Using a Finishing Pan
If you are just starting out on prospecting and do not have a lot of experience in it, consider using two pans. This can be done by placing one of the pans under the water (it can be held stable with a rock) and the other pan should be used to shake and swirl directly over the pan that is immersed in the water. This is a good idea because it will not allow you to lose anything since the second pan will be there to catch it. It will also help you feel more confident about your work and you will be able to work quicker without the fear of losing what you are looking for. The more you practice the more confidence you will gain and the quicker you will get at it. You will realize that little by little you will be able to dump the finer concentrates into the finishing pan and continue the panning method to recover even the finest gold.
For prospectors that are panning dredge concentrates, having a smaller size finishing pan is more convenient. This is good for gold pocket hunters as well since the prospector normally rapidly pans a sample of material to see if a teensy speck of gold can be found; this is done because if this is found it can be an indicator of a close by rich pocket that may be located further up the hillside. Finishing pans have been made specifically to help separate the fine gold from the heavy black sand. These are smaller that the conventional pans. When it comes to gold flour, finishing pans are a very important item. Prospectors that are going to be working on crevices and cracks and exposed bed rock in dry areas can place a good amount of shovel full material inside a classifier, then shake and twist it over the gold pan or plastic bucket and wet pan this later with water. The movement that is used on classifiers helps to grind the heavy rocks and this sometimes dislodges the gold and then allows it to flow through the classifier that will be trapped inside the receiving container on the bottom. After having done this, do not forget to always check the material that is left on the top of the classifier before getting rid of it. Sometimes gold can be found this way so don’t rush to throw out what is left on the top.
There are a lot of people that would not consider gold panning due to fear of not getting anything, however this usually changes at the sight of gold. Once you find the first speck of gold in the bottom of your pan, it usually has an exciting effect and you become hooked to it. Gold is after all one of the most valuable minerals (and beautiful indeed) and the great thing is that anyone can find it if they look for it.
Gold Suction Bottles: Another item that is commonly used in prospecting is the suction bottle. A suction bottle is used to suck up the gold flakes and other teensy bits of precious metals from gold pans.