Monster Gold Nugget Found in Butte County, California

The dream of finding gold is still alive! This is exciting news for amateur prospectors, who really just want to snag a small nugget for simple gold satisfaction. Long-time detectorist and web blogger “Digger Bob” shares a success story that is encouraging and motivational for amateur gold prospectors! His story: a “monster” gold nugget was found in the Butte foothills in Northern California. Weighing in at 6.25 troy lbs. and 75 oz., this huge nugget was discovered with a metal detector at a depth of 12″. The nugget was deposited on a small feeder creek/stream which fed from the main water channel.

Gold Detectors will ALL Find Gold

“Digger Bob” believes that any decent gold detector could have located this nugget, but says that it originally sounded like a trash signal. Because small nuggets had previously been detected in the same area, he knew to dig it up anyways. Gold detectorists always advise digging up ALL targets for this exact reason. Many times gold signals get ID’ed as trash targets – then turn up as gold. As it turns out, this huge gold nugget was sold at an auction for approximately $400,000!. “Digger Bob” points out that it IS really like hitting the lottery or finding your own “retirement fund.” The point is—gold is still absolutely out there, waiting to be discovered!

Common gold states include:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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Spectacular 13 Gram Gold Nugget Found in Africa with XP DEUS!

A prospector using the XP DEUS metal detector in Africa turned up this amazing 13 Gram gold nugget. He was using the XP DEUS GoldField program 10 when he made the impressive recovery. You can see the actual recovery detailed in this video below.

Developed and perfect in the gold fields of Africa, the XP DEUS GoldField program has turned up several notable finds over the years. Complete details on the GoldField program 10 are shown at this link. While the GoldField program is extremely powerful, it is a turn-on-and-go preset mode that is simple to use. The XP DEUS with the GoldField program comes in the four model configurations shown here.

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

A Gold Detector is a Holiday Gift That Hits the Jackpot!

Garrett Metal Detectors ATX metal detector.

Considered a “super” gold detector, the Garrett ATX metal detector uses pulse technology to locate the smallest gold nuggets plus relics and coins in the most extreme conditions.

Has your significant other been dropping hints about wanting a gold metal detector? If so, now is the time to get a great deal on a gold detector! At, we offer the year’s best prices on gold metal detectors during our BIG HOLIDAY SALE. It’s a great way to encourage new prospectors, as well as seasoned detectorists who are interested in a specific model. Today’s detectors can find gold as small as a half a grain with ease. A few things to consider: The higher the operating frequency of the detector, the more sensitive it will be to small gold. Gold often lies in highly mineralized soil—so, gold detectors with ground balance will emit less false ground noise and save lots of time with needless digging. The best gold detectors can get a bit pricey, so be sure to shop when the prices are deeply discounted!

Here are some of our Best-Selling Premium Gold Metal Detectors:

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What’s the Best Gold Prospecting Metal Detector?

Gold Nugget Hunting with a Metal Detector

Find Gold Nuggets with the Tesoro Vaquero Metal Detector

Do you live in a U.S. state where gold is commonly found? (*See list below.) If so, what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to start prospecting for gold with a metal detector! Gold-hunting metal detectors have become so efficient and easy to use—anyone with the desire to look for gold can get to it. These detectors are also very affordable, making this hobby accessible to kids, seniors, beginning detectorists, etc. Gold detectors are built with a ground balance feature that cancels out the mineralization in the soil. This offers superior performance in detecting small and large nuggets and both conductive and non-conductive (gold) ore veins.

Tesoro Vaquero Gold Metal Detector

Tesoro Metal Detectors Vince Gifford visits

Tesoro Metal Detectors Vince Gifford visits Pictured left to right: Daniel Bernzweig, Michael Bernzweig both from, Vince Gifford of Tesoro Electronics

Tesoro is known as a U.S. manufacturer of high-quality metal detectors for both land and water. At $446, the Tesoro Vaquero is the lowest priced gold nugget hunting metal detector in the Tesoro line-up. Owners of the Tesoro Vaquero metal detector rate it with flying colors, saying it consistently detects gold nuggets, relics, jewelry and coins. That is the beauty of the Tesoro Vaquero—not only does it detect gold nuggets, it is an all-around metal detector for hunting coins, silver and all metal targets. Experts recommend that you consider what your hunting purposes will be before purchasing a detector. If you have the desire to look for coins or hunt the beach, for instance, a multi-purpose unit such as Tesoro Vaquero would be right for you. Other Tesoro Vaquero features include discrimination to filter the trash and a Push Button Pinpoint mode.

See: Tesoro Vaquero Metal Detector Reviews

View: All models of Tesoro Metal Detectors

*Gold is commonly found in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Where does Gold Lie? Look to the Fisher Gold Bug Pro

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro metal detector has features that are easy to use.

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro has features that are easy to use and that you would expect to find on gold detectors costing much more.

Hobbyists’ quest for gold is as varied as its hue—there are weekend prospectors, gold hunters with a part-time curiosity and beginners who are eager to learn. There are avid prospectors who are making a career out of detecting, panning and dredging for gold. A hot commodity, this glistening metal has been pursued since primitive time. These are exciting days for prospectors, since gold metal detectors have become highly capable and accessible. When detecting for gold, there are a few things to consider. Gold and silver metals are highly conductive; they often display a broad range of readings on a target ID. For this reason, prospectors achieve greater success using a detector with a higher operating frequency (specifically a gold detector). Hunting for gold will also steer you into stream beds, requiring a unit that has a waterproof search coil and functional in mineralized soil. With the correct equipment, a detectorist has a good chance of finding at least small gold nuggets or large flakes.

Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

Nugget hunters and experienced gold prospectors were over the moon when Fisher introduced the Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector. Because Fisher is a highly regarded manufacturer, the expectations for this unit were high. And according to reviewers, Fisher has gone over and beyond with the Gold Bug Pro! With its operating frequency of 19 kHz, the Fisher Gold Bug Pro easily handles highly mineralized ground that is overrun with hot rocks. One prospector raves, “If you are a dedicated gold nugget hunter who is looking for gold, then the Gold Bug Pro is your best choice!” The Gold Bug Pro features a visual target ID that displays a numerical readout along with a signal. This is a huge help for identifying trash targets. It is lightweight and boasts many unique features, including Computerized Ground Grab™. Additionally, the Gold Bug Pro is one of the easiest gold detectors to learn. In just a few hours in the field, a beginner should be comfortable operating this unit.

See: Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector Reviews


Fisher Gold Bug-2: Seeing is Believing!

There’s a popular saying in the world of gold prospecting, “Gold is where you find it.” But what does this really mean? We know that gold occurs in many forms in nature and it is sometimes found in unsuspecting places. Theories are always evolving regarding how and where gold is deposited on earth. Scientists say that about 6 miles below the Earth’s surface, under extreme temperature and pressure, water carries high concentrations of carbon dioxide, silica, and gold. During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider—releasing quartz and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces. So, even the world’s most successful prospectors cannot predict exactly where gold lies. However, their advice to search for gold where it has already been found is sound. The odds of recovering nuggets or small grains of gold where others have already found it are greater than simply guessing at its whereabouts. One prospector likes to say, “A hillside in California’s gold country has much higher odds of producing gold than a river in Kansas.”

Want to Find Gold?

If you are determined to set out in search for your own gold, first do some research about your prospecting location. Then, be sure that you are correctly equipped. A highly rated gold prospecting metal detector will be your most important tool. A plastic gold pan and a good shovel will improve your ability to recover gold nuggets in a stream. A pry bar can also come in handy to loosen compacted rocks and gravel.

Fisher Gold Bug-2 Metal Detector—Designed for Finding Gold Nuggets

The Fisher Gold Bug 2 is a legendary gold nugget hunter and the model is based on the classic gold bug design from Fisher.

The Fisher Gold Bug 2 is a legendary gold nugget hunter and the model is based on the classic gold bug design from Fisher.

The search for and discovery of even a small grain or nugget of gold is an achievement worth celebrating. And successful recreational prospectors frequently mention the Fisher Gold Bug-2 as the metal detector that pointed them to gold nuggets. Many prospectors say they have tried just about every gold-seeking metal detector on the market and none of them can pinpoint the tiny nuggets that the Fisher Gold Bug-2 can find. One detectorist comments, “I can confidently say that other detectors cannot match the legendary sensitivity of the Gold Bug-2 in regards to detecting small nuggets. With its high 71 kHz operating frequency, the Gold Bug-2 has been routinely finding tiny specks of gold that most other detectors just can’t locate.” What makes the Fisher Gold Bug-2 so proficient at finding otherwise elusive gold? It offers extraordinary sensitivity, the highest operating frequency on the market, iron-discrimination mode to reject trash and hot rocks, dust and moisture resistance and the ability to operate in extremely mineralized soil. Another exclusive feature is audio boost which signals small and deep targets.

Goal-Driven Gold Prospecting: Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ

Full length picture of the Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ metal detector.

The Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ is the most powerful metal detector made by Tesoro and their top unit for gold prospecting.

Many prospectors in western U.S. states take advantage of their proximity to gold-bearing sites by nugget shooting as a weekend hobby. But it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to live in Arizona, Colorado or New Mexico to be a gold prospector. There are less-known gold-bearing states (*see list below) that prospectors can try their hand at. And treasure hunters who dream of finding gold can always plan their vacations around destinations where gold panning and prospecting sites are attractions. If you visit old abandoned mines, you are likely to find pieces of valuable ore that fell from carts long ago. Modern gold metal detectors are much more sophisticated than equipment miners had in the past. And gold-seeking detectors can easily find deposits that have been buried with rock and other debris.

Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ Gold Metal Detector

The Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ Metal Detector has an extremely loyal following. Reviewers unanimously give this gold detector a 5-star rating; field tests say the same. Typical feedback from detectorists: “This VLF machine is awesome! It is super sensitive on small gold and works great on coins and relics. The auto ground balance works as described and makes working with hot rocks a breeze.” The “TRAQ” part of the Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ name refers to its unique ground tracking capabilities. The machine automatically tracks and compensates for any ground mineral changes, which is ideal for prospecting in old mines and areas with highly mineralized material. Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ’s adjustable threshold controls the audio “background hum” when searching. Variations in audio allow the user to distinguish very small, deep targets, perfect for gold prospecting with a metal detector.

Read: Tesoro Lobo Super Traq Field Test

Read: Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ Metal Detector Review

Compare: What’s The Best Gold Prospecting Metal Detector?


*Gold is commonly found in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Get Ready for Gold Prospecting with the Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector!

Gold prospecting season is here, so if you’ve ever dreamt of finding gold—it’s time to make your dream reality! The latest gold hunting metal detectors (which are relatively inexpensive, by the way) offer gold-finding capabilities never before available to amateurs and newbies. Men and women, boys and girls are heading out to areas where gold can be found. The metal detector most proficient at finding gold is a sensitive, deep-seeking instrument with ground balance that is specifically designed for prospecting.

Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector

Among the most affordable gold prospecting detectors on the market, the Fisher Gold Bug offers sophisticated features—and has a proven track record for detecting gold nuggets, ore veins, gold float and other forms of the precious metal. The Fisher Gold Bug is easy to operate, which is perfect for new prospectors. Even if you are new to the scientific principles of metal detection, you can still find gold! Gold Bug’s deep-seeking capabilities will detect even the smallest nuggets in highly mineralized soil. It features computer-assisted ground balance, pinpointing mode and a large user-friendly LCD display which reports ground conditions and target alert. The Fisher Gold Bug is highly regarded by reviewers as one of the easiest to use gold detector at a most affordable price.

See: Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector Reviews


Highly-Acclaimed Garrett AT Gold is Key to Success

If you watch the metal detecting TV series “Diggers,” you may already know that both “KG” and “Ringy” swear by Garrett metal detectors. The Diggers have amassed quite a treasure collection—much of it they attribute to the rugged, extreme-performance Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector. It seems like every time George Wyant or Tim Saylor reach their hunting destination, they’re within a few feet of sweet nectar. When asked how they do it, KG tells hobbyists, “It’s hard work, smart research, and plain ol’ luck. And most importantly, it’s the equipment that we use.”

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector

The Garrett AT Gold is a deep-seeking, all terrain metal detector. Built with an 18 kHz frequency, it is the go-to metal detector for treasure hunters and prospectors looking for gold nuggets. With enhanced detection ability, the AT Gold is also ideal for targeting coins, relics, jewelry and treasure caches. Here’s what sets the Garrett AT Gold apart from other models:

True All-Metal Deep – seeking Mode- provides deepest detection and sensitivity in mineralized soil.

All-Metal Iron Audio – a Garrett exclusive that identifies iron objects even while operating in a true all-metal mode.

High-Resolution Iron Discrimination – features 44 points of iron resolution; this is viewed as a digital number for precisely determining good targets from iron trash.

Waterproof – up to 10 feet in freshwater rivers, ponds or shorelines.

Digital Target ID – Garrett AT Gold’s numerical scale from 0 to 99 displays a target’s conductivity for increased ability to distinguish targets.

This Garrett detector is touted for hunting all sorts of treasure—not just gold. Among the items the Diggers have found with the AT Gold: a brass trigger from an 1851 Colt revolver, a gold military uniform button from the Civil War, a tiny solid silver St. Christopher statue from the 1800s, an antique duck call and an antique belt plate from 1851. The AT Gold is as fully featured as it gets at a mid-range price point. It is definitely worth checking out the Garrett AT Pro product page and reading customer reviews!

See and Read: Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector Reviews