Getting the Gold out of the Sand
Once you are done panning and are interested in getting the gold out of the sand that is left in it, there is a special way to do this, it may sound a little bit complicated but once you get the hang of it you will see that it is not difficult. Start out by getting your plastic bottle and place some water inside of it. The gold and sand mixture should still be in the wide mouthed container. Mix it around by swirling it so that you are able to expose some of the flakes of gold. You will then need to use the camel’s hair brush by wetting the tip and then ladle up one or more of the flakes of gold on the tip of the camel’s hair brush. After you have done this process very gently carry the gold flakes on the brush to the little bottle you previously prepared and dunk the brush in it. This will cause the gold to fall off into the water.
In many cases gold flakes are found in magnetic sand and if this is your case, you can make first sort the sand out in a wide plastic container by moving the small magnet around under the container. You should use the magnet three times when dealing with black sands because the small flakes have a tendency of being picked up by the magnet each time you pass over it. The magnetic sand will follow the magnet but the gold will not, therefore this will allow you to get most of the sand off. This will then allow you to get to the gold with the brush.
There are other ways of getting the gold out of the sand however this can usually only be done by people that have smaller fingers; long nails in women are very convenient as it is easy to scoop up the gold or you can also use tweezers if you are skilled at this, however in most cases the brush seems to work quicker and is more convenient.
In some cases there will be little teensy flakes of gold left on the pan, and often times they are very difficult to see. This is what is known as flour gold. Flour gold occurs when the gold has been trapped under some roots or in a whirlpool and have been getting rubbed and scrubbed over and over again by the sand and the gravel that is taking them down the stream.
If you see flour gold you should move a bit further up the stream in the direction you believe the gold is coming from. Usually in these cases when you do the panning the findings will be a bit more irregular as there will be moments in which you will not find anything at all and then other times where you will find bigger flakes.
Often times gold can be found implanted in rock such as quartz. The gold might be mixed in the rock in such a way that it cannot be seen very well, or where only little traces of gold are evident. In cases where only little traces of gold can be seen the rock will often have a “wormy” look to it. You can break the rock up by crushing it and by them grinding it in a mortar and pestle. After doing this you should pan it the normal way.
In some cases pieces of quartz can be found and sometimes they have veins of gold in them however they will not have the wormy look to them. If you run into this, you will obviously not want to mash these up. These can be cut and polished to have a beautiful finish. In the past, quartz that had embedded gold in it was sold at higher prices then normal gold.
Gold also likes hiding itself with a coating of dark rusty exterior rock. There are some small nuggets that can sometimes be found in these. If you are under the impression that the dirty and rusty pebbles you have might be gold, you can try roasting it (an indicator of a pebble with a nugget in it is that it is usually abnormally heavy).
To roast it you can place the pebble inside an old frying pan and hold it over the campfire until it gets very, very hot. You can allow it to stay red hot for around twenty minutes or until you notice it no is no longer smoking. Doing this will help the rusty stuff to come off of it and then you will be able to see if indeed you have gold. One tip when roasting it though it to stir or mix it from time to time but you should stay at a good distance because often times the rocks explode when they are heated up, so use a long stick for this process. Another important suggestion; in many cases gold is found mixed with natural mercury and the mercury vapors can be harmful and even fatal, so make sure you heat the ores upwind.