How to Use a Gold Pan

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 Gold Panning Secrets

Gold Panning is as easy as 1, 2, and 3.

Using a gold pan is the first piece of mining equipment that the miner must master in order to be an effective prospector.  Panning is used in all types of gold mining.  A miner can use a gold pan to sample an area prior to setting up a larger operation.  If miners are dredging, highbanking, or using a sluice box, all the concentrated material is washed by using a gold pan.  Miners have even used the gold pan in hardrock mining as the last step of classification.  The gold pan is the most versatile mining tool there is and it is important to use it correctly to maximize your profits.

There are a number ofsecret steps that each miner must remember to become an effective panner.  But remember gold panning is as easy as 1, 2, and 3. The first secret step in the gold panning process is to

Load the Pan.

Loading the pan sounds easy and it is, but there are a few simple tips that will improve your panning process.   Before adding material to the pan, remember to classify your material first.  There are simple ½ inch screens that remove the big non-gold baring rocks and ore before it gets into the pan.  Having all the material near the same size makes gold panning go a lot faster.  load the pan

Next fill your pan about ¾ the way to the top with classified material or ore.  Submerge the pan underwater and soak all the material.  At this time break up any dirt clods or clay that may be in the pan.  Let the muddy water and light sand float out of the pan.  The first step of gold panning is now complete.

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The second secret step in the gold panning process is to

Wash the Material.

Dirt, rocks, sand, and ore are known as material and it is this material that the miner will be washing out of his pan during this next step.  The miner now takes the loaded pan and starts to shake the pan with some force.   Use a twisting and circular motion to accomplish this. Make sure the pan has plenty of water in it to act as a lubricant.   Keep the pan level at this time.  The idea is to get all the heavy black sand and gold down to the bottom of the pan.  The gold is 19 times heavier than water and about twice the weight of lead.  Since gold’s mass is so heavy it is this property that helps gold sink to the bottom of the washing

After the miner has sufficiently stratified the material, the miner now can start to eliminate some of the material in the gold pan.  Start to sift the material in a circular motion and start to tilt the pan away from the miner.  With each rotation of the slurry, only a little material should leave the pan.  If there are still larger rocks in the pan, now would be a good time to remove the non gold baring material buy picking them out. Check each rock prior to discarding it to make sure that there is no gold embedded in the material.dip the pan

Continue to wash the material in a circular motion until most of the material is now out of the pan.  Once black sand starts to appear in the bottom of the pan, the miner should start to slow down and be more careful as this is where the gold will start to show up.  Reduce the amount of material in the gold pan to just enough material to cover the bottom flat part of the pan.  The miner has now completed the washing step.



The last secret step in the gold panning process is

Gold Removal.

Start cleaning the material left in the pan by using a dipping method.  Dip the pan tilted forward into the water and float off the top layer of sand and material.  Continue this motion until most of the sand is gone.  Swirl the remaining material until it is all fanned out across the bottom of the pan.  If there is gold in the pan it will show its self at this time.  Continue to swirl the pan till all the gold ends up in the crease of the pan bottom.  The miner can use a “Snuffer Bottle” to remove the gold easily from the pan.  If a Snuffer bottle is not available the miner may use a dry finger to pick up the gold and place it in a gold vial.  The miner may also elect to place all the black sand into a bucket for later processing.

Gold panning has been around for more than a 150 years.  This is a mining tool that has stood the test of time.  The gold pan is used in all types of mining and can be a profitable tool for any miner.  Remember to Load the Pan, Wash the Material, and Remove the Gold.  Knowing the secrets of gold panning will help any miner to find unlimited amounts of riches.