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Gold Bug Pro Coil Options For Gold Prospecting

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I have purchased 2 Gold Bug Pro's and an original T2 which I want to use for Gold Prospecting, I am new to metal detecting but my wife and I decided we would give it a go.  There is a local gold fossicking area around where we live and we bought a sluice and gold pan and have found quite a bit of tiny gold in the couple of times we have used the pans and sluice.   The tiny gold seems too small for a metal detector to pick up, well any of my metal detectors anyway.

I have the 5" coil for the T2 and a Mars Tiger along with the standard 11" coil, so which of those coils do you think will be best to find small gold nuggets?

For the Gold Bug Pro's I have a Nel Snake, a Cors Fortune and the 10" Fisher coil, 5" standard coil and 11" standard coil.  Which coils should I put on the Gold Bugs? 

Thanks for the help, I clearly have a lot of work ahead of me to work out how to use the metal detectors well to find these tiny gold nuggets but i've been doing a lot of research and have read Dave's Book.

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Smaller coils are usually more sensitive to small Gold.  Get some gold or cut up some tiny pieces of lead and test your different coils.. 


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Thanks, It does seem smaller is better but then I read conflicting things, such as the Gold Bug Pro with 10" seems very popular compared to the 5".  Does that mean the 10" can pick up that tiny gold as well as the 5" or do people just mainly hunt for bigger nuggets? I don't care what nugget size, a find is a find to me, I'd be happy if a found tiny stuff.



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Like Cabin Fever said, smaller coils create a smaller, more powerful magnetic field that both gives a sharper signal on small stuff while also "seeing" less mineralized soil. There is also the obvious - large coils cover more ground faster. And the final part of the puzzle, small gold is far , far more common than large gold.

The following air test chart is for the Gold Bug 2 but the basics hold true for most detectors. Small targets = small coil and large targets = large coil with medium being "just right" but also a compromise.


So there is no "best" coil. Experienced prospectors pick the coil size they think will most enhance their ability to find gold, based on experience and on research. If an area has large gold, then a "normal" coil size is probably best. What is there is nothing but small stuff to be found though? Then a smaller size will help get those tiny bits.

The 5" coil is popular mainly from being sold as the stock coil on nearly all Gold Bug Pro purchases. The main problem with small is you really can't cover any ground. A coil that small is best for working small areas but it is good on the tiny stuff.

There is also frequency to take into account. The 13 kHz T2 is slightly less hot on gold than the 19 kHz Gold Bug Pro. Using a smaller coil size that is more sensitive to small gold helps offset that.

My favorite Gold Bug Pro coil combines the extra sensitivity of a smaller coil with the ground coverage of a larger coil. The 5" x 10" elliptical DD is my first choice for the Gold Bug Pro as a nugget hunting coil. The NEL snake is also a good compromise. When in doubt, lean smaller rather than larger unless you know the area has fingernail and larger size gold nuggets to hunt for.

I would stick with the 11" coil for the T2 or get a smaller coil. Again, the 5' x 10" is a good choice, but with the Gold Bug Pro in your hands I would not invest in more coils for the T2 since the Gold Bug Pro is a little better nugget machine anyway.




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Thanks for your very detailed reply Steve.


Well I have the 5" coil for the T2 so I will put that on it instead of the Mars Tiger I have on there at the moment.  As for the Gold Bug Pro's we will both be swinging them so I will have the 10" Elliptical on one and the Nel Snake on the other, hopefully that combination serves us well, from what I have seen the area has plenty of tiny gold but I think I'd be lucky to find something that's bigger than 1 grain.  I haven't yet found any gold at all with the metal detectors but I'm finding lots of really tiny stuff with the sluice and pans.  Maybe I need a Gold Bug 2 to get the tiny stuff? 

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You just confirmed - use the smallest coils you have. Goal number one is to find gold, any gold at all. The Gold Bug 2 is a little more sensitive to tiny gold than the Gold Bug Pro, but not so much I would advise buying one just yet. Give it a go with what you have first - not everyone finds nugget detecting to be their thing. There are places where a gold pan just makes more sense! :smile:

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Thanks Steve, so far I am enjoying my metal detectors even though I'm only finding very old rusty nails and bottle caps in the exact same location i'm finding tiny bits of gold with my sluice and pans..  I guess it's the joy of the hunt, if I find some with my metal detectors I will be overjoyed.

I find the Gold Bug Pro's easier to understand than the T2 although I still have a long way to go to understanding them properly, I am going to buy a small nugget to use to better learn what a small nugget behaves like on the detectors as all I've got to play around with now is gold jewellery and I doubt I will find a nugget as big as a gold ring so it's not ideal for learning with.

I know people do find decent amounts of gold in the area, I've seen a photo of what a guy got in a day there, he had a wide range of gold from tiny flakes to small nuggets.  This photo is what one chap found in one day at the same location I am trying to hunt in.  I would be happy with just one or two little bits of this :)



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No need to buy gold - tiny bits of aluminum or lead work well as a substitute. If you buy a nugget get a small one, no larger than the largest in the photo you just posted.

Finding that kind of gold with a metal detector will require a small coil, a snail's pace, and attention to the slightest variation in threshold sound. There are not many types of detecting more technically demanding than finding sub-grain gold. Your idea of using a tiny practice target is good, as it can help you realize just how hard it is to detect a small nugget and how faint the sound can be.

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Fortunately the more research I do the better my chances seem, this guy has found quite an array of various sizes of Gold in the local areas I'm searching, so that gives me some hope.  I hope you don't mind me giving you a link to another forum but its the best way to show the finds he has had.


Perhaps for such a beginner I was aiming too high with the sub grain gold its just so far that's what I'm finding with my sluice and pans.  But the guy in the above forum has proven the area I am searching has bigger stuff.

Thanks very much for your help.



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No problem with links on this forum - I encourage them. Looks like there is some really nice chunky stuff in the area. You might want to compare notes with kiwijw as I would be amazed if he can't offer you some good tips.

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