Gold prospecting may not make us rich, but finding little speck of shiny yellowish thing can bring us immense excitement. Panning may seem like a simple task, but we should practice it over and over. Pans can be made from plastic and metal, depending on our panning styles. In general, we should smoothly swirl the pan using circular motions to remove the dirt. We also need to pick out any large rocks and objects that obviously not gold. It is actually possible to find collectible stones in our pans, including emerald and opal. As we continue to move the pan in circular motions, larger materials can be separated much more easily.

Balk sand is usually where the gold particles are and we should be careful not wash it away. Slowly, we should be able to eliminate much of the useless objects, until we have some black sand inside the pan. The sand usually contains very tiny gold pieces and we should move the pan slowly until the gold start to appear. Although not much, it feels great to see some gold in our vials. One ounce of gold can pay for our entire trop. Granted, it takes plenty of effort to collect one ounce of gold using the simple panning method. Often, visitors keep their gold as souvenir instead of selling it. Alternatively, we should hunt for collectible stones, instead; such as tourmaline, emeralds, garnets and opals. If we are lucky, it is possible to find a pound of emerald cluster that can be further processed into a few emeralds. Most mining sites also have sapphires, aquamarines, yellow citrine and smokey quartz.

Starting a gold prospecting trip with the whole family should be affordable, depending on the distance from our home. A simple mining pan is available for about $10 and we also need a small vial to collect the gold dust. For the activity, we should bring old clothes that we will wear during the actual gold prospecting. There could be affordable and comfortable motels around the prospecting areas.

Prospecting sites for amateurs are usually located near old gold mine that is no longer viable for large-scale mining. The remaining gold in the soil is too little to warrant standard mining activities. True gold mining activities require big machineries and miners could process tons of dirt and soil each hour. This activity can be a fun and exciting thing to do for children, because they can get wet in the river; while competing with one another to find the most gold.

Many people spend more than six hours a day in the river and other prospecting locations. Although the amount of gold they find isn’t enough to cover the daily cost; they often find it an interesting activity. Again, we should have clear expectation during gold prospecting activities and it is very unlikely we will find great gold discoveries in the area. There could also be additional locations around the prospecting areas where we can visit, especially if it is summer.