In the video above, Gary Smith, a gold panner from British Columbia with 40 years of experience, demonstrates his panning methods and gives advice.
Gold Pan Tips!
(from our friends at Geology.com)
The best way to learn about panning for gold is to observe the techniques of successful panners. Although the methods of these four panners are not identical, they share two common goals:
- Get the heavy gold particles to settle to the bottom of the pan by vigorously shaking the sediment-water mixture
- Reduce the amount of sediment in the pan by gently washing off the top layer of material
Observe how each of the four panners achieves these two goals. Keep them in mind while you are prospecting for gold.
Some people practice panning by placing small pieces of metal such as snips of copper wire in a small amount of sediment and pan them out. Gold (19.30 grams/cubic centimeter) has a much higher density than copper (8.94 grams/cubic centimeter), so if you can successfully pan the copper you will have little trouble panning gold.