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First Panning Attempt


JoshKestner

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Evening all,

In a few weeks, the wife and I plan on panning in north Georgia for the first time. But before we do I decided to play around with some online "pay-dirt". I bought a Garrett panning kit on Amazon for $24 and a 2-lb bag of "pay-dirt". Well after about 2hrs of slowly learning how to pan it in the garage, this is what I came up with. Now I know that playing with "pay-dirt" has nothing to do with actually finding gold out in the real world, I do feel like i learned a lot about how to pan correctly.

Well, here is what I came up with.

First%20pan.JPG

I haven't yet got a gram scale yet, so I have no idea how much this actually weighs, what do you guys estimate?

Josh

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My humble opinion says that you got way more than your $24 investment.....

LOL! I was thinking the same thing.

It must have been a bag priced at some old prices.

There has to be 1/4 gram there.

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I once knew a woman who was a natural born entrepreneur. She once said to me, "This time it is love. The next time you pay." Then I met a man who sold magic dust. He told me, "The first time it costs you nothing!". I went to Las Vegas and put three quarters in the slot machine and won a hundred bucks on the first pull! Lucky me! I tried for another week to duplicate the results. Then I met a fellow who sold me a really good bag of dirt to pan. People assured me it was a "great deal" and I got more gold than what I paid for.

Nice looking gold you have there. I would say you got a fine deal. I hope that you continue to have such good luck with every pan you shake!

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I'm assuming that you paid for the "paydirt" separate and it was not included in the $24 for the panning kit?

As mentioned it's hard to tell how much the gold weights from a picture, but you got some nice gold and without knowing how much you paid for the "paydirt" it's hard to determine if you got anywhere near or more than your money's worth.

Do you know where the dirt is from, what did the "paydirt" look like, any black sand, quartz, rocks, or was it just white sands, did it cloud up the panning water, or did the water stay relatively clean?

Did you use a "catch pan/tub" so you can go through the material again?

If not you should always use a catch/tub to make sure you didn't lose any gold.

I ask the above trying to determine if the "paydirt" was real cons or just sand/dirt/rocks salted with gold, I'm surprised that I don't see any fine gold, most "paydirt" I've seen has at least a few pieces of fine gold, if not a lot.

You did get some nice pickers/flakes and small nuggets!! :thumbsupanim

If you get GOLD FEVER :whaaaa: , if you haven't already, you should yourself a small electronic scale that weights in troy weights, you can get inexpensive ones for around $20 or so.

Skip

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Yeah that looks real good, I'd say count the pieces, dump it back in the pan with the dirt and do it again..and again..and again and see how fast you can pan without losing any, it kind of gives you an idea of the limitations of the pan with regards to the speed you should be panning. good luck in Georgia

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I'm assuming that you paid for the "paydirt" separate and it was not included in the $24 for the panning kit?

As mentioned it's hard to tell how much the gold weights from a picture, but you got some nice gold and without knowing how much you paid for the "paydirt" it's hard to determine if you got anywhere near or more than your money's worth.

Do you know where the dirt is from, what did the "paydirt" look like, any black sand, quartz, rocks, or was it just white sands, did it cloud up the panning water, or did the water stay relatively clean?

Did you use a "catch pan/tub" so you can go through the material again?

If not you should always use a catch/tub to make sure you didn't lose any gold.

I ask the above trying to determine if the "paydirt" was real cons or just sand/dirt/rocks salted with gold, I'm surprised that I don't see any fine gold, most "paydirt" I've seen has at least a few pieces of fine gold, if not a lot.

You did get some nice pickers/flakes and small nuggets!! :thumbsupanim

If you get GOLD FEVER :whaaaa: , if you haven't already, you should yourself a small electronic scale that weights in troy weights, you can get inexpensive ones for around $20 or so.

Skip

The dirt was from Alaska, it was almost all black sand with some small pebbles. I did use a catch-tub and have found that I missed all the fine "flour" gold that was in it. I presume that the bag was salted, I wasn't worried about that nor was I worried about making a profit. I just wanted the experience. I did pay separate for the dirt. $39 with shipping.

Yeah that looks real good, I'd say count the pieces, dump it back in the pan with the dirt and do it again..and again..and again and see how fast you can pan without losing any, it kind of gives you an idea of the limitations of the pan with regards to the speed you should be panning. good luck in Georgia

sounds like a brilliant idea, speed along with accuracy seems to be key when working without a sleuth.

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Josh,

You did the right thing, I always recommend that anyone who has never panned before to get a bag of good cons and practice panning, and you did well, now you need to practice panning all the fine gold out, I would recommend use a fine mesh screen like a tea strainer to get rid of the larger rocks/pebbles, if you classify the material down close to the size of the fine gold, the gold will stay in your pan better, if the other material is the same size as the gold the gold will "win" and stay to the bottom because the gold is much heavier, and pan much slower with the fine gold.

After you get the fine gold panned out, start over, put all the gold big and small back in the material and do it again over and over until you feel confident in your panning abilities.

When you go to a stream, do some test panning until you find a few specks in your pan, then fill some buckets using a 1/4" classifier to take home with you or to sluice at the stream, check or pan the bigger rocks that don't go through the classifier for any big gold(a piece of 1/4" hardware cloth will work fine if you don't have a classifier) if you're seeing that there is no big gold bigger than 1/4"- you don't have to be as careful checking the bigger stuff, but still look at the bigger stuff for that one in a million bigger piece of gold, do a few test pan as you fill your bucket to make sure you're still getting a few specks of gold, if you see that you not getting any specks you may have gone below the layer that the gold is in, most pickers and nuggets if any will mostly likely be down on bedrock or on top or just into a clay layer so dig deeper even if you not seeing any specks until you reach bedrock or clay before giving up on a spot that had gold specks in the upper layers, the fine gold can be any where from the top layer of sand down to bedrock or clay, the idea here is once you're into the gold, process/dig as much material as possible and separate/pan the gold out later at your leisure at home or camp, the more material you get the more gold you will end up with.

I highly recommend you get a sluice so you can concentrate the material down to cons so you don't have to bring as much unconcentrated material home with you, if you can concentrate 5,10 or more buckets of material down to 1 bucket of cons you will enjoy the panning at home much better.

Skip

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about them catch pans or pannig tubs for a couple of years i used a large galvanized tub from home depot and it was good but it cost more than 15 dollars after it rusted trough i went back there and found the rectangle black plastic one to mix small batch of cement in and it was only 6 bucks or so and it packs into the back of the truck easier with less wasted space

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I use the black plastic tubs too.

One on the claim, one at home.

I start with a 12" pan and begin panning into the tub. Once I'm into the heavier material,

black sand, etc., I use a 16" pan inside the tub to catch the fines.

I then re-pan what is in the 16" pan.

You can process several pans before the 16" is full and in need of re-panning.

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