PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 23 Jun 2020 05:45 PM by  Michael Holst
Brand New and Getting Blue
 14 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages
Ron Kennedy
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Posts:9



--
01 Mar 2020 01:21 AM
    Hi there, I am 100% new to the whole world of prospecting. I am in Easley, SC and have been bouncing around location to location looking for the goods. In the two or three weeks that I have been doing this, I have completed enough research to make me feel like I was seeking a degree in geology. Anyway, I found a promising location (at least from my research of the past and current), but I am having the hardest time with my method of panning. Here is what I am dealing with: lots of black sand and magnetics, tons and tons of mica, what appears to be tiny specs of pyrite and possibly some super fine gold. YouTube has been good to me, but the one thing I lack is the knowledge of distinguishing between all of the stuff that sparkles and shines. As much as I love Jeff Williams and Dan Hurd, neither has yet to call me to tell me how to know the difference (lol). The one thing that scares me in all of this is the idea that I get lazy (more like complacent) and start losing gold because I think that all I'm looking at is mica and pyrite. I know I have a long way to go before I'm a pro, but I'm asking if anyone can give me a foolproof idea of how to know what I'm looking at? Thanks in advance.
    Cynthia Carver
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:24



    --
    01 Mar 2020 03:07 PM
    Hi Ron,

    When I first began practicing my panning technique, I had a pack of paydirt that " I " salted with flakes of gold. You can purchase a small vial at a gem and mineral show unless you have a friend who will offer up a couple of pieces to entice you to develop gold fever. Use this gold dirt over and over. Weigh your gold each time, this way you will know if you have retrieved all the gold you used to salt the dirt.

    This will do two things - 1) improve your methods and 2) teach you to recognize the shiny for what it is. And if you get sloppy, your final weight at the end of your practice session will come up short.

    Hope that helps :)
    Cynthia Carver
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:24



    --
    01 Mar 2020 03:09 PM
    My first reply didn't really address your forthright question, how to tell what gold really looks like.

    Join a local chapter that will have samples at the meetings or go to the gem and mineral shows and purchase your vial sample.

    Mica will split and crush under your fingernail. Gold will not.
    Bill McCoy
    Panner
    Panner
    Posts:42



    --
    01 Mar 2020 03:50 PM
    If you work in the sunlight, you can use shadows to help distinguish. Mica goes from gold to black when you cast a shadow on it. Gold will still appear bright and metallic. Also invest in a cheap 10X jewelers loupe on Amazon.
    Lone Pine, CA
    Ron Kennedy
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:9



    --
    01 Mar 2020 04:28 PM
    Cynthia, I appreciate this. I just ordered some Amazon pay dirt (lol). I will keep updating this to let you know my progress. You have been a big help. Bill, I have a dual pack of jewelers loups on the way. Appreciate you.
    Cynthia Carver
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:24



    --
    02 Mar 2020 01:02 PM
    Thanks Bill. I didn't think about Mica changing colors, that it does. Make sure you have a snuffer bottle and while it looks easy LOL it was a challenge for me to use. Again practice. I'd like to get a jewelers loop to wear around my neck that also has a case to protect it while hanging there while I pound rocks lol. So far, I haven't found one to my liking.
    KEN FLOOD
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:17



    --
    02 Mar 2020 01:17 PM
    Ron,
    If you're interested in a local GPAA chapter, you're in luck as the Oconee Prospectors meet at the Golden Corral in Easley the first Monday of the month at 6 PM. In fact we are having a meeting tonight at 6pm for dinner and 7PM is the meeting. We can assist you with panning and techniques to capture gold and prevent losing gold. Hope to see you at the meetings.
    Ron Kennedy
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:9



    --
    02 Mar 2020 03:10 PM
    That's good info. I can't make tonight as we are on the pork chop train at home. Anyway, I just returned from Martins in Boiling Springs. I got some good info there, but would love to be involved with the local chapter. I'm still confused about the GPAA claims. Lol
    William Hall
    Buzzard
    Buzzard
    Posts:573



    --
    02 Mar 2020 07:35 PM
    Here's to you guys, hoping you find color big enough to not need a loop to see LOL

    Picker is large enough to easily pick up with or fingers and makes a great sound dropping it in your pan
    Flake is not easily picked up
    Tweezer gold, fly poop = loop
    Find something BIG, you will be ruined...

    Bill
    So Much River So Little Time...Get Out There
    Ron Kennedy
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:9



    --
    12 Mar 2020 04:17 PM
    Ken, do you have a way to directly communicate? I'd like to speak to members of the local chapter about a plan I have in Easley, SC
    KEN FLOOD
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:17



    --
    12 Mar 2020 09:40 PM
    You can reach me at the LDMA Oconee Camp 864 944-8325
    Ron Kennedy
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:9



    --
    12 Mar 2020 09:42 PM
    Thank you. I'll call or text tomorrow.
    MICHAEL LLOYD
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



    --
    20 Apr 2020 10:40 PM
    I hope you have gotten in some practice.After awhile, good just stands out to a trained eye. Like everything else.Practice increases knowledge.And it's fun!
    edit: Eek! gold! Gold stands out.
    Kurt Schultz
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:13



    --
    06 Jun 2020 11:01 AM
    [quote]
    Posted By Ron Kennedy on 01 Mar 2020 01:21 AM
    Hi there, I am 100% new to the whole world of prospecting. I am in Easley, SC and have been bouncing around location to location looking for the goods. In the two or three weeks that I have been doing this, I have completed enough research to make me feel like I was seeking a degree in geology. Anyway, I found a promising location (at least from my research of the past and current), but I am having the hardest time with my method of panning. Here is what I am dealing with: lots of black sand and magnetics, tons and tons of mica, what appears to be tiny specs of pyrite and possibly some super fine gold. YouTube has been good to me, but the one thing I lack is the knowledge of distinguishing between all of the stuff that sparkles and shines. As much as I love Jeff Williams and Dan Hurd, neither has yet to call me to tell me how to know the difference (lol). The one thing that scares me in all of this is the idea that I get lazy (more like complacent) and start losing gold because I think that all I'm looking at is mica and pyrite. I know I have a long way to go before I'm a pro, but I'm asking if anyone can give me a foolproof idea of how to know what I'm looking at? Thanks in advance.
    [/quote]

    Hi, Ron

    I can't help you with visual identification, but I might be able to help you develop confidence in your technique.

    When I teach newbies how to pan, I demonstrate with #8 birdshot, from an old shotgun shell. I don't care if there's gold in the dirt they pan - that's not the point at this stage of the game. I take five of those little lead pellets and drop then right on top of the dirt in the pan. They disappear when the pan gets shaken. When the contents of the pan get down to the dregs, they can see if they still have all five of the #8 birdshot. If some of them are missing, the pan is being rinsed too hard. If they still have all five of the shot, they may have taken too long, but they're basically "doing it right". If they found the lead, they would have found the gold - if it was there. Moving the gold from the pan to a vial is a different lesson :)

    I'm always careful about recovering the birdshot - I don't want that stuff to get loose in the wild.

    I sometimes prospect in areas that have no color. If my confidence gets shaken (by, say, 4 or 5 pans in a row with no color), I will sometimes drop some lead shot into my pan, just to make sure I still have the "wrist" for it.

    Hope this helps!
    Michael Holst
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:2



    --
    23 Jun 2020 05:45 PM
    I was very meticulous at first but I learned even the finest gold will stay in the pan after 99.98% of pyrite and mica has panned out... you can even be kinda fast with it and shake up those blondes right there in the riffles and wash away, shake and wash, even the finest gold will stay. I was also wondering why Jeff, Dan, and other YouTubers didn't seem to talk about it this much but I think they assume it's just something folks'll know or figure out. I didn't believe at first but gold really does want to stay in the pan.

    I will go as far to say gold will *stick* to your pan if you do this: 1. Wash pan(s) in super soapy dishwater, 2. Go all around the inside of pan with coarse steel wool and scratch it up real good, be sure to get in the riffles, 3. Wash pan(s) again. Then just be sure to keep surface tension broken when panning

    P.S. Anyone know if the above is good to do on sluice box riffles? The black plastic riffles at the top of my sluice box seem more "rubbery" than the pans so not sure if scratching them up would be a good thing or not
    You are not authorized to post a reply.