By Marc Prinz

Gold Panning for NuggetsThe gold pan has been around for many years and dates back to ancient Roman times. The primary purpose of gold panning during this modern day gold rush is for sampling. A prospector must sample an area to determine if there is gold in the ground before he starts working with larger more productive equipment. Gold panning has become a great hobby and loved by kids, weekend prospectors and everyone in between.  In this gold panning post I will try to show you how to pan for gold with instruction and a video. Enjoy!  First watch the video:


After you have found an area you want to sample and have dirt to process you will start your gold panning. Follow these simple gold panning instructions:

A. Fill your gold pan ¾ of the way full with gravel. Take out all large rocks.

B. Place the gold pan under water and shake it right to left to get the material into a fluid like state in the gold pan. Doing this will stratify the gold, black sand and lighter material. This will settle all of the gold to the bottom of the gold pan and raise the lighter material to the top of the gold pan.

C. Take out any rocks that rise to the top of the material making sure they are clean before discarding them.

D. Tilt the pan away from you at a slight angle and move it side to side to sluff off and lighter material into the river. Do not pour the material out of your pan. Let the wave action of the water moving back and forth on your material do all of the work. Do this until you see a little black sand. Be carful to watch the front of your pan so you do not lose any gold!

E. Level out the material in the gold pan and shake it to get the material into a fluid like state again. Keep repeating the process of shaking of the pan and then tilting and sluffing of the material until you have about 2 tablespoons material. Keep looking for gold and paying attention to the front of the gold pan so you do not lose any gold while panning.

F. Once you have panned your material down to about 2 tablespoons you can use a magnet to get the heavy black sand out. Be careful when using the magnet as gold does sometime stick to the black sand. I recommend dropping the magnetic sand into a separate gold pan and checking for gold before the black sand is tossed out.

G. Now that you have very little black sand and mostly gold you can use a snuffer bottle to suck up the gold to put into a vial for viewing. I recommend a plastic vial. You can also pour your gold and black sand into a plate and dry them out. Once dry pour the gold and black sand onto paper and use a small paint brush to clean the rest of the black sand out.

H. Practice with a few BB’s and get good at not losing them. If you want to know what a snuffer bottle looks like or need a gold pan, snuffer bottle, plastic vials for your gold click the banner below.

What do you think?  Do you have any tricks and tips for gold panning?

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Good Man! Good informational information for the newbies. Dig Deep! YankeeGoldProspect

Really I am very much appreciate your knowledge, I hope to know more about gold and diamonds, also mineral generally. I appreciate that effort thanks alot. Mustafa Ali Mohamed

Thanks for the great advice; the newbies out there really need stuff like this! aperfectcuremt

Great info and thanks for the education. Good luck on your search peace.... Jim Conkel

Really enjoyed your info ....very informative...thanks! MrChristau

Nice! I like that tip of not putting your tailings right on top of your gold pay-streak. That means you have to sample where the streak is. Great demo... Prospector Jess

I like the systematic way you go about finding the pay streak. tfa40729

This is the first I’ve seen of you. It looks like you have a systematic process and sound theory. Thanks. 39satcom

Brilliant based in south Australia and am now in the process of looking to start this as a hobby...ive been doing some research and in all honesty this is the first video ive seen which uses a common sense methodology to looking for gold. Well done on a brilliant, clear and informative... locolacapesa

You’re giving good advice that goes for a lot of other things. So thanks! jayhawk184

Very informative, thanks for sharing I will take a look at all of your other info, Colin Walker


Good video Marc....... So far, I've enjoyed it all. PayLoadJim

I’m with you I sample like crazy...sample sample you will find it some time. great tip thanks Marc! Calvin Goldmin

Thanks Marc.... Yes, your advice is very useful;especially to a 'new-bee'. David Tullos

Best advice marc said "It's all in your head, sample sample sample, don't stop" GalderIncarnate

Informative!! Janice Liddle

Great info and advice, thanks marc hope you strike big eventually :). I've just started panning here in Scotland. Maniel E

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