All About Gold Panning For Metal Detectorists

You all must have heard about metal detecting, but today we will specifically learn about gold panning. Gold panning is simply extracting gold from various places with the help of gold pans and a few techniques. Gold panning is extremely popular but relatively more straightforward. 

In many situations, gold panning usually turns into small gold particles that are extracted from the places. This article is an overview of everything you must know about gold panning. 

How does Panning work? 

Gold panning is a simple process; once you have located the place you are about to do panning, you need a proper pan to perform your task. The gold deposits are scooped in a pan, and all the waste material attached to it is like soil. The process of extracting gold from attached grounds is known as the stratification process. 

The pan allows the gold particles to sink at the bottom of it, and the other material of low gravity comes automatically upwards. You need a proper technique to extract gold because even the skilled panners gather a limited amount of material. 

Practice How to Learn Gold panning 

Before you jump into taking the required tools for you to perform gold panning, you must practice it beforehand because when you know about the device, only you will be able to use it. However, you can practice gold panning at your home with the help of your detectorist friend. 

For example, you can gather some dust particles in your gold pan and then add steel to it. The low gravity material will automatically come upward. And by this process, you can also get an idea of how much gold you can extract. 

Steps for Gold Panning 

Breaks mud lumps 

The very first step of gold panning is that you need to extract the mud lumps or stones with the help of tweezers. When you remove the dirt from gold, you will have only pure gold left. If you do not follow this process of breaking large lumps of land, you won’t extract gold properly. 

Afterwards, when the lumps of dirt are broken up and the stones are picked out, you can pick your gold from the pan and gather them in your container. 

Clear Big Rocks 

Clearing big rocks is another step of gold panning, which means that you need to clear the big sized rocks while you extract gold from different places. With an effective method, you will need to crush the stone to remove the gold veins. 

You can use a sledgehammer to clear the big rocks into smaller ones, put on your gloves and eye wears and move on to do the process. 

Rhythmic Movement 

Nothing is more satisfying than finding your first-ever gold flakes. So, whether you are doing it for passion or as an occupation, finding rhythm and relaxation in work is necessary. Make sure you use an excellent gold pan for panning. 

Because if you have a proper tool, then only you will be able to extract a certain amount of gold flakes. 

Tweezers and bottles 

Tweezers are bottles are yet another necessary thing you need to keep with you. Tweezers can be used to pick up tiny things in size. Tweezers determine objects that human hands can’t pick. It has two legs joined at the end, which help you pick up material. Bottles can keep those small particles; they will work as a container for small substances. 

A gold pan kit guide 

Colour choice 

You will need to choose a better colour for the gold pan, in which the gold and dirt are evident as we all know that gold is a glittering substance and dirt needs to be extracted out of it. So a green or red colour pan can be better used for gold panning. 

These colours will help you see the material perfectly without any obstacles. However, you can also choose any other colour that is suitable for the purpose. 

Level of skills

Gold panning is a simple yet not so simple process. If you are a beginner, you must practice the tricks and techniques of gold panning from your detectorist friend. 

So when you perform gold panning, you understand the difference between materials. It will be easy for you to extract gold from depositors. 

Metal or plastic 

Another thing to keep in mind is the choice of pan. Whether to use a plastic pan or a metal pan. So here, plastic pans are lightweight and will not interfere with the magnets and are more durable. However, the metal pans seek care when the season is off not to rust off. 

Plastic pans have more reliable and good features than metal pans. However, this can be your personal preference as well. 

Shape and design 

Any pan of any shape and design would work; however, the round-shaped plastic or metal pans are preferable for gold panning. There are multiple other shapes and designs like rectangular and triangular. However, you can buy two or three pans of your choice to know your preference better. 

Pan size 

Size is an essential factor in gold panning, which means that size should not trouble you while carrying it to different places. Most certainly, the pan-sized 10 inches is preferable. They won’t bother you in bags too.

The 17 inches pan can be a good choice because it is large, which will help you detect more gold at one point in time. However, you can choose a 14 diameter pan for catching gold.

Review Of The Best Gold Panning Kits 

SE 14 Green Plastic Gold Pan With Two Types of Rifles- GP1014G14

This plastic gold pan is available in many colours, in contrast to your gold. The colour of this pan will not fade. It’s more resistant and durable when compared to other gold pans. Its effectiveness will allow you to use it for years. It is made up of lightweight plastic. 

It has two rifles which help you to track gold in a better way. After using this pan, you will never want any other gold pan because it is highly recommendable and usable by the customers. 

Key features  

  • The pan is lightweight, durable and reliable.   
  • It comes with a 14 diameter, which is a perfect pan size.   
  • Its depth is ⅛, to take gold better. 
  • The pan’s colours are fade resistant. 
  • The material is recyclable. 


  • An excellent value for money.
  • Easy to use. 
  • It can be used with sifting pans as well.
  • It does not rust or corrodes.  


  • No batteries included.
  • No buckets included.

Stansport Mining Kit

This kit is beneficial because it is an all in one kit. Its tools are all you need for gold panning. So, you do not have to visit different shops to buy other tools because you can buy them online. Some certain benefits and devices come with this kit. The pans are plastic and can be recycled as well.

If you are a beginner in the gold panning field, then you must try this kit once. 

Key features  

  • The kit comes with two gold vials.
  • A hand trowel, plastic ⅜” mesh classifier and snuffle bottle are included. 
  • A magnifier, resource book and precision tweezers are available. 
  • 1.5” gold pan, 14” gold pan are also included.
  • It can be used in camping, hiking and other outdoors. 


  • It is made up of deluxe style.
  • The item is light weighted.
  • Thick and sturdy. 
  • Best for beginners.


  • Not worth the price.    
  • Comes in one size.

SE Prospector’s Choice Gold Panning Kit and 2 Green Pans [7 PC]- GP5-KIT1007

The SE prospector’s kit has all the essentials you need for gold panning. The rifling sets will help you separate the unwanted material like dirt, and once you have done gold panning, the bottle will contain all your material quickly. 

SE is committed to providing the customers with the best findings, and this panning kit is one example. It has certain key features and benefits you must know. 

Key features 

  • Two dual rifled gold pans.     
  • ½” mesh sifting screen is included. 
  • A sniffer bottle and gold storage vials are included to store material.
  • Tweezers and magnifying glass comes along. 
  •  Comes in a circular shape. 


  • Value for money.
  • The suction power is recommendable.
  • Lightweight and durable. 
  • The pans and sifter are sturdy.


  • Lack a couple of smaller classifiers.  
  • It only removes large materials.

Garrett Complete Gold Pan Kit 16501310

This is an excellent kit for beginners. The garret complete gold pan kit comes in green colour, and there are no batteries required with it, so the headache of changing batteries is gone. If you are thinking of trying gold panning, then this kit is best for you. 

The item weight is 2 pounds, which is good and lightweight. The pan is specifically designed for easy gold panning without any troubles. However, the kit does not come with a sluice pan in it. 

Key features

  • It comes with a 14” gold trap pan.    
  • A 14” sifter or classifier is available. 
  • A gold guzzler bottle.    Two2 gold vials with one tweezer or magnifier.    
  • It can be used in the patio, lawn and garden.


  • Lightweight item.    
  • Comes with a 14-inch grabber with a lip bottom. 
  • Plastic is about 1.5” tall.     
  • Sturdy and durable.


  • The pan could use one extra notch.
  • A sluice pan is not included.

Gold Rush Nugget Bucket- A gold panning kit seen on shark tank

The gold rush nugget bucket is all you need for gold panning, which means it has all the essentials. As the gold rush nugget bucket makes gold panning fun, even your kids could do it with you. You do not have to spend hours sifting through the dirt. With this bucket, it is so easy for you to do it directly.

The nugget bucket is field-tested and is highly recommended by the customers. So, if you are planning gold panning, you must try taking this with you. 

Key features      

  • Gold prospectors highly recommend it. 
  • It offers you a fluid bed concentrator. 
  • You can use the bucket to scoop in dirt or to pour water. 
  • The unit is designed and stored nicely.    
  • Everything stacks neatly in it.


  • The buckets are lightweight.
  • A 14 days refund is available if you do not like the item. 
  • The buckets include screens, patent funnels and bowls.
  • Vials are available for collecting gold.


  • Way too overpriced.
  • Not worth the money at all.

Usual mistakes committed by inexperienced Gold Panners 

There are some prevalent mistakes committed by gold paneer; I am mentioning them here not to repeat the same and enjoy panning without any troubles. Many banners do not dig deep, so if you want to achieve something, you’ve got to search deep to get the gold. If you don’t, there is a probability of losing good material under the surface.

Do not spend much on the gold pans and kits because when you are a beginner, all you need is a better technique and criteria for gold panning, so with the average pans, which are modest to use and contain a classifier, bucket and a bottle to store gold, choose wisely. 


If you are passionate about gold panning, you must know about some places that contain high-quality gold. Here I will mention some places for you to gold pan. Also, there are some areas like Auburn State Recreation Area and Columbia State Historical Park, and South Yuba River State Park, which allows free gold panning. 

Other than that, Eldorado Canyon, Nevada. Old hundred Gold Mine In Silverton, Colorado and Queen Mine in Bisbee, Arizona are some other places that allow gold panning in their areas; you must seek permission beforehand.

Finding the right spot for gold panning is a must, so you can check up in the idle pools, log jams, corners and bedrocks for gold panning in the rivers. However, every river in the world contains gold, find the right sport and perform the action. 

Tips for Successful Gold Panning 

There are some good to go tips you can use for gold panning such as, pick the right spot in which gold is much likely to take place. Remove large rocks and clay lumps for a better digging process. Dig deep into the surface. 

Keep on searching the area well, with the help of your gold pan. Carefully separate the dirt particles that are mixed with gold. If you are fortunate enough, you will get the right amount of gold. 


This article is based on proper research about gold panning. So, if you are about to do gold panning, you must look at how, when and where you can do this. Gold panning tools are needed to perform the task, which means you must choose wisely. The tools that are mentioned above are some of the best tools used for gold panning. 

However, your choices differ. Also, keep in mind the technique and procedures of gold panning to find gold. Also, do not get discouraged if you didn’t find any gold, keep prospecting; your efforts won’t go wasted. 

Look for the places beforehand and their rules and regulations to avoid any troubles at the last minute. Because many businesses do not allow free gold panning or gold panning at all in their areas, at last, enjoy gold panning with the best tools and techniques.