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Infinium Ls / Detecting Gold Question

Oregon Jim

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Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and new to metal detection, so naturally I am also full of questions.

My wife purchased for me a new Garrett Infinium LS metal detector and I am just beginning to play with it. I have taken it into my back yard (which must have a million BB's in it), and the unit is working quite well. Finding BB's is super-easy. So, after a few minutes I decided to see what it would do with gold. I put two small glass containers containing gold (a tad over 1/2 oz. in small flake gold) on the ground and swept the coil over them expecting to hear a loud and distinct tone, but nope... barely a peep. I picked the gold up and swept it across the coil over and over, again hearing almost no sound at all. I passed my wedding ring across the coil and the tone was so loud it hurt my ears. A gold nugget weighing seven grains didn't even register a tone.

This is with discrimination at minimum. What am I doing wrong? Why is this detector not seeing my gold?


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This is such a common question I finally made a thread just about it at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/1559-why-wont-my-detector-find-a-bottle-full-of-small-nuggets-or-a-gold-chain/

All detectors have a cut off point for small gold. The Garrett Infinium is a ground balancing pulse induction detector and an early version at that. As such it is very weak on small gold items. And as my new thread explains, there is minimal to no additive effect when putting small gold in a bottle.

I did well with my Infinium finding larger gold but I would not much bother using one unless I knew nuggets were running a gram or larger in the area I wanted to hunt. There is not much benefit in running the Infinium versus a good VLF unless the hot rocks are really bad. The Infinium can deal with those better than a VLF, but since it does also give up small gold sensitivity you have to decide which issue is most important.

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Great, and welcome to the forum!


Don't let it put you off the Infinium. It is a great detector but like all good for some things and not so good for other things. Just have to use it for what it is best at. Do follow and read my links if you have the chance - lots of great Infinium information there.

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Do they have aftermarket mono coils for it? Seems like it came with a fairly large DD, though I've never used one. Or would at least a smaller DD if they sell such a thing might help a bit?

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There are four accessory coils available for the Infinium, but coil size or type is not the issue so much as pulse delay and a circuit driven by eight AA batteries. Going to a smaller coil, which I have done, only boosts sensitivity by a small amount and you lose depth and ground coverage. The 8" mono has depth as good as the 14" x 10" DD but does not cover ground as well. It does have good on edge sensitivity and is much lighter, so a good option.


There is a lot to like about the Infinium. A ground balancing PI for under $1100, and I really like the ability to chest or hip mount it plus waterproof to 200 feet. I wish the ATX had been left in the Infinium box. Coils are very reasonably priced, more like VLF coils than PI coils. It handles ground and hot rocks very well, but like the TDI SL lacks serious punch.


Here are 4.11 ounces of gold specimens I found at Moore Creek, Alaska in 2003 with my Garrett Infinium....


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The shaft on the Infinium is a P.O.S., Garrett should hide their face in shame. I bought a $50 chinese detector for my kids that had a better shaft.

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Thank you for your replies.

So, it sounds like my detector will not find small gold very well. That is a bit disappointing, but I guess that also means that any gold my detector finds should have a little weight to it. I can live with that!

Those specimens from Alaska are magnificent! My hunting area is going to be primarily along the Klamath River in northern California. I am a member of the New 49ers' mining club, so I have access to all of their claims along the river, and I hope to wander about in the nearby creeks and mountains as well. I hope I will find a few members willing to help me learn to use my detector efficiently. If any of you have experience and tips about working that area, please share your wisdom. I am eager to learn!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like Steve just turned the light towards me....

Not a member of the New 49'ers club but I know that they have great claims for detecting.

I would look at the "ATLAS OF SISKIYOU COUNTY MINES" published by the Siskiyou County Historical Society.

Might be able to buy one at the museum in Yreka? I'm sure there should be one at the library.

Look for the mines that are near the claims.

There are other resources at the library but that is a start.

If I were to grab a detector and head down the river, I would look for pieces of exposed bedrock. Or areas with shallow gravels over the bedrock. Preferably less than 6". I would have the two smallest sizes of coils. The small one to get in the cracks where the larger won't fit.

Be prepared to dig lots of iron and lead.

There will be hydraulic mines but there is a big learning curve to knowing where the gold should be on those. You almost have to learn how they mined them.

Once you find the first nugget, you will be on your way!

Don't be discouraged if you don't find anything, I detected for over a year before I found my first nugget. After that, they just started coming in......

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