Patience and perseverance are the two best words to describe the top qualities required by a gold panner, and most importantly, a beginner. It is tempting to fall into the mindset that you are going to get rich quickly, but that may not always be the case. However, as your skills improve, you will be able to enjoy this hobby and have something to show for the hours spent exploring.
Gold panning does have a great deal of potential in becoming a very profitable pastime, and in order to be good at it, you need to learn skills that will give you the knowledge of where and how to pan for gold. The better you get at these skills, the more likely you will find those hidden treasures.
With this in mind, let’s explore the tips that can get you some gold!
1. First off, gold is a hidden treasure. This means you won’t find nuggets basking in the sun waiting for you to just pick them up and carry away! This is where your research and investigation skills will come into play. Research based on the history of the area you intend to dip your gold pan can save you a lot of time. The Internet provides a variety of resources for finding gold and locations on where to go. Local libraries and museums are also good resources as well.
2. You will need to know such things as where the creek or river once flowed compared to where it flows today. You’ll want to find out if there had been any active mining claims in the area and whether or not you are going to end up on private land. Mining claims and private land will be reasons for you to want to try a different location.
Gold is a hidden treasure, just waiting to be found!
3. If you happen to discover that a river or creek had a small diversion in relation to where it flows now you may wish to explore that. You will also want to learn how to read a flowing stream of water. There are many secrets that a river or creek can hide but a good gold panner can decipher the clues they need to find good spots to pan. Understanding the characteristics of a creek at high water versus low water can prove very useful. Panning sands that get trapped in tree roots during spring runoff and behind boulders where eddies have formed are good places to start. As gold, even the smallest flake, is denser than any other material flowing downstream, they tend to float to the bottom of a creek bed in these locations. Having a small shovel so you can dig up soil and dirt from alongside a creek is very useful and using the creek to "screen" your pan will also help.
4. Once you have picked a potential spot, fill your gold pan with the material you want to go through. Dip it into the creek to add water and put both hands in the pan. You will be filtering the material this way, moving everything around, removing bigger rocks and breaking up sand and soil. Once you remove the bigger items you can get down to the actual panning part which involves a swishing back and forth action. Keep removing material and water from your pan until it is reduced to just fine sand and some water.
Having the right equipment, like this metal folding shovel, is important for moving material.
5. Swirl this collection with one end of the pan lowered if there are flakes or nuggets of gold in your pan you should be able to see them glistening at this stage. If there is nothing showing, fill your pan with more material and repeat these steps. You may find that the location you have chosen is just not producing or you may have to pan sand and dirt from somewhere else in the area you researched.
6. Another great tool for the beginner is a beginners metal detector and pinpointer. They can identify various metals, including gold, and are excellent in helping eliminate bad panning spots and discovering good ones! The Nokta Pointer Metal Detector, for example, can produce accurate readings when used as a precision tool to narrow down sites found with a metal detector. Another handheld pinpointer that is especially accuruate it the Garrett Handheld Metal Detector, which are especially helpful when used with a Gold Rush Nugget Bucket, as they can be used when looking for any gold and other metals in the top two screens.
The Nokta Handheld Metal Detector is a great tool to use with the Gold Rush Nugget Bucket.
A huge bonus related to gold panning is that you can do it virtually anywhere! By carrying your Gold Rush Nugget Bucket, shovel and metal detector with you on a camping or fishing trip, you will always have something fun to do. It is also a great hobby to share with family and friends. For history buffs who enjoy gold panning, it is a great way to experience the days of old. More than a century ago, miners moved around the country following gold hoping to strike it rich. In many cases, gold panning had everything to do with the development of many regions in not just the United States, but many other places around the world.
Just scoop in dirt, pour in water, and let gravity do the work!
Ultimately, gold panning is fun and can produce a nice payback. Remember that patience is key and never give up! You will find that gold.