Minelab Equinox will
breathe new life into your hobby!!!

Security scanners
Quality recovery tools, Lesche, Apex

..and much more in stock!
Visit our product pages .

Big Valley
Our Treasure
Metal Detectors 

Call me!!! Find us on Facebook  

Call Larry at
(916) 225-9150

"Site to Site, Season to Season"

Big Valley never sleeps while its customers are awake!

Open daily. Call for hours.


metal detectors &
treasure hunting accessories
metal detectors
gold detectors
Remember...the way to get the best deal on a metal detector is to make sure you know how to use your equipment.
So support your expert, and your expert will support you!

"What is the BEST GOLD METAL DETECTOR?" A common question. Here you can learn...


First off, the best metal detector is the one you'll be able to use properly. Although it doesn't take a rocket scientist to operate a metal detector, in order to use one successfully, you should be absolutely sure you are going to buy it from a reputable dealer who can help you with operating your detector under the conditions specific to your region. Ideally there will be a showroom to demonstrate the products and you should steer clear of anyone who offers to make you a great (but shady) deal in parking lot or a park. This is the only way to make sure you get the right machine for you and that you will have the personal support you'll want when you need it.

So... let Big Valley Metal Detectors help you to choose thebest metal detector to meet your personal requirements and budget.

Now read on:

Gold detectors are all-metal-detectors. This means they respond to everything, yes, all metals, be it gold, copper, lead, silver, nickel, iron etc. What qualifies them as 'gold' detectors is that gold generally is found in difficult ground-mineralization, so the metal detector must have the proper controls to deal with ground conditions that can be noisy. Noise can obscure the detector's ability to 'see' gold nuggets in the ground. In order to neutralize this ground noise the gold detectors rely on ground balancing circuits, either auto tracking or manual ground balance.

The other important factor is the frequency of the circuit. VLF detectors optimize to sense gold nuggets (the average size in California is about match head or 2 to 3 grains). They tend to operate at a higher frequency than your traditional coin metal detector, about 10kHz to 72kHz. Pulse induction detectors, particularly Minelab's super detectors, multi-pulse, sensing under 3 kHz, but have been designed to see fairly small gold nuggets in addition to the larger gold nuggets. Their strongest advantage is in their ability to virtually ignore most hot rocks that will challenge a high end VLF detector and render the ground very quiet.

Top Dogs (yes, these dogs will hunt!)

Minelab GPZ7000

Minelab GPX 5000 metal detector

Comments: released in 2015, Minelab's GPX7000 represents the very top of the line pulse induction metal detectors. Up to date features, such as GPS and PC mapping and wireless freedom make this the detector to have if you are seriously serious about getting gold. The one drawback is that, precisely because of its superior qualities, high end Minelabs are a constant target of counterfeiters, and they have become quite adept at making their fakes look like the real deal!

This metal detector was preceded by the GP Extreme, GP3000 and GP3500. Guys using the GPZ 7000 continue to find deeper gold nuggets in previously heavily hunted areas. 40% deeper than the GPX series (GPX4000, GPX4500, and GPX5000), the GPZ7000 is currently the 'gold standard' of gold machines and leaves all other in the dust.

See the Minelab GPZ7000 here.

Minelab GPX5000

Minelab GPX 5000 metal detector

Comments: released in the summer/fall of 2010, Minelab's GPX5000 represents the very top of the line pulse induction metal detectors. An excellent, lighter battery system, digital controls and digital audio output, make this the quietest of the super detectors. The one drawback is that, precisely because of its superior qualities, the GPX5000 is a constant target of counterfeiters, and they have become quite adept at making their fakes look like the real deal!

This metal detector was preceded by the GP Extreme, GP3000 and GP3500. Guys using the GPX 5000 continue to find deeper gold nuggets in previously heavily hunted areas. As a replacement for the GPX4000 and GPX4500, the Minelab GPX5000 is currently the 'gold standard' of gold machines.

See the Minelab GPX5000 here.

Top VLF Gold Detectors

Garrett Scorpion Gold Stinger, 15 kHz

Garrett Scorpion Gold Stinger metal detector

Comments: Manual Ground Balance. Garrett Gold Scorpion continues the tradition of the Garrett Ground Hog circuit, so popular in the 1980s. Its 15 kHz circuit is quite sensitive on small match head size nuggets.

The Gold Scorpion is a smooth operator and comes with a 6x10" wide scan loop, which is pretty much the industry standard. Manual ground balancing is done with a 10-turn ground balance control with a fixed auto tune. The Gold Scorpion has a full range motion discriminator, as well as a non-motion TR discriminator.

The Gold Scorpion has a light-weight feel and can be pole- or hip mounted. No VCO. Its dual discrimination circuits make it an effective coin and relic detector.

See the Garrett Scorpion Gold Stinger here

Garrett AT Gold

Garrett AT Gold metal detector

Comments: This nice little gold machine from Garrett is great for the traveling prospector. It will hunt on land as well as in water, and is submersible to 10 ft!

The smaller DD coil and higher frequency give this metal detector a high level of accuracy, and make it an exciting machine in the Garrett line-up.

See the Garrett AT Gold here

Fisher Goldbug Pro

Fisher Goldbug PRO metal detector

Comments: with this new introduction Fisher has hit a home run. This series can be used for coin shooting, relic hunting or gold prospecting, and is considered a crossover.

Comes in various packages that include different accessories.

See Fisher Goldbug Pro here

Minelab Eureka Gold, Selectable 6.4 kHz, 20 kHz and 60 kHz

Minelab Eureka Gold Metal Detector

Comments: Auto tracking ground balance about as fast as the GMT by Whites. Two speeds of auto tune. Comes standard with 6x10 loop, no factory accessory loops made due to the complexity of being able to select between three different frequencies; 6 kHz for deepest/largest gold nuggets, 20 kHz (the preferred frequency, with impressive sharp response on match head sized nuggets and larger), and 60 kHz for sub-grain nuggets.

Most impressive is the quietness of the circuit that Minelab is so famous for, which translates into less noise to better see and hear that small elusive gold nugget.

Although not advertised as having the ability to coin shoot, you can use it for that, as it has a ferrous or iron discriminator.

Big Valley recommends to hunt at 6.4 kHz with tracking off. You can also have fun looking for the coveted fine jewelry and chains using 20 or even 60 kHz around the tan bark. Predecessors included the American Gold Striker (first tracking detector at 32 kHz) and Minelab 18000 GT.

See the Minelab Eureka Gold here

If you have read to here, you should watch this video for my best advice!

Other VLF models recommended for coin, jewelry & relic hunting with good gold nugget detection.

*Tesoro Vaquero

*Tesoro Téjon

*Minelab X-Terra 705

*Garrett GTI 2500

Pulse induction detectors & super prospectors.

Garrett Infinium

Garrett Infinium LS metal detector

Comments: Very similar circuit to the 2200D but has some big advantages.

It is water proof to 200 feet or more and is ergonomically much lighter and easily pole or hip mounted. The circuit sounds very close to Minelab's 2200 and it appears that Charles Garrett and the engineering staff likewise took a page or two out of Eric Foster's technology.

Some time ago, Mark the Locksmith, a Trans Bay customer, traded in his Detector Pro Head Hunter PI (Eric Foster Circuit) with which he found a man's gold ring holding two 1/4Ct diamonds at over 14" deep. Mark had been doing his homework and asked to borrow an Infinium demo. He decided he liked the high-low conductive tone ID and ordered one. After he received the new Infinium he remarked that this new Infinium seemed to be more stable and, after checking with my national rep, Carl Mathias, it turned out that Garrett has quietly continued to make improvements in the development of the Infinium with very little fanfare.

The Infinium has a great selection of factory mono and double D or wide scan loops at its disposal. Three years ago, the other number 1 in the power of 2 took the Infinium to Lake Tahoe and it cut through the heavy volcanic black sand with ease. There were even coins too deep to dig, at over 20". The Infinium is definitely a best buy.

See the Garrett Infinium here

Minelab SD 2100 and 2200 V2, Analog Output : now discontinued, but still worth a mention!

Minelab SD 2100 metal detector

Comments: Back in the early 1990s Jimmy Sierra received one of the first SD 2000s from Bruce Candy, Minelab's chief engineer. The very first one had been given to Peter Hedyler, a Ex Dutch Marine who was living and prospecting in Australia and used the Fisher Gold Bug and White's Goldmaster II. Within a short time, Peter heard a very deep but large signal in hard pack iron stone and calichi soil. Trash was unlikely. Peter couldn't put a dent in the hard soil with his pick, so he had to go back to town to rent a jack hammer. It took him most of the day to get down more than four feet, where he pulled up a 60 oz. gold nugget.

The SD2000's ability to virtually neutralize any ground reactivity that's generally noisy and challenging to most VLF Detectors was the key to Peter hearing that very deep target. It wasn't too long before Bruce Candy sent one to Jimmy Sierra for evaluation. Eventually, Minelab saw the performance of the prototypes and insisted that Bruce Candy go ahead with production. These SD detectors opened up a whole new world of nuggets whose depth was previously beyond the capacity of any of the other detectors on the market at that time.

The 2000s became 2100 V1s and then Bruce Candy, taking some of the expertise from Eric Foster, the father of pulse induction technology, developed a sophisticated ground tracking system along with some other enhancements to aid the pulse induction. Thus, 2200 V1 was born.

Today, the 2100 and 2200 have evolved into the V2s with the 2200V2 being the most popular. Despite the great success of the GP series, in when they had a gold rush in Mongolia the 2200 V2 seems to be the detector of choice. When the SDs started to first show up in America right around 1998, "Digger" Bob Van Camp (Comstock Metal Detectors in Paradise, CA) and Jim Williams went to Rye Patch to do their annual prospecting in an area they thought they had cleaned out with Fisher Gold Bugs and White's Goldmasters. They ran into some detectorists that had been camped out at Rye Patch for several weeks. They showed Bob and Jim all the good size nuggets they had been finding in this so-called worked out area. Bob and Jim's jaws dropped. Several signals that were clearly heard with the SD Detectors, Bob and Jim could not hear with their Goldmaster IIIs. It was clear that Minelab had made a big leap forward in terms of their gold machine technology. The SDs still will not see the smaller nuggets seen by their VLF counterparts, which have become better and more efficient with advanced ground tracking circuits.

See Minelab's metal detectors here

Call me!!!Questions?
Call Larry at (916) 225-9150

Visit our product pages.

"Site to Site, Season to Season"
Big Valley never sleeps while its customers are awake!

gold detectors

Located in Citrus Heights, California, we are an easy drive from Sacramento, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Rocklin, Orangevale, Folsom, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Loomis, Placerville, Antelope, Antioch, Auburn, Cameron Park, Chico, Colfax, Colusa, Concord, Courtland, Davis, Dixon, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Elverta, Galt, Granite Bay, Isleton, Jackson, Lakeport, Lincoln, Lodi, Marysville, Napa, Newcastle, North Highlands, Oroville, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Redding, Rio Linda, Sloughhouse, Stockton, Tahoe, Vacaville, Vallejo, Walnut Creek, Walnut Grove, Williams, Wilton, Winters, Woodland, Yuba City and many more places. Call for directions. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

It's hard to beat Minelab's Equinox 800 or 600, so come see me at Big Valley Metal Detectors to get yours, and I'll show you how to use it properly, too!!
Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs, SVDB