Rock Discoveries

Panning for Gold: From Equipment to Techniques Everything You Need to Know

Are you curious about panning for gold? Whether you’re a seasoned prospector or a newbie, this article will provide you with useful information about the equipment you’ll need, the techniques to use, and how to choose the perfect gold pan for your needs.

Panning for Gold: Equipment Needed

Before you start your search for gold, you’ll need to gather some essential tools. These include a shovel, a gold pan, and riffles.

A shovel is crucial for digging into the soil and gravel where you’re most likely to find gold. A sturdy shovel with a pointed tip and straight-edge blade can help you remove rocks and debris effectively.

The gold pan is the most important piece of equipment you’ll need for panning for gold. A gold pan is typically made of plastic or metal and comes in different sizes and shapes.

Beginners are recommended to use a plastic pan as it weighs less and is easier to use. Plastic pans also have molded riffles that help trap the gold.

Riffles are thin metal bars that are positioned in the bottom of the pan to catch the gold. They may be molded into plastic pans or separately purchased for metal pans.

Riffles are important as they help separate the gold from the other materials in the pan. Panning for Gold: How to Do It

Once you have your equipment ready, it’s time to start panning for gold.

The first step is to find a good location that’s known to have gold deposits. Research online or consult with local experts to identify the right site.

Next, collect the material you’ll be washing in the pan. This material can vary from site to site but usually consists of soil, sand, and gravel with visible gold flakes.

Large rocks and boulders should be removed from the material with the shovel. Fill the pan with the material and submerge it in water.

Use your hands to break down any clay or compacted soil and break up large chunks of dirt. Start swirling the pan in a circular motion to allow the water to carry away the lighter materials in the pan.

Continue swirling until you see only black sand and gold flakes remaining. The next step is to separate the black sand from the gold flakes.

Pour the remaining material into your hand-held gold pan or a more substantial container with riffles. Gently swirl the container, allowing the water and black sand to flow out of the pan’s side.

The gold flakes will be trapped by the riffles and caught in the bottom of the pan. Panning for Gold: A Video Tutorial

While reading about panning for gold provides an excellent starting point, it’s easier to understand the techniques from a video tutorial.

Video tutorials are instructional, and many are available online that cover every aspect of panning for gold. A video tutorial can show you how to locate gold deposits, prepare your equipment, and use the right techniques to extract gold.

Gold Pans: Types, Advantages, and Choosing the Right One

Gold pans come in two types; plastic and metal. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Plastic gold pans are less expensive than metal pans and weigh less. They come in different colors, which can help you see the gold flakes more easily.

The molded riffles in the plastic pans simplify the panning process by keeping the gold in place. Plastic gold pans are also easier to handle as they don’t get as cold as metal pans during the winter months.

Metal gold pans are more durable and can be heated over a fire to help dry out the material to sift for gold. Metal pans come in various sizes and shapes, making them easier to customize to your specific requirements.

Metal pans also have removable riffles that can be replaced if they get worn out. Choosing the right gold pan ultimately comes down to personal preference.

If you’re a beginner, a plastic pan is recommended as they are easy to handle and excellent for learning the process. The size of the pan is also essential as it will determine how much material you can process in one sitting.

A pan with a diameter of 14-16 inches is ideal for most gold prospectors.


Panning for gold can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you have the right equipment and techniques. It’s essential to research the area you want to prospect and make sure you have the necessary permits and permissions before you start.

Choosing the right gold pan is also crucial to ensure a successful day out panning for gold. Remember to take all your rubbish with you when you leave the area and always respect the land and its inhabitants.

Welcome back to our discussion on panning for gold. In this article, we will cover two critical elements of gold prospecting: finding a good location and exploring different prospecting techniques.

Finding a Location: Criteria for a Good Location

Before you start prospecting for gold, you need to find a good location that meets the criteria for optimal gold deposition. Here are some key factors to consider when scouting an area:

Depth: The deeper the gold is deposited, the more valuable it is likely to be.

If possible, look for areas with gold deposits at least 6 inches deep. Speed: The speed of the water flowing through the area can affect the ability of the gold to settle and form deposits.

Look for areas with slow-flowing water if you want to maximize your chances of finding gold. Resistance: Gold deposits tend to form in areas with natural obstructions such as tree roots, rocks, and boulders.

This resistance creates little pools of water where gold can deposit and settle. Rock Type: The type of rock in the general area is important for locating gold deposits.

Most gold is found in sedimentary rocks, such as sand and gravel deposits. Finding a Location: Tips for Location Scouting

Now that you know what to look for when scouting for a good gold prospecting location, you will need to use different tactics to find a suitable site.

Here are some tips to help your location scouting efforts:

Research: Research is crucial to finding gold. Look for documented gold deposits near your location, consult geological surveys and historical records, or talk to other prospectors for helpful tips.

Observation: Go for a walk around the vicinity and keep an eye out for geological features that may indicate gold deposits. Pay attention to the contours of ravines, river bends, and banks.

Inquire: Ask local residents about the history of the area, if they know of any gold deposits or if they have seen any signs of gold in the region. Map Reading: Topographical and geological maps of an area can provide useful information about the features and geography.

Use these maps to identify areas where water flows through and slows down, including hollows and stream channels. Prospecting Techniques: Sluicing

Sluicing is a popular technique used by many gold prospectors.

Its a method of separating small gold flakes from other materials using water. Here are the steps involved in sluicing:

Riffles: A sluice box contains shallow metal or plastic riffles, which help to trap the gold as the water flows through the sluice.

Water pressure: The water flow is controlled by the amount of water pressure needed to push the materials through the sluice box. Pan Tilt: By tilting the pan at an angle, the velocity of the water can remain high enough to sweep the larger rocks out of the sluice box, while leaving behind the gold on the riffles.

Separation: The riffles have little ridges, or steps, that trap the gold. The distance between the riffles determines the size of the gold flakes that can be trapped.

Cleanout: After a few minutes of operation, materials will start to accumulate on top of the riffles, covering up the gold. To prevent the material from clogging up the box and affecting your results, its necessary to perform routine cleanouts throughout the sluicing process.

Prospecting Techniques: Metal Detecting

Another popular gold prospecting technique is metal detecting. Metal detectors allow you to scan an area for signals from metallic objects, including gold.

Here are the steps involved in metal detecting:

Machine: Metal detectors consist of a control box, a search coil, and a shaft. The control box contains the sensors and battery pack, while the search coil is a flat, circular disk held close to the ground to detect objects.

The shaft connects the search coil to the control box. Sensor: The sensor inside the search coil uses magnetic fields to detect metal objects.

Discrimination: Modern metal detectors can differentiate between different metal types by recognizing the conductivity of the target metal. Depth: The depth of detection depends on the sensitivity of the metal detector and the size and conductivity of the target metal.

Signal: The metal detector will give off an audible signal or visual display when it detects a metal object. Prospecting Techniques: Dry Washing

Drywashing is a technique for extracting gold from dry soil without any water.

This method can be effective in areas with low water availability or if you want to minimize water use. Here are the steps involved in dry washing:

Air flow: A drywash machine uses a blower system that provides a steady airflow through the dry soil in a flat tray or riffled sluice box.

Vibration: The vibration of the machine separates the denser, heavier materials from soil. Pulsation: The rythmical pulsations help the material layer along the bottom of the troughs to abrade, disintegrate, and get the gold.

Dust: Its essential to protect yourself from the dust generated by this process by wearing proper clothing and maintaining a good air flow in the work area.


We hope you found our discussion on finding a good location and the various prospecting techniques helpful. Remember, practice makes perfect when panning for gold.

If youre a beginner, start by learning the basics of panning, and then move on to the other techniques weve discussed. Happy prospecting!

Welcome back to our discussion on gold panning.

In this article, we will be covering gold concentrates, including what they are, how to obtain them, and different processing techniques. Gold Concentrates: Definition and Types

Gold concentrates are a type of paydirt, which is a mixture of materials that contain gold particles.

Concentrates come in different forms, with varying amounts of gold. Some of the most common gold concentrates include:

Material Concentrates: These are concentrates obtained from mining deposits, which usually contain higher concentrations of gold.

Black Sand Concentrates: These are concentrates obtained from sand that contains a high concentration of heavies, including gold, magnetite, and hematite. Gold Dust: This is a finely ground powder that contains gold particles.

It is often obtained as a byproduct of gold refining processes. Gold Concentrates: How to Obtain

Gold concentrates can be obtained in several ways, including purchasing, mining, collecting, and trading.

Here are some ways to obtain gold concentrates:

Purchase: You can buy gold concentrates from online dealers or at local stores that specialize in gold panning equipment. Make sure to purchase from reputable sources to ensure the quality of the concentrate.

Mine: If youre interested in mining for gold, you can start by identifying areas where gold deposits are known to exist. Excavate these areas and collect the paydirt, which will contain gold concentrates.

Collect: Gold concentrates can also be collected from the riverbed or streams. Dig down to the bedrock, and collect the material that is most likely to contain gold.

Trade: You can also trade gold concentrates with other prospectors. This approach is particularly effective if you have obtained gold concentrates that have different compositions than what you desire.

Gold Concentrates: Processing Techniques

Once you’ve obtained gold concentrates, you can use a variety of techniques to recover the gold particles from the material. Here are some common processing techniques:

Panning: Panning concentrates in a gold pan is one of the oldest and most straightforward processing techniques.

Place the concentrate into a pan, add water and begin swirling the pan. The gold particles, being heavier, will settle to the bottom of the pan, while the lighter materials will be washed away.

Sluicing: Sluicing is another method for processing gold concentrates. It involves setting up riffles in a trough and running water through the trough.

The concentrate is added to the top of the sluice, and the water flowing down the trough washes away the lighter materials, leaving the gold settled in the riffles. Spiral Wheel: A spiral wheel is a device that uses centrifugal force to separate lighter materials from concentrates.

It operates by rotating a spiral wheel, which creates a circular motion of water that allows the lighter materials to flow out of the wheel. Shaking Table: A shaking table is another processing technique that uses water to achieve separation.

The concentrate is loaded onto the table, which is then vibrated back and forth at a high frequency. This separates the lighter materials from the gold concentrate, leaving the gold in one corner of the table.


Gold concentrates hold the promise of finding gold without the need for extensive mining procedures. With the right techniques and tools, you can recover gold particles from different types of concentrates.

Remember, its important to obtain your concentrates from reputable sources and use proper safety gear when processing them. Happy prospecting!

In conclusion, gold panning can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you have the right equipment, techniques, and suitable location.

Remember to research your location adequately, use the right tools, and prioritize safety throughout your prospecting journey. FAQs on gold panning include: What equipment do I need to pan for gold?

What are the best locations for prospecting? What are the different types of gold concentrates, and how do I obtain them?

How can I process gold concentrates into actual gold?

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