I purchased a fisher F2 a little over a year ago and have loved using it. It has been a great first metal detector, easy to use, and very effective on many types of targets. It, however is ineffective at detecting gold. I have tested it a couple of times and it has failed in locating a small vial of gold (maybe a gram) on the surface, or even a ring at depth beyond 2". I've been forced to realize I made the wrong choice in metal detectors if I am looking for something that can actually find gold, let alone flakes or nuggets. One of the reasons I chose the F2, was its price point around 200$.
If you were to recommend a metal detector that is designed with gold recovery in mind, more entry level in price, but wouldn't sacrifice too much performance, what brands and models should I look at? The Fisher Gold Bug seems like a nicer entry level machine, but I am limited in my knowledge of what metal detectors are really out there. I don't have too much of a budget, I'm thinking of maybe buying used if possible to keep the price a bit more manageable. I'd really like to be under 400$, but at the same time I don't want to severely limit myself if spending 100$ over what I had originally thought really would make that difference in the long run. Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.