We at Metal Detectors South Africa (MDSA) often receive inquiries from gold prospectors across Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Congo DRC, and Southern Africa. One of the frequently asked questions is: “Can a metal detector detect diamonds?

In short, no, a metal detector cannot detect diamonds. The reason lies in the nature of both diamonds and metal detectors themselves. Let’s delve into the technical details of why this is the case.

The Science Behind the Detector

Metal detectors are designed to locate metallic objects, including gold. They work by transmitting an electromagnetic field into the ground. If a metal object is in the vicinity, it will generate an electrical conductivity response, which the detector picks up, alerting the user.

Diamonds, however, are non-metallic and non-conductive, meaning they do not react to the electromagnetic field emitted by the detector. As a result, diamonds remain undetectable by standard metal or gold detectors.

The False Promises of Fake Diamond Detectors

Regrettably, there are operations out there selling fake “diamond detectors.” These devices often claim to be able to locate diamonds hundreds of meters underground and tend to be on the expensive side. However, it’s important to understand that these so-called diamond detectors are, unfortunately, not genuine. We’ve heard countless stories from prospectors who, in good faith, have purchased these items, only to find they do not deliver on their promises.


While metal or gold detectors cannot identify diamonds, we at MDSA do provide a diamond test: the BIG John Detectorists Diamond Tester. This portable electronic device is designed specifically to distinguish real diamonds from fake or simulated stones, making it an invaluable tool for any prospector.

Whether you’re out in the field, hoping to verify the nature of your finds, or you’re assessing the authenticity of a piece at home, the BIG John Diamond Tester provides quick, precise, and reliable diamond testing.


  • Positive diamond indication by LED light and audio
  • Accurate and reliable reading
  • Metal alert (if you accidentally touch the ring / metal)
  • Simple calibration for stones of various sizes
  • Protective carrying case


  • Dimensions: 16cm x 4cm x 2cm
  • Weight: 142g
  • Testing Capability: Diamonds, Diamond simulation (e.g. CZ), Metal
  • Colour: Black
  • Initial warm-up time: ~ 20 sec.
  • Indicator: Audio and LED lamps
  • Power: 9V Battery (Not included)

You might not be able to detect diamonds with a metal or gold detector, but with the BIG John Detectorists Diamond Tester, you can certainly verify them. Remember, while the dream of unearthing a diamond is exciting, it’s crucial to keep a realistic understanding of what your detector can and cannot do. Happy prospecting!

Remember to share this blog if you found it helpful, and help us debunk the myth of “diamond detectors.” As always, contact us at MDSA for any questions or to browse our range of genuine metal detectors and gold detectors.

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