Gold Prospecting Tips for any prospector, learn dredging, panning and the Alabama Gold Locations How to Pan for Gold | Gold Prospecting Tips

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to Pan for Gold

In this post I will briefly discuss how to pan for gold. Panning for gold is the oldest method of gold prospecting. Before you begin to pan you need to classify your material down so it is easier to pan. Classifiers are plentiful on the market or your can make your own. Once the material is classified it is time to pan.

Grasp the pan securely with both hands while it is still under water. Begin rotating the contents in the pan as you raise it slightly from the water. Occasionally shake the pan, which will help cause the heavier contents to settle. Remove small rocks as they continually move to the top of the pan's material. Occasionally tip the pan forward in the water to permit water to carry off lighter material. Be careful, not to lose any of the heavier contents of the pan other than the rocks you remove. Eventually about a handful of concentrates will remain in the pan. With your hands, break up any mud balls that remain in the pan. You can then transfer the concentrates to a smaller "finishing" pan or keep them in the pan you started with.

Make certain the riffles are always on the lower side as you rotate the pan under water. This brings all materials across the traps. You will  develop your own method for shaking (side to side, back and forth or circular motion). Your aim in moving the pan under water is to cause the heavier gold to settle into the riffles where it will be trapped. As the contents become concentrated on the bottom of the pan and in its riffles, the total amount of material will appear smaller. Continue to tip your gold pan occasionally so that water can carry off lighter materials. Try to separate all other materials from your gold by a gentle swirling motion, leaving the gold concentrated together in the riffles.

Now it is time to retrieve your gold! Use tweezers or your fingers for the larger pieces and a gold suction bottle, also known as a snuffer bottle, to vacuum up the fine gold from the water. Over time you will begin to develop your own methods as I have. These are the instructions I started out with and eventually developed my own style of panning that works better in my opinion. Practice at home using lead shot or smashed bb pellets. These are heavy like gold and will help you with your panning method. Just be sure to count the  amount you put in to see how many you keep in the pan. Hope this helps and happy prospecting!

Here is a quick video of another style of panning. Hope you enjoy!