The Best Cheap Metal Detectors for Jewelry, Relic, and Gold Prospecting

The world below our feet is a gold mine of discovery, history, and fantasy – and simply put, a whole lot of fun. People are walking on all kinds of interesting and valuable objects every day – and most of the time, we have no idea! This is what makes prospecting the joy it is – the ground between you and your discovery makes treasures so close, yet so far. But with all these unknowns, it's not easy to know the best detectors and tools to suit your needs. This article provides our top suggestions for cheap metal detectors for coin and jewelry discovery, relic hunting, and gold prospecting. Read on for more.


Background: The Factors for Suitability

Metal detectors are made up of several parts that work together to detect objects beneath the ground and alert the operator. The main components are the body, a control box, and search coils. When detectors scan an area, their magnetic field picks up on objects and sends a signal to the coil, creating a sound through the headphones. Coils play a big role in the performance of metal detectors, as different types have various sensitivities and can identify more objects. Larger coils can detect deeper into the ground, but they can lose sensitivity to smaller objects – so while they're more powerful, they're not always the most reliable. Alternatively, smaller coils have an impressive sensitivity to a large range of objects but are restricted to the depths they can reach. These are the factors that make particular metal detectors suitable for different types of detecting.


Our Pick: The Best Cheap Metal Detector for Coins, Rings, and Jewelry Discovery

Detecting coins, rings, jewelry, and other objects people carry around with them is best done in high pedestrian traffic areas, whether that's an area still used or an abandoned area. These metal detectors need to have proficient target separation, which is necessary to filter out what you don't want to detect in these high-volume areas. You can tune the settings to pick up on coins and jewelry and ignore the tin foil and pesky bottle caps.

Coins, Rings, and Jewelry

Garrett Ace 300

Our pick of cheap metal detectors for the coin and jewelry hunters has to be the Garrett ACE 300. It's got everything you'll need for this type of isolated detecting, with its effective notch discriminator allowing you to hone in on our target and leave the rest. When you do find a coin or piece of jewelry, Garrett's reliable coin depth indicator tells you where it's located, so you can decide to unearth it or not. The Garrett ACE 300 typically comes with a complete kit of accessories, too, so finishing the job and collecting your treasures is one smooth process.

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Our Pick: Best Cheap Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting

The art of piecing together history is a big draw for relic hunters, and with relics from past wars and historical events scattered everywhere and anywhere, it's an exciting venture. Relics are potent around churches, old homesites, and any areas of historical relevance, such as abandoned stations or town squares. Relic hunters often have to take the path less traveled to find their treasures, so they need a durable and robust machine to accompany their adventures. Suitable metal detectors for relic hunters should have a reliable target separation and decent depth range. There can be a lot of junk on these sites masking the treasures, so detectors with excellent discrimination are also ideal.

Relic Hunting

Minelab Vanquish 540

We suggest the Minelab VANQUISH 540 for those pairing archeology with prospecting because its diversity and related features make it easy to isolate the valuable options you're looking for. Its customizable frequency range settings and large coil help you see further into the surface while maintaining a good level of sensitivity, as relics can be old and positioned deep into the ground. But VANQUISH's most suited feature for relics is the durability of this machine – wherever you want to take it, it will gladly join you for the ride.

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Our Pick: Best Cheap Metal Detectors for Gold Prospecting

Advancements in detectors have replaced the need to dig for everything that you're alerted to, and you can now tune your settings in to find what you're looking for. Gold metal detectors solely identify gold by using a high frequency and being well equipped to highly mineralized soil – where gold likes to live. As a gold hunter, you might spend longer than usual out in the field, so your detectors should come with a harness to help you with the weight of the machine over long periods.

Gold Prospecting

Nokta Gold Kruzer

Our gold metal detector of choice is the dynamic Nokta Gold Kruzer, based on its value and usability. Its stability and sparse noise in mineralized ground make it the perfect tool to detect for long lengths and concentrate your efforts. Taking this baby out to rivers, streams, and exposed bedrock is likely to deliver some encounters with the nuggets of your dreams.

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Final Digging

The trick to finding the best metal detector for you is to know your budget and needs. You might not need all the tools that a top-of-the-range metal detector offers, and a cheap option like the ones mentioned in this article may be perfect for finding your valuables. Serious Detecting is here to help you find what you need, and if you're still unsure which tool suits you best, we're here to help you discuss your options. Or browse through our vast and varied range of metal detectors to do your best detective work.