Can Metal Detectors Detect Silver?

Can Metal Detectors Detect Silver

Silver is one of the most valuable metals, surpassing aluminum, copper, and other metals, and it falls under the precious category. Normally, silver is used in jewelry items and is also found in coins. But can metal detectors detect silver?

Metal detectors are usually configured to detect all types of metals, whether ferrous or non-ferrous, and silver is one of them.

In this article, our main aim is to remove people’s doubts regarding silver detection, and as a team at Goldxtra, we’re here to share our expertise and insights on this topic.

That is why we at Goldxtra, want to answer this question once and for all, and we will do in-depth analysis so that our readers will have doubts about the result.

We also discuss various factors that influence the metal detector’s ability to detect silver. So if you’re wondering, can metal detectors find silver? The answer is yes. Silver is discoverable with a quality metal detector.

Additionally, discover Can metal detectors detect diamonds. Read to clear your misconceptions and establish more realistic expectations.

Why Are People Concerned About “Do Metal Detectors Detect Silver”?

Precious Metal

Silver is considered a precious metal and is more valuable compared to other ferrous metals like iron. Due to its rarity and shine it is a preferred material for making jewelry and other valuable items like dinnerware.

Less Conductive

Compared to ferrous metals silver is less conductive, but it will be more compared if compared to gold. Silver usually shows a medium target ID, due to the fluctuating conductivity people are often confused about whether or not a detector will be able to detect it.

Used In Antiques

People prefer to use silver in many antique items compared to other valuable non-ferrous metals. Due to it being attractive yet low profile when compared to gold people prefer to use it in many decorations, dinnerware, and jewelry items.

That is usually why people wonder if a metal detector can detect silver or not, as it is usually found everywhere.


As silver is a relatively unstable metal, it can be easily oxidized, which means it varies in its composition.

Because silver is unstable, craftsmen often add various other metals to silver to increase its stability.

This is why people also wonder if it would still be recognized as silver by the detectors or will it be detected as the other metals mixed in it.

Do Metal Detectors Detect Silver? Factor Involved In Silver Detection

Size Of The Target Object

The detection of silver metal is directly related to the size of the target object. The larger the surface area, the higher the chances of detection.

For example, if there is a compact piece of silver, it will not radiate enough signals. However, if the same piece is molded into a flat shape, such as a coin, it will be easier to detect due to its larger surface area.


The orientation of the target object affects the electromagnetic (EM) radiation emitted by a metal detector. Strong EM signals make detection easier and less complicated. 

Therefore, the detection of a silver target object depends on its orientation. If the target object is placed vertically, it will have less interaction with the electromagnetic signals.

However, when it is oriented horizontally, it can easily interact with the EM signals due to its larger surface area.

Buried Time

The time the target object has been buried is closely related to its metal detection and depth. If you dig a hole in the ground and place a silver target in it, the chance of detection will be lower. It is because it is fresh and hasn’t experienced soil mineralization. 

On the other hand, if the object has been buried for 5 to 50 years, the soil becomes more mineralized. The particles around the object become additionally magnetized. 

This phenomenon is known as the “Halo Effect”.These factors aid in the detection of target silver at greater depths. 


The composition of silver plays a crucial role in its metal detection. It depends on the type of metal mixed with silver to increase its stability. 

The quantity of the other metal mixed greatly affects its composition. This causes distinctive changes in the chemical properties of the metal.

If silver is fused with a less conductive metal, it can decrease its chemical properties. 

It decreases the properties to such an extent that it becomes difficult for a metal detector to detect this new combination of metals.


Ultimately, the capability and potential of your metal detector to detect metals are crucial. If your metal detector is efficient and advanced enough to detect non-ferrous metals like gold, it can easily detect silver targets as well. 

However, if you have an ordinary metal detector with limited settings, it will be difficult to detect silver due to its low conductivity.

Objects Made Of Silver

Silver is extensively used in jewelry making and silver tableware, where appearance is of utmost importance. It is used to make mirrors as it is the best reflector of visible light, although it tarnishes with time. 

It is also used in dental alloys, brazing alloys, and batteries. Silver paints are used in printed circuits.

Silver is used to make currency coins, and antique silver coins can often be found while metal detecting. In the history of photography, silver oxidized with bromine to give silver bromide was widely used due to its sensitivity to light. 

Even in today’s digital photography, silver salts are used to produce high-quality images.

Silver possesses antibacterial properties. This is why silver nanoparticles are used in clothing to prevent bacteria from digesting sweat. Silver foils are also used on sweets to enhance their appearance, and they are not harmful.

If you are interested in unearthing war relics check out the best metal detector for civil war relics.


If you are genuinely concerned about silver metal detection, then this article, ” Do Metal Detectors Detect Silver?” will be of great help.

In summary, yes metal detectors can detect silver. So if you are thinking of hunting silver you can rest assured that a metal detector will indeed be of great help to you.

Metal detection is a fun hobby, and it becomes more interesting when you find valuable targets like silver. Silver, being less conductive, is not easy to find. 

However, slight adjustments in the metal detector and knowledge can make its detection easier.

Before hunting for silver, it is important to learn about the factors that affect silver metal detection. It will help you to find ways to overcome those factors.

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

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