Gold Panning

Jun 04,2016

A friend of mine invited me to go Gold Prospecting with him one weekend. As an avid outdoorsman, I accepted. It was another way for me to get up in the mountains. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I learned how to classify material, take random samples, pan, and how to use a sluice box.

I ran a sluice box in the creek for several hours and had no idea how it would even collect any gold. After pouring material in with the current, the lighter material would go right through the sluice. The heavier material would get caught in the ripples, with the gravity doing the work. When we cleaned out the sluice, I was surprised how much color we had after we finished panning it out. I was hooked and amazed at what the sluice could do. I had to get one.

There are thousands of people from all walks of life who prospect for gold. With the economy in a rut, people are looking for some extra income to help make ends meet. Prospecting is a great way to help, especially with gold being worth over $1,000 an ounce. I have included some websites for purchasing prospecting equipment and websites that give information on just about everything you need to know about prospecting. Good Luck!

Gold Prices

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Gold Types

A gold nugget is a naturally occurring piece of native gold. Watercourses often concentrate the nuggets and they are recovered by placer mining, but they may also be found in residual deposits where the gold-bearing veins have decayed. Nuggets are also found in the tailing piles of previous mining operations, especially those left by gold mining dredges. They are never pure 24K in composition but rather about 20 to 22K (~about 83% to 92%). Nuggets are also referred to by their "fineness", for example "865 fine" means the nugget is 865 parts per thousand in gold. The common impurities are silver and copper. Sometimes they are mostly quartz.

Gold Nugget
Placer Gold
Quartz Nugget
Colorado Mountain Man