Intermediate Level Metal Detector for Placer Mining, General Hunts, and beach?
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Thread: Intermediate Level Metal Detector for Placer Mining, General Hunts, and beach?

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  1. #1

    Nov 2016
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Intermediate Level Metal Detector for Placer Mining, General Hunts, and beach?

    Hi guys,

    I've been looking through the other threads about metal detecting, and have found a few good options, but am still up in the air about what would be best for my situation.
    We're in North Carolina, and I like to do some occasional creek mining. We have some parks I could use it as as well. The other use would be the at least a once a year trip to the beach. We typically hit up Myrtle Beach or Ocean Isle. I've heard there are some decent wrecks off the NC coast, but am not sure what beaches have produced gold coin finds on our coast, so I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else has found anything interesting along the southern NC, northern SC beaches.

    My main purpose would be creek hunts. Unfortunately, the experience I've had with most of our creeks is that they're filled with junk and trash. We're not far from Reed Gold mine where they found a doorstop sized nugget back in the 1800s. Naturally, don't expect anything like that, but would like to try to find black sand deposits which I could scoop and run through my homemade sluice "sLucy" The ability to distinguish between junk or something potentially of value would be a great feature. Naturally, the more waterproof the better. I'm not sure if any detectors offer bluetooth, but I've got a nice bluetooth headset I'd like to use if possible.

    That's pretty much everything I can think of. Seems to be everyone recommends the Equinox 600 or 800, but the best price I've found for either is $650...a bit more than I'd like to spend. I'd like to stay in the $3-400 range if possible. Of course, if nothing in that range is comparable to the 600...maybe it's worth the investment? I'm still new to I'm not sure what the major differences between something like the Garrett 300 and Eq 600 is.

    Lastly - a pinpoint it worth it? I've seen some ads on ebay for the 300 w/ a pinpointer for $300.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000 -- Equinox 600 -- Vanquish 540 // Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger // Bunk's Hermit Pick
    24642 times
    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    For $300-$400 you are limited to a VLF (Very Low Frequency) detector. No good in saltwater, or wet saltwater sand, and no good for gold nugget hunting. For a gold nugget hunting VLF, expect to pay $500-$700, and it will still not work well on a saltwater beach. For saltwater, gold nuggets, and all other detecting, the Minelab Equinox 800 is your ONLY choice.

  3. #3

    Nov 2016
    15 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Well, a few things have changed since I posted this thread. My wife just spoke to one of our neighbors and learned some interesting things about our home. Rumor has it that before our 40 or so acre neighborhood was a neighborhood it was a hog farm (mmmm Bacony)...but the important thing is before it was a hog farm, it was supposedly a gold mine. I haven't been able to confirm that, but I have seen some evidence that there may be some truth to the rumor. The most convincing evidence is the quantity and size of the quartz around here. Just on our property yesterday (which is about 1 acre in size), I found these monsters:

    This is one of the smaller ones I cracked down to a powder and panned it. It was about the size of a fist. It was the only one that really showed any other types of materials besides the quartz - mainly fools gold. The others are a mixture of white and rose quartz.

    Even with my terrible panning skills, I 'think' I found some small bits of gold (at least to my untrained eye)! I classified the crushed quartz through 2 classifiers (I wish I knew the size, but I don't). I guess one group is powder sized and the other is about the tip of a ball point pen in size.

    I guess the main area I would mine would actually be our current house and I'd be looking for quartz to go over with a detector and crack. I didn't know if the 800 was still the best option, or if I should go with a smaller pinpoint style detector...or maybe both? Rather than crushing quartz till the cows come home, running a detector over the quartz would obviously be preferable. I've read the 800 can detect nuggets down to 6", but they don't state how big the nugget actually is. I wouldn't think anything I pulled out of the one quartz rock would be detected since we're talking about a few specks.

    There's definitely some quartz veins that run through the neighborhood...that or there was a shaft near here and the quartz they pulled up got scattered across the property. I'm going to try to find out more (I heard all this stuff second hand from the wife after she spoke to the neighbors). I did do a quick search on but didn't see any past or present mines near our neighborhood, but there's too much big, heavy quartz randomly scattered throughout the property to just be here at random.
    Last edited by jdlev; Jun 13, 2019 at 01:33 AM.

  4. #4
    It is what it is, until it "Is" what it is.

    Aug 2013
    170 times
    jdlev, "Welcome to the site" Performance is where you find it. While there is truth in the PI detector for gold, there is a bigger truth in what one can afford to start the hobby. Look to the Teknetics Patriot, its a re-branded Fisher F-70. This has enough soup to it you can run up the threshold and bump the sensitivity for light gold work. Its also in your described price range. You want the model with a DD coil, price is around $399
    Its an excellent machine and well rounded to detect almost anything.
    Good Luck!
    Stay Gold!

  5. #5
    It is what it is, until it "Is" what it is.

    Aug 2013
    170 times
    Sorry almost forgot, "Yes" a pinpointer is a must and so much so I would tell you to spend the money on a good pinpointer and go less on the detector. You'll keep the pinpointer regardless of what detector you have, the pinpointer becomes an intricate tool. So call the pinpointer the needed investment.
    I would recommend the Whites TRX, the new Fisher F-Pulse would work well too as would a Minelab Pro-find 35. I can say from experience the TRX will find gold nuggets.
    Stay Gold!



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