There aren’t very many metal detectors that are marketed for “multi-purpose use” that are particularly effective for finding gold nuggets. Most of them are just coil and relic detectors, and perform poorly in the goldfields.
The Minelab X-Terra 705 is an exception. When setup properly, it is actually a very good VLF metal detector that can find gold nuggets in a variety of situations.
The interesting feature of this detector is how the coil affects the frequency that the detector operates. Different coils will actually change the operating frequency of the detector. Coil selection is extremely critical with this detector. By far, the most popular coil to use for gold nuggets with the Minelab X-Terra 705
is the 5” x 10” DD, which operates at 18.75 kHz.
As with other VLF detectors, the X-Terra 705 does not detect very deep, and as ground gets more mineralized its detection depth is reduced. Most gold nuggets found with this detector will likely be in the first 6” of depth, while the occasional larger nugget can be found at a foot or more.
While it won’t find gold nuggets at extreme depths the same way that more expensive pulse induction detectors will, it does a good job finding small gold nuggets at moderate depths, and at a fraction of the cost compared to some of those more expensive detectors.
For nugget hunting, you should use the all-metal mode and dig all signal targets. While this detector does have discrimination, it can be unreliable in the goldfields and you are better off to dig all signals to ensure that you don’t leave gold behind.
If you do decide to use the discrimination feature, I would recommend that you are not too selective. It is simply too difficult to cancel out small bits of iron completely while digging all the gold nuggets out there. If an area is extremely trashy and you feel like using this feature, just understand that you are going to miss some of the smaller nuggets or possibly pass over a target that identifies as trash, when in fact it may be a gold nugget.
Also Read: Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets (Part 1)
And: Metal Detecting for Gold nuggets (Part 2)
As stated earlier, this is truly a multi-purpose metal detector. Unlike many of the gold-specific metal detectors, the Minelab X-Terra 705
will also do a great job finding coins and relics. And since there are old mining camps all throughout gold bearing areas, you may want to try your luck at finding old relics in these historic areas. That is where the benefit of having a multi-purpose metal detector like the X-Terra 705 is a real advantage.
Minelab has a wide variety of quality gold detectors on the market, and they all find nuggets. The X-Terra 705 is no exception. If you learn to operate it properly, use the 18.75 kHz coil, and hunt in a gold-bearing area you will definitely find nugget with it.