The year was 1978. But I still remember it like it was yesterday!
I was out enjoying a day of coin hunting with my dad out at the local park. We had been there for the better part of the day with nothing to show.
But suddenly, I noticed a bewitching grim pasted over my dad’s face.
From his expression, I could easily tell he had found something interesting.
And as I had expected, he had unearthed a rare silver quarter dating 1878.
As a good dad would do, he explained the significance of finding a coin during the same time we were celebrating the bicentennial of our nation.
It’s at this moment that my interest in coin shooting was reinvigorated.
See, there’s no better feeling than locating a coin, pulling it from the ground, and after wiping the dirt of it, realizing you’ve found a rare coin.
What was once a job for the old-time pirates and scallywags is now a modern-day hobby.
While it’s unlikely you’ll dig up an elusive 1913 S Barber Quarter, the thrill that comes with unearthing treasure troves buried deep into the ground is unfathomable.
But looking for coins on the earth isn’t quite like finding loose coins in your pockets.
There’re numerous other things below the ground’s surface, including trash such as bottle caps, foil bits, nails & screws.
Generally, finding the earth’s hidden treasures takes an investment in a few handy tools. One item that will help you sift through those unwanted items quickly and easily is the best metal detector for coins.
Some detectors are so advanced in the detection technology that they’ll signal to you the difference between interesting coins and unwanted junk.
But not all detectors are created equal; here’s a review of the best metal detectors for coin shooting.
Table of Contents
The Best Metal Detectors for Coins For The Money
#1 Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our top pick, Garret AT Pro, is arguably Garret’s most famous metal detector.
It’s part of the AT series, including the Gold and MAX, and aims to deliver professional-standard performance for a reasonable price.
While beginners will certainly need to learn how to use the AT Pro, old hands at the hobby will immediately profit from the professional features it offers.
But is the AT Pro the right purchase for your coin shooting needs?
Features and Benefits
Aptly named the AT Pro, this detector is an “All-Terrain” gadget, perfect for use on any condition.
It’s important to acknowledge this because lost coins can be found in various ground conditions, from the beach, park to the field.
The AT Pro is also waterproof and fully submersible, so your coin shooting isn’t limited to land.
While you won’t scuba-dive with the detector, the 10 feet waterproofness means you can brave the river beds, swimming holes, docks, and shorelines without worrying about the device’s structural integrity.
AT Pros is a single frequency VLF detector operating at 15 kHz.
The operating frequency is higher than many competing VFL detectors. It’s a good thing since it’s brilliant at detecting small targets such as coins while minimizing interference from power lines or other metal detectors.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s a single frequency detector, so it might not be the best option for coin shooting in saltwater or high mineralized locations.
While Garret markets the AT Pro as ideal for saltwater detecting, you’re likely to experience a lot of chatter, even with ground balancing.
Pro Mode Audio
Beginners prefer to stick with the clean, consistent target responses of targets.
However, the old hands will benefit from the “proportional” mode audio, which emits more than a single tone to represent characteristics of the target such as size, shape, and depth.
Of course, mastering the audio mode has a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself digging less trash and more treasure.
The iron mode is especially useful for coin shooters, who need to distinguish ferrous trash like washers, and bottle caps from coins.
When a coin is detected, the mode delivers a consistently high tone. While on the other hand, bottle caps produce low/high/low tones.
The iron mode also allows users to profit from notch discrimination. You get alerted to objects above the discrimination threshold and object below the threshold with unique tones for better target information.
Detectorists living in high-mineralized locations will benefit from the AT Pro’s ground balance, which cuts down on the chatter signal.
At the same time, the feature lets you find targets at a deeper depth and with a better target ID.
This feature alone might be a game-changer for your hunting needs.
While the detector finds the general target location, the pinpointer allows you to accurately determine the coin’s exact position.
#2 White’s TreasurePro - Entry-Level Option
The White’s TreasurePro is an entry-level option but aimed at beginners looking for more versatility and quality.
While it makes a great beginner option, it also has enough to satisfy the intermediates looking for a feature-packed detector at an entry-level price point.
Keep in mind that it’s at the upper end of the entry-level option and priced a bit higher than most beginner-options.
Features and Benefits
The overall look of White’s detector is enough to get you excited.
It doesn’t come with the generic black paint coat. Instead, it features a burst of copper from the stem.
With an adjustable stem, armrest, and a lightweight body, we also feel the TreasurePro is built for style and comfort.
A 10-inch DD search coil adorns the end of the Pro’s stem. Unfortunately, though most listings present it as waterproof, it’s only weather resistant.
White’s detector is a single frequency VLF, operating at 8.8 kHz.
Right off the bat, it’s right within the sweet zone from finding small, highly conductive targets, so it’s going to be a coin shooter for sure.
It’s also a great pick for identifying other smaller items like silver and jewelry.
Auto & Tracking Ground Balance
As with the AT Pro, we reviewed above, TreasurePro utilizes both automatic and ground balance with two options to use these features.
I find the auto-balance quite useful when I need to quickly cover ground without entering any numbers.
On the other hand, the manual ground balance is handy for the highly mineralized areas. It rejects the trash and minerals, improving the detection of the desired objects.
Tone identification is one of the TreasurePro’s important features as it lets coin shooters quickly identify targets within range, even without the need of looking at the display.
Also, the detector features five modes to help further coin shooters identifying their targets.
The coin and jewelry mode is the most crucial mode for coin shooters as it easily identifies ferrous objects such as coins, jewelry, and precious metals.
Having a detector that allows you to hear all signals from all targets is a real treat.
But the ability to adjust the strength signals of targets you don’t want to hear takes this new experience to a whole new level.
And this is exactly what the White’s Pro does.
You can adjust the threshold to hear a low buzz or constant hum for trash, but loud and clear signals from good items.
If you need to hunt for coins long after the tourists have left the park, you can head out at night since White’s display flaunts a backlight.
It’s an extremely helpful feature for improving the visibility and extending your hunting time,
While it doesn’t have a light adjustable brightness setting, it’s still a fantastic feature to have, especially for an entry-level detector.
#3 Fisher F22 - Budget Option
If you feel your budget can only stretch so far, you can consider the Fisher F22.
The F22, a budget-pick, is the new version of the Fisher F2, which ruled the entry-level market world since 2007.
The new iteration hasn’t changed a lot, but it has several enhancements over its predecessor, including iron audio, volume adjustment, additional search modes, and a new coil design.
Features and Benefits
F22’s design perfectly suits the needs of both beginners and experts who enjoy metal detecting.
It’s lightweight, easy to use, so you’ll have an easy time coin shooting.
Unfortunately, it’s not completely waterproof, but you can use it in inclement weather.
I should state that it’s not designed for use on wet sand or saltwater environments. It lacks ground balance, so it has many chatters once it gets overloaded with salt and even iron oxide signals.
Another new improvement on the F22 is a 9” search coil. It comes in a triangulated elliptical concentric waterproof coil, a great option for detecting small targets such as coins, while its shape lends itself useful for detecting in the tight spots.
Target ID Indicators
The most helpful F22 feature is the target ID display for interpreting the type of metal target.
It utilizes a numerical system to help you figure out the exact type of metal target.
For instance, the category with number 2-5 indicates a gold target, 6-9 indicate silver, while the gold flakes will fall under the FE scale.
You can further identify the type of coin based on the numbers, including dimes, quarters, and half-dollar coins.
Few entry-level metal detectors feature iron audio, so this was a surprise for a budget-purchase.
It’s a useful feature that lets you adjust the ferrous targets’ volume, allowing you to identify trash from real coins.
But as with all other VFL metal detectors, it performs well on dry land but might prove hard to use in saltwater or highly mineralized conditions.
You won’t have any problem identifying how far your target is from the ground level.
F22’s depth indicator not only provides an estimate of how far down your treasure is but can also give an idea of the size of the coin.
Plus, it comes with a pinpointing feature, which lets you determine your target’s exact location. By pressing the PP designate pushbutton, 22 lets you know whether you’re right on target when you hear an audio tone.
#4 Bounty Hunter Tracker IV - Best for Kids
Fourth on our list of the best metal detectors for coins is an option that may intrigue your kids.
With an adjustable height and weighing only a few pounds, kids of all ages can use this machine,
Its greatest appeal, though, is its simplicity. Bounty Hunter is a simple & frill-free model that is easy to operate and will not pose any challenges to your kids.
Features and Benefits
Bounty Hunter detectors are as simple as they come.
With only two-knobs and a switch, operating a metal detector can’t get any simpler than this.
The three- control operation has a quick learning curve, and kids and beginners will savor every moment with this coin shooter.
But don’t let this simplicity fool you; Bounty Hunter isn’t a toy detector. While it can’t match the Garret Pro AT performance, it provides great value and a reasonable performance across a range of conditions.
Of course, there’s plenty of features it lacks, compared to pricier detectors.
For instance, it lacks a ground balance adjustment function, limiting the experienced detectorists. It makes it virtually impossible to use the detector on grounds with high mineralization or even on saltwater.
Bounty Hunter furthers the ease of use with a two-tone audio system.
It’s a handy feature letting you identify the valuable items with the least effort.
For instance, when the iron is rejected, no sound emits from the detector. On the other hand, low tones indicate smaller items like nickel and jewelry, while high tones indicate valuable items such as copper, brass, and silver.
Naturally, you’ll want a detector with high sensitivity because it offers the benefit of detecting smaller objects.
While it’s perfect for items such as earrings or gold nuggets, it’s also prone to falsing from ground minerals like iron and salt.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about mineralization since Bounty Hunter lets you adjust sensitivity and have it as high as possible when rejecting false signals.
In addition to the sensitivity, Bounty Hunter comes with a discrimination knob that allows you to ignore unwanted metal types commonly found in trash items.
It’s a critical feature, especially for coin shooters, because it’ll only allow them to dig up the good stuff. You don’t want to spend the entire day digging up trash.
If you don’t want to use any discrimination for coin detecting, you can switch your mode to “All Metal.”
This mode lets you detect with zero discrimination.
It’s not a great option for a coin shooter, but it may prove handy for relic hunters since some of the good targets are iron, and you wouldn’t want to discriminate against relics.
#5 Minelab E-Trac Metal Detector - Best for Professionals
Few metal detectors come as professional as the Minelab E-Trac.
The E-Traci is among the few professional metal detectors best suited for serious metal detectorists.
It flaunts a wealth of fantastic features and offers more depth and precise discrimination, allowing you to find targets other detectors have missed.
Keep in mind, though; it’s a professional detector, so you’ll have to learn how to use it to make it more efficient. While it has plenty of readings, this complex machine will help you find hidden treasures with ease.
Features and Benefits
Minelab E-Trac, with a multi-frequency transmission, stands out from the rest of the detectors on our list.
It can detect on 28 different frequencies, which means you can detect almost anything on the ground.
Unlike the single-frequency detectors, this option allows you to find deeper targets, ignore highly mineralized soils and attain precise discrimination and target ID.
Professionals will benefit from precise target identification, thanks to the proprietary SmartFind Technology.
It’s a useful system that allows detectorists to see how conductive and ferrous a target is, helping with easily distinguishing trash from treasure and even silver from the cladding.
And that’s not all!
Minelab can sift through the normal discrimination pattern and “Quickmask” screen target before digging.
It helps save your energy and time and, more importantly, helps with the “iffy” signals or those you may suspect may be masked by other nearby targets.
Controls and Ease of Use
E-Trac can seem a little bit too intimidating at first, but it’s not if you take your time to learn the detector.
Detection is a breeze since it has four pre-set user modes, allowing you to use the detector right out of the box.
The detector also comes with four user mode slots, which are handy in creating and saving your programs and even discrimination patterns based on your hunting needs.
Best Metal Detectors for Coins Buying Guide
Both beginners and advanced detectorists enjoy metal detecting for coins.
However, the key difference between the two users is the type of detector they purchase.
Cheaper detectors within the $100-$400 range are ideal for beginners. They’re affordable, and most of them have preset user settings and are typically calibrated with a frequency that’s best for coins.
On the other hand, advanced users will opt for something in the mid-level to high-end detectors for additional features that allow customization.
Ground balance is a feature that allows you to ignore false signals coming from the ground.
If you’ve used your detector on “iffy” ground, such as the high mineralized location, your detector may pick up on microscopic particles like salt and iron.
The constant false signals are likely to discourage and even wear you out.
Fortunately, detectors with ground balance can cancel out the signals from ground minerals.
But the majority of beginner options feature a preset ground balance, which is a good and bad thing.
If you’re new to the hobby, the preset ground balance means you won’t have to deal with ground balancing, which may very well be the most challenging feature to master. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to adjust it on the fly for various types of terrain.
Presets may be fine for recreational detectorists, but the serious guys will opt for an automatic function. This is because they know how to negatively and positively ground balance their detector for the conditions.
Good coil selection
I would advise that you choose a detector with multiple accessory coils.
See, different hunts and locations require different coil types and sizes.
Some hunts might warrant a smaller, double D coil, while others a larger concentric coil.
Several factors go into this decision, including ground mineralization level, trash density, and pinpointing experience.
Once you’ve detected a target, you’ll want to find its exact location and dig the smallest hole possible.
There’re two common types of coil configuration for pinpointing.
DD and the concentric.
Both have their pros and cons. However, I find concentric easier and perhaps faster to pinpoint with.
The most important factor here is to practice with the search coil you’re most comfortable with.
We recommend you practice before heading out because it’s not easy to do in the field by winging it.
Before you decide on a suitable detector, consider where you’ll be using it and the type of targets you’ll be looking for.
For instance, if you’ll take your detector to the river or lake, it’s prudent to invest in a product with a waterproof coil.
If you plan to explore the desert to seek gold coins, waterproofing isn’t much of a concern.
A detector with discrimination can distinguish between types of material. For instance, it can tell the difference between a coin and a bottle cap.
Having a detector with discrimination saves you time and effort because you don’t have to stop and dig, only to find its trash.
Detectors with discrimination will sound an alert when they find an object that meets a selected criterion.
Detectors with target identification take discrimination a step further.
Instead of simply alerting you when something worthwhile to dig, these detectors indicate the type of object.
These detectors will distinguish between jewelry, junk, gold, and coins of different denominations.
A metal detector’s operating frequency refers to the number of times per second a signal is transmitted and received by the detector.
Low-frequency detectors can scan deeper into the ground and are ideal for finding large objects.
However, if you seek coins, you may want a device operating at a higher frequency. While they’ve less penetration than low-frequency detectors, they can easily identify small objects that may elude low-frequency detectors.
Sensitivity refers to how well a device can detect conductive materials from a specific distance.
Most of the detectors come labeled with recommended sensitivity levels appropriate for most applications.
We recommend that you choose a detector with an adjustable sensitivity so that you can lower or turn it up for it to work effectively.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our review of the best metal detectors for coins has some pretty awesome options, but the Garret AT Pro takes the gold.
While it lacks a multi-frequency transmission with the Minelab E-Trac, it has a wealth of handy features.
First, it’s an all-terrain detector, perfect for use in different environments, including land on water.
It also has different detection modes, which are quite handy for coin shooters who don’t want to go through the hassle of digging trash.
Overall, it’s a fantastic option and is certain to make your coin shooting experience more fulfilling.