Some would say that gold panning is a difficult hobby to jump into. It can take time, effort and a lot of frustration before you find any gold. However, with the right instruction and tools, it is possible to save yourself a lot of time!
Below, the owner Mark instructs junior prospectors Ellie and Cole on how to gold pan. Who knows, they may just find some of that shiny stuff.
1. First, it’s essential to have the right tutelage. To find that, however, one must know where to look! There are a number of companies that offer gold panning tours across the U.S. and elsewhere, and one company called Gold Daughters in Fairbanks, Alaska does a great job of introducing anyone to the art of gold panning. Gold Daughters is a family-owned gold panning attraction that strives to share the unique history of their local area with tourists that come from all around the world, and teach anyone interested in gold panning how to do it.
Gold dust is the most difficult form of gold to collect, but is also the most common type of gold to be found.
2. Secondly, once you know how to pan, it’s important to know where to go find gold! Gold panning locations, either for recreational or professional prospecting, are not necessarily easy to find. Each U.S. state has a list of recreational locations to gold pan that can be obtained by the Bureau of Land Management or Department of Forestry. The Gold Prospector’s Association of America (GPAA) has a list of gold claims they own that members have rights to use. It’s also important to search online for places to go and contact local prospecting shops: they sometimes know the best places to go!
3. Lastly, it’s essential to have the right equipment. Standard gold pans are enough for someone's first attempt at gold panning, but it can be difficult to understand the process enough to effectively collect any to take home. The most common type of gold, gold dust, is so small and easy to lose that some people may not even realize they have any in their pan before dumping it! It’s very difficult to keep all the gold maintained during the panning process.
No matter what tool you use, however, it’s important to have fun most of all! Gold panning is meant to be a fun hobby and activity, so get outdoors, smell the fresh air, and enjoy the world around you!