Can You Find Tungsten With A Metal Detector? Find Out Here!

Is Tungsten Detectable From a Metal Detector?

Tungsten is not a common metal in comparison to copper or silver, but it can indeed be found in items such as jewellery or watches. 

A metal detector can indeed find Tungsten, as well as any other conductive metal physical tungsten properties, making it very high in electrical conductivity!

We’ve composed a short guide below to take you through how conductive Tungsten is, which detector you should use to find Tungsten and the types of Tungsten items you can find with a metal detector.

What Are The Properties Of Tungsten? 

Before we get into how conductive Tungsten is and the type of detector you need to find this material, let’s discuss the properties and element density of this metal. 

Tungsten is a metal with an atomic number 74 and a melting point of 3,410 degrees, as we mentioned above, Tungsten is not the most common kind of metal but can be found in consumer items like rings. 

In comparison to gold, Tungsten also has very strong physical properties and is 200x harder than gold itself.

Is Tungsten a Ferrous Or Non-Ferrous Metal? 

Even though Tungsten is very conductive with higher conductivity than nickel, it is a non-ferrous metal meaning that it has a low magnetic field. 

Even metals such as gold and aluminium are non-ferrous. 

Does Tungsten Have Electrical Conductivity?

Yes, although Tungsten is not magnetic it does have high conductivity to the metal detector and the coil should be able to pick up any electro-magnetic properties. 

The metal has a similar density to gold and is purer than zinc or gold therefore should be higher than the threshold for gold metal detectors.

Is Tungsten Carbide Conductive?

Yes, even Tungsten carbide which is a 50% mix will be picked up by a metal detector without any issues since Tungsten is such a strong metal.

Which Metal Detector Should I Use For Finding Tungsten? 

Both a PI (pulse induction) and VLF (very low frequency) metal detector can detect Tungsten metal. 

A VLF might be more suitable thanks to the great discrimination settings which allow you to filter out the trash, it’s likely anything Tungsten such as a ring will be nearer the surface of the soil, conventional gold detectors can also work.

What Tungsten Items Can I Find With a Metal Detector? 

Surprisingly, although tungsten is not common, this metal is found in a wide variety of everyday items, we’ll list a few below you might come across when looking for tungsten.

  • Ammunition – Due to the high strength of Tungsten it has been used in ammunition and other types of shield equipment.
  • Cutting tools – Many surgery tools such as needings and scissors are made out of tungsten.
  • Jewellery – Nowadays tungsten rings are becoming even more popular than gold since this material doesn’t get scratched easily.
  • Tungsten gold – These are known as fake gold bars and are illegal in some countries, so you might come across a few thrown out!
  • Tungsten coins – Old relics and some coins have been made with Tungsten material.

Tips For Finding a Tungsten Rings With a Metal Detector 

Since quite a lot of rings are made out of tungsten, you might be wondering how to find one with a metal detector if yours fell off by accident or got lost outside. 

To help you out with the search we’ve listed our best tips for finding your tungsten ring below.

  • Try to remember the location dropped – One of the first things you can do to try and locate a tungsten ring is by remembering the location of where it was dropped, it doesn’t have to be exact but a rough area will help to narrow down the search.
  • Use the right types of detector – You will have to choose either a PI or VLF metal detector, if your ring was dropped in salt soil, a PI will better perform while a VLF is better for the backyard where there is trash to help you discriminate.
  • Consider coil size – If you believe you dropped your rings a while ago and it’s been raining the jewelry might be deeper in soil, consider this when choosing your coil size, larger coil sizes can detect at a greater depth while smaller coils are more sensitive.
  • Use a pinpointer – Pinpointers are a must for finding Tungsten jewelry since they allow you to zone in and find the exact location of the target.
  • Grid search – Searching for a small item methodically is important so that you cannot go back on yourself and search accurately.
  • Low sensitivity settings – When looking for a ring with a Tungsten material you can pick up other trash such as foil easily, having a low sensitivity on your detector will help to reduce the amount of trash you pick up.
  • Have a good technique – Swing your detector side to side smoothly and work slowly to find your ring, never rush or hold the coil too far off the ground.

Do Airport Types Of Metal Detectors Find Tungsten?

Since tungsten is highly conductive it will set off airport metal detectors, all tungsten jewelry and other belongings should be removed before passing through the detector.

Even if your tungsten jewelry is a mix with other materials such as gold for example it will trigger the alarm.

Which Metals Are Not Detectable By a Metal Detector?

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals can both be found by a detector with ease, but what about metals that do not have any electro-magnetic properties? 

We’ve listed the items which are not detectable by a metal detector below.

  • Gemstones. 
  • Bones. 
  • Stones. 
  • Paper items. 
  • Pearls.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tungsten & Metal Detectors 

Is Tungsten of high value? 

Tungsten nowadays is becoming higher and higher in values thanks to its durability, hardness and high density.

Where are some places you can find Tungsten? 

Some places to find Tungsten items are areas such as paths and beaches where jewelry and other relics often get dropped.

Are non-ferrous metals conductive?

Some non-ferrous metals are conducive to metal detectors such as gold, silver and platinum.

Is Tungsten a heavy-duty metal?

Yes, Tungsten is a great metal for forming and long term durability.

Can I use a metal detector to find my Tungsten wedding ring? 

A metal detector can indeed be used to find a Tungsten wedding ring by following the steps in our guide above, we suggest searching on a low sensitivity setting, however.

Is Tungsten carbide also magnetic? 

Yes, although a mix of metal, Tungsten carbide is still very conducive to metal detectors.

Last Words

Overall, Tungsten can be found by a metal detector on the right settings and is often in the form of coin relics or jewelry as well as old ammunition items due to its hardness. Remember Tungsten is not magnetic however but has high conductivity making it easier to scout out with a detector.

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