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Monday, December 27, 2010

Equipment Needed for Gold Panning

How to use a gold pan is something that is easily learned, but requires some practice.  The gold pan as we know it was invented by some Yankee tin-knocker during the California gold rush of 1849. Prior to that just about any water-tight container was used; one of the most common was a shallow wooden box.  The author has even used a plastic food container as a gold pan in a pinch.

A gold pan in use.
As illustrated by the assortment of gold pans and gold pan sets illustrated in the Amazon search box at the bottom of this Blog it is possible to purchase many different varieties and configurations of gold pans. We personally prefer using a whole set consisting of a 14 inch classifier that is used to remove anything larger than 3/8 of an inch. What passes through the classifier goes into a 14 inch green plastic pan. This larger pan is used to work down the bulk of the gold bearing gravel. What is left in the pan is to concentrate consisting of mostly black sand and other stream heavies including gold. Although you can work down through the sand to its gold content it is more efficient to save the sand for later.   

A gold panning kit also includes a couple of other handy items; one of them is a small squeezable plastic bottle equipped with a plastic tube that is used to suck up small pieces of gold and gold dust in your pan. The other handy thing is a couple of small plastic vials that are used to keep the gold in you collect. Gold is placed into the vials from the suction bottle simply by squeezing it causing the gold to be expelled.

The other equipment that is required on a successful gold panning expedition is not directly related to gold panning, but they are things that you actually need. You will need a jeweler's loup with a 10 X. magnification, a long handled shovel and if the water is cold a pair of waterproof gloves. Since you are apt to be wandering around in the bit of a stream or other place with standing water it is a good idea to have a pair of rubber boots.

This is the basic equipment required for a successful gold panning expedition!

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