What is panning for gold?

Panning for gold in streams and rivers is a fun and exciting hobby that can result in occasional gold nuggets. Many people may think that it is a myth that there is gold in streams and rivers, but it is not a myth; there is gold there.

Where to go panning for Gold 

You can find occurrences of gold in the ground practically anywhere. There may not be any significant quantities, but there is Gold. Gold is, no abundant metal, so the deposits are never substantial. The thickness of the deposits, in a stream or creek, are usually only a few millimetres.

💡 Excellent panning kit from Minelab 💡

Bedrock map for Gold panning  

It is a good start to look at a “bedrock” map from your location to find the right conditions for gold. Different bedrock brings with it different amounts of gold. Minerals that occur most frequently with Gold include quartz, copper, sulfur chisel, lead, magnetite, molybdenum.

Gold can occur in many different rocks; some are more interesting than others. The most gold-bearing stone is volcanite, and mostly so acidic volcanite. Quartz sections in the hillsides can be interesting to explore, ideally substantial quartz sections with various colours. Other places to explore are fault cracks and traces of geological activity in the area. All mountains have undergone many changes through millions of years, so what was once a riverbed can today be a mountain peak. 

The Gold map  

If there’s been a gold exploration in your area, there might be a map available over the gold-bearing ground. There you can see where more substantial and smaller quantities of gold have been found. Such maps show test drilling for gold all over the country. That does not mean that there cannot be gold elsewhere.

Goldmap Panning for gold

Where to pan for gold near me?  

Smaller amounts of gold are indeed in many other places. There is no need to despair, start looking in your home area, in the nearest brook or stream. For hobby Gold panning, the natural choice of place is a creek or a river, where the water is not running too fast or is too deep.

Panning for gold in water

How to find gold in streams and creeks  

Start by looking for a stream with some incline, preferably coming from a mountainside. You can start the search at the bottom where the water flattens out, and the flow of the water is not that strong. You may have to dig down a bit because the gold is heavy and will sink until it stops against more compact clay or groundOld, dried out waterways are excellent places to start, there may be areas of erosion material that contain Gold. Gold is more massive than the surrounding minerals and is therefore continually descending further and further down. 

where to Panning for gold

Gold in the water accumulates where the water flows changes and decreases. Gold that falls into a crack in the stone will not escape by the force of the water. For example, dig under a rock or where there are cracks in the bedrock.

Black sand and Gold in streams  

Black sand in goldpan in Panning for gold

If you find black sand, you are on the right track. The black sand is heavier than ordinary sand and stone and sinks and stops just as gold does. It doesn’t have to be gold where there is black sand, but it is a good indication that you have come to a good spot.

If you have dug for a while and washed several pans and have not found either black sand or gold, then you move a little bit and try again. 

Panning for gold supplies and tools  

When you search for gold this way, you need some simple equipment. A Goldpan that you can buy anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a very exceptional pan; the simplest pan is good enough.

Of course, a shovel to dig with is required. When shovelling gravel into the pan, it can be useful to be able to separate the cruder gravel from the finer sand. You can do that with a classifier. A colander with slightly larger holes works as well. Place the classifier over the pan as you pour gravel into it and you will not have to remove all large stones from the pan by hand.

Also, bring a magnifying glass or a loupe so you can study what it is that you have found. Some small jars with lids are good to have if you want to take home some gravel to pan at home. But remember which jar comes from which place if you find gold in it and want to go back to the same place.

Whether you find some gold or not, you will have a fun moment and an enjoyable nature experience. If you find large amounts of gold, you are welcome to contact me and tell me where 😀. Good luck!

Metal detecting for gold ➡️


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