Gold Panning Supplies

Desert Outfitters carry a wide variety of told pans and each have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider in choosing a gold pan.

Pan Size:
The size of the gold pan is important and there are several dimensions that you should consider. Gold pans are available from 6 inches to 24 inches in width. A larger pan has the advantage of hold more material and therefore allowing more production. A large pan full of material is heavy and can be tiresome. A smaller pan is handy as a finishing pan to complete the final separation of gold from black sand concentrates. A smaller pan is also easier to use when you are not panning in a stream or lake where you have lots of water and room.

Type of Pan Material:
Gold pans can be made out of plastic, steel or copper. The most common pans are made plastic which is light, can be made with deep riffles and do not rust. Many old timers prefer the smooth sides of the steel pan. Copper pans are made specially for using with mercury or for presentations pieces.

Color of the Pan:
Plastic pans are available in several colors. The most common color is black which makes gold easily visible but tends to mask the black sand. Blue and green pans popular and make the gold and black sand easily visible.

Pretreatment of Gold Pan:
New plastic pans are coated with a mold release material in the manufacturing process that will cause the pan to work ineffectively at first because the mold release compounds are lubricants and will cause the water to bead up. This will be eliminated after the pan is used for awhile. The process can be speeded up by throughly cleaning the pan with a good degreasing detergent. It also helps to use the scrubbie side of the sponge or steel wool. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the pan too much.

Steel pans need to be heated on the burner or with a torch until it smokes, to get a nice blue finish you can use a pair of pliers and submerge in water while hot. Be careful not to burn yourself. (Jobe)

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