Gold Panning

gold-panningHopefully you understand that the first skill you will encounter is the most important and it is likely going to be the first employed by you when you go to the first place you should be going, which is the placer deposits.  This super important skill isgold panning.  So how is gold panning done and what is involved?  What kind of materials are needed?  Well, let’s see!

Gold panning is a process that takes the black sand and minerals mixed into it in the placer deposits and “mines” the gold, which is to say that it extracts the gold out of the sand.  This is done using a miner’s gold pan.  This pan is much like a large, shallow bowl with ridges built in to help separate the sand from the gold.

This is the absolute most easy and simple method of extracting gold and is also the most inexpensive.  The process is simple, it’s cheap, and it’s crucial because you will do this as a beginner and as an expert panning out the finest pieces of gold from your big machinery system.  Just as a piece of history, gold panning is the oldest form of mining gold, which was discovered in Rome.

The Gold Panning Process

Panning gold is not a difficult process.  The miner should locate a quality placer deposit and some of its black sand should be scooped into the pan with some of the water as well.  Once this is done, the gold pan is gently shaken back and forth to agitate the water enough to move the light sand away from the heavier materials.  The gold remains at the bottom and the sand is moved away and captured by the ridges or spilled out of the side since it is floating about and weighs nothing.  The panner can then look in there and extract the gold that is left remaining, hopefully!

For big timers, collecting these gold flakes is not really the main emphasis.  It is not done to collect a ton of money, but it is done as a pointer.  If you start finding flakes and the occasional nugget, then you can try and trace it back to the larger gold vein that the placer deposit gold is originating from.

Gold Panning and the Pan Designs

What are the size and shapes of these pans?  Well, pans are measured by the length of their diameters and are communicated in inches.  Common pans you will come across are on the smaller side ten inches and on the larger side 17 inches, however the 14 inch pan is probably the most frequently used.  You can get these in cheaper plastic or in a metal form, both of which are high impact materials.  Some of the metal pans are made in a lightweight alloys but are structurally sound because of their heavy gauge construction.  Stability is important, you don’t want it bending or denting.

You’d may not consider this at first, but color is a big factor, with green and blue being the most often chosen because the gold stands out from the other color.  Most pans have a slant angle of 15 to 25 degrees so you don’t dump out all of your black sand, but so you can still get rid of the floating sediment.  Learn more about gold panning and other mining methods in general by continuing to read the site!