is often busy, so permission to treasure hunt on hot summer days will be limited. Aim for those days or times when the beach is open but not likely to be busy. Those times are cooler and overcast days, mornings, and similar times. Ensure you call ahead to the park to arrange your permit.

Aside from the joys of treasure hunting (with permission), there are several other amenities the park offers. Some of these amenities include rental cabins and a campground, fishing and boating, and some fantastic hiking trails.


Metal Detecting Laws For Virginia

Virginia may be a beautiful state, but you still need a permit to do metal detecting in many places. Take the state parks, for example. According to Virginia State Park’s website, they only allow metal detecting on “designated manmade beaches and only with a DCR special use permit.” The permit is available at the park from the park management.

Cities within Virginia have varied rules about metal detecting. Take a look at the following list of cities and the particular rules the city imposes.

  • Alexandria, VA – Written approval from the city manager is required.
  • Fredericksburg, VA – Permit required.
  • Glouchester County, VA – Not permitted.
  • Hopewell, VA – Not allowed.
  • Manassas, VA – Not permitted without permission of city council.
  • Newport, VA – Written approval from parks management required.
  • Petersburg, VA – Metal detecting (and possession of detectors) not permitted on city-owned properties.
  • Williamsburg, VA – Written approval from parks management required.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Parks in Virginia: Not permitted.
  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required. Read more at the BLM website HERE
  • Virginia State Parks: Permitted in specified areas only, and you must have a permit. Read more at the state website Here

Metal Detecting Clubs In Virginia

  • Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Association – Fairfax, VA – This club holds regular meetings at the NRA National Firearms Museum on the first Tuesday of each month. The club was founded in 1972.  –
  • Hampton Roads Recovery Society – Hampton, VA – A club that started in the mid-1980s, the club has active members and regular meetings. –
  • The Central Virginia Civil War Collectors Association – Glen Allen, VA – Founded in 1980 and formerly known as The Central Virginia Relic Hunters Association, this active club holds regular meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month. –
  • The Rapidan River Relic Hunters Association – Unionville, VA – Founded in 2011, this club meets on the second Tuesday of the month. –
  • Tidewater Coin & Relic Club – Virginia Beach, VA – Other than stating the next meeting is in May, the website doesn’t tell us much about this club. –

Metal Detecting Tip: Dig on every hit. You never know when a tiny blip turns out to be an obstructed cache or a deep yet more extensive object. Sometimes we can pass by an incredible find by making an assumption. Just remember that you’re playing a numbers game, so the more times you dig, the more chances you have of finding something. For more great tips, take a look at this article:

Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Virginia

Can you imagine losing a class ring right before graduation? That’s what happened to one such unfortunate fellow in Virginia Beach.

One day, twenty-one years later, the man got a message on Facebook. The message was from a metal detectorist who found the right, just 21 years after it had gone missing. Read the full story here –

Metal Detecting Resources In Virginia

Metal Detector Stores In Virginia For Expert Advice

Go on Your Next Metal Detecting Trip to These Awesome Locations!


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? (4 Things You Can Find Too)

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? (4 Things You Can Find Too)

One of the most common questions detector owners often ask is will a metal detector find keys. Of course, losing your keys is no doubt an inconvenience. So, having a tool that can help you find it can be a great help.

Fortunately, a metal detector can find keys. Most keys have metal conductors as their base, so a detector can quickly locate them. However, it would help if you had a preliminary idea about the location where you lost them. 

Metal detectors can easily find your lost keys under the snow or even under dry leaves, dirt or sand. There are so many things that this device can locate apart from just keys. (source)

Will A Metal Detector Find Keys? Find Out

At one point, we all probably came back home after a long day and reached for our pockets only to find that we lost our keys. Not only is it frustrating, but it is also a major inconvenience, especially if you need to get inside your home immediately. 

Searching for a lost key can be challenging if you have been to different places in a day. But suppose you suspect that you accidentally dropped it somewhere. In that case, you can use a metal detector to locate it in the area where you suspect it went missing. 

Metal Detecting Tip: Learn about how deep metal detectors detect in this ARTICLE. The size of the item, electromagnetic qualities and orientation all play a factor.

Fortunately, a metal detector can help you during unfortunate situations. Most keys have metal conductors as their base. For this reason, they will react to the electromagnetic waves sent by your metal detector’s search coil.

Regular keys consist of brass as their primary material. Such a metal type has a mixture of zinc and copper, thus producing alloy. Both these metals possess high electric conductivity, making them highly detectable by metal detectors.

Looking for Lost Keys with Metal Detector
Looking for Lost Keys

On the other hand, which is the cheapest not-so-common type of key is also detectable. Finally, silver, which is among the most conductive metals, is the most detectable key material. 

The bottom line is that regardless of the type of metal used to make a key, a metal detector will always be helpful in locating it. So, the answer to will a metal detector find keys is always a yes regardless of the key conditions. (source)

How To Find Lost Keys Using A Metal Detector

It is quite natural to experience a little anxiety once you realize that you lost your keys. However, it would help not let panic take over you as it could only worsen the situation. Becoming overwhelmed with panic is counterproductive and can hinder you from thinking where you last saw your missing key.

Metal Detecting Tips: If you don’t own a detector, guess what? Some shops will rent them. Read how and where to rent metal detectors in this article: Metal Detector Rental (How and Where)

So, instead of panicking, try to calm down and remember the places where you might have gotten your key from your pocket. Once you have an idea where to find it, you can proceed with the following steps.

Ok this might sound silly but, my wife will say a little prayer. It goes like this: “Tony, Tony look around. somethings lost and must be found.” I use this and it calms me down and usually the last place I look is where the keys will be found. 😜

Where to look for keys metal detecting
Where to look for keys metal detecting
  1. Narrow down the search area

It is natural to have a long list of areas to search for your missing keys. But if you look in those areas one by one, you will waste a lot of time and effort. For this reason, the best thing that you can do is to narrow down the search area. 

Now that you already have an answer to “will a metal detector find keys,” the next thing you need to do is to retrace your steps of where you possibly lost your keys. 

To do that, you can:

  • retrace the path that you took when you went home
  • try to remember all the detours that you made
  • think about when you think you lost the key

That said, the ideal thing to do is check your car to see if you dropped your keys there. You can also concentrate so you can remember when you might have lost them. Did you rush home after work? Did you go to other places like a restaurant or the grocery store? Remembering where you went can help you have an idea of where you dropped your keys. 

  1. Make sure that you did not drop the keys anywhere else.

The best place to start finding your keys is to try and remember where you last know you had them in your pocket. That can be at home, in your car, workplace, or even in a grocery store. This way, you will not have to spend so much time dragging your metal detector along grasses only to find that you did not drop your keys there.

  1. Use your metal detector to find the keys

Will a metal detector find keys is already proven to be a yes. For this reason, you can use your device to start finding your keys on the places you suspect you dropped them. 

If you do not have your metal detector, you can look online for people who would allow you to rent their unit for a day. Of course, a metal detector is expensive, so you cannot just decide to purchase one to locate your lost keys. 

You can also look for a hobbyist in your area who will be willing to lend or let you rent their metal detectors until you find your keys. 

Moreover, you should make sure to mark where you already searched for when you are trying to locate your keys. This way, you will not have to go over areas repeatedly. (source)

  1. Sweep your detector one area at a time

Will a metal detector find keys? In some instances, the answer will depend on how you use the detector.

Think of sweeping your metal detector like you are mowing a lawn. Once you are in a particular search area, start sweeping the detector from one side to another while walking. Make sure that the search coil tilts at an approximately 45-degree arc in front of you. 

In addition, the search coil should always be parallel to the ground. About three to four inches is enough in terms of the closeness the coil and the ground should have. Since you are trying to look for a key that fell to the ground, the search coil does not need to be in very close proximity to the ground. (source)

4 Things That Metal Detectors Can Locate

Metal detectors are electronic devices with a large search coil that sends electromagnetic waves into the ground to find metals. Once these EM waves hit metals, those targets will also generate electromagnetic waves, which the detector will receive. That way, this device can locate objects buried in the ground.

Will a metal detector find keys? Definitely. But apart from that, there are many other things that this device can locate under the ground.

Metal Objects

A metal detector can detect all types of metals. It can locate nickel, iron, copper, and even gold nuggets. If you own a general-purpose metal detector, you can use that to find buried items such as coins, jewelry, and relics. 

However, metal detectors can also locate invaluable objects, like nails, foils, and small metals. To avoid getting signals from such types of targets, you can change the discrimination settings of your metal detector. The lower the discrimination setting is, the more efficient your detector will be in ignoring invaluable items buried in the ground.


If you have a very low-frequency metal detector of VLF, you will be able to pick up even the signals coming from ferromagnetic substances. That can include grain minerals mixed with iron in the sand or soil. The reason is that such mineral particles have conductive properties much higher than what a small metal has. 

Metal Detecting Tip: The art of metal detecting is learning the sounds your machine makes. Subtle differences in tone and sharpness are clues to finding treasure. Good headphones make a difference and time swinging your detector

So, if you use your metal detector on mineralized soil, you will be able to detect signals even if there are no targets buried there. But if you are using your VLF metal detector on balanced ground soil, you will be more likely to locate targets more accurately. You may even find nuggets or flakes of gold. 


Archeology widely used metal detectors since Fon Rickey, a military historian, first used them in 1958. These days, archeologists use them to look for artifacts buried underground.

However, Federal law does not allow the public to recreationally use metal detectors to find relics and artifacts within protected areas. The reason is that there are looters and artifact seekers who disrupt archeological sites with their hobbies. 

Unwanted Targets

While it is exciting to think that metal detectors can find gold and treasures, they detect the most common objects are ferrous materials. That includes nails and other invaluable pieces of metal. Similarly, these devices can also detect non-ferrous materials, such as bottle tops.

Metal Detecting Tip: Learning how to set the discrimination will allow you to by pass gum wrappers, iron nails and pop top pull-tabs. Read about this article: How to set the Discrimination on a Metal Detector

To prevent your metal detectors from locating objects that you may not benefit from, you can change their settings. For instance, you can decrease the discrimination settings and increase the metal detector’s sensitivity to ensure that it will only detect targets that you can benefit from. (source)

Learning about metal detecting gear can be overwhelming, but these articles are here to help!


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.


  1. Carrisa Harmer, Can Metal Detectors Find Lost Keys?, Detecting School, Accessed September 3, 2021. 
  2. Rom Myers, How To Find Lost Keys In The Grass Or Anywhere Outside, Metal Detector Planet, September 4, 2021.
  3. Kathryn Hatashita-Lee, What Can Metal Detectors Detect?, It Still Works, September 4, 2021.


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Texas [Maps, Laws and More]

7 Best Places to Metal Detect in Texas [Maps, Laws and More]

Visiting the second-largest state in the US is an exciting prospect. I was particularly committed to trying legitimate Texas barbecue, something the state is known to do very well.

One thing that struck me when planning our family trip to Texas was that for a state with seemingly strict laws for metal detectorists, there is an exceedingly high amount of treasure-seeking clubs in the state.

We’ll talk about the laws metal detectorists face and some clubs, resources, and more for the eager treasure hunter who wants to hunt in Texas for lost treasures. Before we get into these things, let’s take a look at my seven favorite places to detect metal in Texas.

1. Rockport Beach – Texas’ First Blue Wave Beach

Rockport Beach is a beautiful beach with a calm and tropical feel. Intended for day-use, the beach charges for parking and has facilities people can rent for parties and gatherings. The beach is a common destination to host beach weddings as well.

The Bayside Walking Path is a beautiful and scenic ¾ mile path along the beach that you can also cycle (but give pedestrians the right way).

Here’s how to find the Rockport Beach –


2. City of Houston Parks – Multiple Small Parks To Detect

Due to Texas strict laws, State Parks are a lost cause to get permission to metal detect. However, some cities have rules that specify precisely which parks you can use your detector with without issue. Houston is one of those cities. Houston has 17 small parks that you are permitted to use a metal detector.

Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach
Finding Money Metal Detecting on a Beach

Here is a list of parks that you are allowed to metal detect in, in Houston Texas:

  • Bane Park
  • Bauer Park
  • Bayer Park
  • Doss Park
  • Dyess Park
  • Emnora Park
  • Froehner Park
  • Hellums Park
  • Independence Park
  • Lindsay-Lyons Park
  • Lloyd Park
  • Mathews Park
  • Matzke Park
  • MUD 257 Park
  • Mulrooney Park
  • Pitner Park
  • Southwell Park

You can find these incredible parks here –,-95.5394257,288211m/data=!3m1!1e3


3. El Jardin Beach – A Forgotten Jewel For Treasure Seekers

El Jardin is about 10 minutes from downtown Seabrook, Texas. It’s a typical beach with a bit less strict rules than other beaches. For example, at El Jardin, you are allowed to bring dogs onto the beach. Dogs like to dig, so getting permission to metal detect is not a hurdle by any means. Most people don’t even bother to get approval for this beach. As long as you aren’t bothering anyone and being respectful, I would be concerned, not like the National Coastline beaches that are strictly off-limits to metal detectorists.

Here are a few of the beach’s amenities and activities:

  • Swimming
  • Beachcombing
  • Dogs allowed
  • Picnicking

You can find the El Jardin Beach here –


4. Texas City Dike/Beach – One Long Dike, All Man-Made

The beach on the Texas City Dike is a great place to explore and bring your metal detector. Check with officials if they’ve changed permission for detecting, but it was no issue when I went. There have been some great finds along the dike, including gold civil war buttons and coins.

The beach has a few amenities. Here are some of them:

  • Five lighted parking boat ramps
  • Three fish cleaning stations
  • Fishing allowed with a license
  • Fishing pier on site
  • Swimming beach
  • Restrooms
  • Bird watching

You can find the Texas City Dike/Beach here –


5. Benbrook Lake – U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Site

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Benbrook Lake area. They allow metal detecting in the developed regions that they define as being mowed and managed by the USACOE.

Benbrook Lake offers many amenities, including several campsites, swimming, fishing, and more. It’s a beautiful reservoir as well, making your stay there pretty nice. I liked the fact that I wasn’t worried about going to jail for taking out my detector.


Metal Detecting Tip: Whether you’re new to metal detecting or you have a new metal detector, it is best to practice with the detector in your yard. You can bury coins and metal objects at specific depths and places where you can test out and fine-tune your metal detector. Best of all, you’ll get comfortable with your equipment in a stable and safe location. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article:

6. Bardwell Lake – Ennis, Texas Best Kept Secret

Another USACoE managed ‘park,’ metal detecting is again permitted in developed areas. It includes a beach that I’ve heard several treasure seekers have had decent luck investigating.

The area boasts amenities and allowed activities like boat ramps, a swimming beach, multi-use trails, fishing, and a dump station.


7. Wilson H. Fox Park – Granger Lake’s Best Park

The parks at Granger Lake offer a variety of things to do. Wilson H. Fox Park is not an exception. This park, also run by the USACoE, offers camping, swimming beach, fishing, a playground, bbq, and more. There are camping sites, and many offer water and electrical hookup also.

Nearby is the Pecan Grove Wildlife Area if you get tired of treasure hunting on the beach and developed areas of the park. Overall, I think I liked the parks and beaches managed by the USACoE the most in Texas. They seem the most laid back about metal detecting.


Metal Detecting Laws For Texas

Like many other states, Texas is strict when it comes to allowing metal detectors on state lands. It is true for state lands, and it is valid for state parks. Here’s what the Texas Administrative Code, Title 31, Part 2, Chapter 59, Subchapter F, Rule §59.134 (i) “Metal detector. It is an offense for any person to operate or use a metal detector, except as authorized by permit.”

The Texas Historical Commission points out that it is prohibited to detect metal in state and federal parks in Texas. They mention that these laws respond to a looting and salvage event of a 1554 Spanish Plate Fleet.

The THC specifies that metal detecting is not restricted on state public land, which is not classified as a park. Referencing other information from the DNR, we see that as long as the land is not classified as a state forest, and as mentioned, not a park either, but still state-owned, then the use of metal detecting is permitted. However, removing artifacts is not allowed, so as long as the finds are recent items, you should be good to go to places like beaches that do not park. If it is a state park, you’ll need to get a permit. And they only allow permits for known lost items, not for hobby treasure hunting.

The state does not allow the removal of archaeological resources located on public lands without a permit. However, if the items found are non-archaeological in nature, and no plants or wildlife are disturbed, it may be permitted. Just ask the park or property management first to be specific.

Quick Law Recap:

  • National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
  • BLM Lands: Permit required for relics. Read what the BLM says HERE
  • Texas State Lands (not national forest or parks): metal detecting permitted; removing artifacts is not.
  • Texas State and Federal Parks: Permit required. Read more about getting a permit HERE

Metal Detecting Clubs In Texas

  • Golden Spread Gem, Mineral & Treasure Society – Amarillo, TX – Meeting monthly on the second Tuesday, this club boasts a family-friendly atmosphere. They claim to be very environmentally conscious and want like-minded individuals.
  • Austin Metal Detecting Club – Austin, TX – The AMDC meets monthly, if not in person, via Zoom. –
  • Central Texas Treasure Club – Brownwood, TX – This club is active and holds monthly meetings. They also arrange an annual hunt for their members. –
  • Golden Triangle Explorers Society – Dallas, TX – An active club dating back to 2005, holds monthly meetings, and has an annual club hunt event. –
  • Cowtown Treasure Hunters Club – Fort Worth, TX – Meeting on the third Thursday of each month; this active club has a friendly bunch of members. The club boasts that it is all about being a hobby metal detectorist and loving the outdoors. –
  • East Fork Treasure Hunters Association – Garland, TX – Founded in 2005, this club has an active membership and holds monthly meetings.
  • Rusk County Treasure Hunters Association – Henderson, TX – This club dated back to 1991 and formed to join together fellow hobby archaeologists, treasure hunters, artifact recoverers, and, of course, metal detectorists. The club hosts monthly meetings and metal detecting adventures. –
  • Tomball Archeological Recovery Club – Tomball, TX – A family-oriented club that meets monthly to discuss metal detecting. –
  • East Texas Treasure Hunters Association – Longview, TX – Founded in 1982, this active metal detector club holds monthly meetings and annual events. –
  • Treasure Hunters Association of Pasadena – Pasadena, TX – One of Texas’ oldest treasure hunting clubs, forming in 1968. The club is open to new members interested in the metal detecting hobby. They meet monthly and welcome families. –

Metal Detecting Tip: When you seek treasures in a particular area and don’t want to miss anything, use a sweeping pattern that is overlapping. Using an overlapping scanning technique means that each pass will cover a thin area of the pass before. This way, you reduce your chances of missing something dramatically. For more great tips, take a look at this article:

Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Texas

2020 was a year of unrest, instability, and pandemic. So, for two men from Temple, Texas, when a long-lost treasure was found and returned at the beginning of 2021, it was a sign of good tidings.

One man, Tommy Harrison, had lost his school ring. HoweveTommy lost it 50 years ago. You can imagine his shock when someone tracked him down, that someone being David Doughty, a local metal detectorist, to let him know he had his ring from 50 years ago. Read the full story here –

Metal Detecting Resources InTexas 

Metal Detector Stores In Texas For Expert Advice

Looking for more ways to learn how to metal detect? Below are some of my my most popular articles:


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.