Panning For Gold – The Basics
Panning for gold can be a potentially very profitable and also enjoyable activity. Additionally it is a skill that isn’t that difficult to master. Like every learned skill, you simply need to show patience. With practice, you will get very good at it.
To get started, browse the stream bed or creek to identify a good spot that you think is likely can have gold in it. Some of the best spots are behind boulders on inside curves, where eddies have been created. Load your gold pan with sand and gravel. Either dip your gold pan into the creek to fill it with water or just pour water straight into it.
Move your pan gently back and forth utilizing a sideways motion. Since gold is one of the heaviest of all of the elements, it will usually sink to the bottom of the pan. After you’ve been performing this gentle motion for a couple of minutes, the material will quickly stratify in your pan. The bigger rocks and pebbles will be on the surface, as the heavier materials, including black sand (magnetite) and gold will be in the bottom of your pan.
Carefully check out the surface material that is in your pan. Go ahead and take larger rocks out. Don’t throw any nuggets away. Just examine the material and remove any rocks you don’t want. Keep gently agitating the content that is left in your pan. Break up any clumps of clay you find, since gold could be trapped inside the clay and carried away from your pan along with lumps of clay.
In the creek’s calm waters, tilt your pan slightly away from you. Allow the debris and muddy water to slowly slosh from your pan. Keep repeating this step. Increase the amount of water to your pan while keeping the materials stirred up in your pan up until the water in your pan is fairly clear. Make sure to keep the base of your pan lower than its side you when tilting. This way the gold stays at the bottom of your pan. Sharply tapping around the pan’s side once in a while helps the gold to settle to the base of the pan.
After you have finished working all of the material down to ensure that only fine sand is left inside your pan, add a tiny bit of water and swirl the materials gently with your pan tilted slightly. Then any gold will gather on the edges of the pan’s bottom.
If you locate any visible gold at this point, then you are definitely in a good spot. Your pan will have black sand within it. The black sand is called concentrates. Remove any tiny nuggets or flakes using tweezers and set them in the plastic vial. When doing work in a creek, it is far better to avoid using glass sample bottles. When you drop your container and it breaks, you could lose all your gold.
Put the residue in an unbreakable plastic container. Rinse your gold pan out carefully into the concentrate container. After the materials have had the opportunity to settle, then you can pour any excess water out. While there is always a small amount of time for testing, most experienced prospectors find it better to take the concentrates home and pan them out there.
If there are various areas that you might want to test, it really is useful to set the concentrates from every test into separate containers. What works rather well for this particular task is heavy duty sealable plastic freezer bags. Mark your map together with the location of all of your tests or draw a sketch that shows the spot. Also make sure you mark your samples. Following this routine enables you to pinpoint precisely what the best areas are for working in if you opt to set a high banker or sluice box to run a lot of material through.
Always fill your test holes back up. Make sure the area is clean before leaving. Have a wonderful trip and I hope that your pan shows up golden.