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topic 33151

Looking For a Magnet That Can Attract Gold

A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2019


Q. If a metal detector can detect gold, then why can't a magnet attract gold? I am looking for a magnet that can attract gold. Does such a magnet exist? Thank you for your response. 


Toby Chavez
- Albuquerque, New Mexico


affil. link
"Driving Force:The Natural Magic of Magnets"
by James D. Livingston
from Abe Books
info on Amazon

I don't want to be flippant about a possibly very sincere request, but there was a chain some time back that discusses rice pulling copper-iridium coins. Have a look at 12341, 15041 and 11030.
trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

What pulls rice might also pull gold. ROFL:-)
Hi-5 Trevor. We had the same thought at the same time!
Bill Reynolds
Bill Reynolds [dec.]
   consultant metallurgist - Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
We sadly relate the news that Bill passed away on Jan. 29, 2010.

A. I know a guy who seems to fill the criteria. If there's gold (money) about he seems very attracted to it......
Geoff Crowley
Geoff Crowley
galvanizing & powder coating shop
Glasgow, Scotland


As far as I know, here is no known magnet for gold with today's technology, and I haven't heard of theories being advanced that might lead to it any time soon. It's certainly not impossible, any more than superconductivity or lasers or compasses are impossible, but I don't know of current research on a theory that will lead to such a device.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


A. Toby, Any electrically conductive material can be turned into an electromagnet by surrounding it in a flow of electrons (applying a current in an induction coil surrounding the conductive material). Metal detectors use this phenomenon to induce a magnetic field and measure its strength in the conductive material.

In permanent magnets unpaired electrons spinning on atoms act as small electro-magnets pointing in particular directions i.e., they have a "north" and a "south" pole. When they point in the same direction on all the atoms, the material itself acts like a magnet; it is called a ferromagnet, since the simplest example is BCC iron. Of course a lump of iron is not normally a magnet, but has to be "magnetised" by some other magnet. This is because the raw material consists of many magnetic crystallites whose magnetic moments cancel each other until they are aligned.

Gold has a cubic close packed structure (CCP) and does not lend its self to permanently aligning the spin of its electrons unless it is subjected to a constant inductive current.

To answer your question... to attract gold magnetically you would have to develop some sort of reverse rail gun. The problem is how do you apply a large enough inductive field around the gold, and since gold does not act like a permanent magnet it will not be moved unless an independent out of phase electromagnetic field is applied to it.

Hope this isn't too boffin for you.

Cheers, Jace

Jason Miller
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


A. Hello ... Mercury!

Glenn Wegman
- Florida



Everyone knows that magnets are supposed to attract only ferrous metals like iron and steel. After years of trial & error, lots of money and listening to everyone telling me "It WON'T WORK" I have proved them wrong. Seeming to defy the laws of physics & magnetic principals as we know them, it will pick up dollar-size pieces of copper, silver, gold and other non-ferrous metals. Excellent 'Crowd-Stopper' at science fairs or similar gatherings.(Weight 11 pounds).

Update: November 22, 2011 --

The International Jury Award of Innovative Excellence in the Category of Specialized Technology was presented to Lawrence Wandell for the Display of the Non-Ferrous Electromagnet at INPEX 2010 June 16-18 2010 Pittsburgh, PA USA. The device will attract aluminum, copper, lead, brass, silver and gold (in pure form), also leaves, wood, insects, stone, coins and a whole bunch of other interesting things one wouldn't normally associate with a magnet

Lawrence Wandell
Herkimer, New York

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Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


A. Check out eddy current separation on the web; this equals a gold magnet! Non-magnetic conductors e.g. gold, silver, copper, etc. can have electric fields inducted into them. These electric fields attract and repel just as do magnetic fields. Building the device to produce such electric field requires a moving magnetic field with the flux lines cutting a non-magnetic conductor causing eddy currents in that object. These eddy currents cause an electric field to be produced in the object which will induce an opposite field in other metal.

Michael McNeill
- Chassell, Michigan, USA

January 22, 2011

A. www.rexresearch has schematics and construction details for the non-ferrous "Master Magnet".

Howard Malone
- Oakdale, Minnesota, USA

Ed. note: "Howard Malone" has used multiple names on his submissions to this site so we have no reason to believe that any of them are not fictitious :-)

December 12, 2011

A. There is a book about an electromagnet that can attract copper, silver or gold; but you have to make from scratch.

Salvador Ramos
- Carpentersville, Illinois, USA

July 16, 2012



September 21, 2008

Q. I am looking for this magnet because I threw my wife's wedding ring in the canal after she pissed me off. So now 3 years later I am trying to find it to give it back to her.

Gary M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Key West, Florida U.S.

Ed. note:
"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it." - Omar Khayyam

November 23, 2011

The International Jury Award of Innovative Excellence in the Category of Specialized Technology was presented to Lawrence Wandell for the Display of the Non-Ferrous Electromagnet at INPEX 2010 June 16-18 2010 Pittsburgh, PA USA.
The device will attract aluminum, copper, lead, brass, silver and gold (in pure form), also leaves, wood, insects, stone, coins and a whole bunch of other interesting things one wouldn't normally associate with a magnet

Lawrence Wandell
Inventor - Herkimer, New York USA

thumbs up signHi folks. This is a site of camaraderie for sharing of technical information with the world. If anyone wishes to share TECHNICAL information we're happy to post it! But this is not a venue offering free ads, nor a hook-up site for connecting readers with each other for private communications. Thanks.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 7, 2012

Q. I am in a similar situation. I lost my ring at work & need something to assist finding it. I work in a very small, slightly unusual profession! I am however very determined to locate my ring!

Angela Dinneen
- Columbus, Ohio United States

May 9, 2013

A. To find the ring in the canal, you must consider the point at which the ring entered the canal, the speed at which the canal flows at it's highest flow rate. The amount of silt in the bottom of the canal. Is the canal concrete lined or just mud? If the canal is concrete lined the ring will most likely be in a depression, in a crack or seam or on the inside corner of a sharp bend. If the bottom of the canal is mud or clay or silt with no concrete underneath the ring will have sunk in and not moved very far.

Using a gold detector or a dredge is your best bet to recover the ring

M Harris
- Salkum Washington USA

March 16, 2012

Q. I want to know about magnet which can only attract Gold.
How can I buy it .
I shall be very Thankful to you for this kindness.

Muhammad Javed
- Lahore, Pakistan

December 27, 2012

A. I made a nonferrous electromagnet made of brass.

Luke Birgel
self - Hamilton, Ohio, United States

March 1, 2013

Q. I understand very little about the process however I have secured all 3 types of magnets. Can anyone divulge the sequence in which they are used? Appreciate your input.

Alexandro Rubio
- Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.A.

March 22, 2013

A. Gold is non-magnetic.
Even a rare precious earth magnet will not attract gold.
Rare earth magnets are often used in prospecting to separate non precious metals from would be nuggets.
Some people will put a rare earth magnet in with pay dirt, or suspected gold containing dirt, to remove a small amount of non precious metal.
If such magnets could attract gold, they would likely be used by prospectors and large scale miners to collect gold from dirt.
The most efficient way that most people use is panning or a similar concept, where water is used to push lighter material to one side, while the heavier (gold) material gathers at a lower point in the vesicle.

METAL DETECTORS used for gold prospecting emit a strong magnetic field, and briefly magnetize gold nuggets below the surface. Not enough to again, this magnetization is only very weak, otherwise a strong magnet would magnetize gold enough to draw it towards it (which we know it doesn't). The magnetization of the gold is so weak, that only mid to high range metal detectors will recognize the signal generated, which is then transferred through and amplified by a digital device and converted to sound (squeeeek squeeek)
Good luck miners!

John Towner
- Sydney, NSW, Australia

December 4, 2013

A. Please go to YouTube and watch the videos by 'bluedoaify' attracting gold and silver using both static electricity and magnetism.

Lawrence Wandell
N/A - Herkimer, New York USA

December 23, 2015

A. So my dear friends and colleagues I'll tell you what I know from physics and chemistry in paragraphs:
- Yes gold is attractable if there is a motion between it and the magnet (instead of making excitors & attractors, you just need to spin the gold in a whirl so fast that it stays on bottom -- you can make it even "heavier" putting some magnets on the bottom of the sluice).
- Yes it can be attracted by a very very large rare earth magnet (so even can quartz -- not practical nor affordable).
- Gold has a specific atomic resonance frequency (I think it was something like 1-7Hz or less); it should play a role fine tuning the exciter/inductor (John Hutchison is a friend of mine).
- You can use such device in a V shape half of it an inductor the other half a collector magnet.
- The only real problem is: Energy -- so what does it mean? More green energy = cheaper gold ... until the deposits are finished and the demand gets to the sky ...literally.
- And yes it may be cheaper to separate gold concentrates chemically.

Vladimir Nachev
- Warrington, United Kingdom

December 21, 2017

There is an AC electromagnet that can attract non ferrous metals (only when they are smaller than the size of the core of the magnet.

There is a PDF available of the book detailing the device. It was written over 50 years ago and has been recently demonstrated on YouTube.

It has to do with the fact that all metals can produce eddy currents due to Lenz law. Lenz law is the reason many non ferrous metals are repelled by magnets but there are certain loopholes that allow you to induce eddy currents (that would normally repel) and attract them with secondary core that has an opposite polarity to the one inducing the opposing eddy currents, which is to say it repels the primary core and is attracted to the secondary core.

Alex Loseman
- Dominican Republic

August 2, 2018

How is this gold attracted by a magnet in Russia?

Adberto Bertolini
Habitat Novas Tecnologias ltda. - Curitiba, pr, brazil

August 2018

A. Hi Adberto. How do you know that it's real gold? Regardless, it is amazing silly :-) 

I looked at his other videos, and whether he uses that magnet, or a panning bowl, or a sieve … or whether he simply digs his fingers in or his daughter explores with her toes, there seem to be no stones in that river that aren't either gold nuggets or gemstones. Seven large gemstones and about 3-5 pounds of gold nuggets picked up every 15 minutes. It's time to move there :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

August 3, 2018

A. It is probably Iron Pyrite (FeS2) also called fool's gold.

H.R. Prabhkara
Bangalore Plasmatek - Bangalore, Karnataka, India

October 20, 2018

A. Any metal can be induced by a moving magnetic field to conduct electricity. There is a Newtons law that confirms this. In mining, Eddie Current generators are used to separate metals from crushed ore. There are Ferrous & Non-ferrous metals and they all can be turned into tiny magnets by making use of moving permanent magnets. An electro magnet turned on and off will simulate a moving magnet. I once observed a demonstration where varnish coated copper wire was wound in a shape of a long coil like a spring this was placed on a flat surface and a round bar shaped permanent magnet was thrust in one end of the coil and the magnet just kept going under its own power to the end of the coiled wire. As the magnet moved past the electric conductor it induced an electric magnetic field which opposed the permanent magnet, causing movement.

Johan Loots
- Palm Springs, California, USA

October 28, 2018

A. Did an experiment were I discharged a large charged capacitor into a coil. When a dime was near the coil it moved slightly when the capacitor discharged. The dime acted like a one turn shorted inductance. The same would have been true of a gold coin.

The trick is to make a magnet that will attract gold but not magnetite. It might need to be some kind of A.C electromagnet. The gold particle should be classified as a closed circuit inductance. The gold particle will be resonant at a certain frequency.

Carl Dahlberg
Home - Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

June 22, 2019

opinion!  From my understanding, gold/metal detectors do not use magnetic frequency but instead use radio frequency and pulse waves which bounce back off metal objects since it cannot go straight through them, thus creating a sound when interacting. However, I do believe mercury is used to separate gold particles from dirt and other substances while at the same time, attract and unite the gold particles to become one whole particle.
If some sort of device was to be created, I do believe that mercury would be a key ingredient in the running of the device.

But that's just from a normal simple prospectors point of view and opinion. No scientific genius here. Cheers.

Jesse Paya
- Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

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