Whether you’re looking for gold deposits or ancient gold coins left by a forgotten civilization that may have lived in your area, an efficient VLF detector can go a long way. Here are the best VLF for gold in the market right now.

For metal-detector enthusiasts reading this article, here are the best VLF for gold currently in the market:

1. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

2. The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Gold Detector

3. The Fisher Gold Bug II

4. The Fisher F75

5. The Garrett AT Gold

6. The Fisher F70

Fisher, Minelab, Garrett, and XP are brands that have made a name for themselves in the industry. They represent the best of the best that the industry has to offer.

If you asked me what I would recommend?  If you’re looking for an excellent detector for gold get the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 (link to Amazon for current prices).  The technology, easy of use and target identification are the “Gold” standard.

Many professional gold metal detectors swear by these VLF detectors and their ability to produce great results. You’re welcome to keep reading and learn more about the best VLF for gold.

Here Are the Best VLF For Gold

It’s always a good idea to start with some basics on VLF. That way, you, as the reader, have some ground to start working with, especially if you’re in the market for one.

What Is VLF?

VLF is an abbreviation for Very Low Frequency. It refers to the frequency of single-frequency sine waves transmitted at high-pitched audio frequencies. In metal detecting “low” is between 3 kHz and 30 kHz.  My first metal detector was a Garrett Ace 250 with a 6.5kHz.

Metal Detecting Tips:  VLF are usually better for finding gold in most conditions.  Pulse Induction (PI) work a little better in highly mineralized soil and saltwater.  

The other most common waveform is PI, but that’s a story for another day. The main focus of this article is on VLF units.

Where Are the Best Places to Find Gold?

Experts recommend hillsides. Hillsides will yield a better result when it comes to finding gold. Another reason why hillsides are so great is that if you find the source of the gold deposit, you can find the veins.

The veins tend to have more extensive gold deposits. The larger the deposit, the easier it is to find the gold. Unfortunately, gold is a scarce mineral. Not only that, but you will find it in much smaller deposits compared to other minerals like iron.

What Should You Expect from A VLF Detector?

Before getting into the best VLF for gold, it’s essential to understand a couple of things about VLF detectors.

  • Manufacturers make metal detectors to find gold; pretty much all of them can do that. The answer to this concern lies in the different sensitivity levels that every single VLF detector has. Experts recommend getting a VLF detector that has a high sensitivity level.
  • Experts recommend an operating frequency of between 13 kHz to 19 kHz. It’s the minimum frequency level for detecting gold and anything higher is another excellent prospect.
  • Experts also recommend a VLF detector with manual ground balancing. This feature is crucial if you want to drown out ground noise while in use. It’s a bit complex, and so some users prefer an automated ground balancing system.
  • An elliptical search coil about 10 inches in length by about 6 inches wide is the optimal size for a search coil.

Characteristics of a Great Metal Detector

A couple things to consider when looking for a metal detector are:

  • Weight, swinging a detector all day can be tiring.
  • Durability, having a metal detector that is FULLY waterproof is a sign of durability.
  • Warranty, quality and confidence come with a nice long warranty.
BrandWeightDurability/WaterproofWarranty
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector  2.5 lbs.Coil Only Waterproof5 Year Limited
Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Gold Detector2.9 lbs.Rainproof Box, Waterproof Coil2 Year Box & Coil
Fisher Gold Bug II  2.5 lbs.Coil Only Waterproof5 Year Limited
Fisher F753.5 lbs.Coil Only Waterproof5 Year Limited
Garrett AT Gold2.8 lbs.Fully Waterproof2 Year Limited
Nokta Makro Gold 20003.7 lbs.Control box & Coil Waterproof2 Year Limited

The 6 Best VLF Units for Gold

Searching for Gold with a Metal Detector
Searching for Gold with a Metal Detector

1.   The Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro is quite literally the jack of all trades. The Gold Bug Pro is the winner when you compare cost versus features. Here are some of its impressive features:

  • It offers an operation frequency of 19kHz.
  • The Fisher Gold Bug Pro has two balancing features: Manual ground balancing and the computerized ground grab.
  • With the standard 5″ DD search coil, you will have a VLF detector with increased sensitivity.
  • It also comes with a dual headphone jack.
  • Thankfully, the Fisher Gold Bug Pro is exceptionally lightweight, making it easy to use while out in the field.

2.   The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Gold Detector

Next on the list is the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Gold Detector. As shared earlier, Minelab is one of the big names in the metal detector industry. You can’t go wrong with a Minelab VLF detector.

Minelab machines are the “Gold Standard” if your serious about searching for gold, I highly recommend the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 (Amazon link for more reviews and prices).

Here are some of its features:

  • It has an operating frequency of 45kHz.
  • Fortunately, or unfortunately, it has an automatic ground balance. It depends on your preference as a user.
  • Experts recommend this VLF detector for novices.
  • It has a high sensitivity giving you the ability to find smaller gold nuggets.

3.   The Fisher Gold Bug II

Third on this list is the Fisher Gold Bug II. Here are the features that make this VLF detector stand out from the rest.

  • This VLF metal detector is extremely sensitive. Its sensitivity levels set it apart from the rest and make it easier for users to find tiny gold nuggets.
  • It has an operating frequency of 71kHz.
  • Its search coil comes with a 6 1/2″ or a 10″ elliptical search coil.
  • You get a dual-control ground balance with this VLF detector.
  • This metal detector is lightweight, and it comes with a hip mounting feature.

The Fisher Gold II is a great choice, especially if you prioritize sensitivity against all other factors.

4.   The Fisher F75

Next on the list is the Fisher F75. Many metal detector experts consider this detector as the cream of the crop. However, it’s a personal preference; there’s yet to be an consensus on the matter. Here are some of its features:

  • It has an operating frequency of 13kHz.
  • The Fisher F75 comes with a Trigger-actuated FASTGRAB™ ground balance.
  • You get a large LCD screen to access the user interface.
  • It also comes with a DD search coil.
  • Not only that, but it also comes with a rain cover and battery housing features.
  • There’s not much to say about its sensitivity compared to other VLF metal detectors.

5.   The Garrett AT Gold

Garrett AT Gold makes the lineup at #5. I love the Garrett brand. ( I started with a Ace 250 that I borrowed from my son) The AT Gold has manual and automatic ground balancing allows this machine to adjust on the go for varying ground conditions. The Garrett folks have excelled at fine tuning the discrimination.  Iron and other undesirable targets are sensed with unique sounds.

Check out the current prices on Amazon with this link – Garrett AT Gold

Features of the Garrett AT Gold:

  • Fully submersible to 10 feet.
  • Target identification from 0 to 99 helping discriminate at high accuracy.
  • Built in pinpointing for precise locating.
  • Ground balance window, allows the ground balancing to be taken over a range of terrain.

6.   The Nokta Makro Gold Finder 2000

Last and certainly not least is the Nokta Gold 2000. This VLF detector utilizes a 61 kHz frequency which is higher than most gold machines. The Nokta brand is relatively new in the US, but the company has been around for 17 years and has grown through the smart and cost effective use of technology.

The Makro Gold 2000 features:

  • It comes with an operating frequency of 61 kHz for great depth penetration.
  • The Gold 2000 has a rain resistant control box and super simple display.
  • Experts praise this VLF detector for its ease of use and impeccable design.

These are but the top VLF for gold. The market has numerous other options for you to look into during your buying phase. Don’t hesitate to keep reading for tips and tricks for metal detecting (especially with VLF machines).

Tuning Tips and Tricks to Improve Your VLF Detecting

Here are a couple of tips and tricks to aid in your gold detecting:

  1. Gold is scarce. You can spend an entire day in an area known for having gold, without any gold to report at the end of the day. Experts recommend carrying a strong magnet. If you end up finding other minerals, you can use the strong magnet to check whether it’s gold. How? The magnet will not attract gold, whereas the magnet will attract other minerals like iron, magnetite hot rocks, negative hot rocks, positive hot rocks, and meteorites.
  2. Another tip is that your VFL detector may not be lying to you, and it’s not broken. You can find gold on top of hot rocks. If you find something, use the magnet to draw out the hot rocks and check for any gold on the hot rock.
  3. Ensure that you move the search coil slowly and carefully over the surface. It should also be at a specific height that you can capture stronger signals.
  4. If you hear ground noise while searching for gold nuggets, conduct the ground balancing procedure one more time. Ensure that you note the ground changes as you move and keep tabs on the ground balance.
  5. In the case of gold prospecting, experts do not recommend multiple simultaneous frequencies. 

Metal Detecting Tip: Air test your metal detector with a gold jewelry.  It’s important to understand the signals your metal detector makes when you target gold.

Other Tools You May Need for Excavation

Apart from the VLF detectors, there are other tools that you may need to bring with you during your metal detecting activities. Here are some of the complementary tools you’ll need:

  • The Estwing Geo aka the Paleo Pick.
  • The Lesche Digging Tool.
  • A geologist pick with a hammer face.
  • A belt-mounted hammer hostler
  • Small pin-pointer metal detectors
  • A pinpointer coil probe
  • Plastic cup or scoop

Read even more about playing in the dirt with this article: Best Metal Detecting Tools for Digging

Are You Interested in What Other Metal-Detector Enthusiasts Are Asking? Here Are Some Helpful FAQs.

1.   Which VLF Gold Detector Is the Best for Beginners?

If you’re a beginner looking into metal detectors, experts recommend trying the Minelab Gold Monster 1000. Minelab has developed technologies that scan using simultaneous frequencies. Specifically designed for searching for gold the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is the perfect VLF unit that can help you in your gold prospects. You can’t go wrong with Minelab.

Check out what others have to say on AMAZON about the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 < link.

2.   How Deep Can a Gold Detector Detect?

A good quality metal detector like those listed here will find gold nuggets as deep as 3 to 5 inches.  The size of the gold, the sensitivity of your metal detector all factor into your success.  A good VLF unit should be capable of detecting approximately the width of the coil. If your looking for more info on detecting deeper read – Tips for Getting a Metal Detector to Detect Deeper

3.   How Much Is a Really Good Metal Detector?

In my experience, a high-quality and efficient metal detector is between $800 – $1200. It seems a bit pricey, but it’s the technology built into these machines that will help you find treasure. A budget VLF unit will not have high sensitivity and discrimination so you’ll have meager results.

But a mid-range to expensive VLF unit will find your gold rings and other jewelry and give you a lot more for your money. My recommendation an amazing do it all metal detectorMinelab Equinox 800 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews)

Do You Love the Glitter of Gold? Read More:


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.

Sources

  1. Dave Johnson, Gold Prospecting with A VLF Metal Detector (El Paso: Self-publishing, 2010) 55.