New Comparison Guide for Garrett AT Max vs AT Pro vs AT Gold Metal Detectors

Compare Garrett AT Max vs AT Pro vs AT Gold

Among the most popular metal detectors in the world are the Garrett AT Max, AT Pro and AT Gold. A number of times each day we are asked by customers to compare these metal detectors made by Garrett. Our new guide and article will help you compare what these three models of Garrett metal detectors have in common and also what differences make each model unique.

Compare all Three Models

See for yourself by taking a read of our new Garrett AT Series Comparison Guide: AT Pro, AT Gold and AT Max.

Advanced New Gold Detectors Bring ‘Hunted Out Sites’ Back to Life!

Makro Gold Kruzer metal detector

Makro Gold Kruzer metal detector shown with wireless headphones. Wireless headphones are standard equipment included with each Gold Kruzer detector.

Around the world, gold prospectors continue to unearth nuggets and flakes of gold—from Indonesia to Japan, South Africa to the U.S. Alluvial gold deposits in river beds and streams are prime prospecting territory; as well as popular gold fields. Serious gold hunters set out with a dedicated gold detector, such as the NEW Makro Gold Kruzer Waterproof Metal Detector. The Makro Gold Kruzer operates at 61 kHz and offers unparalleled sensitivity for finding the tiniest nuggets and flakes of gold. It is waterproof to 5 meters and includes wireless headphones.

Also see the 5-star rated Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Detector.


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Gold Nugget Hunting with a Metal Detector

Want Gold? Visit a GOLD Mining Camp and Keep what You Find!

The gold nuggets pictured here were found with the use of a metal detector.

The gold nuggets pictured here were found with the use of a metal detector.

Finding gold is the dream of EVERY metal detectorist. While there are rivers and streams you can detect on your own, increase your odds of finding gold by visiting a place where gold has been found for centuries! There are several gold mining camps that offer tours and rivers/grounds to prospect on site. Obviously, these sites are in the heart of California’s Gold Country—though some are in Nevada. If you live on the West coast and want to get lucky prospecting, these sites are exactly what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a day trip or a 3-day vacation, readily find gold at a gold mining ranch or camp. It’s amazing that they let you keep the gold you find!

Chunk of Gold Found Worth $70,000!

In Early September, 2016, Oscar Espinoza found a large 18-ounce gold nugget at the Gold Prospecting Adventures Mining Camp. He pulled a chunk of gold out of a creek near Jamestown, California after locating it with a metal detector. Its estimated worth is $70,000, though it’s a piece of history—so that could drive the price up.

A few gold mining camps you can DETECT and keep your gold include:

  • Jimstown 1849 Mining Camp – Jamestown, CA
  • Roaring Camp – Pine Grove, CA
  • Mt. Wilson Gold Ranch – Pioche, NV

Which Metal Detector for Gold Should I Bring?

If you regularly hunt for gold, you probably already have a gold metal detector, like the Fisher Gold Bug Pro or Garrett AT Gold. These units feature a higher frequency for locating gold. Gold-specific metal detectors have better ground balancing ability and special coils that are optimized for the highly-mineralized soil where gold nuggets lie. The Fisher Gold Bug Pro boasts a 19.2 kHz frequency to find the smallest gold nuggets in highly mineralized soil. If you have a good-quality all-purpose metal detector, it likely has target identification with a display bar for the gold range and target ID numbers that indicate the same range for gold. But if you REALLY want to cash in on prospecting, a gold detector is best!

Plan a trip to a gold mining camp for success and great stories. Be sure to share your metal detecting finds with us: My Detecting Finds!

Gold Metal Detecting Articles:

Gold Prospecting with a Metal Detector- Signs Pointing to Gold

An example of gold that can be found with a metal detector. Located recently by a customer in New England.

An example of gold that can be found with a metal detector. Located recently by a customer in New England.

Spring is here! And gold season is quickly approaching… So, here are a few prospecting tips to get you excited and ready to strike gold! Luckily, there are geological clues that point to gold. Just like you can read the soil for indicators of metal treasure, you can look for visual evidence when gold prospecting. Where is gold found? Often, it  is found in low places; definitely on top of bedrock and in front of obstructions that prevent it from moving further. Gold that has accumulated as a result of moving downriver is called placer gold. However, placer gold is not just found in rivers, it also accumulates on dry ground in valleys and rock crevices. Placer gold is a popular target because it has concentrated over a long period of time and is fairly easy to find if you are in gold bearing country.

Five Indicators that Gold May be Present:

  1. Rock Types for Gold are Nearby: If a certain rock type is known to be productive for gold in one zone, and the same rock type exists nearby, this is a good place to search.
  2. Lighter Colored Rocks: If you notice out-of-place colors in a group of rock formations, it can be a gold indicator. Acidic mineral solutions in gold areas can bleach the rocks to a lighter color.
  3. Presence of Quartz: Quartz is a common indicator that gold MAY be nearby. This is not always true. The hydrothermal conditions needed for gold deposits are also right for quartz. Quartz is more plentiful—so most gold deposits contain quartz, but most quartz deposits do not contain gold.
  4. Coexisting Rock Types: Most gold ores (and placer gold) contain small amounts of silver, copper, iron, garnet other minerals. These favorable host rocks can be important when determining gold prospecting zones.
  5. Abrupt Geological Shifts: Hard rock gold deposits are known to occur at the contact of two different types of rock. Example: one zone in New Mexico has rich dry placers; then just down the road is coal-bearing country. Not far from there is a turquoise mine. Detecting on the borderline of these zones can prove to be lucrative.

These are just a few tips. Reading gold prospecting books and articles can REALLY point you in the right direction! Check out our Learning Library for gold prospecting advice and our favorite gold-prospecting metal detectors!

Articles on our Best Gold Metal Detectors:

Garrett AT Gold Underwater Detector: Hunt Rivers, Streams and Gold Fields

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector is an All-Terrain Best Seller!

Hand’s down, the Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector gets top ratings as a prospecting detector. This is a deep-seeking, all-terrain metal detector with an 18 kHz frequency- the best frequency for finding gold. The price of raw gold is high (recently $60/ per gram; $1,850 per ounce), so it is no surprise that detectorists who live in gold country hunt rivers and streams in search of pay dirt!  The rugged, high-performance Garrett AT Gold delivers BIG TIME with its advanced underwater design. Top features include: • True All-Metal Mode – provides deep detection and sensitivity for small nuggets, • Iron Audio – Hear discriminated iron and adjust mid-tone range, • Digital Target ID- from 0 to 99 (ferrous starting at 1 and highest conductive items at 99), • Tone Roll Audio offers enhanced target information as you pass over targets. Waterproof up to 10 feet. According to one reviewer: “I found 13 specimens of gold ore on an old tailings pile next to a road in S. Wyoming. The AT Gold is very sensitive. I am confident I will have no trouble detecting rare coins and gold nuggets down to 8″ deep or more.”

– Read all: Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector Reviews

Gold Prospecting: Gear Up for That Time of Year

Gold found with the new Makro Gold Racer metal detector

Gold recently found with the new Makro Gold Racer metal detector.

Is there a gold prospecting season? This is a common question across metal detecting forums. There is no hard and fast rule about when you can prospect in most states. However, in Alaska, gold prospecting season runs from June through September—only into October if the weather permits. In other known prospecting states: California, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico, there are no posted prospecting dates. It is important to note, though—many sites DO require permission to prospect if you plan to stake any claims.

Why the Rise in Gold Prospecting Recently?

Gold prospecting seems to be spiking again in recent years, and geologists theorize as to why. In California, droughts in recent years are cited as one of the reasons. California State University (Sacramento) geology department executive, Tim Horner, explained that amateur prospectors “have been able to get to places they couldn’t before” because the drought has shrunk many of the state’s rivers, “some down to a trickle.” Horner said that one of his students recently found about $900 worth of gold in a stream that had previously been too treacherous to explore. He added, “Looking for gold [the old-fashioned way] is a popular hobby, and some people are making a living doing it.”

The simplest way to get into prospecting is to comb through sediments along a riverbank. Gold is 19 times heavier than water and denser than other particles in a stream, so it quickly settles to the bottom or into cracks between rocks or grains. A park ranger who oversees the California Bear River Campground and Recreation Area has his own theory about why gold prospecting is gaining momentum. He suggests, “The relatively high price of gold and the relatively weak economy have brought out more prospectors in recent years. The fact that low water means they can wade further upstream and get to new areas is advantageous.”

Top-Rated Prospecting Metal Detectors

Since gold occurs in nature at different levels of purity and different levels of concentration, the phase shift for gold objects appears along a wide spectrum on the phase shift dial. “Phase shift” is the difference in timing between the transmitter coil’s frequency and the frequency of the target object. Basically, this means that an object with high inductance is going to have a larger phase shift, so it is highly beneficial to use a prospecting metal detector when hunting for gold. Some machines dedicated to gold prospecting eliminate coin identification features altogether, since you’re not looking for coins. Instead they rely on sounds alone, using  a low tone for base metals, and a high-pitched signal for gold. Among some of the best detectors designed for finding gold: Garrett AT Gold, Fisher Gold Bug, the Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ and XP DEUS. For more units that are made to find gold, read our buyers guide article called Best Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting.

Related Article:

Gold Nugget Hunting with a Metal Detector

Garrett Metal Detectors: Our Best Selling Garrett Detector Models this Season!

“If you are purchasing a detector for a beginner or are new to the hobby, you can’t go wrong with a Garrett metal detector!” – Daniel Bernzweig of

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector and Daniel Bernzweig of

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector and Daniel Bernzweig of

Garrett metal detectors are among the best metal detectors on the market. In fact, the Garrett Ace 250 and Garrett Ace 350 are known as some of the world’s best-selling models of metal detectors ever. These are amazing entry-level metal detectors that are under $300. Even though the Garrett Ace series are affordable units, they feature professional-level electronics including enhanced iron resolution for discrimination, higher frequency, Target ID, five search modes, electronic pinpointing and depth indicator. Daniel Bernzweig of said today “If you are purchasing a detector for a beginner or are new to the hobby, you can’t go wrong with a Garrett metal detector!”

At the same time, Garrett caters to seasoned pros with their higher-end units. Take a look at the Garrett AT Pro for example. The AT Pro detector is made for those who are looking to find coins, jewelry and relics, on land or in the water. What a versatile detector this is and at under $600., the AT Pro is a great value. The Garrett ATX is a waterproof deep-seeking metal detector that is built for gold nugget prospecting!

Find Garrett’s best-selling metal detectors at holiday sale prices today at!

Top Selling Garrett Metal Detectors

See all hobby models of Garrett Metal Detectors

“Diggers” Season Finale Airs Tonight! Tune in for “Lewis & Clark’s Montana Bonanza” and “Nazis in Mississippi”

An archaeological dig on the set of TV show Diggers. Watch “The Real McCoy” episode tonight. Photo courtesy of Ron McCoy.

An archaeological dig on the set of TV show Diggers. One of the 2014 episodes “The Real McCoy”, photo courtesy of Ron McCoy.

Well, it’s been another AMAZING season of “Diggers” this summer following detectorists Tim Saylor (“Ringy”) and George Wyant (“KG”) around the country. According to comments on the “Diggers” website, fans think this has been the most exciting season yet! Season 4 focused on a few specific themes in American history. Among them: famous American characters based on epic movies, TV series’ and novels. KG and Ringy embarked on detecting adventures following in the footsteps of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Solomon Northup (12 Years a Slave) and Captain John Smith (Pocahontas). They investigated the Lewis & Clark Trail and Souther Field airbase and training camp where pilots trained in WWII (“Band of Brothers”). The Diggers also searched for evidence of Ichabod Crane in “Sleepy Hollow.”

Another theme this season involved searching for artifacts from a few of America’s most influential presidents—James Madison and Ulysses S. Grant; as well as war battles including the Battle of Saratoga and Battle of Shiloh. Finally, “Diggers” took time to help historians piece together important and tragic events that transpired centuries ago including the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, the Great Peshtigo Wisconsin Fire of 1871 and the infamous feuding between the Hatfields and the McCoys. Each “Diggers” episode featured amazing finds by Ringy and KG. Guest archeologists, as well as staff archaeologist, Marc Henshaw, analyzed each of the Diggers finds to determine which pieces were actually from the time period the dig was based upon. It’s hard to pick favorite finds this season, but among the best: parts of a WWI airplane, bullets from the site of Randolph McCoy’s homestead, a 1723 King George Colonial coin, bitten bullets from a Confederate triage site in Fort Gibson, Mississippi, a rare 1905 Danish coin found in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and a lead ladle dating back to the early 1600’s (possibly used by Captain John Smith). It’s been a great run this season for the Diggers, and we look forward to their future antics and adventures!

Don’t miss the final two new “Diggers” episodes tonight Monday September 7, 2015!

“Lewis & Clark’s Montana Bonanza:” 10pm Eastern/9pm Central/8pm Mountain & Pacific

Meriwether Lewis was a famous American explorer—dubbed “the greatest pathfinder this country has ever known.” In 1803, President Jefferson asked Lewis to lead an expedition into the lands west of the Mississippi. America’s interest in this area increased with France’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis jumped at the chance and selected William Clark to join him as co-commander of the expedition. They enlisted a team of pioneers called the Corps of Discovery and began their journey near St. Louis, Missouri. Lewis & Clark faced many obstacles, braving dangerous waters and harsh weather; but they did reach the Pacific Ocean in November of 1805. KG and Ringy are on the trail of Lewis & Clark in Montana –their own home state! The Diggers will also search for Twenty-Eight Mile Station, a lost stagecoach stop that hosted travelers heading to the Pacific Northwest. Look forward to some incredible finds, including a piece from a brass trunk Ringy believes may have carried the Corps’ travel essentials. The Diggers are hoping to find a rifle, knives or buttons that once belonged to Lewis & Clark.

“Nazis in Mississippi:” 10:30pm Eastern/9:30pm Central/8:30pm Mountain & Pacific

During World War II, thousands of German prisoners of war were sent to the U.S. to be housed. In 1943, Camp Clinton was established as one of the largest POW facilities in Clinton, Mississippi. This was home to 3,000 German and Italian POWs, as well as several dozen German generals and admirals. Diggers KG and Ringy were sent to Camp Clinton to search for World War II German artifacts. Mississippi archeologists are hoping to add and display any of their noteworthy finds in a special WWII museum.  As soon as the Diggers get to work at the POW base camp, their detectors start going crazy. KG is elated when he discovers an ornate button which came from a Nazi uniform. While he has uncovered many military buttons in the past, none have appeared as elaborate as this. Ringy is searching for German medals and other artifacts when he stumbles upon a U.S. guard’s Eagle button. Don’t miss this season finale episode—as much more WWII nectar is likely to be unearthed!

Metal Detectors and Equipment Used on “Diggers” TV Show

Diggers’ George Wyant and Tim Saylor search all terrain locations by using using Garrett metal detectors. On the show, they use both the Garrett AT Pro and Garrett AT Gold. For a Garrett metal detector comparison, see this video.  They also utilize pinpointers to locate each item while digging. Diggers’ pinpointers include the Garrett Pro Pointer and the new orange waterproof Pro-Pointer AT. They both feature one-button operation to alert you to the target with vibrations and audio. Find metal detectors and all of the accessories you need here at!

“Diggers” Season 4 Labor Day Finale: Don’t Miss the Final Two New Episodes on Monday!

Pictured above, Sacagawea with Lewis and Clark at Three Forks in Montana.

Looking ahead to Monday night, the “Diggers” are in their home state of Montana on the trail of Lewis & Clark. Pictured above, Sacagawea with Lewis and Clark at Three Forks in Montana.

For “Diggers” enthusiasts and those who enjoy watching action-packed metal detecting, Season 4 of “Diggers” hit it out of the park! Using new equipment such as airborne drones that survey land features to help decide where to search; and deep-seeking 2-box metal detectors to locate deeply buried objects has added new interest and excitement this season. Last Monday’s “Captain John Smith’s Virginia Nectar” kept viewers on the edge of their seats as KG and Ringy searched for artifacts dating back to 1608. The Diggers eagerly scoured the Chesapeake Bay area along the same route as Captain Smith’s famous expedition—hoping to find nectar from English settlers and Native Americans who attacked Smith and his followers. KG scored some excellent finds including an 1838 U.S. large cent and a 1740’s cannonball from the American Revolution. Ringy celebrated the “find of the day” with his lead ladle that the archeologist said may have been used by Captain Smith himself! Both Diggers were equally successful along the Solomon Northup Trail in Louisiana in the episode “12 Years a Slave.” At the Epps Plantation, Ringy uncovered an 1800’s harmonica reed and old-time padlock which may have been used to lock up slaves. KG found a hot comb and bale seal; he won this Diggers quest with a lead hammer. Solomon Northup helped build all of the buildings at the Epps Plantation—so there is speculation that it may have been Solomon’s hammer. These artifacts were chilling reminders of the days of slavery. If you missed these episodes, tune in to National Geographic Channel tonight – September 4, 2015 starting at 10pm ET/9pm CT/8pm MT & PT.

Season Finale Episodes: “Lewis & Clark’s Montana Bonanza” and “Nazis in Mississippi”

“Diggers” may have saved the best for last with two riveting new episodes to wrap up the holiday weekend. First, KG and Ringy hit their own stomping grounds in Montana on the same trail that Lewis & Clark blazed back in 1803. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are the legendary explorers who paved the way for westward expansion. They were given a top secret mission by the U.S. Army to chart a water route along the Missouri River all the way to the Pacific. If there’s any evidence of this famous American expedition left behind, the Diggers are determined to find it. Ringy will be seen finding “roundness in the hole”—which looks to be a Civil War-era Eagle button. And while looking for an old stagecoach stop, KG uncovers a hand-made horseshoe. The final episode, “Nazis in Mississippi” takes the Diggers to Central Mississippi in search of World War II German artifacts. It may sound like a strange place to look for evidence of Nazis. However, there were thousands of German prisoners of war locked up in the U.S. starting in 1943. At Camp Clinton, a major POW base camp back then, KG and Ringy are excited about their finds. In the preview, KG is seen squealing like a pig when he scores a WWII Nazi soldier button. Meanwhile, Ringy unearths a pristine Eagle button which belonged to a U.S. guard at the camp.

Season Finale Diggers Episodes for Monday, September 7, 2015 on the National Geographic Channel:

  • “Lewis & Clark’s Montana Bonanza:” 10pm Eastern/9pm Central/8pm Mountain & Pacific
  • “Nazis in Mississippi:” 10:30pm Eastern/9:30pm Central/8:30pm Mountain & Pacific
Metal Detectors Used on Diggers TV Show

The Diggers are equipped with Garrett metal detectors – they utilize both the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold in the field. For a Garrett metal detector comparison of the AT Series detectors, see this video. KG and Ringy search their holes with a Garrett pin-pointer for precision when digging. The Garrett Pro Pointer and the new orange waterproof Pro-Pointer AT, feature easy one-button operation that alert you to the target with both vibrations and audio. Find metal detectors and all of the accessories you need here at!

Tonight’s New “Diggers” Episodes: “12 Years a Slave” and “Captain John Smith’s Virginia Nectar”

Diggers’ KG and Ringy haven’t hit the big screen yet, but tonight’s new episodes focus on storylines represented in Hollywood blockbuster movies. “12 Years a Slave” was a 2013 Academy-Award winning movie which chronicles the life of Solomon Northup in 1853. Then, “Captain John Smith’s Virginia Nectar” relives the themes from Disney’s Academy-Award winning picture Pocahontas—with Mel Gibson starring as Captain John Smith.

This season’s Diggers TV series has received accolades from the Society of American Archaeology, as there has been a much greater focus on the historical data gathered and the significance of the Diggers’ finds. National Geographic Channel’s staff archaeologist, Marc Henshaw appears in all of the new episodes to document and catalog the items using GPS. Local historians and other archaeologists have also been invited to appear and comment on each of the episodes this season. You may have noticed that the dollar value of the artifacts are no longer shown. Instead, “Diggers” explains that they always get permission to metal detect on private land, the artifacts will be the property of the landowner or a museum, in turn helping future generations to enjoy the local history uncovered.

Be sure to tune for two new “Diggers” episodes tonight!

“12 Years a Slave:” 10pm Eastern/9pm Central/8pm Mountain & Pacific

Solomon Northup was a free black man living in New York who was kidnapped and sold into a life of slavery in 1841. Slave auction traders sold him to a plantation owner in central Louisiana, where Northup worked on many plantations from Rapides to Avoyelles Parishes, Louisiana. Once freed, Northup worked with a ghost writer to chronicle the egregious acts of one owner as well as kind acts from others from 1841-1853. His slave narratives prompted Central Louisiana citizens to open the “Solomon Northup Trail” in 1985. KG and Ringy set out with metal detectors along the Northup Trail with stops at the Norwood Plantation. They are hoping to find evidence of Northup and his enslaved comrades from their arduous existence. Ringy is surprised by his first amazing recovery—Lady Liberty seated silver quarters from 1854.

“Captain John Smith’s Virginia Nectar:” 10:30pm Eastern/9:30pm Central/8:30pm Mountain & Pacific

Tonight on “Diggers,” KG and Ringy are searching for artifacts that date back to the 1600’s! These were the days of early Colonial America with fascinating tales of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. Captain Smith was an English explorer whose incredible adventures, including his Chesapeake Bay voyages back in 1608 and encounters with Chesapeake Indians, have gone down in history. He is credited with saving the colony of Virginia (in Jamestown) due to his leadership and fighting skills, and talent for building alliances with Native Americans. In later years however, Smith was captured and held hostage by French pirates. The Diggers have gained access to 3 sites along Smith’s route in Virginia. After they unearth one of their oldest finds to date, KG and Ringy are chomping at the bit to start digging for some sweet Virginia Colonial nectar!

Metal Detecting Equipment Used on “Diggers”

Diggers’ George Wyant and Tim Saylor attribute much of their success to their Garrett metal detectors. On the show, you will see them interchangeably using the Garrett AT Pro or Garrett AT Gold. For a Garrett metal detector comparison of the AT Series detectors, see this video.  They also utilize pinpointers to locate each item while digging. Diggers’ pinpointers include the Garrett Pro Pointer and the new orange waterproof Pro-Pointer AT. They both feature one-button operation to alert you to the target with vibrations and audio. Find metal detectors and all of the accessories you need here at!


Related Video Features the Metal Detectors Used on Diggers TV Show: