Metal Detecting 101: What You Need to Know to Find Your First Gold Nuggets

Metal detecting is an enjoyable hobby that lets you discover potentially valuable objects. You can come upon something that hasn’t been seen in a long time or coins that you can add to your collection. You can even find valuable items like jewellery and gold nuggets that will bring you a fortune. But if you’ve never used a metal detector, everything can seem a little foreign to you.

So, whether you’re planning to go gold hunting by yourself, or you want to bring your kids along, here are some useful tips to get you started!

Choose the Right Metal Detector

Equinox 900 Minelab

Before going any further into metal detecting, you need to select the right tool for this hobby. The quality metal detectors on the market are lightweight, waterproof, powerful, and offer many helpful features.

I personally use the Equinox 900 model by Minelab, which offers high-resolution target IDs and excellent target separation. However, if you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to get familiar with the different features and ask yourself the following questions.

Who Is It Meant For?

Ensure that your detector is height-adjustable and suited for all ages if your children are using it. Although it’s worth checking before you buy, most entry-level designs will offer an adjustable stalk so both kids and grown-ups can use them comfortably;

Where Will You Be Using It?

Minelab detectors

People typically don’t think about this crucial point, but metal detectors operate differently depending on the terrain. You won’t have the same experience on the sand and on rocky ground. You’ll need an all-terrain device if you plan to use it on different types of terrain. These tools are adaptable and offer better signals;

What Is the Detection Depth?

This is one of the most crucial things to watch out for when buying a metal detector. Higher detection depth models are often better, but they are typically more costly. A suitable detection depth for beginners is between 13 and 16 cm; it’s deep enough to discover valuable objects without spending a fortune!


There are many amazing discoveries buried in the ground, waiting for you to unearth them. There is also a ton of trash hidden there! If you choose a metal detector machine with discrimination, you can rule out the garbage and only pick up valuable items.

Get Helpful Accessories

Minelab metal detectors and headphones

You’ll need more than a detector to conduct a successful trip when looking for treasure. You’ll also need a pickaxe for sturdier ground, a trowel, a storage bag for your treasures, and some headphones (so you can hear where the signal is strongest—especially helpful on windy days!). If you’re hunting in low-light conditions, you should also bring a powerful flashlight.

Keep in mind that all of this results in a few more expenses. Of course, you could just get a whole metal detecting kit that includes everything mentioned above and save some money that way!

Where to Go Search for Treasure

Metal detecting

The great thing about gold hunting is that you can do it anywhere! Public schools, goldfields, beaches, forests, and certain privately owned lands are the most popular locations for hunting. However, before you venture out, you need to make sure that you have the authorization to hunt at your designated spot.

A big mistake in metal detecting is choosing hunting locations without permission. You need to confirm that you have permission to hunt there, even if it’s a public area. Before pulling out your metal detector, it’s a good idea to ask the local authorities for permission.

Watch out for posted signs and/or property lines whether you’re hunting in the forest or on the beach. You don’t want to unintentionally go hunting on someone else’s private property. You should first speak with the landowner before beginning metal detecting on private property, which is typically the finest terrain for the activity owing to it being mostly unexplored.

Don’t Give Up!

Beginners often get caught up in the thrill of finding hidden treasures, but not every trip will result in an adrenaline rush like those of Indiana Jones! As you learn how to use your new treasure-hunting tool, your first few adventures might be disappointing, but persevere! Metal detecting is a talent that you need to learn through time, just like any other skill. When you discover your first ancient coin you’ll get an amazing feeling, making it all worthwhile!

Bottom Line

Gold nugget

Metal detecting is an enjoyable and potentially profitable outdoor hobby. It’s also a fantastic way to get outside and move around, whether you’re by yourself or with your family. You can discover ancient coins, gold nuggets, or even missing rings or other long-lost priceless items.

There are numerous things buried in the earth, and while not all of them will be valuable financially, they will still offer interesting subjects to learn about. Imagine how fascinating it would be if you discovered something that you had never seen before!

So go ahead and begin your metal-detecting journey! You should give it a go at least once in your lifetime; regardless of the challenges you face, you will be glad you experienced it!