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*Gold Panning Tips*

By: CP

Panning your concentrates from a whole days work, or just a few samples creek side to learn......
Hope you find some or all of these tips helpful. Good luck!

As always, you want to make your gold recovery as effecient as possible so there are a few preperation steps we will take to help.

If your using a new gold pan, you may want to check out
seasoning your new gold pan before beginning.

First we need to fill a black tub with water to pan inside of......... Never pan your cons in the creek! Ya' might sneeze while panning and there goes all your work back into the creek! Then we need a tad bit (1/2 drop or less) of soap to "break" or "lower" the water's surface tension. (Some folks like to use jetdry instead of soap.) Dirty water will float off small gold and you just worked hard for that gold....no point losing it now! If you have time to let the water in the tub warm up for a short time that will also help.

While the above steps may not be needed for just a few samples creek side, we did feel it worth mentioning for cleaning out a
days work or more.

So we are now ready to pan......place a couple scoops in the pan (2 lbs approx:) and add water till dirt is about half covered. Begin agitating the material in a circular motion keeping the pan flat at first. If you agitate with one hand and with the other, put your fingertips into the dirt you can feel the material agitating "dancing" in the water......gold being 19.3 times heavier than water it will drop out to the bottom or lowest part of the pan. After several seconds of initial agitation, begin to slightly tilt the pan toward the riffles still continuing to agitate with a circular motion. As you tilt you will notice the blonde sands or lighter material will be at the edge of the pan and start to fall of the edge with every "swoosh" of the circle motion. Keep tilting and swooshing until the black sands start to creep up the riffles.......whoa there! Tilt back to flat, add water, and repeat...........continue this until you have removed almost all or all of the light "blonde" sands.

When we are left with a few tables spoons or so of black sands and gold we like to use a magnet carefully in about 11/2" of water to "pull" off the magnetic irons at this point. Then we rotate the pan to the opposite smooth side and gently pan off some more of the black sands using a "mini" agitating circular motion. Now that you have processed off most of the material you are left with your gold(big-small), some lead, iron etc......with just a little water in the pan gently "fan" the material out along the edge with large slow circular motion that gently washes the water over your material in small waves....be patient, the gold will show up as the black sands that are left slowly wash off.


This "agitating while tilting" is something that one has to learn from experience and the best way is, as always, GIVE IT A TRY! The more practice you have the better you will be. But just in case you think maybe some gold slipped by in the panning...........don't fret, it's now in the black tub....pan it again!

Hope you find these instructions helpful and may your pan turn yellow at clean up time!

Dan Schaefer-CP
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