How To Panning For Gold

The Precious Metal Gold has always excited people. As a Treasure Hunter, you can have a lot fun panning for Gold. Above that, there can be tremendous profit without many costs. This post is about Tips for Gold Panning, Gold Panning Equipment and interesting additional info.


Variety of Gold Deposits

Generally, you can find Gold in many forms.

For a Beginner, the most common form is Placer Gold, which you can find in streams as well as in dry sand.

When talking about Placer Mining, it is the practice of separating Gold from lighter materials like sand. The only thing you need is water and a pan.

The lighter material gets spilled out. Therefore, the fact that Gold is heavier than materials like sand or gravel, is the basic concept used in Placer Mining.




Gold Nuggets, which are big pieces of Gold.

They can be found in veins or in Placer Deposits. A Gold Vein is just Gold, which is trapped in Granite or Quartz. This line looks like a vein.



Hard Rock Deposits are rocks which contain Gold



Of course, you can Metal Detect for Gold too. Detectors can help you locate Gold Deposits so you can find big nuggets.


Perfectly Equipped – Gold Panning Equipment

Essential Tools:

  • Firstly, you need a Gold Pan. There is a wide range of different sizes. Using a 14-15 inch pan is recommendable. Sometimes, having two pans with different sizes can help. Therefore, you can use a 10-inch Pan in addition to a big one. Oftentimes, many kits include both a large Pan and a smaller one.



  • Secondly, you need a Gold Sieve. Nearly every kit you can buy includes a Plastic Gold Sieve. You will need the gold sieve to sort out big rocks before you start panning
  • Moreover, a Snuffer Bottle is needed to vacuum up fine gold from the pan. After vacuum up the gold, you should keep it in Gold Vials
  • Last but not least, it is recommendable using Tweezers to pick up small Gold Pieces. Sometimes, you can find Tweezers with a magnifier attached
  • I absolutely recommend the Garrett Gold Panning Kit *

Additional Tools:

  • To stay dry, using rubber boots or waders isn’t a bad idea
  • Additionally, you can take a rock hammer with you and a shovel. In case, you want to pan a lot, use a bucket or an Ore Bag to put in all the rocks and gravel. Otherwise, you always have to go back to the place you were digging.

Wet Panning or Dry Panning?

The Most Common Method – Wet Panning:

As already mentioned, most Pans are out of Plastic, which is super light and doesn’t attack metal. Moreover, it will last for decades and won’t start rusting.

Wet Panning has always been used and is therefore the most traditional Method when it comes to Hunting for Gold.

If You Want To Succeed in Wet Panning, Follow These 8 Steps Below:

  1. Firstly, always place the Gold Sieve atop of the Gold Pan and fill it with gravel, sand and rocks. Do not put too much material in the sieve. Especially as a Beginner, it is perfect to start with less.
  2. The next step is to use a twisting and shuffling motion to shake the sieve. Make sure the pan is directly below the sieve. Small gravel, Sand and Gold will pass and settle in the Pan
  3. Checking the remaining stuff in the sieve is quite important. You do not want to miss a large gold nugget among other rocks.
  4. Finally, you remove the sieve. Please make sure to not discard any Gold Nugget!
  5. Now, you can start Panning for Gold. You do this by holding the Gold Pan with both hands and begin rotating the contents. The ultimate goal is that heavier contents like gold begin to settle. During the process, remove bigger rocks or gravel. The Water should carry off lighter material. Do not rotate too fast, otherwise you will lose potential Gold.
  6. If you have a smaller Pan, you can transfer all remains into it and repeat the process.
  7. Usual Gold Pans have riffles on one side. Make sure these riffles are on the lower side during panning. The heavier gold should settle into the riffles and get trapped there.

Do it as long as it needs to carry off everything light.

At the end, you can use tweezers to take out bigger gold pieces and the Snuffer Bottle to vacuum up fine gold from the water.

In case, you want to practice Gold Panning, use BB Gun Pellets, they are quite similar to Gold.

Dry Panning:

In contrast to wet panning, dry panning requires more skill. However, especially when you are in desert areas without water, it is the only method to use. Basically, you collect material and sort out large rocks.

The best thing is to use a bucket or an Ore Bag to store the material. As always, we want Gold to settle and lighter material to flow out.

This means, you start bumping the pan while you tilt it to a 45 degree angle. By doing this, the lighter material can flow out. As always, do not go too fast, otherwise you accidentally miss Gold!

Especially Deserts of Western America are supposed to contain a lot of Gold. Above that, try to get information about places where people used to hunt for Gold several years ago. Moreover, connect with other like-minded people via Forums or Social Media. You will always learn something new about Gold Panning.



Please make sure…

…to always get a permission for Prospecting. In many cases, it is private ground and someone own the land you are searching on. In case, you can spot a Posted Sign, it is even more dangerous and forbidden to start Gold Hunting there. Do not risk anything!

…to understand that the more effort and practice you put into gold panning, the more likely it is to succeed and find gold. As always, do not give up too early. There is absolutely no guarantee in finding gold. It is up to you! Patient treasure Hunters always win!

Apart from this, take your kids with you. Being outside is good for the body and soul. Too many kids are constantly playing video games and therefore miss the beauty of nature!



*(This is an Affiliate Link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I am absolutely committed to the products I recommend!)

19 thoughts on “How To Panning For Gold”

  1. Vert informative post! I once wrote for a blog about gold and learned so much while doing so. However, I learned even more on your site, in this article. I didn’t know about dry panning. I only knew about the most traditional kind, wet panning. Thanks for this. I may just go out on a gold-hunting adventure one day! 🙂

  2. Having no prior knowledge about gold panning, your post was very informative for me. You explained it in a way that is understandable and interesting to read. I had no idea that gold can be found in many forms and that there are two ways of panning.

    I agree with your suggestions to take the kids when going on the look for gold – fresh air is very healthy, and in this case it can even bring some extra income 🙂 

  3. Wow! I always like your writing! Because your writing makes me like a treasure hunter. Lol. 

    As for some of the things I like is you write how to know and gain this gold.
    I remember, when I was on vacation in Asia, there was a village with lots of gold panners. They pan gold in the river using makeshift tools. Maybe every day there are about 50-100 people there to pan for gold. And the average person can pan around 20-50 grams of gold every day. This figure is based on the narrative of people who helped process the refining of gold and were ready to buy gold from the miners there. (Yes, although I know he also took advantage there).

    It’s just, I’m still curious about an area that has a place to wash gold. Isn’t the area full of heavy metal pollution? And isn’t every miner supposed to wear special clothes before panning? And will gold run out in the pan?

  4. Thank you for this interesting topic. Recently, my son wants to be a treasure hunter. Luckily I landed on your site. You not only tell me the different kinds of gold deposits but also tell me the equipment. Your post is useful to me and my son. It saves me a lot of time. At least, I don’t need to do further research online. I will bookmark your site and share it with all my friends.

    If I have time, I will go to treasure hunt. I believe I will have fun with my family.

  5. When it comes to this subject, most people do not know where to start. When I think of prospectors, I think of gold mines on the west coast and people flocking to gain wealth. This brought new light to the search for gold. I really like your warning about trespassing! That is something that people tend to forget about. It is also the quickest way to get shot! Plus if a prospector finds gold on private property, it is the right of the original owner.

  6. Thank you so much for this awesome post!  When I was a kid I always wanted to find gold.  It was just something fun I would explore and look for.  Even to this day, though, I still want to find gold.  I like your methods on getting gold.  The one I would probably use is the wet panning.  That way does see pretty effective, and it’s the way I have seen people on T.V. shows do it.  Thanks for all the advice!

  7. Hi there, wow, this is an interesting article. I think that not only those who are passionate about precious metals but, everyone will like to read this article. These tips about gold hunting are helpful and explained in detail. You have made the process easy for even a beginner.

    I like the fact that you, in the end, do a remainder that everyone that wants to hunt gold must get permission for Prospecting before to start. Thank you very much. 


  8. Hello. Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article and explanation given.

    For me is the first time when i hear about gold panning. This article reminds me of the largest gold mining area. This area is in Romania and is called Rosia Montana, you have probably heard of it. Legend says that here the people in this area buried a lot of gold under their houses. Unfortunately now above this village a lake has been formed and the only thing that remains to be seen is the top of a church. I recommend searching the internet for this. I wonder if this people use to do this amazing art o gold panning.

    Thanks again for this informative article. Wish you all the best!

  9. It is a good post, hey knew nothing about mining Gold, through this post, i have gained a bit of insight about panning Gold. I usually see lots of rubles of soil around places where mining is taking places. I now know that the hunters are busy with the process of hunting treasure. I will start to have a respect to all Gold hunters, for their patient because there is no guarantee that Gold will be found easily. Thank you for the information you have shared with us. Good luck for the future.

  10. I did not know the difference between Dry panning Gold and Wet panning Gold, but now i have some insight after reading the post. I have learned that the most common method used for Wet panning, is where the plastic pans are used because are super light not to attract metal easily. However Wet Panning is a traditional method used most of the time.

    How to be successful in Wet panning, you need to consider:

    > to use Gold sieve atop of the Gold pan

    >to use a twisting and shuffling motion to shake the sieve.

    > It is very important to check the remaining stuff  in the sieve.

    >how to remove sieve is important, to ensure that no Gold Nugget is discarded.

    > How to rotate water to carry the lighter weight materials, and removal of the bigger rocks or gravel, and not to loose potential Gold.

    Dry panning on other hand needs more skills, especially in desert areas with no water. How to collect and sorting materials is a key. Because the lighter material flow out while bumping the pan, not too fast to avoid missing any Gold.

    Conclusion: To succeed in panning Gold, you need like-minded people to share ideas on how to hunt treasure. Someone, needs to be very patient in hunting Gold, because without a passion you can not succeed.

    Thank you for the sharing about how to panning Gold. 

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