How To Dowse For Gold


Written by Nigel Percy


How to Dowse for Gold

Dowsing for gold is a popular application for this simple, natural skill. However, because dowsing is used in this instance for something of potentially great value, there is some confusion around it when there need not be.

Those who go dowsing for gold are often easy game for those who want to sell them expensive dowsing rods. Usually such rods are described as being of the correct length or have some special feature to help them tune in to gold more accurately.

What most people don't want to admit, however, is that dowsing for gold is no different from dowsing for your lost car keys or which item to order from a menu. But, because it's gold, that precious stuff which is so highly valued, a lot of people wrongly assume that they should be doing something special or different in order to find the stuff.

Not true!

Dowsing is dowsing, no matter what the target. And that means that the same basic principles for any type of dowsing should be followed when dowsing for gold.

That means that in order to find gold, you need to have a really precise question in mind and then you have to be in the right mental state of relaxed attention to allow the answer to come to you. It's never the tool which tells you. It's only your reaction, causing the tool to move, which is the essence of dowsing.

The question is the most important thing in all types of dowsing. It's no different in dowsing for gold. You'll presumably know what you are after, so really you're framing a question about the location or the depth or the overall quantity. Whatever is your primary goal, that's the question you have to form. Avoid the vague question like, ‘Is there gold here?' because there may well be but it might be one tiny grain six feet deep.

You can dowse for gold over a map and search for the most likely places to examine on foot. Again, you need a specific question. We map-dowsed for some clients who wanted to know which areas they should pan for gold in to produce sufficient quantities for them to feel successful. They followed our suggestions and had a successful season. Map dowsing is just another way of using this skill and we have a video on how you can map dowse. Click the link here.

The one thing to remember above all else is that no matter what you are using dowsing for; whether it's for gold, for oil, for your choice of vitamins, dowsing is the same. And, what the people who want to sell you expensive dowsing tools won't say is that you don't actually need any tools at all. Of course, if you like tools, then you can make your own and adjust it to be exactly as you want it to be.

Happy Dowsing!

Have you dowsed for gold? Successfully? What did you use and why?


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  1. Cindy Rai

    My step mom and dad showed me how to do this for GOLD. My question is this– why do I hit on some and She doesn’t ? There are times that we BOTH hit on it but I seem to hit more than she does and she has been doing it for a few years now. Thank you

    • Nigel Percy

      I’m not sure there’s one simple reason for what you say. From what you say, you have actually dug up or found the gold? That’s the only way you’d know if either or both of you were correct.
      If you found it and she didn’t, then perhaps the geological formations were different from those where she is successful. Or, she could have simply lost focus when dowsing. Maybe you want to find it more than she does.
      It could also be that different types of gold are more difficult for one of you. Placer gold compared to gold bullion for example.
      But if you’re both as good as each other in general, then you must be doing very nicely with everything you’ve found. Keep up the good work!!

    • Al

      Dowsing is a very individual thing. What may work for you may not work for me. It depends on the individuals sensitivity. I douse for many things such as minerals, water, aura, and spirits etc.

      • Nigel Percy

        That’s what makes it so interesting!

  2. chritacia

    there are so many methods of dowsing but the first thing you have to understand is that there hve to be an affinitive conection between you and your dowsing rods , coz this is why we always have different results from diferent people on the same area to be surveid ,

    you have to understand that when you dowse you ought to know what exactly you looking for

    • Nigel Percy

      There are several points I’d like to address here. First, you don’t have to have a rod or tool of any kind to dowse. Also, the main reason for different results by different people at the same place is mainly due to the fact that few people have actually been taught how to dowse well. It has nothing to do with what your relationship is with the tool you use but a lot to do with how you have been taught to dowse (and so many haven’t been taught!).
      Also, to dowse accurately, every dowser needs to have a clear focus on the question. Without that it’s no more than lucky dip. Read our book, ‘The Dowsing State’ for more details.
      As for the ‘many methods’ of dowsing, that’s really more about different techniques. The only method is to have a clear focus, get in the right state of mind and know the answer when it appears. It is nothing more than a way of answering questions your rational mind cannot answer.

  3. Brad Cox

    I don’t believe that there’s anything spiritual or intuitive involved with the type of dowsing I do. I’m mostly in search of buried coins, gold, other highly conductive metals. I use my own homemade copper wire L-shaped rods…and never have to utter a word when managing to get the rods to cross exactly above a target. Having plastic handles that allow the rods to swivel freely within them and outward horizontally balanced is key to me. My thoughts are more in line with Einstein’s when he stated that the rods are a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time. So, the rods act as an antenna that somehow amplify what our body energy field emits. I chose 10 gauge copper wire for my rods since copper is more highly conductive / receptive to electricity and possibly static electricity that the store bought brass ones or coat hangers. My rods have detected small metal targets 3 feet underground on a couple occasions…and I’ve had to draw a line that I really don’t care to dig more than a foot or two in the future unless there’s a chance that the object has value worth the effort and use of bigger shovels and post hold diggers to dig up. I may be a novice at this dowsing stuff. But I like to avoid any appearance of summoning demons or spirits to help with my searches. Getting the rods to cross directly over a quarter lying on the ground every single time is pretty fascinating…requiring no “divination” or sorcery at all.

    • Nigel Percy

      Thanks for this interesting post, Brad. I’m with you in that dowsing is something entirely normal and human. There’s no need to bring anything else into it to make more than it is. Your use of rods is simple and direct and, most of all, effective. I wish you continued success.

    • tom small


      I have been using the 10 ga. copper rods for years .. I used them to primarily trace electrical (under-ground wires) on high voltage transmission and substations to support my work as an engineer.

      But – I also used them to detect gold in the streams of Alaska .. Where there was gold I could detect .. small nuggets . not dust ..

      I have been on a quest to try and understand how and why “dowsing” works for me but not all I associate with ..

      • Brad Cox

        Tom, there is a bit of technique involved with using the L-shaped rods…like not holding them away from your chest too far, wearing gloves can unintentionally touch the copper instead of staying on the plastic handles…keeping the rods from swiveling freely inside the handles, possibly wearing steel toe shoes might give false readings if your feet are too far in front of you, as well as “hot rocks” rocks containing a lot of iron…my rods will detect those…causing me to dig for targets I don’t want. I hope to be using my rods for finding gold too…once the local river level recedes enough to get my boat out there safely. I suspect I’ll still hit some other unwanted targets while in the water…where the heavy metals tend to collect…lots of magnetite in my local streams…pick a lot up when tossing a magnet out on a rope (magnet fishing). I wish I knew why the rods work. I accidentally left out the word “uncanny” when referring to Einstein’s quote in my previous post…its the uncanny reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors. I might theorize that it has something to do with the electromagnetism our bodies emit outward around us a certain distance…that somehow works like a compass needle…instead of pointing north…it points to metal. It is definitely “uncanny”. Crazy goofy Youtube gold prospector Jeff Williams posted on his channel “Ask Jeff Williams” 5 years ago of the use of copper wire dowsing rods being able to detect gold and silver. But they also detect aluminum bottle caps, iron nails, lead bird shot…maybe you’ve found some of these as well.

  4. Philip

    Hello. I have always been interested and amazed by this practice. How/where may I begin to learn dowsing? Do I need instruction from an expert?

    Thank you.

    • Nigel Percy

      You can certainly learn a lot about dowsing by reading the many posts on this site. If you wish to become a dowser yourself, then I would suggest you ave a look at our dowsing course for sale. Going to an expert is not always feasible (time , location, cost etc), but is vastly helpful if you wish to become a water dowser where gaining field experience is most useful.
      Basically, anyone can learn to dowse, but to learn to dowse well takes time and practice and having the basics right from the get-go. That’s why we suggest our course.
      If you have further questions, I’ll be happy to respond.

  5. Ian McIntosh

    I have been using l rods for 6yrs after reading an article in magazine triggered my interest.
    I doubted it could work.
    I was wrong, with much practice i perfected accuracy.
    I have been asked to find several items of lost gold jewelry by distraught owners, and was successful in all cases.
    In 1 case i pinpointed the item at 2km distant and used 1rod to beat the remaining earing of a pair at 11 beats, then let the rod sweep 180degrees lock on and got 11 beats, went 2ks in direction of point with two rods in front parralel, they crossed exactly above the item lost.
    You are wrong about a.lot of things in you article.
    It works for me, but only on non ferrous metals,.
    I have proven this many times when challenged to do so.

    • Nigel Percy

      Well, good for you and thanks for sharing, although I am at a loss as to what you mean by referring to ‘beats’ when you are dowsing.

  6. Logen Soriano

    This is in connection with the comment of Ian McIntosh, sir, did you asked a question in searching? What question did you asked? I am a newbie and want to try too in locating buried gold. Thanks in advance.

  7. Danny

    Hi Guys im a dowser , some maybe 5 months ,can someone tell me what is the right question when u want to dowse for a gold ,like rings,coins stuff like that, i was trying to do the map dowsing and i had some targets on those maps , when i went outside at the actual locations , i found twice coins but not the gold ones, my question was : Is there buried gold coins or gold jewelry on this field, someone maybe can point me at the right direction ,where am i making the mistake ? Its a great blog cause we can share our experience.

    Thank you, kind regards

    • Nigel Percy

      Briefly, focus and the dowsing state (explained in this post) are absolute musts, and, like most things, require some practice before they come naturally. As to the exact questions, I’m hopeful that some of the previous commenters will respond with how they go about this, although I can say that you might want to be sure that if there are coins in a field they are at a depth you can access. Also, map dowsing is one application which needs practice and errors there will throw you off.
      Other than that, you should keep practicing your dowsing on tangible, verifiable targets to increase your skill level (and hence your confidence). This article will help.

      • Dan

        Thank you for responding i do appreciate . Basicaly when i practise at anything visible i got 95 to 98% of success that means in the house or on the field visible objects like empty cans .plastic bottles etc. But when i come to the dowsing for a gold objects i ask the question what i mentioned in the previous comment. It is leading me to coins and some metal objects in the ground. all targets are there 100% accurate never showed me a empty spot there is always something there.but the problem is
        Its not gold :) mostly it is metal or bronze . I dont get it whats the issue .i guess maybe i should change the question , either way this is something new and i can not describe that feeling it is really interesting and presence of some other energy sometimes.

        • Nigel Percy

          Maybe holding a witness, a piece of pure gold (assuming you’re after pure gold), when dowsing might be of use here to ensure your focus is exact. It’s worth a try at least.

          • Dan

            Yeah i believe so. Im gonna try all available options and to focus on only one specific target.Anyways i will share my experience here so it might help someone.

  8. robert favreau

    Regardless of where I walk by just using a wooden divining rod that I broke off a tree branch I get a reading. I can be on top of the roof of my 1 and a half story house and still get a reading. I’m sure when in my yard I’m getting water vanes and when out on the street I’m picking up all utilities and when down by a lake I’m once again picking up water vanes. So to me depending on where I go would determine what I’m going to pick up but in my case I seem to pick up everything.

    • Nigel Percy

      Well, if you’re that sensitive, the next step is to focus on what you want to find and learn how to hone the skill. Good luck!


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