How to: Tips and Advice

Coil Selection Guide

Minelab manufactures a range of accessory search coils to suit different detecting requirements and conditions. The following chart will assist you to select the right search coil for the right job. Whether you’re hunting for coins in shallow water at the beach or searching for large deep nuggets, Minelab has the search coil to suit.

Water resistant: May be splashed, washed, used in drizzling rain, or moved through wet grass. Must not be submersed under water.

Water proof: Submersible to 1 meter. Ideal for shallow water wading and gold prospecting in shallow streams.

Coil selection basics

When choosing a coil there are a few basics to remember that relate to the size, shape, configuration and frequency (X-TERRA series) of the coil.


The size of a coil can influence the detection depth and sensitivity of a detector. The larger the coil, the deeper it tends to detect, but will have less sensitivity to small targets. The smaller the diameter, the more sensitive it becomes, but with reduced detection depth.

Smaller coils will also be lighter in weight, easier to control and may be chosen for their ability to negotiate difficult terrain or undergrowth. Smaller coils also have an advantage in areas of high trash, due to their smaller detection footprint.


The most common coil shapes are the conventional solid Round coils, the Elliptical shaped coils and the Open-web coils. The main reason for the change in shape is to conform to a physical requirement, i.e. the elliptical coil can be pushed around bushes or between stony country easier than round coils. Open-web coils help cut through water when detecting in water and are lighter for their size. Conventional round coils are often more stable, higher performing, and are particularly popular when gold prospecting.

Round coil Elliptical coil Open-web coil


The three most common types of coil windings are Concentric, Double-D (DD), and Monoloop. The difference between these coil types is the pattern the wire is wound within the coil.

Concentric coil

A Concentric coil has an inner circle and an outer circle wire winding. Its search pattern is cone shaped and can be useful for accurately pinpointing the target. Concentric coils tend to be noisier in highly mineralised ground and require more overlap of sweep for thorough ground coverage.

Inner winding (receive)
Outer winding (transmit)
Concentric coil
Double-D (DD)

A Double-D coil has two overlapping wire windings in the shape of two D’s (one reversed). The characteristics of a Double-D coil are stability (especially in heavily mineralised ground), good depth, sensitivity and a very thorough search pattern.

When used with a GPX detector Double-D coils (as opposed to monoloop coils) are able to discriminate between ferrous and non-ferrous targets (when Iron Reject is activated). They are also more stable when used on wet salt beach sand and in electrically noisy environments.
Double-D coil

Monoloop coil

Monoloop coils are a special style of coil for Pulse Induction (PI) technology detectors (SD & GPX Series). These coils have one winding of wire around the circumference of the coil, which is used to both transmit and receive. The signal pattern of the Monoloop coil is cone shaped, requiring more overlapping. In extremely heavily mineralised grounds they can be more difficult to ground balance, however they tend to provide slightly better depth than the Double-D coils.

Monoloop coil

Frequency (X-TERRA Series)

The range of X-TERRA detectors are capable of operating at one of three different frequencies; 3kHz, 7.5kHz or 18.5kHz. The operating frequency is determined by the coil being used (refer to the chart above) and affects the detector’s performance. As a rule of thumb, the lower the frequency, the deeper the detector can penetrate the ground. At low frequencies however, sensitivity to small low conductive targets is reduced. The higher the frequency, the higher the sensitivity to small targets, however detection depth is reduced.

In general, when gold prospecting operate the detector at 18.75kHz (high frequency) to find small nuggets and at lower frequencies (3kHz or 7.5kHz) for deeper penetration when searching for coins and relics.

Download the Coil Selection Guide

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