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Here is what we like to call the “gold standard” for panning at Argo Mills. Follow these steps, and you’ll strike rich in no time!

Get Some Dirt on Your Boots

Panning for gold requires you to get down and dirty, so you’ll want to kneel down and get your pan ready for some scooping. Now, it’s time to fill ‘er up with lots of sand and gravel from the stream! It may feel excessive, but it’s the best way to find the most gold efficiently. Once your pan has a good amount of dirt, about 3/4 of the way full, you can start to remove any large rocks, wood, or other unimportant material. Pro tip: you can clear the bottom of the stream before you scoop to avoid picking up any of these large items.

Sift Through the Stream

Each panner has a different technique for sifting their gold. You’ll find your signature sift in no time, but don’t get discouraged if you strike out the first time. Keep trying! You’ll want to dip your pan in the water after it’s filled up and swirl it around in a clockwise motion. This will help settle the gold to the bottom of the pan, since it is a heavier sediment, and the motion of the stream will help wash the lighter sediments away. You want to try to remove everything except the gold nuggets and flakes, so be gentle! Once there is only a couple inches of dirt in your pan left, you can take it out of the stream.

Inspect Your Collection

Now that you have most of the sediment gone, you can keep some water in the pan to help move the heavier dirt around. Keep a close eye for anything shiny! In this case, all that glitters is gold. Don’t rush the process, and just kept swishing until you can pick out the gold with your fingers. If all your left with is sand, then try again! Hard work pays off in the end, and sometimes it will take more than one try.

Our staff on-site will help you determine what you’ve found! In addition to gold, you can also find natural gemstones like Peridot, Topaz, Garnet, Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Diamonds, Agates and the state gemstone, Aquamarine. Keep everything you recover, you never know if it’s valuable!