Underwater metal detectors like the, Viper Trident are an especially useful tool for modern prospectors, because they allow you to search for gold in areas that were off limits to small-time prospectors until just the last few years. The Viper Trident is a great choice for anyone thinking about an underwater metal detector, because it is only $299.
Streams draining the rich Mother Lode region in Northern California — the Feather, Mokelumne, American, Cosumnes, Calaveras, and Yuba Rivers and the Trinity River have concentrated enormous quantities of gold in gravels, known as placer depsotis, over the millennium. It was discoveries in these rivers that started the great California gold rush in 1849 and literally tens of billions of dollars worth of gold has been extracted from the shallow parts of these streams.
But many stretches of deep water are simply UNTOUCHED by prospectors. Sometimes old time prospectors did build dams or canals to open stretches of deep water to prospectors, but that was a difficult, expensive, and time consuming task. Later they used gold dredges, but these are also expensive and traditional gold dredges were limited mostly to navigable bodies of water. Even today’s modern lightweight suction dredges are difficult to transport into many areas and often hard to use in more than ten feet of water.
So, there are hundreds of miles of California river and lake bottoms that are almost as virgin as they were before the strike at Sutter’s Mill. That means that there are undoubtedly some large gold nuggets simply lying untouched in the dark waters waiting for someone with an underwater metal detector, like this Garrett Sea Hunter.
And using an underwater metal detector doesn’t require you to be a master scuba diver, because any stretch of where a river is too wide to dam or divert that runs more than four feet of water year round is almost certainly virgin or near virgin territory. However, if you are already a scuba diver it allows you to really get into unexplored territory with underwater metal detectors like this Minelab Excalibur II.
Of course, the nice thing about underwater metal detectors is that you can also use them on land for any job you might have and some of the high end underwater metal detectors Fisher CZ-21 Pro , which works down to 250 feet in depth, are real gold detectors too.
This is truly the golden period for prospecting with underwater metal detectors.
Where to Use your Underwater Metal Detector
Streams draining the rich Mother Lode region–the Feather, Mokelumne, American, Cosumnes, Calaveras, and Yuba Rivers–and the Trinity River in northern California have concentrated considerable quantities of gold in gravels and where the water is deeper these are good areas for the use of underwater metal detectors.
In the eastern United States, placer deposits have been discovered in streams draining the southern Appalachian region in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, and these often deeper streams and rivers are great areas for the use of underwater metal detectors. Many saprolite (disintegrated somewhat decomposed rock that lies in its original place) deposits in this general region also have been mined by placer methods.