Step One: Look around and search for good material to work with. Then find a place where to pan. Once you find the spot make sure the water of the river or Creek is moving slowly. You want to be in an area of 8 to 12 inches deep.
Step two: Make sure the material is loosen up. Place this material into the pan, it should not be higher than three-quarter full, roots and clay deposits can be included. If you're working on a bedrock, sweep up all the loose paydirt and spend a little time cleaning out any cracks you might encounter. Wash the materials sticking to the rocks you remove into the pan.
If you wish to prescreen the paydirt, take the material that you have in your bucket into the waters edge and screen it into the pan and using water to wash it down.
Step three: Get your full pan into the water while you hold it flat position separating all the lumps and any roots you may have.This might take a few seconds up to couple minutes, depending on the quality of the dirt in which you're working.
Step Four: Once the dirt is loose, shake the pan back and forth and from side to side in a very vigorous fashion, this will help you settle the gold to the bottom of the pan. Any heavy material will be at the bottom and everything that is light will be wash with the water. Gold is 19 times heavier than water. You can do this process under the water with the pan flat. Every time you shake should last 15 seconds.
Step Five: The pan has riffle on the side of the plate. These grooves should be pointing away from you. Tilt the riffle down about 10°. The mayority of the pan should be under water. At this point, simply raise the pan and watch how the movement of the water moves the light material a way from the pan try this movement several time, continue doing this until you understand the motion and effect. It is very important not to raise the pan more than halfway out of the water during this process. Now continue the movements in a circular motion as you raise and lowered the pan. Make this motion about 10 inches long and about 4 inches side to side. Now you pull back the pan as you raise it. At this point a lot of the lighter material should be pull out for every circle you do. Do this about four time.
Step Six: You will continue holding the pan flat and under the water, shake the pan vigorously making the gold settled down. You should shake it hard about 5 to 6 seconds.
Step Seven: you are going to continue repeating the motions from step five. Now as you continue doing this, you are going to increase the angle about 20° and you will continue making circular movements as we describe on step five. You are doing this as you dip the pan in water . The gold will settle down, continue leaving the pan at 10° angle and about half full of water. Now you will shake the contents of the pan from side to side with a firm motion. This action will help you drop the gold to the bottom of the riffle and your pan will remove the lighter material exposing the heavy materia to the bottom. You can pick out the big rocks and repeat these steps. Repeat the movement in a circular motion at 20° angle until you have about 1 cup and a half of material left in the pan, to reach this point, you may have to raise the angle of the pan slightly as you work.
Step Eight: Now you will resettle the contents of your pan to the base of the riffle at 20°. At this point the gold must be at the bottom. You will increase the angle to 40° degree now you will continue moving the pan side to side about 2 inches inside the water. You will be pulling the pan back lightly as you do this motion. The lighter material will start moving out of the pan, continue doing this motion until you see black sand and repeat the process until you remove all the colored sand. Repeat the process to see some little gold if any in your pan.
Step nine: Here you will continue the process and start back panning. This is the process where the black sand can be worked a way from the gold. It may take more practice and learning to back pan. At this point you are 1/8 deep in water. Now you will hold the pan through the riffles and settle the black sand away from you. Tip that end up ever so slightly and then make the water move slowly rocking the pan making the sand to move to the back. In another word, the water will push down the black sand to the other end of the pan. You can continue doing this motion twice or more. You may be lucky and start seeing gold and if you don't then start over again, and if you see it, then make the water move slightly until the black sand is moved away from the gold. Make sure the black sand doesn't get mixed again with the gold.
Step 10: Now you shouldl be about 1 or 2 tablespoon of concentrate, then use little water to shake the material out flat on the bottom of the pan. At this point you might see some gold. Not you will make the pan be in a flat position and start using the bounce technique. This technique is done by tapping the pan making the gold to separate from the black sand. Practice and practice to see the gold separating from the black sand.
Step 11: Take out the gold nuggets and then suck up the little flakes with your sniffer bottle. This is how we ,the gold panner do the job.
Step 12: not you can start collecting the gold in a secure bottle and start all over again the process. Let me give you a hint: black sand is magnetic, a small magnet can help you remove these black sand exposing the gold. Also, you can use soap break the water tension in the water making the gold flakes to settle down.
Note: During this learning curve you will practice all the steps and at the end of your day, you may have some gold in your pocket for your gratification.
Learn 12 steps on how to pan for gold.
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Written by: Jose Milian CC