Searching for a chocolate coin
In a game show, you are given a bag filled with 2,000 coins. 1,999 of them are gold and one is chocolate Chanukah gelt. The coins all look and feel identical, but if you can find the chocolate one, you get to keep all of them.
To help you, the host gives you a measuring scale which can compare two weights (and indicate which side weighs more). You're told that the gold coins each have equal weight, and the chocolate one weighs less. You are allowed to use the scale a certain number of times. Each time, you can put any number of coins on each side of the scale.
What is the least number of times you need to be able to use the scale in order to guarantee a winning strategy for you?
Assume you can't smell the chocolate and that it's hard enough to not get crushed by the other coins.