The Garrett AT is a versatile metal detector that is also designed and optimized for nugget, gold, and relic hunting. In addition to these, this machine can also detect different types of metals such as jewelry, coin, etc.
While it's designed to be more sensitive to gold, it can also easily pick up other metals. For this reason, the Garrett AT is a popular choice for cache hunting, shallow freshwater hunting, and organized hunts.
However, it's not designed for surf hunting or saltwater use. With that being said, let's dive in and go prospecting with this Garrett AT gold metal detector review.
Garrett AT Gold Review
This metal detector is ideally designed for prospecting in all types of terrains and in all environments.
A great feature about the Garrett AT is that it is waterproof. The best part of owning a waterproof gold detecting machine is that you can completely submerge it underwater. You can take it in the creek and search for gold to your heart's content.
It's not just the coil that is submersible. You can submerge the whole control box underwater. Now that's a neat little feature that will tickle your gold buds. It's fully waterproof to 10 feet or 3 meters.
This can be very handy when you are hunting in and around a body of water, including the streams and rivers where gold is often found.
By any chance, if you were to slip and drop your detector, or even wade into a deeper pool of water, you can rest assured that this gold detector is fully waterproof.
Adjustable Iron Discrimination
A unique feature of this gold detector is adjustable iron discrimination. The best part about it is, you can now adjust the iron detection level to your liking. You can also adjust the sensitivity to target different sizes of iron targets.
The reason why this feature is so important is that, in some areas where the gold is in a smaller specimen, the machine won't be able to detect that. This means a small nugget won't get picked up easily by the detector.
This happens when you cannot adjust the frequency. So, if you have a lot of iron ID selected or the discrimination is turned on too high, you could end up rejecting the golds that you were looking for in the first place.
Every gold or metal detector on the market can give you false readings at times. This happens due to either the mineralization, the size of the metal target, or also can happen due to the depth of the target.
The higher resolution iron discrimination setting starts from 0 and goes all the way up to 40. This allows you to set the level to whatever you desire. In short, this will help you separate good targets from the bad ones.
The AT Gold includes manual and automatic ground balance to optimize its performance in highly mineralized ground. This is where gold is most often found, and this detector does a great job of locating those precious stones.
Moreover, this detector also has a unique feature called the ground balance window. This effectively allows you to spread the ground balance range. It will also help minimize the effect of localized ground variations while maintaining effective target detection.
Fast Recovery Speed
The advanced audio characteristics of this detector allow for fast recovery speed. It's an important feature if you want to separate adjacent targets and in areas where valuable targets may be scattered amongst metal trash.
The AT Gold comes with a small DD search coil. Its 5x8 size is perfect for working through rocks, tight spaces, and also in trashy areas. This coil is designed to be very sensitive to small pieces of gold.
The Garrett AT Gold is a true all-metal motion mode detector. This machine operates at a high frequency of 18 kilohertz. Moreover, this frequency is optimized for gold prospecting.
The all-metal mode is preferred for prospecting since it provides amazing depth and sensitivity.
This detector also features two discrimination modes, making the detector a versatile relic and coin hunting machine. In the all-metal mode, this machine has an exclusive Garrett feature. This enables you to spot check iron. If you are interested to read some tips and tricks for metal detector then read this post.
The all-metal iron audio, as it is called, is not available on any other machine when it is running in a true all-metal mode. For gold prospectors, this is a very unique and beneficial feature.
The AT gold also includes an adjustable threshold. This is that constant background humming noise that allows the user to better hear desirable targets.
The target ID cursor on the LCDs upper-scale helps identify targets. And the digital target ID below provides an even more specific value to identify targets more precisely.
The depth indicator displays the depth of a coin size target and increments of 2 inches or 5 cm. You can also adjust the shaft for different heights and include cam locks on the shaft for added stability.
There are different coils available for the Garrett AT Gold. I personally prefer the 4.5-inch sniper when hunting shale, bedrock, decomposed granite, and that false bed layer.
If you want to hunt for smaller pieces of gold rocks, always use a smaller coil. Also, keep the coil close to the soil. There is also a full array of accessory search coils available for the AT Gold. (Check out our review of Garrett Ace 400, Garrett AT Max and Garrett Ace 250)
Frequently Asked Question
What comes in the box?
The detector comes complete with a set of headphones that can be used in almost all hunting environments, including wading in the bodies of water.
Is the headphone waterproof?
The one that comes with it, is not. However, if you are going to completely submerge the headset, there are optional headphones available from Garrett, which are completely waterproof.
How accurate is the Garrett AT Pro?
If you want the best all-around value, the AT Pro is a good choice. In terms of accuracy, it can go toe to toe with most high-end gold detectors. It’s freshwater safe, and good for relics and coin hunting.
How good is the digital target identification?
The digital target identification is available on both the AT Gold & the AT Pro metal detector. It uses a scale that starts from 0 and goes all the way up to 99. Depending on the metal’s conductivity, the scale will give you an appropriate reading.
This isn’t very accurate, but you will get a rough idea. You will also need to make some adjustments to fully utilize this target identification system.
If you are a prospector, you would want to get you hand on the most reliable and accurate gold detector on the market. However, some are out of reach for most average consumers. This is where the AT Gold comes in. And that concludes our Garrett AT Gold metal detector review.