From pounded out iron to highly sophisticated polymers the gold pan has remained the last step in any gold prospecting operation. I am always intrigued by simple and elegant tools that have stood the test of time and remain the standard by which things are done. Why dose gold panning work?
The idea of panning is to get the lightest material out of the pan while keeping the heaviest (GOLD) things inside. To do this you must create conditions inside the pan that will permit gravity to allow some objects to behave differently than others. To do this most effectively your goal is to place the solid objects in the pan in momentary suspension. Separation between the solid particles creates a brief opportunity for the heavier, denser things to slip past other particles and fall faster than the lighter things through the resistance of the water toward the gravitational pull exerted upon all of them.
All gold prospecting comes back to gold panning. This is true weather you are standing knee deep in a river or out in the sun scorched desert. Because of this, practicing this skill can be the difference between finding gold or throwing the precious metal out of your pan back to the earth. One tip you can use to master this skill is to mix sand and other material with some lead shot. Lead is lighter than gold so if you can pan out a good portion of the lead you mixed in you can feel more confident in you panning skills!
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