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Posted: 5/25/2009 6:00:31 PM EST
I just started getting into gold panning. It sounds like it could be a fun hobby, and I am pretty close to the mountains.

Anybody here ever tried it? I am looking for tips or advice on how to choose a spot to start panning.
Link Posted: 5/25/2009 6:54:35 PM EST
I tried panning for gold years ago as a kid, but not as an adult. I've watched the gold prospecting show on either very late or really early; about 3 or 4 in the morning.

If you're a member, you can pan on their claims, they have a book showing all of them across the country.

Having watched the show and done some research; the least expensive would be panning ($10-25); the most would be a pump/dredge set-up(lots $$$). There's other options in between.

Colorado gold prospecting
Link Posted: 5/25/2009 6:59:12 PM EST
I've done it a few times for fun with my family up in Colorado. Found a little bit.
Link Posted: 5/26/2009 2:34:02 AM EST
I've done it. Found some trace amounts, flecks and specks. It's back breaking work with just a shovel and pan. Like "hour per speck" tough.

To really make a financial go at it you need to find a vein of gold and set up a much bigger 'industrial' sluice gate, shaker box, etc to process large amounts of river bed. Still....I know what Gold fever is like.... once you find that first little flake you suddenly start imagining the mother lode!
Link Posted: 5/26/2009 3:49:34 AM EST
I have always wanted to. Hopefully I'll get a chance to in the future.
Link Posted: 5/26/2009 4:06:42 AM EST

Link Posted: 5/26/2009 4:26:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/26/2009 4:28:13 AM EST by neilage66]
The organization referred to above is GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America).
I was a member for numerous years back when Buzzard was still alive. His sons run it now last I knew.
You don't need a big investment in tools to do some simple panning or sluicing.
Learn how to read a stream or river and you'll increase your chances of finding gold (at least fines) every time you go out.
Save your black sand!
eta: the biggest benefit of GPAA membership, is that you have properties to work all over the country where no one will shoot at you, etc.
Link Posted: 5/26/2009 12:48:34 PM EST
I do not pan, but I am an amatuer refiner.

Link Posted: 5/26/2009 1:56:38 PM EST
Messed with it in my teens. I still have the pan but lost the sluice box in one of my moves. The sluice box is the way to go.
Link Posted: 5/26/2009 10:30:41 PM EST
I think it would be a fun thing to do on a weekend. There are a lot of old gold mines up in the mountains, and I guess the streams below them are good places to look.

How do you tell if an area is claimed, to avoid all the shooting?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:53:14 AM EST
We pan. It is a lot of fun with the kids in the summer. Never found anything but some cool rocks.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:26:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 1:05:29 PM EST by XM21Nick]
About a month or so ago there was an article in the national news about it. It said that with the sour economy and gold prices high there is a huge surge in people panning and prospecting for gold and also filing claims.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:41:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By XM21Nick:
About a month or so ago there was an article in the national news about it. It said that with the sour economy and gold prices high there is a huge surge in people panning and prospecting for gold and also filing claims.

There are mines in my area that are re-opening. Went to Bodie, Ca (ghost town) & it looked like one was re-opened. I hear a lot of people going to the Mother-Lode area also. I usually end up fishing, at least I get results!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:55:09 AM EST
It is what I do for a living. I manage the web site for a large gold mining club in N. CA we have 60 miles of claims for members to prospect on. I sell gold claims through my gold claims web site. I am also involved in placer mining in S.E. Asia and spend about four months each year out of the country.

I started back in 97 with a pan and a small 2" dredge. I got the fever and have been at it ever since. Great stuff.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:58:39 AM EST
my dad took me a few times when i was little. it was a lot of fun and we did find a little. i think the main reason he took me was to do all the manual labor
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 11:15:38 PM EST
I pan regularly. Practice makes perfect. Ask around in ares where there is a river. If no one knows take a pan and shovel and start sampling. Just make sure your not on someones claim. That cam make thing s very ugly.

Just so you know it is nut-busting work. But as you get into it you'll learn
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