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panning cons


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when panning cons from my sluice box how much material should i put in my pan. I am filling it up about half full.  is this too much.   i have been taking a lot of time panning cons for fear the gold is not sinking through the fine sand. is there a faster method with a pan.  thanks in advance   

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If it's just regular sand half full is fine, but if there's lots of black sand or other heavy types of sand I would go with 1/4 pan.

As an example in some places in North Carolina they have a white to light tan sand that is heavier than most of the black sand, it's the last thing in the pan along with the gold and is extremely hard to pan out without losing some of the gold in a regular pan, so when I get down to the last of the blacksand even if there's none of the light colored sand in the area I always dump the pan into a bucket or another pan, when I get all of the cons done to this point I switch to a Falcon clean up gold pan, which works very well getting the last of the heavy sands panned out without losing much if any of the gold. 

Here's a link to the Falcon pan, scroll to the bottom of the page, but check with Bill if you consider purchasing one as he may sell these and I would suggest buying from him to support the local economy.


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Hey john, may I offer up a little help, I am in  utah and have fine gold here, like table salt grains and pepper flake size ,and most are even smaller .I to have 2 pans I use one half small lip in the bottom before it starts on the ripples and the other is a pan that has no lip the nolip pan has 2 types of ripples the main ripples and a small section for fine gold even (this is my favorite pan ) I deal with  alot of black sand and rice size white quartz.  You need to work the pan by shaking and swirling it around for a good 2 min. With  a good amount of water it's a good idea to put a tiny drop of dish soap (I use dawn) be careful not to do a big drop and you only need to do that at the first  when you go to start this causes the surface tension  to not allow the gold to float then trust your pan try keeping the cons in the first 1/3 of your pan after your 2 min. Start (you will learn to cut that time down) try not to flatten  the cons out all the way in the pan keep it in that front 3rd (try to tell yourselfers your just washing the rocks )  the water will do the work , when you go to start moving the rocks off the small gold I promise will be in that very bottom so trust your pan and pull the sand back but only to that 3rd mark and keep going let yourself move the rocks and sand off your fold is safe in the very bottom when you start to see the black sand in the corners you can angle your pan even more and get as little more aggressive again keep the dirt in that front 3rd to now a 1/4  when you down to a cup of black sand pick out the little rocks if  trust at this point is key. From 1 cup to the next point work it down on the big ripples till you have 2 table spoons .now cheat look for any small picker.  If you don't have  any over the size of rice move it to the small ripples and  work it o. The small ripples the small gold will hang in the first 3 ripples and then you good . If your not sure  of your self and your panning skills  get some dirt and drop a bb or small split shot from you fishing tackle and try it if you can keep that in your pan your gold us safe with your talented panning good luck let me know how it works here is my gold and the size so you know it works.


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Only use quicksilver(mercury) if you are planning on melting it down. Never looks like "gold" after it has mercury on it. Since you seem new to gold, I wouldn't recommend using mercury...... too dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.

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