Metal detector

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U.S. Army soldiers use a military standard metal detector

A metal detector is an instrument that detects the presence of metal nearby. Metal detectors are useful for finding metal inclusions hidden within objects, or metal objects buried underground. They often consist of a handheld unit with a sensor probe which can be swept over the ground or other objects. If the sensor comes near a piece of metal this is indicated by a changing tone in earphones, or a needle moving on an indicator. Usually the device gives some indication of distance; the closer the metal is, the higher the tone in the earphone or the higher the needle goes. Another common type are stationary "walk through" metal detectors (see § Security screening below) used at access points in prisons, courthouses, and airports to detect concealed metal weapons on a person's body.

The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current that passes through a coil producing an alternating magnetic field. If a piece of electrically conductive metal is close to the coil, eddy currents will be induced (inductive sensor) in the metal, and this produces a magnetic field of its own. If another coil is used to measure the magnetic field (acting as a magnetometer), the change in the magnetic field due to the metallic object can be detected.

The first industrial metal detectors were developed in the 1960s and were used extensively for mineral prospecting and other industrial applications. Uses include detecting land mines, the detection of weapons such as knives and guns (especially in airport security), geophysical prospecting, archaeology and treasure hunting. Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, and in the construction industry to detect steel reinforcing bars in concrete and pipes and wires buried in walls and floors.

History and development[edit]

An early metal detector, in 1919, used to find unexploded bombs in France after World War I

Towards the end of the 19th century, many scientists and engineers used their growing knowledge of electrical theory in an attempt to devise a machine which would pinpoint metal. The use of such a device to find ore-bearing rocks would give a huge advantage to any miner who employed it. Early machines were crude, used a lot of battery power, and worked only to a very limited degree. In 1874, Parisian inventor Gustave Trouvé developed a hand-held device for locating and extracting metal objects such as bullets from human patients. Inspired by Trouvé, Alexander Graham Bell developed a similar device to attempt to locate a bullet lodged in the chest of American President James Garfield in 1881; the metal detector worked correctly, but the attempt was unsuccessful because the metal coil spring bed Garfield was lying on confused the detector.[1]

Modern developments[edit]

The modern development of the metal detector began in the 1920s. Gerhard Fischer had developed a system of radio direction-finding, which was to be used for accurate navigation. The system worked extremely well, but Fischer noticed there were anomalies in areas where the terrain contained ore-bearing rocks. He reasoned that if a radio beam could be distorted by metal, then it should be possible to design a machine which would detect metal using a search coil resonating at a radio frequency. In 1925 he applied for, and was granted, the first patent for a metal detector. Although Gerhard Fischer was the first person granted a patent for a metal detector, the first to apply was Shirl Herr, a businessman from Crawfordsville, Indiana. His application for a hand-held Hidden-Metal Detector was filed in February 1924, but not patented until July 1928. Herr assisted Italian leader Benito Mussolini in recovering items remaining from the Emperor Caligula's galleys at the bottom of Lake Nemi, Italy in August 1929. Herr's invention was used by Admiral Richard Byrd's Second Antarctic Expedition in 1933, when it was used to locate objects left behind by earlier explorers. It was effective up to a depth of eight feet.[2] However, it was one Lieutenant Józef Stanisław Kosacki, a Polish officer attached to a unit stationed in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, during the early years of World War II, who refined the design into a practical Polish mine detector.[3] These units were still quite heavy, as they ran on vacuum tubes, and needed separate battery packs.

The design invented by Kosacki was used extensively during the Second Battle of El Alamein when 500 units were shipped to Field Marshal Montgomery to clear the minefields of the retreating Germans, and later used during the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Allied invasion of Italy and the Invasion of Normandy.[4]

As the creation and refinement of the device was a wartime military research operation, the knowledge that Kosacki created the first practical metal detector was kept secret for over 50 years.

Beat Frequency Induction[edit]

Many manufacturers of these new devices brought their own ideas to the market. White's Electronics of Oregon began in the 1950s by building a machine called the Oremaster Geiger Counter. Another leader in detector technology was Charles Garrett, who pioneered the BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator) machine. With the invention and development of the transistor in the 1950s and 1960s, metal detector manufacturers and designers made smaller, lighter machines with improved circuitry, running on small battery packs. Companies sprang up all over the United States and Britain to supply the growing demand. Beat Frequency Induction requires movement of the detector coil; akin to how swinging a conductor near a magnet induces an electric current; except the pulse is electric EMF and not magnetic EMF[further explanation needed].


Modern top models are fully computerized, using integrated circuit technology to allow the user to set sensitivity, discrimination, track speed, threshold volume, notch filters, etc., and hold these parameters in memory for future use. Compared to just a decade ago, detectors are lighter, deeper-seeking, use less battery power, and discriminate better.

State of the art metal detectors have further incorporated extensive wireless technologies for the earphones, connect to Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices. Some also utilize built in GPS locator technology to keep track of searching location and the location of items found. Some connect to smartphone applications to further extend functionality.


The biggest technical change in detectors was the development of a tunable induction system. This system involved two coils that are electro-magnetically tuned. One coil act as an RF transmitter the other as a receiver; in some cases these can be tuned to between 3 and 100 kHz. When metal is in their vicinity, a signal is detected owing to eddy currents induced in the metal. What allowed detectors to discriminate between metals was the fact that every metal has a different phase response when exposed to alternating current; longer waves (low frequency) penetrate ground deeper, and select for high conductivity targets like silver, and copper; than shorter waves (higher frequency) which, while less ground penetrating, select for low conductivity targets like iron. Unfortunately, high frequency is also sensitive to ground mineralisation interference. This selectivity or discrimination allowed detectors to be developed that could selectively detect desirable metals, while ignoring undesirable ones.

Even with discriminators, it was still a challenge to avoid undesirable metals, because some of them have similar phase responses (e.g. tinfoil and gold), particularly in alloy form. Thus, improperly tuning out certain metals increased the risk of passing over a valuable find. Another disadvantage of discriminators was that they reduced the sensitivity of the machines.

New coil designs[edit]

Coil designers also tried out innovative designs. The original induction balance coil system consisted of two identical coils placed on top of one another. Compass Electronics produced a new design: two coils in a D shape, mounted back-to-back to form a circle. This system was widely used in the 1970s, and both concentric and D type (or widescan as they became known) had their fans. Another development was the invention of detectors which could cancel out the effect of mineralization in the ground. This gave greater depth, but was a non-discriminate mode. It worked best at lower frequencies than those used before, and frequencies of 3 to 20 kHz were found to produce the best results. Many detectors in the 1970s had a switch which enabled the user to switch between the discriminate mode and the non-discriminate mode. Later developments switched electronically between both modes. The development of the induction balance detector would ultimately result in the motion detector, which constantly checked and balanced the background mineralization.

Pulse induction[edit]

At the same time, developers were looking at using a different technique in metal detection called pulse induction.[5] Unlike the beat frequency oscillator or the induction balance machines which both used a uniform alternating current at a low frequency, the pulse induction (PI) machine simply magnetized the ground with a relatively powerful, momentary current through a search coil. In the absence of metal, the field decayed at a uniform rate, and the time it took to fall to zero volts could be accurately measured. However, if metal was present when the machine fired, a small eddy current would be induced in the metal, and the time for sensed current decay would be increased. These time differences were minute, but the improvement in electronics made it possible to measure them accurately and identify the presence of metal at a reasonable distance. These new machines had one major advantage: they were mostly impervious to the effects of mineralization, and rings and other jewelry could now be located even under highly mineralized black sand. The addition of computer control and digital signal processing have further improved pulse induction sensors.

One particular advantage of using a pulse induction detector includes the ability to ignore the minerals contained within heavily mineralized soil; in some cases the heavy mineral content may even help the PI detector function better.[citation needed] Where a VLF detector is affected negatively by soil mineralization, a PI unit is not.


Larger portable metal detectors are used by archaeologists and treasure hunters to locate metallic items, such as jewelry, coins, clothes buttons and other accessories, bullets, and other various artifacts buried beneath the surface.


Metal detectors are widely used in archaeology with the first recorded use by military historian Don Rickey in 1958 who used one to detect the firing lines at Little Big Horn. However archaeologists oppose the use of metal detectors by "artifact seekers" or "site looters" whose activities disrupt archaeological sites.[6] The problem with use of metal detectors in archaeological sites or hobbyist who find objects of archeological interest is that the context that the object was found in is lost and no detailed survey of its surroundings is made. Outside of known sites the significance of objects may not be apparent to a metal detector hobbyist.[7]

England and Wales[edit]

In England and Wales metal detecting is legal provided that the landowner has granted permission and that the area is not a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), or covered by elements of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

The Treasure Act 1996 governs whether or not items that have been discovered are defined as treasure.[8] Finders of items that the Act defines as treasure must report their finds to the local coroner.[9] If they discover items that are not defined as treasure but that are of cultural or historical interest, finders can voluntarily report them to the Portable Antiquities Scheme[10] and the UK Detector Finds Database.


The sale of metal detectors is allowed in France. The first use of metal detectors in France which led to archaeological discoveries occurred in 1958: people living in the city of Graincourt-lès-Havrincourt who were seeking copper from World War I bombshell with military mine detector found a Roman silver treasure.[11] The French law on metal detecting is ambiguous because it refers only to the objective pursued by the user of a metal detector. The first law to regulate the use of metal detectors was Law No. 89-900 of 18 December 1989. This last is resumed without any change in Article L. 542-1 of the code of the heritage, which states that "no person may use the equipment for the detection of metal objects, for the purpose of research monuments and items of interest prehistory, history, art and archeology without having previously obtained an administrative authorization issued based on the applicant's qualification and the nature and method of research. " Outside the research of archaeological objects, using a metal detector does not require specific authorization, except that of the owner of the land. We often read, from some archaeologists, that the use of a metal detector is itself prohibited without official authorization. This is false. To realize this, one must look to the legislative intent in enacting the Law No. 89-900 of 18 December 1989. Asked about Law No. 89-900 of 18 December 1989 by the member of parliament mister Calloud, Jack Lang, Minister of Culture at the time, replied by letter the following: "The new law does not prohibit the use of metal detectors but only regulates the use. If the purpose of such use is the search for archaeological remains, prior authorization is required from my services. Apart from this case, the law ask to be reported to the appropriate authorities an accidental discovery of archaeological remains." The entire letter of Jack Lang was published in 1990 in a French metal detection magazine,[12] and then, to be visible on internet, scanned with permission of the author of the magazine on a French metal detection website.[13]


Under the Scots law principle of bona vacantia, the Crown has claim over any object of any material value where the original owner cannot be traced.[14] There is also no 300 year limit to Scottish finds. Any artifact found, whether by metal detector survey or from an archaeological excavation, must be reported to the Crown through the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel at the National Museums of Scotland. The panel then determines what will happen to the artifacts. Reporting is not voluntary, and failure to report the discovery of historic artifacts is a criminal offence in Scotland.

United States[edit]

The sale of metal detectors is allowed in the United States. People can use metal detectors in public places (parks, beaches, etc.) and on private property with the permission of the owner of the site. In the United States, cooperation between archeologists hunting for the location of colonial-era Native American villages and hobbyists has been productive.[7]

As a hobby[edit]

This 156-troy-ounce (4.9 kg) gold nugget, known as the Mojave Nugget, was found by an individual prospector in the Southern California Desert using a metal detector.

There are various types of hobby activities involving metal detectors:

  • Coin shooting is specifically targeting coins.[15] Some coin shooters conduct historical research to locate sites with potential to give up historical and collectible coins.
  • Prospecting is looking for valuable metals like gold, silver, and copper in their natural forms, such as nuggets or flakes.[16]
  • Metal detectors are also used to search for discarded or lost,[17] valuable man-made objects such as jewelry, mobile phones, cameras and other devices. Some metal detectors are waterproof, to allow the user to search for submerged objects in areas of shallow water.
  • General metal detecting is very similar to coin shooting except the user is after any type of historical artifact. Detectorists may be dedicated to preserving historical artifacts, and often have considerable expertise. Coins, bullets, buttons, axe heads, and buckles are just a few of the items that are commonly found by relic hunters; in general the potential is far greater in Europe and Asia than in many other parts of the world. More valuable finds in Britain alone include the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold, sold for £3,285,000, the gold Celtic Newark Torc, the Ringlemere Cup, West Bagborough Hoard, Milton Keynes Hoard, Roman Crosby Garrett Helmet, Stirling Hoard, Collette Hoard and thousands of smaller finds.
  • Beach combing is hunting for lost coins or jewelry on a beach. Beach hunting can be as simple or as complicated as one wishes to make it. Many dedicated beach hunters also familiarize themselves with tide movements and beach erosion.
  • Metal detecting clubs across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada exist for hobbyists to learn from others, show off finds from their hunts and to learn more about the hobby.

Hobbyists often use their own metal detecting lingo [18] when discussing the hobby with others.

Politics and conflicts in the metal detecting hobby in the United States[edit]

The metal detecting community and professional archaeologists have different ideas related to the recovery and preservation of historic finds and locations. Archaeologists claim that detector hobbyists take an artifact-centric approach, removing these from their context resulting in a permanent loss of historical information. Archaeological looting of places like Slack Farm in 1987 and Petersburg National Battlefield serve as evidence against allowing unsupervised metal detecting in historic locations.[19]

Security screening[edit]

Metal detectors at Berlin Schönefeld Airport

A series of aircraft hijackings led the United States in 1972 to adopt metal detector technology to screen airline passengers, initially using magnetometers that were originally designed for logging operations to detect spikes in trees.[20] The Finnish company Outokumpu adapted mining metal detectors in the 1970s, still housed in a large cylindrical pipe, to make a commercial walk-through security detector.[21] The development of these systems continued in a spin-off company and systems branded as Metor Metal Detectors evolved in the form of the rectangular gantry now standard in airports. In common with the developments in other uses of metal detectors both alternating current and pulse systems are used, and the design of the coils and the electronics has moved forward to improve the discrimination of these systems. In 1995 systems such as the Metor 200 appeared with the ability to indicate the approximate height of the metal object above the ground, enabling security personnel to more rapidly locate the source of the signal. Smaller hand held metal detectors are also used to locate a metal object on a person more precisely.

Industrial metal detectors[edit]

Industrial metal detectors are used in the pharmaceutical, food, beverage, textile, garment, plastics, chemicals, lumber, mining, and packaging industries.

Contamination of food by metal shards from broken processing machinery during the manufacturing process is a major safety issue in the food industry. Metal detectors for this purpose are widely used and integrated into the production line.

Current practice at garment or apparel industry plants is to apply metal detecting after the garments are completely sewn and before garments are packed to check whether there is any metal contamination (needle, broken needle, etc.) in the garments. This needs to be done for safety reasons.

The industrial metal detector was developed by Bruce Kerr and David Hiscock in 1947. The founding company Goring Kerr[22] pioneered the use and development of the first industrial metal detector. Mars Incorporated was one of the first customers of Goring Kerr using their Metlokate metal detector to inspect Mars bars.

The basic principle of operation for the common industrial metal detector is based on a 3 coil design. This design utilizes an AM (amplitude modulated) transmitting coil and two receiving coils one on either side of the transmitter. The design and physical configuration of the receiving coils are instrumental in the ability to detect very small metal contaminates of 1 mm or smaller. Today modern metal detectors continue to utilize this configuration for the detection of tramp metal.

The coil configuration is such that it creates an opening whereby the product (food, plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc.) passes through the coils. This opening or aperture allows the product to enter and exit through the three coil system producing an equal but mirrored signal on the two receiving coils. The resulting signals are summed together effectively nullifying each other. Fortress Technology innovated a new feature, that allows the coil structure of their BSH Model to ignore the effects of vibration,[23] even when inspecting conductive products.[24]

When a metal contaminant is introduced into the product an unequal disturbance is created. This then creates a very small electronic signal. After suitable amplification a mechanical device mounted to the conveyor system is signaled to remove the contaminated product from the production line. This process is completely automated and allows manufacturing to operate uninterrupted.

Civil engineering[edit]

In civil engineering, special metal detectors (cover meters) are used to locate reinforcement bars inside walls. American metal finders are a term that refer to the devices and equipment or instruments made by American companies or manufacturers , that can be used to find or detect metal objects nearby or buried underground such as silver or golden coins or small jewelry like rings, collars and so on. Metal finders' more accurate term is: Metal Detectors, as the metal detector's main function is to detect the presence of metal objects including for example underground buried metal targets such as gold treasures, bronze statues, archaeological artifacts made of different metal types.

The most common type of metal detector is a hand-held metal detector or coil-based detectors that use a oval-shaped plastic disks with built-in coils made of copper usually, the search coil works as sensor probe and must be swept or moved over the ground to detect the potential metal targets buried underground, when the search coil detect a metal object the device give a feedback as an acoustic feedback as changed audio tone via speaker or earphone, and in most metal detectors the feedback is an analog or digital indicator as a unique number called Target ID based on target metal type.

These metal detectors first invented and manufactured commercially in United States of America in twentieth century by Fisher Labs in 1930s then other companies like Garrett established and developed the metal detectors in terms of technology and features in following decades to reach the current form of metal detector that is common in use by hobbyists and treasure hunters or gold prospectors.

Skilled prospectors have put their confidence in American metal detectors due to the high quality of their industry and low cost of production, they are known all over the world.


The first metal detector, designed by Alexander Graham Bell, proved to be a practical metal detector, and it served as the prototype for all subsequent metal detectors.

Initially, these machines were huge and complex, and they used vacuum tubes to operate.

Nonetheless, it proved to be useful, and it grew in popularity among users and prospectors for specific applications.

One of the early common uses of the first metal detectors, for example, was the detection of landmines and unexploded bombs in a number of European countries following the First and Second World Wars.

Uses and benefits[edit]

Metal detectors can be used if for several military uses, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Exposing the mines planted in the fields during the war or after the end of the war
  • Detect dangerous explosives and cluster bombs dangerous to people's lives
  • Hand-held metal detectors can be used to search people for weapons and explosives

War mine detection[edit]

Demining, also known as mine removal, is the method of clearing a field of landmines.

The aim of military operations is to clear a path through a minefield as quickly as possible, which is mostly accomplished using equipment like mine plows and blast waves.

Humanitarian demining, on the other hand, aims to clear all landmines to a certain depth and make the land secure for human use.

The process of finding or detection of mines done by a special designed metal detector exclusively developed to detect mines and bombs.

Landmine detection techniques have been studied in a wide range of ways.

Electromagnetic technologies are most popular, and one of them (ground penetrating radar) has been used in conjunction with metal detectors.

Mine casings produce a cavity that can be detected using acoustic methods or  sensors to detect vapor leakage from landmines. Rats and mongooses, for example, can walk safely over a minefield and detect explosives, and animals can even be used to screen air samples over possible minefields. Bees, plants, and bacteria may all be useful. Nuclear quadrupole resonance and neutron probes can also be used to detect explosives in landmines.

Specially trained dogs are often used to focus the search and confirm that an area has been cleared, mines are often cleared using mechanical equipment such as flails and excavators.

American metal finders[edit]

The history and development of metal detectors in the United States roots back to the end of the 19th century after a huge development and acquired knowledge during this century in the field of electrical engineering by a lot of scientists and inventors.

Many inventors and engineers tried to invent or manufacture a working device to detect or pinpoint the presence of metal objects depending on electrical and related magnetic theories and researches.

First idea[edit]

Many scientists, academics, and gold miners started experimenting with the idea or concept of creating a device that could locate metal hidden underground [25] after the widespread adoption of electrically-powered appliances in the mid 1800s. A device like this would be very useful to the many prospectors still searching for gold after the "Gold Rush,"  period , making the first person to perfect a metal detector extremely wealthy.

Gustave Trouvé, a French electrical engineer, invented the first metal detector in 1874. He created a hand-held device in order to locate and separate bullets and other metal objects from human patients.

Following the assassination of American president James Garfield in 1881, Alexander Graham Bell - the inventor of telephone - attempted to create a metal detector similar to Gustave Trouvé's device. Graham Bell used his unit to try to locate the fatal bullet inside President Garfield's body. Bell's metal detector worked, but the metal coil springs of James Garfield's bed threw the detector off, and the search for the bullet failed.

Despite the fact that the first metal detector failed to save the 20th President of the United States, Alexander Graham Bell's system was a viable metal detector, and it served as the blueprint for all subsequent metal detectors.[26]

These machines were initially very large, complex, and operated on vacuum tubes , however, they were useful, and as a result, their popularity grew. Most notably, after world war these early metal detectors were used to locate and clear landmines and unexploded bombs throughout Europe.

Technology development[edit]

Gerhard Fischer[edit]

Gerhard Fischer developed a portable metal detector in 1925. Fischer's model was first marketed commercially in 1931, and he was responsible for the first large-scale hand-held metal detector development.

Gerhard Fisher studied electronics at the University of Dresden before immigrating to the United States. When working as a Research Engineer in Los Angeles, California, he came up with the concept of a portable metal detector while working with aircraft radio detection finders. Fisher shared the concept with Albert Einstein, who foresaw the widespread use of hand-held metal detectors.

Dr. Gerhard Fisher, the founder of Fisher Research Laboratory, was contracted by the Federal Telegraph Company and Western Air Express to establish airborne direction finding equipment in the late 1920s. He received some of the first patents in the area of radio-based airborne direction finding. He came across some unusual errors in the course of his work, and once he figured out what was wrong, he had the foresight to apply the solution to a totally unrelated area, metal and mineral detection."

Fisher received the patent for the first portable metal detector in 1925, and in 1931, he marketed his first Fisher device to the general public, and he established a famous Fisher Labs company that started to manufacture and develop hand-held metal detectors and sell it commercially.[27]

Charles Garrett[edit]

Despite the fact that Fisher was the first to receive a patent for a metal detector, he was only one of many who improved and mastered the device that is now found in your detector’s shops. Charles Garrett, the founder of Garrett Metal Detectors, was another key figure in the creation of today's metal detectors.

Garrett, an electrical engineer by profession, began metal detecting as a pastime in the early 1960s. He tried a number of machines on the market but couldn't find one that could do what he needed. As a result, he started developing his own metal detector. He was able to develop a system that removed oscillator drift, as well as many special search coils that he patented, both of which effectively revolutionized metal detector design at the time.

To present day[edit]

In the 1960s, the first industrial metal detectors were produced, and they were widely used for mineral prospecting and other industrial purposes. De-mining (the detection of landmines), the detection of weapons such as knives and guns (particularly in airport security), geophysical prospecting, archaeology, and treasure hunting are just some of the applications.

Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, as well as steel reinforcement bars in concrete and pipes, as well as wires buried in walls or floors in the building industry.

The future of metal detectors is anyone's guess, given the large number of professional and amateur players involved, as well as the rapid speed of technical progress in general. Metal detectors, on the other hand, will almost certainly continue to grow and adapt in order to uncover even more treasure.

Treasure hunters never give up, and as the history of the metal detector shows, it's these dedicated, creative individuals who have shaped metal detectors into the devices they are today, and who will continue to shape the future of metal detecting[28]

Discriminators and circuits[edit]

Transistors, discriminators, modern search coil designs, and wireless technology, all of which were developed in 1947 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley, have had a significant impact on the advancement of metal detectors as we know them today. Both of these factors, as well as others, have contributed to the metal detector's current status as a lightweight, compact, easy-to-use, deep-seeking system.

The invention of a tunable induction device was the most significant technological advancement in detectors. Two electro-magnetically tuned coils were used in this method. One coil serves as an RF transmitter, while the other serves as a receiver; in some situations, these coils may be tuned to frequencies ranging from 3 to 100 kHz.

Due to eddy currents induced in the metal, a signal is detected when metal is present. The fact that every metal has a different phase response when exposed to alternating current allowed detectors to differentiate between metals. Longer waves (low frequency) penetrate the ground deeper and select for high conductivity targets like silver and copper, while shorter waves (higher frequency) select for low conductivity targets like iron. Unfortunately, ground mineralization interference affects high frequency as well. This selectivity or discrimination allowed the development of detectors that could only detect desirable metals.

Unfortunately, ground mineralization interference affects high frequency as well. This selectivity, or discrimination, allowed the development of detectors that could detect desirable metals while ignoring undesirable metals.

Even with discriminators, avoiding undesirable metals was difficult because some of them have similar phase responses (for example, tinfoil and gold), particularly in alloy form. As a result, tuning out those metals incorrectly increased the chance of missing a valuable discovery. Discriminators also had the downside of lowering the sensitivity of the devices.

Manufacturers and companies[edit]

Since the beginning of the invention of the metal detector and its commercial sale, many manufacturers of metal detectors were established during the twentieth century in the United States of America.

These companies provided dozens of new products and various multi-purpose metal detectors suitable for all prospectors categories from beginners to professionals, and these companies contributed to the development of device technology and its features. By providing improvements and additions to the general design of metal detectors.

Fisher Labs[edit]


Dr. Gerhard R. Fisher, the world-famous engineer and inventor who was the first to obtain a patent for the metal detector, founded Fisher Research Labs in 1931. Fisher Research Labs is a made-in-America success story that began in Fisher's garage and has grown from there.

Fisher Labs, the world's oldest metal detector company, uses cutting-edge technologies to create some of the industry's most reliable devices.

Dr. Fisher was a Research Engineer in Los Angeles in the late 1920s when he received the first patent for aircraft radio direction finders. He was a German refugee who studied electronics at the University of Dresden. Dr. Albert Einstein was impressed with his groundbreaking work in aviation. Dr. Einstein expected the widespread use of radio direction finders in the air, on land, and at sea after seeing a demonstration of Fisher's equipment.

Fisher Research Labs was built in Fisher's garage in Palo Alto, California, in 1931. He and four coworkers created the "Metallascope," a tough, user-friendly metal detector. It was an ungainly unit, with two wide, flat wooden boxes containing basic copper coils, five vacuum tubes, and a few assorted parts, by today's standards of lightweight handheld detectors. The Metallascope quickly captured the nation's and, within a brief period, the world's imagination.

To meet the increasing demand for the Metallascope, also known as the M-Scope, Fisher Labs relocated to a small building at 745 Emerson St. in Palo Alto in 1936. Dr. Fisher received a patent for his invention not long ago. For all forms of electronic metal detection, the M-Scope became the agreed standard.

It was used by geologists to find ore, fortune seekers to find treasure, service companies to identify underground tubing, timber mills to detect metal inclusions in sawn logs, and law enforcement to discover lost and concealed weapons.

Fisher relocated to a larger apartment in Palo Alto in 1939, shortly before World War II, at 1961 University Ave. Fisher Research Labs was called upon to devote its scientific expertise to the war effort during World War II and the Korean Conflict, but the M-Scope industry was never ignored.

Fisher Labs relocated to a new manufacturing plant in Belmont, California, in 1961. Dr. Fisher's reputation and career had left an indelible imprint on the world of electronics by the time he retired in 1967. Fisher Research Labs expanded and relocated to Los Banos, Calif., in 1974, where it remained until 2006, when it was purchased by First Texas Holdings Corporation.

First Texas relocated the firm to El Paso, Texas, where it continues the Fisher tradition of scientific breakthroughs redefining the state of the art of metal detection. Fisher's vast range of brands, which have the finest ergonomics, most streamlined user interfaces, and innovative ground balance and objective separation capabilities, are the result.

Technologies developed[edit]

Fisher was the pioneer in metal detection technology and it is the first to introduce new innovations and technologies in metal detection , treasure detection and security products.

The company invented or enhanced existed technologies in electromagnetic engineering to get a best devices in term of performance and If you're looking for hidden utilities, security walk through metal detectors, or long-buried treasures, Fisher technology can get the job done quickly. Fisher efficiency and creativity are your trustworthy source for underground finding devices, from analog to digital, in single or multiple frequencies.

Search Systems

Search systems in Fisher’s metal detectors include multiple search technologies that rely on electromagnetic technology including VLF , Pulse Induction and other derived technologies for detection of metal using a special features for metal discrimination through signal based Target ID or acoustic output based on metal type .

Some devices incorporate a mechanism to select predefined settings known as search modes or detection modes that offer a different system for multiple purposes and conditions based on ground terrain , soil type and other factors.

Search coils developed[edit]

F75 & F70      

  • 5" DD Round White Coil - Item 5COIL-F75  
  • 6-1/2" White Elliptical Concentric Closed Coil - Item 6COIL-E         
  • 10" Concentric Elliptical Coil - Item 10COIL-F70      
  • 10" DD White Elliptical Closed Coil - Item 10COILDD-F75  
  • 11"DD Elliptical Open Coil - Item 11COIL-F75         
  • 15" DD Round Open Coil - Item 15COIL-F75           


  • 5" DD Round White Coil - Item 5COIL-F5F  
  • 8" Concentric Open Coil - Item 8COIL-7TEK           
  • 10" Concentric Elliptical Coil - Item 10COIL-F5F      
  • 10" DD White Elliptical Closed Coil - Item 10COILDD-FRL 
  • 11"DD Elliptical Open Coil - Item 11COIL-F5F

F4 & F2          

  • 4” Round Black Concentric Coil-Item 4COILF         
  • 8” Concentric Coil-Item 8COIL-7BLKF         
  • 10” Concentric Coil-Item 10COILF   
  • 11" Elliptical Open Coil - Item 11COIL-F2F  
  • 11” DD Bi-Axial Black Coil-Item 11COIL-F4F          


  • 5” DD Round White Coil-Item 5COIL-GBUG           
  • 10" DD White Elliptical Closed Coil - Item 10COILDD-FRL 
  • 11"DD Elliptical Open Coil - Item 11COIL-F5F         

Gold Bug / Pro / DP 

  • 5” DD Round White Coil-Item 5COIL-GBUG           
  • 10” Solid DD White Elliptical Coil-Item 10COILDD-GB        
  • 11” DD Bi-Axial Black Coil-Item 11COIL-GB           

Gold Bug 2   

  • 6-1/2” White Concentric Elliptical Coil-Item 6 COILE-7-GB2           
  • 10” White Concentric Elliptical Coil-Item 10 COIL-GB2       
  • 14” White Concentric Elliptical Coil-Item 14 COIL-7-GB      


  • 4" Round Search Coil - Item 4COIL-FS        
  • 7" Round Coil - Item 7COIL-RE-F     
  • 9" Concentric Teardrop Coil - Item 9COIL-EE          
  • 11" Concentric Teardrop Coil - Item 11COIL-EE      
  • 11" DD Elliptical Coil - Item 11COIL-FRL     
  • 4" Coil Cover - Item 4COVER           
  • 7" Round Coil Cover - Item 7COVER-RE    
  • 9" Teardrop Coil Cover - 9COVER-EE
  • 11" Coil Cover - Item COVER-11DD

Bounty Hunter[edit]

History and Establishing

Metal detectors from the Bounty Hunter business are plain, fast, and inexpensive devices for the hobby of searching for gold and lost metal items such as rings, coins, and so on.

The Bounty Hunter corporation is headquartered in El Paso, Texas, and its parent company, First Texas, comprises several metal detector manufacturers, such as Fisher Labs and Teknetics, as well as firms that specialize in other areas, such as night vision systems.

Technologies They Developed

The company produces a wide range of metal detector models with various features, including metal detectors for kids, coin shooting detectors for amateurs, and even gold prospectors metal detectors.

All of the company's metal detectors use electromagnetic equipment, such as very low technology VLF with a search coil system, and they have a search area and a very shallow depth of less than 2 meters underground.

Throughout its existence, the company has manufactured approximately 55 products, including various devices and related accessories in various models, as well as search coils for various purposes.

Search Systems

Multiple search technologies based on electromagnetic technology are available in Bounty Hunter's metal detectors, including VLF, Pulse Induction, and other derived technologies for metal detection using special features.

Some systems provide a mechanism for selecting predefined settings called search modes or detection modes, which have a different method for different purposes and conditions depending on ground terrain, soil type, and other variables.

See also[edit]


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  22. ^ "History of Goring Kerr - IMN". Archived from the original on 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  23. ^ Editor, Mike Pehanich, Plant Operations. "Detecting Foreign Matter".CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
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  25. ^ Detectors, Orient (2020-07-09). "Metal Detector Principle | How Metal Detectors Works". Latest Gold and Metal Detectors. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  26. ^ inventions, Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered; films, inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years She is known for her independent; documentaries; Alex, including one about; Bellis, er Graham Bell our editorial process Mary. "The Evolution of the Metal Detector". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
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