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How to pan your Grandpa's Gold Paydirt
Gold panning is the process of separating the gold from dirt, clay and sand, using a gold pan. Gold is much heavier than water and normal sand, so when gold travels down the river, it will get trapped in pockets of slow moving water. What you are doing with your gold pan is basically imitating a stream. Your goal is to get the gold trapped in the bottom of the gold pan.
Steps for panning gold
1. Take your Grandpas Gold Paydirt and dump it into your gold pan. Pick out the rocks before you start panning and inspect the stones to ensure they aren’t gold nuggets!
2. Submerge your pan under the water and shake the pan the side to side soaking the material.
Don’t worry about losing any gold in this step, remember that gold is 19 times heavier so it will sink to the bottom while the rest of the materials float.
3. With the gold pan just under the surface of the water, shake it left to right. This will break up the content even further and liquify the sand, dirt and water mix. By shaking, you naturally encourage the movement of the gold to settle in the bottom of the pan. (like a natural earthquake)
4. Tilt the forward edge of the pan downward. If your pan has riffles, as modern gold pans have, the riffles should be pointed forward. Now, with forward edge tilted, repeat step 3 and shake the pan left to right. This will again make the gold move towards the lowest part of the pan.
5. Rinse and Repeat
6. Now its time to get rid of the stuff we don’t want in our pan, which means everything that is not gold. With the gold pan just below the surface of the water, use a back and forth movement that lets the water sweep away the lighter material on top. The water should do all the work in removing the non gold material.
You should re-shake your pan once in a while as you did in step 5 to ensure that the gold stays at the bottom.
Now you basically just repeat steps 4 and 5 until the heaviest materials are in your pan, which often is black sand and gold.
7. Separating the Gold from the Black Sand
When you have washed down to a tablespoon of material, tip the pan slightly towards you (backwards) leaving a cup of water in the pan. Gently swirl the water into the material pulling it down towards the center of the pan. Swirl both ways, this will move the light sand, eventually exposing the gold.
8. Removing the Gold
At this point you should have mostly have gold in your pan. Now you can use either a sniffer bottle or tweezers to remove the gold from your pan. Always transfer the gold into a vial over the gold pan.
Congratulations!!! You’ve just struck gold!